The Persistence of Fireplace Tools

Wench a_cottage_interior_william_redmore 2

Pensive, with bellows.

I was cleaning ashes out the woodstove today and putting aside some of the fireplace tools to carry out onto the porch to polish and get ready for storage for the summer.

Not all of them. Just the ones I don’t use often. I’m mostly done with the wood heat for the year, but there’ll be one or two more fires to light on cool evenings. From here on out it’s just for enjoyment. Just for the beauty.

Anyhow, I was considering my woodstove which is fairly sophisticated as woodstoves go. It’s covered with pretty tile and has fancy corrugations inside that do something about fire efficiency. There’s flues. There's a trap in the bottom to remove ashes while the stove is in operation. There’s thermal insulating rope around the door that has to be replaced every couple of years which is why I know about it. It has a thermal glass door. Thermal glass!

Space age woodstove.

Wench shovel

Also pensive. Has shovel. See broom to the side.

But my array of fireplace tools would settle comfortably next to my Regency heroine’s bedroom hearth. Or Elizabeth Tudor’s hearth. There is a perfection of form and design that’s brought these humble implements through centuries unchanged.

So. What do I have? Leesee …

A poker. Actually I have two. No idea how I ended up with two but I can’t bring myself to throw out the extra one.

You see, if I were a Regency heroine and were menaced by the villain, I’d bop him over the head with a poker and be perfectly safe.
But what if there were two villains? Huh? What then?

Nobody ever thinks about that.

Wench Cecily Parsley 2

Victorian rabbits possessed of poker, fire shovel, and ember tool 

Now here are a couple of familiar Victorian rabbits sitting on their settle beside the fire. The high back of that long bench is there to catch the heat of the fire and keep it where it will do some good.

At the hearth before them, see the poker slanted up, the hot end toward the fire. It’s the simplest of all poker shapes, just an iron bar with a pointy business end and a knob to hold it by. Probably its twin rested on many a Medieval hearth. It can be found in Aisle 17 at Home Depot today.

And there it is on My Hearth. The same poker. I am part of history. And Art. And Great Literature.

We move on to the little whisk broom hanging from the iron tree that holds my fireplace tools. I sweep up the ashes that get out onto the stone of the hearth and the bits and pieces of logs that fall about when I load up the stove. I suspect there’s a broom just out of sight in all the historical paintings of fireplaces. But it’s not considered a ‘fireplace implement’ by the artists. It’s so humble and ordinary and messy it’s edited out. (Though I have one above.)

What else do I have? A shovel, long and narrow. This is a distinctive sort of shovel, instantly recognizable. Historically, it was used not only for scooping out the dead ashes at cleaning time but also for shifting hot coals from one place to another. We don’t do this so much now, but in 1790 or 1490 the woman of the house might load up her warming pan with hot coals from the fire. Or, since hearths were sometimes big ole affairs in those days, she might take coals from the main fire that was simmering the family frumenty and start a second fire at the other end of the hearth to set the kettle boiling.

Mary Livermore’s autobiography speaks of her girlhood in early Eighteenth Century America. “There were ‘bake-kettles’ for the baking of biscuit and gingerbread over beds of live coals, which also were heaped on the cover.”

Wench E. K

… our fire shovel, there on the hearth

I can see the narrow shovel used to heap coals up under the iron pot on the north end of the hearth and then pile coals over the lid.

Livermore says, “The ashes were carefully raked over the bed of coals on the hearth at night to preserve the fire.  If we ‘lost fire’, we fell back on the tinder-box, and struck a steel ring with a flint till a spark fell on tinder when it was blown into a flame.  Or, if the tinder-box was out of order, we went to a neighbor’s kitchen and begged a shovelful of coals.”
That shovel again.

Wench bellows wikiNext on, I have my bellows. They look quite precisely like these Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century implements, and earlier. No technological improvements here. Mine are made from the same materials — wood, leather, steel nozzle, brass pins to hold everything together.

Finally, and interestingly, we come to a bit of Georgian/Regency fireplace impedimenta I don’t have. Ember tongs. You see them leaning there by the fireplace in the historical picture record. Yet I have them not and do not miss them.

Wench ember to light pipe2The ember those tongs picked up would have been used to light something else. A candle. A nearby fire. A pipe. I figger we've replace that ember with matches. They still sell the ember tool as part of fireplace sets but I don’t know what folks use them for. I mean, when was the last time you needed to pick up an ember and take it someplace?

 

 

So that’s my take on ‘My fireplace tools and what they mean to me’. Thinking about the whole subject I am just flabbergasted at how we’ve kept the shapes and usages for so long. We put a man on the moon in a chariot of 50,000 complicated parts, but our fireplace bellows hasn’t changed in six centuries.

What objects in your physical world are unchanged after many years, even centuries? What connects you to the past?
Your oil painting brush? A thimble? Your garden trowel?

Tell me, and one lucky commenter will receive one of my audiobooks. I have copies of most of them.  

