Through the years scholars have paid little more than minor attention to the ordinary products and activities of the furniture craftsman, aside from the body of material interpreted as folk art. Formal furniture and objects crafted from fine cabinet woods have dominated the pages of published works. Nevertheless, original documents that illuminate the period of handcraftsmanship in America before 1850 are filled with references to the objects, implements, and fixtures of everyday life in the domestic setting. Because of the wealth of material available, this study will explore only a limited number of selected topics, some more broadly than others. Principal among these are wooden objects associated with the kitchen and adjacent facilities, furniture for sleeping, boxes and selected storage furniture, and equipment used in the fabrication of cloth and other household textiles.
Kitchen Furniture and Equipment
Two of the most common pieces of furniture associated with the kitchen during the period covered by this study are the table and the rush-bottom slat-back side chair, both identified in craftsmen’s accounts by their intended place of use. At least one written reference and a variety of visual images hone in on a critical feature associated with the kitchen table, the absence of stretchers. In October 1802 Silas Cheney, a cabinetmaker and chair maker of Litchfield, Connecticut, made special note of a customer’s order for a “Citchen table with Crecher.” The request suggests that bracing of this type was unusual in kitchen tables (fig. 1), a circumstance borne out by illustrations of the period that focus on this area of the home. One particularly relevant visual reference is John Lewis Krimmel’s sketch of a young woman ironing (fig. 6). The absence of stretchers on tables that served as stand-up work surfaces offered convenience for the feet and protection for the shins.
Prices for kitchen tables were modest, the dimensions and choice of material determining the exact cost. Of the documents used in this study that itemize kitchen tables, approximately one-third name the construction material. The records range in date from the late eighteenth century to the late 1830s and in geographic origin from northern New England to the Middle Atlantic region. Pine was the popular choice. One example was combined with “whitewood,” probably yellow poplar. Cherry was the second most popular choice, with maple named occasionally. An account entry for September 9, 1822, in the records of Job E. Townsend of Newport, Rhode Island, describes another selection: “a Kitchen Table Burch frame and a Pine Top.” The same year Silas Rice of Middletown, Connecticut, acquired a kitchen table with a butternut top from Elizur Barnes. Decades earlier in 1770, Samuel Williams built the wealthy Philadelphian John Cadwalader a sturdy “Oak Top Kitchen Tabble.”
In terms of size, more kitchen tables are identified as “large” than as “small.” Actual dimensions, given only occasionally, range from two feet, three inches, in the bed to “5 1/2 feet long.” The working surface and/or storage function of a table was enhanced by the addition of a fall leaf and a drawer. The single leaf, also called a “flap” or “wing,” was relatively common; two leaves were rare. When the leaf was not in use, the table often was positioned with the closed board at the back.
Aside from providing a working surface to pursue household chores, the kitchen table served at times as a family dining center, especially in the cold winter months when the kitchen frequently was the warmest room in the house. A notation of 1830 in the accounts of Elisha H. Holmes of Essex, Connecticut, to a “Kitcheon dining table” serves to confirm this function. Although many kitchen tables likely were painted, there is little mention of finish in period records. A few documents identify stain and varnish as a protective surface.
A group of seating pieces, designated “kitchen chairs” in records, can be identified from their unit costs as slat-back side chairs (fig. 2). In general, valuations range from three shillings to 4s.6d. Major General Henry Knox paid Stephen Badlam, Jr., of Dorchester Lower Mills (Boston) 3s.8d. in 1784 for each of six kitchen chairs ordered at the shop. By comparison, other woven-bottom chairs, namely those in the banister-back and fiddle-back (vase-back) patterns, cost consumers an additional 1s.6d. or more. A Windsor side chair was priced still higher. For orientation purposes, it is well to note that the decimal-based currency system adopted by the new United States in the late eighteenth century usually equated the dollar with six shillings in the old-style currency of the country. Many craftsmen, however, continued to use the pound as the monetary unit in their records well into the nineteenth century.
