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Advertisement for Deck Boat Service

Farmers could learn about transportation services, including boat transportation on canals and rivers, from advertisements placed in magazines, journals, or in this case, the city directory.

Advertisement for Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy

Pharmacists often advertised their services in local newspapers. Freeborn G. Thrall advertised his shop in the Freeman’s Journal in Cooperstown, New York. Like many other pharmacists at the time, and like today, Thrall carried a variety of goods in addition to prescription medications.

Gathering Basket

Baskets like this one were often used to gather and transport small items like eggs, peas, and beans. Children were often give the chores of collecting eggs and picking vegetables in the garden. This basket is made of thin pieces of wood, called splints, which have been woven together.

Rates of Toll Broadside

In the early nineteenth century, turnpikes, also known as toll roads, crossed New York State. These roads were much different than modern paved highways. They were little more than dirt roads. These roads gave farmers a route to bring their goods to market. Farmers, and other travelers, had to pay a toll to travel on the roads. The term “neat cattle” refers to cows, bulls, and oxen.

Western View of Poughkeepsie, New York

The taverns that were visited most frequently were those that were near a major intersection on land or on water. Steamboat travel up and down the rivers, including the Hudson River, was important to the waterfront businesses. Barge transportation brought many people through central New York during the mid-nineteenth century.

Hops Picker Tickets

After the hops pickers harvested the hops into hop boxes, the farmer paid them with tickets. Each ticket represented the number of boxes the worker picked. These tickets are from the Wedderspoon farm near Cooperstown, NY.

Chopping Knife

Blacksmiths often made or repaired items that farmers used in their homes. A blacksmith made the metal blade on this chopping knife and attached a wooden handle as well.

Porch (Todd’s General Store)

A trip into town for a farmer would usually be planned in advance. Farmers would bring goods to trade that had been made or grown on their farms. The porch at a general store served as a loading dock for goods they were purchasing, as well as a place to unload what they brought to trade.

Today, the porch on Todd’s General Store, here at the Farmer’s Museum,  has a railing for the safety of visitors.

Sun-Plane

A cooper was someone that made or repaired wooden containers and barrels. This tool, the concave sun-plane, was used to smooth out the tops and bottoms of the staves after the container was put together.

Froe

The froe is used to split wood into slabs or thin wedges. The cooper used the froe to quarter split a block of wood into wedges to make staves. The froe is held with the metal head against a piece of wood and the handle in the air.  It would then be hit with a mallet to create a clean, rectangular split in the wood.