 

150 thoughts on “The Persistence of Fireplace Tools”

  1. I use my grandmother’s wooden chopping/bread board for cutting bread & homemade pizza. I figure wooden chopping boards have been around for a while?
    I also have a number of bone and metal crochet hooks that belonged to various ancestors. The hooks are still perfectly functional – but I prefer to use my snazzy anodised aluminum hooks with plastic handles 🙂

    Reply
  2. I use my grandmother’s wooden chopping/bread board for cutting bread & homemade pizza. I figure wooden chopping boards have been around for a while?
    I also have a number of bone and metal crochet hooks that belonged to various ancestors. The hooks are still perfectly functional – but I prefer to use my snazzy anodised aluminum hooks with plastic handles 🙂

    Reply
  3. I use my grandmother’s wooden chopping/bread board for cutting bread & homemade pizza. I figure wooden chopping boards have been around for a while?
    I also have a number of bone and metal crochet hooks that belonged to various ancestors. The hooks are still perfectly functional – but I prefer to use my snazzy anodised aluminum hooks with plastic handles 🙂

    Reply
  4. I use my grandmother’s wooden chopping/bread board for cutting bread & homemade pizza. I figure wooden chopping boards have been around for a while?
    I also have a number of bone and metal crochet hooks that belonged to various ancestors. The hooks are still perfectly functional – but I prefer to use my snazzy anodised aluminum hooks with plastic handles 🙂

    Reply
  5. I use my grandmother’s wooden chopping/bread board for cutting bread & homemade pizza. I figure wooden chopping boards have been around for a while?
    I also have a number of bone and metal crochet hooks that belonged to various ancestors. The hooks are still perfectly functional – but I prefer to use my snazzy anodised aluminum hooks with plastic handles 🙂

    Reply
  6. Great post, Jo. A good tool is a good tool. However, the tools for a coal fire are a little different. When I was growing up the poker wasn’t used to poke but to bash, to break up large coals in the fireplace. Ours was short, snub ended and hefty — much better for hitting people if necessary than the long thin ones. IIRC, we used a regular shovel to remove ash, because coal doesn’t produce as much.
    I don’t have much from the past, but I did have a darning mushroom — wooden — that had come down the family. Yes, I used to darn woolen socks! Picture here. http://www.fabric-world.com/darning-mushroom.html?gclid=CIexu7f0v8sCFUyeGwodTPEJCA
    I also used to have an old wooden rolling pin, but I much prefer a marble one.

    Reply
  7. Great post, Jo. A good tool is a good tool. However, the tools for a coal fire are a little different. When I was growing up the poker wasn’t used to poke but to bash, to break up large coals in the fireplace. Ours was short, snub ended and hefty — much better for hitting people if necessary than the long thin ones. IIRC, we used a regular shovel to remove ash, because coal doesn’t produce as much.
    I don’t have much from the past, but I did have a darning mushroom — wooden — that had come down the family. Yes, I used to darn woolen socks! Picture here. http://www.fabric-world.com/darning-mushroom.html?gclid=CIexu7f0v8sCFUyeGwodTPEJCA
    I also used to have an old wooden rolling pin, but I much prefer a marble one.

    Reply
  8. Great post, Jo. A good tool is a good tool. However, the tools for a coal fire are a little different. When I was growing up the poker wasn’t used to poke but to bash, to break up large coals in the fireplace. Ours was short, snub ended and hefty — much better for hitting people if necessary than the long thin ones. IIRC, we used a regular shovel to remove ash, because coal doesn’t produce as much.
    I don’t have much from the past, but I did have a darning mushroom — wooden — that had come down the family. Yes, I used to darn woolen socks! Picture here. http://www.fabric-world.com/darning-mushroom.html?gclid=CIexu7f0v8sCFUyeGwodTPEJCA
    I also used to have an old wooden rolling pin, but I much prefer a marble one.

    Reply
  9. Great post, Jo. A good tool is a good tool. However, the tools for a coal fire are a little different. When I was growing up the poker wasn’t used to poke but to bash, to break up large coals in the fireplace. Ours was short, snub ended and hefty — much better for hitting people if necessary than the long thin ones. IIRC, we used a regular shovel to remove ash, because coal doesn’t produce as much.
    I don’t have much from the past, but I did have a darning mushroom — wooden — that had come down the family. Yes, I used to darn woolen socks! Picture here. http://www.fabric-world.com/darning-mushroom.html?gclid=CIexu7f0v8sCFUyeGwodTPEJCA
    I also used to have an old wooden rolling pin, but I much prefer a marble one.

    Reply
  10. Great post, Jo. A good tool is a good tool. However, the tools for a coal fire are a little different. When I was growing up the poker wasn’t used to poke but to bash, to break up large coals in the fireplace. Ours was short, snub ended and hefty — much better for hitting people if necessary than the long thin ones. IIRC, we used a regular shovel to remove ash, because coal doesn’t produce as much.
    I don’t have much from the past, but I did have a darning mushroom — wooden — that had come down the family. Yes, I used to darn woolen socks! Picture here. http://www.fabric-world.com/darning-mushroom.html?gclid=CIexu7f0v8sCFUyeGwodTPEJCA
    I also used to have an old wooden rolling pin, but I much prefer a marble one.

    Reply
  11. Does my mobile phone count? Mine is so old I saw it in a retro “back in the day” technology post a couple of days ago! It’s one where you have to press the button several times to get the letter you want when you text, and I’m about twenty years too early for the internet!
    When my mother’s mother died last year we inherited a lot of her things. She was still using gardening tools like the ones she had in 1920s Ukraine. In the end, often it’s the simple tools that do the job better than the fancy electrical things.
    A lot of other things (e.g. for the kitchen) from her house were handmade by my grandfather, who died in the mid 70s. We still use them.