A small group of kitchen chairs whose valuations exceeded 4s.6d. or five shillings was embellished. Customers may have requested the addition of another “back,” or slat, to the basic three-slat structure, ordered turnings of more ornamental character than standard (fig. 2), or contracted for something more than a common stained or colored finish. When Erastus Holcomb ordered “six citching chairs painted green and varnished” in 1820 at Oliver Moore’s shop in East Granby, Connecticut, he paid six shillings (one dollar) per chair. Conversely, low prices in kitchen chairs sometimes reflected the lack of finish on the wood or the absence of the woven bottom, the work left to the customer or a handy neighbor. The quality of rushwork in a woven seat was another factor that influenced cost. William Barker’s work for Jabez Bowen, Jr., at Providence in the 1760s indicates that a “fine bottom” cost two-thirds more than a standard one. It was a fact of life that rush-bottom chairs had to be returned to the local chairmaker or bottomer on a regular basis for seat repair or replacement. This circumstance more than any other gave the plank-seat Windsor an advantage, permitting the new construction to sweep the vernacular seating market by the American Revolution.
Special kitchen seating appears in records from time to time. In January 1822 True Currier of Deerfield, New Hampshire, sold an area resident “a kitchen chair with rockers & arms” for one dollar. A customer of Philadelphia cabinetmaker David Evans also made an unusual request. Shortly after the end of the Revolution, George Bringhurst ordered “a Pine Bench for [the] Kitchen 2 or 3 Seats.” The long form probably was backless with board ends cut out in an ornamental pattern to form feet (fig. 21).
Closets, shelves, and storage furniture, such as cupboards and dressers, were critical in the colonial and federal kitchen to hold equipment for meal preparation and dining and the paraphernalia associated with other activity in the area. Storage furniture had open shelves or enclosed compartments, or combinations of the two features. When Joel Bartlet made alterations to his house in Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1749, Skipper Lunt charged him five pounds for “making [a] cuberd in ye new kit[c]hen.” The price was a pound less than Lunt’s charge for a chest of drawers or a set of cane-back chairs. The exact purpose of Abigail Bursley’s storage unit purchased almost ninety years later from Moses Parkhurst of Paxton is noted in the craftsman’s accounts: “To one crockery cupboard.”
With the kitchen in constant use, the need for furniture repair was inevitable. Moses Ingersol was indebted to Elisha Hawley of Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 1794 for making a cleat (probably a foot) for his cupboard. In Barre, Massachusetts, Luke Houghton responded to customer needs in the 1820s by putting a back on a cupboard for the widow Abigail Wheeler and two “turns” for doors on a similar storage piece for Doctor Anson Bates. At about the same date Miles Benjamin, a cabinetmaker of Cooperstown, New York, made a new cupboard turn for one of his customers.
The accounts of five craftsmen who worked in central and eastern Pennsylvania sometime during the fifty-year period between 1790 and 1840 shed considerable light on the popularity of the kitchen cupboard, or dresser, in a region inhabited by individuals of both English and German background. Among them Jacob Bachman, Friedrich Bastian, John Ellinger, Abraham Overholt, and Peter Ranck produced dozens of examples. Collectively, their records add dimension to the study of the form.
The records identify a few cupboards with glazed doors in the top section. Overholt produced an eighteen-dollar “dish cupboard with 24 panes” in 1827 for Magdelena Gross. A related Pennsylvania cupboard is in the left background of figure 17. Rather than hinged to swing out, the doors were made to slide. The interior shelves hold china cups, pewter plates, glassware, and crockery. Many dressers were of open construction, as indicated in the modest pricing of some examples. Lewis Miller’s sketch of an incident that occurred in 1809 in York, Pennsylvania, illustrates the general form of the open dresser (fig. 3). As explained by Miller, members of the Rupp family of butchers were driving a young steer through the streets when it bolted and charged through the open door of Jacob Laumaster’s kitchen knocking over the dresser. The visual account of the calamity provides an unusual opportunity to examine the contents of the furniture form: a row of spoons secured in slots at the front edge of a shelf probably was made of pewter; lighting devices, comprising a candlestick and a dish-type lamp, were stored on the flat top of the projecting cornice; earthenware for everyday use located on the open shelves consisted of plates, cups, bowls, a cream pot, and a covered sugar bowl; two-tined forks and knives may have had bone or wooden handles; a coffee mill still pitching through the air probably rested on the deep top surface of the lower cupboard along with the large crock at the left, which may have held preserves.
