Tea Party Winners: Debra E. Marvin's winner is: Kathleen, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's winner of her MacGregor Legacy series is Chris Granville and second winner is Britney Adams for the plaque and For Love or Country novel:, Angela K. Couch's winner is: , Carrie Fancett Pagels's winner per random.org is Beverly Duell-Moore for a copy of BCB and second winner for colonial goodies is: Carrie Moore Gould, Denise Weimer's winner: Janet Marie Dowell, Shannon McNear's winner is: Adriann Harris, Pegg Thomas's winner is: Susan C

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Everyday Items in Colonial America

Here are a few unusual, everyday items you might see around a household in colonial times:

Caddy spoons were small pieces found beginning in the 18th century in cutlery drawers or buffets. Usually very short and squat, the caddy spoon was usually crafted with a wide, flat bowl. Because this spoon was almost always used to scoop out portions of tea from the house tea chest, the bowl was the perfect size and shape.

Sugar nippers were used like scissors to cut small pieces of white refined sugar from the cones in which it was sold. These small pieces were then put into the sugar bowls used when serving tea, or the sugar was ground with a mortar and pestle into the granulated form with which we’re more familiar today.
With open hearths and flames in colonial homes, fire was a real concern. Each home kept at least one fire bucket filled with water and sometimes sand. Fire buckets were made of leather and lined with pitch and often had the owners names painted on them. Laws often required all residents to purchase them and keep them in repair. Fire fighting was a community event and "Bucket Brigades" were quickly assembled  which consisted of 2 lines of people stretching from the town well or river to the fire. They passed buckets of water to the fire, and empty buckets back to the water source to be refilled. 

The quill winder operates very much like a spinning wheel and is commonly mistaken for one. Weavers use a quill winder to wind yarn onto a "quill," a pencil-thin tube of rolled paper or corn husk. The drive string from the wheel rapidly turns the spindle, allowing the weaver to quickly load already-spun yarn onto the quill on the spindle. When the quill is fully loaded, the weaver slips the quill off the spindle and slides it into his shuttle, ready for the loom.

Rushlights were the simplest and least expensive kind of lighting device. They were made from common meadow rushes which grew in the marshes. The outer skin of the rush was peeled away and the remaining pith was dried and then dipped in hot fat. After drying, the rush was placed in the jaws of the rushlight clip to burn.Sometimes they also had a socket for a candle.
 Shutter latch to secure shutter to house. Exterior shutters were first used in window openings before glass was readily available or affordable. Wood shutters served as a protective barrier against inclement weather, direct sunlight and dusty unpaved streets. Even after the mass production of glass, shutters continued to protect fragile window glass and provide privacy for a building's inhabitants. 

you seen these items before? Do you know of any unusual everyday items that were used in Colonial


  1. Very interesting Carla.

  2. What a cool post, Carla! Loved this! I just bought a silver-plated Caddy spoon out at Colonial Williamsburg last week!

  3. Very interesting - thanks for all your research :)

  4. Loved the post, info very beneficial to me especially the sugar cone. Thanks for doing the research.

  5. I knew about the sugar nippers, but that was it.

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