    Reply
  12. Does my mobile phone count? Mine is so old I saw it in a retro “back in the day” technology post a couple of days ago! It’s one where you have to press the button several times to get the letter you want when you text, and I’m about twenty years too early for the internet!
    When my mother’s mother died last year we inherited a lot of her things. She was still using gardening tools like the ones she had in 1920s Ukraine. In the end, often it’s the simple tools that do the job better than the fancy electrical things.
    A lot of other things (e.g. for the kitchen) from her house were handmade by my grandfather, who died in the mid 70s. We still use them.

    Reply
  13. Does my mobile phone count? Mine is so old I saw it in a retro “back in the day” technology post a couple of days ago! It’s one where you have to press the button several times to get the letter you want when you text, and I’m about twenty years too early for the internet!
    When my mother’s mother died last year we inherited a lot of her things. She was still using gardening tools like the ones she had in 1920s Ukraine. In the end, often it’s the simple tools that do the job better than the fancy electrical things.
    A lot of other things (e.g. for the kitchen) from her house were handmade by my grandfather, who died in the mid 70s. We still use them.

    Reply
  14. Does my mobile phone count? Mine is so old I saw it in a retro “back in the day” technology post a couple of days ago! It’s one where you have to press the button several times to get the letter you want when you text, and I’m about twenty years too early for the internet!
    When my mother’s mother died last year we inherited a lot of her things. She was still using gardening tools like the ones she had in 1920s Ukraine. In the end, often it’s the simple tools that do the job better than the fancy electrical things.
    A lot of other things (e.g. for the kitchen) from her house were handmade by my grandfather, who died in the mid 70s. We still use them.

    Reply
  15. Does my mobile phone count? Mine is so old I saw it in a retro “back in the day” technology post a couple of days ago! It’s one where you have to press the button several times to get the letter you want when you text, and I’m about twenty years too early for the internet!
    When my mother’s mother died last year we inherited a lot of her things. She was still using gardening tools like the ones she had in 1920s Ukraine. In the end, often it’s the simple tools that do the job better than the fancy electrical things.
    A lot of other things (e.g. for the kitchen) from her house were handmade by my grandfather, who died in the mid 70s. We still use them.

    Reply
  16. A carbon steel knife with a blade that is stained and ugly but gets a much sharper edge than any stainless steel or ceramic knife I ever met. I have inherited pots and mixing bowls that are older than I am, including a wide, shallow wooden bowl that my grandmother used for making yeast doughs. Being lazy, I prefer to knead the dough with my electric mixer, but I like having the bowl.
    Come to think of it, most kitchen tools haven’t changed much over the millennia. I suppose that’s a good thing, in that we can still feed ourselves even if the power goes off.

    Reply
  17. A carbon steel knife with a blade that is stained and ugly but gets a much sharper edge than any stainless steel or ceramic knife I ever met. I have inherited pots and mixing bowls that are older than I am, including a wide, shallow wooden bowl that my grandmother used for making yeast doughs. Being lazy, I prefer to knead the dough with my electric mixer, but I like having the bowl.
    Come to think of it, most kitchen tools haven’t changed much over the millennia. I suppose that’s a good thing, in that we can still feed ourselves even if the power goes off.

    Reply
  18. A carbon steel knife with a blade that is stained and ugly but gets a much sharper edge than any stainless steel or ceramic knife I ever met. I have inherited pots and mixing bowls that are older than I am, including a wide, shallow wooden bowl that my grandmother used for making yeast doughs. Being lazy, I prefer to knead the dough with my electric mixer, but I like having the bowl.
    Come to think of it, most kitchen tools haven’t changed much over the millennia. I suppose that’s a good thing, in that we can still feed ourselves even if the power goes off.

    Reply
  19. A carbon steel knife with a blade that is stained and ugly but gets a much sharper edge than any stainless steel or ceramic knife I ever met. I have inherited pots and mixing bowls that are older than I am, including a wide, shallow wooden bowl that my grandmother used for making yeast doughs. Being lazy, I prefer to knead the dough with my electric mixer, but I like having the bowl.
    Come to think of it, most kitchen tools haven’t changed much over the millennia. I suppose that’s a good thing, in that we can still feed ourselves even if the power goes off.

    Reply
  20. A carbon steel knife with a blade that is stained and ugly but gets a much sharper edge than any stainless steel or ceramic knife I ever met. I have inherited pots and mixing bowls that are older than I am, including a wide, shallow wooden bowl that my grandmother used for making yeast doughs. Being lazy, I prefer to knead the dough with my electric mixer, but I like having the bowl.
    Come to think of it, most kitchen tools haven’t changed much over the millennia. I suppose that’s a good thing, in that we can still feed ourselves even if the power goes off.

    Reply
  21. Once I was in a museum of neolithic stuff in France. One of the exhibits was a huge shallow wooden bowl with the wear still showing where it had been used ten thousand years ago.
    Since nobody was looking I ran my hands over the place where my ancestor women, my foremothers, had cut meat or chopped vegetables or — this being France — made Salade Mesclun with heirloom herbs.