Many dressers were painted. Overholt mentioned brown and red (reddish brown). Although he did not specify the wood used for his painted cupboards, many of his contemporaries relied on yellow poplar, the wood identified in Bachman’s account with Evans. Overholt also produced many “walnut kitchen dresser[s]” and charged substantially more for them than the painted cupboards.
Mention of two special-purpose cupboard forms occurs in the accounts of both Pennsylvania and New England craftsmen. Householders who purchased milk or cheese cupboards may have placed them in a buttery, or dairy room, located in a cool part of the house. The cupboards likely were deep, with open fronts and shelves of shallow vertical depth to accommodate the large milk pans used to separate cream from fresh milk or to store and cure the large cylinders of cheese the housewife and family members made from milk curds. Overholt noted in 1804 that he “made a milk cupboard for Christian Gross and painted it brown” at a charge of £2.12.6.
Several records mention bench-mounted food-processing equipment. In 1834 William Clark of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, purchased a “Sasuage Bench” from John Ellinger for $1.50. William Rawson of Killingly, Connecticut, filled a customer order in 1840 by making an “Apple paring Bench.” When Israel Houghton provided a similar piece of equipment at Petersham, Massachusetts, he described it as an “aple paring masheen.” “Machine” was a word applied to a range of simple hand-operated mechanical devices in an era before other power sources were employed.
The two principal domestic activities centered in the kitchen and adjacent areas were laundry and food preparation. Either could employ considerable equipment, as identified in early records.
Doing the household laundry required a substantial amount of water, which had to be carried from a well or other water source to a stove or hearth where it was heated. Pails, or buckets, of stave construction bound around with wooden hoops and fitted with carrying bails attached at opposite sides to the tops of staves of extended length were the common vessels for this task (fig. 4). Other pails held a general supply of household water or were used as scrub buckets.
Cabinetmakers as well as handymen-carpenters supplied householders with pails, some purchased in pairs. Families also called upon local woodworkers for repairs when bails and bottoms required replacement. Other pails were repainted. Joseph Griswold of Buckland, Massachusetts, recorded in 1818 that he painted several pails blue and another red. Red also was the color requested by a customer of Allen Holcomb a few years later in central New York, with the further instruction that the interior be painted white. Another customer paid Holcomb fifty cents for “painting 2 pails yellow & inside white.”
The actual process of washing clothes required tubs, vessels larger than pails and also of stave construction. The word “trough” was an alternative term. Cedar is mentioned specifically as the material of some tubs. F. Andrew Michaux, Jr., in extensive observations made from 1806 to 1809 when studying the forest trees of North America and their uses, commented on the “superior fitness of this wood for various household utensils,” principally pails, wash tubs, and churns. He further noted that “the hoops are made of young cedars stripped of the bark and split into two parts.”
Most wash tubs were elevated above floor or ground level for convenience of use. The usual support was the wash bench, a piece of equipment mentioned frequently in craftsmen’s accounts. The substantial range in price suggests that material, size, and construction method could vary considerably. David Evans, a cabinetmaker of Philadelphia, made the family of Charles Shoemaker a “Large Wash bench 6 foot Long” in 1791 and charged the head of the household 7s.6d., a price that exceeded a day’s pay for a journeyman woodworker at the top of his trade. Another woodworker identified the support for a wash tub as “a washing Stuell.”
Soaping, soaking, scrubbing, rinsing, and, frequently, boiling in a kettle were tasks associated with the laundry. Laundresses frequently had both hard and soft soap available for the job. The “Soap Tub made of white pine” purchased in 1823 by a customer of Samuel Douglas near Canton, Connecticut, apparently stored soft soap. When Abraham Overholt of Pennsylvania noted in 1822 “I made a washboard for Jacob Lederman,” he identified a critical piece of equipment used in most households to scrub clothes. His charge was fifty cents, the common price recorded from New England to Pennsylvania. Clothes heavily soiled might require the assistance of a pounder, precisely identified by Job Danforth of Providence as a “pounder to pound Cloaths.” An alternative term was “wash pounder.” Both Silas Cheney of Connecticut and Daniel and Samuel Proud of Providence pinpointed the usual fabrication method of the implement as turning.
