This tool is a wrought iron, six-pronged, swiveled hop sampler. It operates like a pair of scissors. Growers and dealers used hop samplers to extract a sample from a bale of hops. They judged the quality of the crop and the harvesting process from the sample, and this determined a price for the product.
An anvil is an important tool for any black smith. It is the object on which hot metal is struck. The heavy anvil causes the energy from the strike of the hammer to focus on the metal object being created.
Bandboxes were made from an early form of cardboard. The pieces were sewn together, and the box was covered with wallpaper. Used to hold hats, caps, gloves, scarves and other accessories, as well as small pieces of clothing, they were often used when traveling.
Basket making is a craft that is still practiced today. Baskets are both pretty and useful. These baskets were probably used in daily life for holding food and other goods. They have been decorated with multiple potato-stamped images.
Made by Iroquois women, beaded bags were created from scraps of cloth, silk ribbon, thread, and glass beads. Traditional Iroquois patterns were replaced by European designs, such as flowers, in the 1840’s to appeal to customers.
The church bell called the community together for worship and marked events taking place at the church, including weddings and funerals. Everyone in the community, whether they attended church or not, heard the bell at least once per week. When someone died, the bell rang once for each year of the person’s life. Life-cycle and family events in rural New York, concerned not only an immediate family, but the entire community.
This Washington-style press was the type used in many printing offices that farmers visited. Printers could print any number of items on this press, including almanac pages and newspapers, important to farmers.
Instead of writing in notebooks, students used a slate and slate pencil to do their school lessons in the mid-nineteenth century. After copying a lesson, they would study and memorize it in preparation for reciting the lesson to the teacher. The slates and slate pencils were usually purchased at the local general store.
Horseshoes were very common in a blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith would not only make the shoes by hammering and shaping hot iron, but he would also assist farmers by putting the shoes on their horses.
Doctors and independent pharmacists had to mix their own medicines during the nineteenth century. Solid ingredients could be ground into powders and mixed with other ingredients using a mortar and pestle. Powders could be mixed with liquids to make liquid medicines, or rolled into pills and lozenges.