    Reply
  22. Once I was in a museum of neolithic stuff in France. One of the exhibits was a huge shallow wooden bowl with the wear still showing where it had been used ten thousand years ago.
    Since nobody was looking I ran my hands over the place where my ancestor women, my foremothers, had cut meat or chopped vegetables or — this being France — made Salade Mesclun with heirloom herbs.

    Reply
  23. Once I was in a museum of neolithic stuff in France. One of the exhibits was a huge shallow wooden bowl with the wear still showing where it had been used ten thousand years ago.
    Since nobody was looking I ran my hands over the place where my ancestor women, my foremothers, had cut meat or chopped vegetables or — this being France — made Salade Mesclun with heirloom herbs.

    Reply
  24. Once I was in a museum of neolithic stuff in France. One of the exhibits was a huge shallow wooden bowl with the wear still showing where it had been used ten thousand years ago.
    Since nobody was looking I ran my hands over the place where my ancestor women, my foremothers, had cut meat or chopped vegetables or — this being France — made Salade Mesclun with heirloom herbs.

    Reply
  25. Once I was in a museum of neolithic stuff in France. One of the exhibits was a huge shallow wooden bowl with the wear still showing where it had been used ten thousand years ago.
    Since nobody was looking I ran my hands over the place where my ancestor women, my foremothers, had cut meat or chopped vegetables or — this being France — made Salade Mesclun with heirloom herbs.

    Reply
  26. Kitchen objects made by your grandfather. That is SO wonderful. So great.
    I have an aluminum 2-cup measuring cup my mother bought after WWII when they sold off all the army stuff they didn’t need any more. It’s all battered, but I love it.

    Reply
  27. Kitchen objects made by your grandfather. That is SO wonderful. So great.
    I have an aluminum 2-cup measuring cup my mother bought after WWII when they sold off all the army stuff they didn’t need any more. It’s all battered, but I love it.

    Reply
  28. Kitchen objects made by your grandfather. That is SO wonderful. So great.
    I have an aluminum 2-cup measuring cup my mother bought after WWII when they sold off all the army stuff they didn’t need any more. It’s all battered, but I love it.

    Reply
  29. Kitchen objects made by your grandfather. That is SO wonderful. So great.
    I have an aluminum 2-cup measuring cup my mother bought after WWII when they sold off all the army stuff they didn’t need any more. It’s all battered, but I love it.

    Reply
  30. Kitchen objects made by your grandfather. That is SO wonderful. So great.
    I have an aluminum 2-cup measuring cup my mother bought after WWII when they sold off all the army stuff they didn’t need any more. It’s all battered, but I love it.

    Reply
  31. I have a rolling pin that I bought — it was rather cost-y — at Colonial Williamsburg. That’s a historical re-enactment site.
    It’s a single piece of double-tapered wood, maybe three foot long. I find it very useful in action, but difficult to store in kitchen cabinets.

    Reply
  32. I have a rolling pin that I bought — it was rather cost-y — at Colonial Williamsburg. That’s a historical re-enactment site.
    It’s a single piece of double-tapered wood, maybe three foot long. I find it very useful in action, but difficult to store in kitchen cabinets.

    Reply
  33. I have a rolling pin that I bought — it was rather cost-y — at Colonial Williamsburg. That’s a historical re-enactment site.
    It’s a single piece of double-tapered wood, maybe three foot long. I find it very useful in action, but difficult to store in kitchen cabinets.

    Reply
  34. I have a rolling pin that I bought — it was rather cost-y — at Colonial Williamsburg. That’s a historical re-enactment site.
    It’s a single piece of double-tapered wood, maybe three foot long. I find it very useful in action, but difficult to store in kitchen cabinets.

    Reply
  35. I have a rolling pin that I bought — it was rather cost-y — at Colonial Williamsburg. That’s a historical re-enactment site.
    It’s a single piece of double-tapered wood, maybe three foot long. I find it very useful in action, but difficult to store in kitchen cabinets.

    Reply
  36. I am now thinking about the Georgian and Regency kitchens I’ve studied. They certainly had wooden tables that were scoured down with salt and sand every night.
    They had wooden paddles to put stuff into the ovens. Did they have movable cutting boards or was all chopping that had to be transported done in shallow bowls?
    Now I’m fascinated by the problem. I will keep an eye out.

    Reply
  37. I am now thinking about the Georgian and Regency kitchens I’ve studied. They certainly had wooden tables that were scoured down with salt and sand every night.
    They had wooden paddles to put stuff into the ovens. Did they have movable cutting boards or was all chopping that had to be transported done in shallow bowls?
    Now I’m fascinated by the problem. I will keep an eye out.

    Reply
  38. I am now thinking about the Georgian and Regency kitchens I’ve studied. They certainly had wooden tables that were scoured down with salt and sand every night.
    They had wooden paddles to put stuff into the ovens. Did they have movable cutting boards or was all chopping that had to be transported done in shallow bowls?
    Now I’m fascinated by the problem. I will keep an eye out.

    Reply
  39. I am now thinking about the Georgian and Regency kitchens I’ve studied. They certainly had wooden tables that were scoured down with salt and sand every night.
    They had wooden paddles to put stuff into the ovens. Did they have movable cutting boards or was all chopping that had to be transported done in shallow bowls?
    Now I’m fascinated by the problem. I will keep an eye out.

    Reply
  40. I am now thinking about the Georgian and Regency kitchens I’ve studied. They certainly had wooden tables that were scoured down with salt and sand every night.
    They had wooden paddles to put stuff into the ovens. Did they have movable cutting boards or was all chopping that had to be transported done in shallow bowls?
    Now I’m fascinated by the problem. I will keep an eye out.

    Reply
  41. Many of my kitchen tools are “old-fashioned.” A few were my mother’s and may be older than I am. Others were bought my me, but are still in the old style — a mezzo-luna and a double-bladed mezzo-luna; wooden cutting boards, whisks, a dover beater, a steel sharpening rod (I USE a more modern sharpening set), measuring cups (both glass and tin), and mixing bowls.
    I also have, but do not use, some drafting tools belonging to my maternal grandfather and some books on surveying that belonged to my paternal grandfather.

    Reply
  42. Many of my kitchen tools are “old-fashioned.” A few were my mother’s and may be older than I am. Others were bought my me, but are still in the old style — a mezzo-luna and a double-bladed mezzo-luna; wooden cutting boards, whisks, a dover beater, a steel sharpening rod (I USE a more modern sharpening set), measuring cups (both glass and tin), and mixing bowls.
    I also have, but do not use, some drafting tools belonging to my maternal grandfather and some books on surveying that belonged to my paternal grandfather.

    Reply
  43. Many of my kitchen tools are “old-fashioned.” A few were my mother’s and may be older than I am. Others were bought my me, but are still in the old style — a mezzo-luna and a double-bladed mezzo-luna; wooden cutting boards, whisks, a dover beater, a steel sharpening rod (I USE a more modern sharpening set), measuring cups (both glass and tin), and mixing bowls.
    I also have, but do not use, some drafting tools belonging to my maternal grandfather and some books on surveying that belonged to my paternal grandfather.

    Reply
  44. Many of my kitchen tools are “old-fashioned.” A few were my mother’s and may be older than I am. Others were bought my me, but are still in the old style — a mezzo-luna and a double-bladed mezzo-luna; wooden cutting boards, whisks, a dover beater, a steel sharpening rod (I USE a more modern sharpening set), measuring cups (both glass and tin), and mixing bowls.
    I also have, but do not use, some drafting tools belonging to my maternal grandfather and some books on surveying that belonged to my paternal grandfather.

    Reply
  45. Many of my kitchen tools are “old-fashioned.” A few were my mother’s and may be older than I am. Others were bought my me, but are still in the old style — a mezzo-luna and a double-bladed mezzo-luna; wooden cutting boards, whisks, a dover beater, a steel sharpening rod (I USE a more modern sharpening set), measuring cups (both glass and tin), and mixing bowls.
    I also have, but do not use, some drafting tools belonging to my maternal grandfather and some books on surveying that belonged to my paternal grandfather.

    Reply
  46. My aunt had a darning mushroom, although it was a slightly different shape and we called it a darning egg. However, I had no clue how to use it and my aunt, who did, spent her time and effort on other things. So many socks today have artificial fibers that I don’t know if you could darn them even if you wanted to.

    Reply
  47. My aunt had a darning mushroom, although it was a slightly different shape and we called it a darning egg. However, I had no clue how to use it and my aunt, who did, spent her time and effort on other things. So many socks today have artificial fibers that I don’t know if you could darn them even if you wanted to.

    Reply
  48. My aunt had a darning mushroom, although it was a slightly different shape and we called it a darning egg. However, I had no clue how to use it and my aunt, who did, spent her time and effort on other things. So many socks today have artificial fibers that I don’t know if you could darn them even if you wanted to.

    Reply
  49. My aunt had a darning mushroom, although it was a slightly different shape and we called it a darning egg. However, I had no clue how to use it and my aunt, who did, spent her time and effort on other things. So many socks today have artificial fibers that I don’t know if you could darn them even if you wanted to.

    Reply
  50. My aunt had a darning mushroom, although it was a slightly different shape and we called it a darning egg. However, I had no clue how to use it and my aunt, who did, spent her time and effort on other things. So many socks today have artificial fibers that I don’t know if you could darn them even if you wanted to.

    Reply
  51. I love the old implements. I do have some fire tongs which we use to move the large pieces of wood around. But the small narrow shovel is a pain to pick up ash without spilling it all over the place. However the old tools which really fascinate me are the medical implements, and the building implements. Many of the tools still used today, were around even in Egyptian and Roman times. Seeing some of the tools used in those times, it is possibly to immediately recognise what they were used for. I suppose it was a case of if it worked why change it. And most of them were so simple in design.

    Reply
  52. I love the old implements. I do have some fire tongs which we use to move the large pieces of wood around. But the small narrow shovel is a pain to pick up ash without spilling it all over the place. However the old tools which really fascinate me are the medical implements, and the building implements. Many of the tools still used today, were around even in Egyptian and Roman times. Seeing some of the tools used in those times, it is possibly to immediately recognise what they were used for. I suppose it was a case of if it worked why change it. And most of them were so simple in design.

    Reply
  53. I love the old implements. I do have some fire tongs which we use to move the large pieces of wood around. But the small narrow shovel is a pain to pick up ash without spilling it all over the place. However the old tools which really fascinate me are the medical implements, and the building implements. Many of the tools still used today, were around even in Egyptian and Roman times. Seeing some of the tools used in those times, it is possibly to immediately recognise what they were used for. I suppose it was a case of if it worked why change it. And most of them were so simple in design.

    Reply
  54. I love the old implements. I do have some fire tongs which we use to move the large pieces of wood around. But the small narrow shovel is a pain to pick up ash without spilling it all over the place. However the old tools which really fascinate me are the medical implements, and the building implements. Many of the tools still used today, were around even in Egyptian and Roman times. Seeing some of the tools used in those times, it is possibly to immediately recognise what they were used for. I suppose it was a case of if it worked why change it. And most of them were so simple in design.

    Reply
  55. I love the old implements. I do have some fire tongs which we use to move the large pieces of wood around. But the small narrow shovel is a pain to pick up ash without spilling it all over the place. However the old tools which really fascinate me are the medical implements, and the building implements. Many of the tools still used today, were around even in Egyptian and Roman times. Seeing some of the tools used in those times, it is possibly to immediately recognise what they were used for. I suppose it was a case of if it worked why change it. And most of them were so simple in design.

    Reply
  56. I have a little medical kit given to me by my grandmother which belonged to Her grandfather, a doctor in the civil war. The scalpels and probes could be used with minimal adjustment today.

    Reply
  57. I have a little medical kit given to me by my grandmother which belonged to Her grandfather, a doctor in the civil war. The scalpels and probes could be used with minimal adjustment today.

    Reply
  58. I have a little medical kit given to me by my grandmother which belonged to Her grandfather, a doctor in the civil war. The scalpels and probes could be used with minimal adjustment today.

    Reply
  59. I have a little medical kit given to me by my grandmother which belonged to Her grandfather, a doctor in the civil war. The scalpels and probes could be used with minimal adjustment today.

    Reply
  60. I have a little medical kit given to me by my grandmother which belonged to Her grandfather, a doctor in the civil war. The scalpels and probes could be used with minimal adjustment today.

    Reply
  61. I have lots of old kitchen utensils, including a wooden potato masher and a small wheel used to trim pie crusts. I also have a “two-man saw”. It’s got a handle on both ends, for two people to cut up large logs. I never use it, but can’t bear to give it away because it was my father’s.

    Reply
  62. I have lots of old kitchen utensils, including a wooden potato masher and a small wheel used to trim pie crusts. I also have a “two-man saw”. It’s got a handle on both ends, for two people to cut up large logs. I never use it, but can’t bear to give it away because it was my father’s.

    Reply
  63. I have lots of old kitchen utensils, including a wooden potato masher and a small wheel used to trim pie crusts. I also have a “two-man saw”. It’s got a handle on both ends, for two people to cut up large logs. I never use it, but can’t bear to give it away because it was my father’s.

    Reply
  64. I have lots of old kitchen utensils, including a wooden potato masher and a small wheel used to trim pie crusts. I also have a “two-man saw”. It’s got a handle on both ends, for two people to cut up large logs. I never use it, but can’t bear to give it away because it was my father’s.

    Reply
  65. I have lots of old kitchen utensils, including a wooden potato masher and a small wheel used to trim pie crusts. I also have a “two-man saw”. It’s got a handle on both ends, for two people to cut up large logs. I never use it, but can’t bear to give it away because it was my father’s.

    Reply
  66. Great piece, Joanne. I love everyone’s comments too. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to have inherited this tool of my Grandmother’s, I guess no one else wanted it. I have the wood rolling pin she used to roll out her home made egg noodles. My Grandfather made this for her, and it is unusual because it has evenly spaced grooves all along the roller going around the diameter. I’ve never seen another like it. I haven’t made my own noodles now for decades. Somehow even though it seems incongruent the grooves don’t indent the eggy dough, but it allows you to roll very thin and my Grandmother’s noodles were thinner than anyone else in our family has been able to achieve. She allowed my to help her when I was a child, but she did the rolling 🙂
    I would love it if someone else has seen this kind of rolling pin. Where did she get the idea?

    Reply
  67. Great piece, Joanne. I love everyone’s comments too. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to have inherited this tool of my Grandmother’s, I guess no one else wanted it. I have the wood rolling pin she used to roll out her home made egg noodles. My Grandfather made this for her, and it is unusual because it has evenly spaced grooves all along the roller going around the diameter. I’ve never seen another like it. I haven’t made my own noodles now for decades. Somehow even though it seems incongruent the grooves don’t indent the eggy dough, but it allows you to roll very thin and my Grandmother’s noodles were thinner than anyone else in our family has been able to achieve. She allowed my to help her when I was a child, but she did the rolling 🙂
    I would love it if someone else has seen this kind of rolling pin. Where did she get the idea?

    Reply
  68. Great piece, Joanne. I love everyone’s comments too. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to have inherited this tool of my Grandmother’s, I guess no one else wanted it. I have the wood rolling pin she used to roll out her home made egg noodles. My Grandfather made this for her, and it is unusual because it has evenly spaced grooves all along the roller going around the diameter. I’ve never seen another like it. I haven’t made my own noodles now for decades. Somehow even though it seems incongruent the grooves don’t indent the eggy dough, but it allows you to roll very thin and my Grandmother’s noodles were thinner than anyone else in our family has been able to achieve. She allowed my to help her when I was a child, but she did the rolling 🙂
    I would love it if someone else has seen this kind of rolling pin. Where did she get the idea?

    Reply
  69. Great piece, Joanne. I love everyone’s comments too. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to have inherited this tool of my Grandmother’s, I guess no one else wanted it. I have the wood rolling pin she used to roll out her home made egg noodles. My Grandfather made this for her, and it is unusual because it has evenly spaced grooves all along the roller going around the diameter. I’ve never seen another like it. I haven’t made my own noodles now for decades. Somehow even though it seems incongruent the grooves don’t indent the eggy dough, but it allows you to roll very thin and my Grandmother’s noodles were thinner than anyone else in our family has been able to achieve. She allowed my to help her when I was a child, but she did the rolling 🙂
    I would love it if someone else has seen this kind of rolling pin. Where did she get the idea?

    Reply
  70. Great piece, Joanne. I love everyone’s comments too. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to have inherited this tool of my Grandmother’s, I guess no one else wanted it. I have the wood rolling pin she used to roll out her home made egg noodles. My Grandfather made this for her, and it is unusual because it has evenly spaced grooves all along the roller going around the diameter. I’ve never seen another like it. I haven’t made my own noodles now for decades. Somehow even though it seems incongruent the grooves don’t indent the eggy dough, but it allows you to roll very thin and my Grandmother’s noodles were thinner than anyone else in our family has been able to achieve. She allowed my to help her when I was a child, but she did the rolling 🙂
    I would love it if someone else has seen this kind of rolling pin. Where did she get the idea?

    Reply
  71. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  72. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  73. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  74. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  75. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  76. I haven’t seen pasta rollers myself. I’m two generations away from the last egg noodle pasta makers in my family.
    I wonder if I should learn to do that? I like egg noodles. Why not return to my roots?

    Reply
  77. I haven’t seen pasta rollers myself. I’m two generations away from the last egg noodle pasta makers in my family.
    I wonder if I should learn to do that? I like egg noodles. Why not return to my roots?

    Reply
  78. I haven’t seen pasta rollers myself. I’m two generations away from the last egg noodle pasta makers in my family.
    I wonder if I should learn to do that? I like egg noodles. Why not return to my roots?

    Reply
  79. I haven’t seen pasta rollers myself. I’m two generations away from the last egg noodle pasta makers in my family.
    I wonder if I should learn to do that? I like egg noodles. Why not return to my roots?

    Reply
  80. I haven’t seen pasta rollers myself. I’m two generations away from the last egg noodle pasta makers in my family.
    I wonder if I should learn to do that? I like egg noodles. Why not return to my roots?

    Reply
  81. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  82. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  83. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  84. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  85. I had NOT thought of medical instruments. I know they use flaked glass edges to do some eye operations — how ancient is that idea? — because the edge is so sharp.
    And I don’t suppose a sanding stone, ax, saw, adze and so on have changed to any great extent.

    Reply
  86. My family decided to get in touch with my Norwegian roots this past Christmas and make krumkake, a Scandinavian Christmas cookie made on an iron and shaped with a cone. We invested in an electric krumkake iron, partly because our inherited metal ones wouldn’t work on our glass stovetop. We were happy to discover that we had a krumkake cone made by my father-in-law, which worked much better than the store-bought ones. He died last summer, and it was a nice way to remember him.
    There’s some information about krumkake here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumkake

    Reply
  87. My family decided to get in touch with my Norwegian roots this past Christmas and make krumkake, a Scandinavian Christmas cookie made on an iron and shaped with a cone. We invested in an electric krumkake iron, partly because our inherited metal ones wouldn’t work on our glass stovetop. We were happy to discover that we had a krumkake cone made by my father-in-law, which worked much better than the store-bought ones. He died last summer, and it was a nice way to remember him.
    There’s some information about krumkake here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumkake

    Reply
  88. My family decided to get in touch with my Norwegian roots this past Christmas and make krumkake, a Scandinavian Christmas cookie made on an iron and shaped with a cone. We invested in an electric krumkake iron, partly because our inherited metal ones wouldn’t work on our glass stovetop. We were happy to discover that we had a krumkake cone made by my father-in-law, which worked much better than the store-bought ones. He died last summer, and it was a nice way to remember him.
    There’s some information about krumkake here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumkake

    Reply
  89. My family decided to get in touch with my Norwegian roots this past Christmas and make krumkake, a Scandinavian Christmas cookie made on an iron and shaped with a cone. We invested in an electric krumkake iron, partly because our inherited metal ones wouldn’t work on our glass stovetop. We were happy to discover that we had a krumkake cone made by my father-in-law, which worked much better than the store-bought ones. He died last summer, and it was a nice way to remember him.
    There’s some information about krumkake here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumkake

    Reply
  90. My family decided to get in touch with my Norwegian roots this past Christmas and make krumkake, a Scandinavian Christmas cookie made on an iron and shaped with a cone. We invested in an electric krumkake iron, partly because our inherited metal ones wouldn’t work on our glass stovetop. We were happy to discover that we had a krumkake cone made by my father-in-law, which worked much better than the store-bought ones. He died last summer, and it was a nice way to remember him.
    There’s some information about krumkake here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krumkake

    Reply
  91. Marianne, they remind me of brandy snaps — a soft cookie that we roll Straight from the oven, while still hot and malleable, around the handle of a wooden spoon. As they cool, they crisp up. Just before serving we fill them with whipped cream. Not sure where the brandy comes in though.

    Reply
  92. Marianne, they remind me of brandy snaps — a soft cookie that we roll Straight from the oven, while still hot and malleable, around the handle of a wooden spoon. As they cool, they crisp up. Just before serving we fill them with whipped cream. Not sure where the brandy comes in though.

    Reply
  93. Marianne, they remind me of brandy snaps — a soft cookie that we roll Straight from the oven, while still hot and malleable, around the handle of a wooden spoon. As they cool, they crisp up. Just before serving we fill them with whipped cream. Not sure where the brandy comes in though.

    Reply
  94. Marianne, they remind me of brandy snaps — a soft cookie that we roll Straight from the oven, while still hot and malleable, around the handle of a wooden spoon. As they cool, they crisp up. Just before serving we fill them with whipped cream. Not sure where the brandy comes in though.

    Reply
  95. Marianne, they remind me of brandy snaps — a soft cookie that we roll Straight from the oven, while still hot and malleable, around the handle of a wooden spoon. As they cool, they crisp up. Just before serving we fill them with whipped cream. Not sure where the brandy comes in though.

    Reply
  96. Jo – what a conversation starter! I have a silver spice box in the shape of little castle turret with a silver flag attached. The spice box is for greeting the week on Saturday night, after the Jewish Sabbath is over. I also have a chased silver jigger, in which my mother would give me wine for the Friday night Kiddush. There are also kitchen tools – a wooden chopping bowl and a hock-messer (curved chopping blade to go with). There’s also a printed challis shawl that was my great grandmother’s. And one irreplaceable object is a nearly empty bottle of Yardley’s Bond Street cologne. It was what my mother always used…

    Reply
  97. Jo – what a conversation starter! I have a silver spice box in the shape of little castle turret with a silver flag attached. The spice box is for greeting the week on Saturday night, after the Jewish Sabbath is over. I also have a chased silver jigger, in which my mother would give me wine for the Friday night Kiddush. There are also kitchen tools – a wooden chopping bowl and a hock-messer (curved chopping blade to go with). There’s also a printed challis shawl that was my great grandmother’s. And one irreplaceable object is a nearly empty bottle of Yardley’s Bond Street cologne. It was what my mother always used…

    Reply
  98. Jo – what a conversation starter! I have a silver spice box in the shape of little castle turret with a silver flag attached. The spice box is for greeting the week on Saturday night, after the Jewish Sabbath is over. I also have a chased silver jigger, in which my mother would give me wine for the Friday night Kiddush. There are also kitchen tools – a wooden chopping bowl and a hock-messer (curved chopping blade to go with). There’s also a printed challis shawl that was my great grandmother’s. And one irreplaceable object is a nearly empty bottle of Yardley’s Bond Street cologne. It was what my mother always used…

    Reply
  99. Jo – what a conversation starter! I have a silver spice box in the shape of little castle turret with a silver flag attached. The spice box is for greeting the week on Saturday night, after the Jewish Sabbath is over. I also have a chased silver jigger, in which my mother would give me wine for the Friday night Kiddush. There are also kitchen tools – a wooden chopping bowl and a hock-messer (curved chopping blade to go with). There’s also a printed challis shawl that was my great grandmother’s. And one irreplaceable object is a nearly empty bottle of Yardley’s Bond Street cologne. It was what my mother always used…

    Reply
  100. Jo – what a conversation starter! I have a silver spice box in the shape of little castle turret with a silver flag attached. The spice box is for greeting the week on Saturday night, after the Jewish Sabbath is over. I also have a chased silver jigger, in which my mother would give me wine for the Friday night Kiddush. There are also kitchen tools – a wooden chopping bowl and a hock-messer (curved chopping blade to go with). There’s also a printed challis shawl that was my great grandmother’s. And one irreplaceable object is a nearly empty bottle of Yardley’s Bond Street cologne. It was what my mother always used…

    Reply
  101. Smells are incredibly evocative.
    I’ve never read Proust and know nothing about the book, but I understand it starts off with the smell and taste of madeleines.
    I have a friend whose mother used to put one or two drops of 4711 on the kids’ pillows. He still remembers the smell.

    Reply
  102. Smells are incredibly evocative.
    I’ve never read Proust and know nothing about the book, but I understand it starts off with the smell and taste of madeleines.
    I have a friend whose mother used to put one or two drops of 4711 on the kids’ pillows. He still remembers the smell.

    Reply
  103. Smells are incredibly evocative.
    I’ve never read Proust and know nothing about the book, but I understand it starts off with the smell and taste of madeleines.
    I have a friend whose mother used to put one or two drops of 4711 on the kids’ pillows. He still remembers the smell.

    Reply
  104. Smells are incredibly evocative.
    I’ve never read Proust and know nothing about the book, but I understand it starts off with the smell and taste of madeleines.
    I have a friend whose mother used to put one or two drops of 4711 on the kids’ pillows. He still remembers the smell.

    Reply
  105. Smells are incredibly evocative.
    I’ve never read Proust and know nothing about the book, but I understand it starts off with the smell and taste of madeleines.
    I have a friend whose mother used to put one or two drops of 4711 on the kids’ pillows. He still remembers the smell.

    Reply

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