A popular item from the beginning of the nineteenth century was a piece of equipment identified in craftsmen’s records as a washing machine. Some accounts note repairs; other modest charges appear to identify simple attachments to be mounted on standard equipment. When the price of a new machine approached or exceeded ten dollars, something out of the ordinary was indicated. In general, the form was that of a tub or box, open or closed at the top and fitted with some type of manual mechanism to introduce agitation. In 1800 Philip Filer of upstate New York priced his eleven-dollar “woshin mill” the same as his best bedsteads. Several years later in Connecticut Oliver Moore sold a “washing Mashine” for as low as $5.75, although he sold it “without irons,” that is, without the metalwork that was part of the operating mechanism. As Nicholas Low, a New York City merchant, developed his upstate property at Ballston Spa in the early 1800s, his on-site agent contracted with local craftsmen to furnish a new hotel. In a letter to Low dated November 6, 1803, George White noted that Elihu Alvord, one of the artisans employed on the job, “also has a patent for making Washing Machines @ $10. each Sayd to answer very Well.”
Once the clothes were washed, rinsed, and wrung, they were ready to be dried. In good weather they could be placed out of doors, where they were hung on clotheslines, draped on bushes, and/or spread on the grass. Clothespins are named in many craft records, although the term can be ambiguous, as indicated in the records of several woodworkers. Two separate entries in the account book of Allen Holcomb of New York state describe the dual meaning of the term “clothespin.” On October 26, 1824, he sold Doctor Hailman “45 Close pins to hold Close on a line” at two cents apiece. There is little question that these were small turned or shaved cleft sticks of the type illustrated in figure 5. A decade earlier Holcomb turned “24 Nubs for Clothes hangings” for another customer. These were pins turned with round tenons at one end for insertion into a pinboard mounted on the wall to store cloaks and other garments. Further clarification of the use of pins on the wall occurs in two accounts: Jonathan Gavit of Salem, Massachusetts, described nubs as “pins . . . to hang Cloaths on”; Joel Mount of Juliustown, New Jersey, spent part of a day in 1846 “putting up close pines.”
Of all the accouterments for the laundry, the one mentioned most frequently is the “clotheshorse,” or “frame,” also referred to occasionally as a “clothes screen.” The lone reference to a “clothes ladder,” which appears in the accounts of James Francis of Connecticut for March 17, 1797, probably identified a similar piece of furniture, since stiles and rails of open construction are common to both clothes frames and ladders. The function of this piece of equipment, regardless of the terminology, is described succinctly in an item dated August 26, 1766, on a sheet of accounts drawn by Nathaniel Kinsman of Massachusetts: “To a hors to dry Cloths.” During periods of inclement or severely cold weather, the laundry was dried indoors, at which times folding frames for drying were a necessity. Frequently wet laundry was scattered from the kitchen to the attic. A highly specialized type of clothing frame mentioned by David Hall of Connecticut is represented by a group of four “Stocking boards” sold in 1793 for two shillings.
The incidence of clothes frames in craftsmen’s accounts describes a broad geographic spread. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Dolly Wendell paid Joseph Cotton nine shillings ($1.50) in 1800 for “a Close horse & Hinges.” At two dollars, Humberston Skipwith of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, paid slightly more for his clotheshorse in 1819. Although records identify some clotheshorses of small size, of greater interest are the frames that consisted of three or four panels, described as “folds,” “falls,” or “wings.” The term “folds” was the most popular. The accounts of Miles Benjamin, of Cooperstown, New York, mention a “double clothes Horse.” Whether the folds were of larger size or greater number than usual is unclear, although at three dollars this was the most expensive frame listed anywhere.
Records list painted clothes frames, and when a color is named, it is usually white. Silas Cheney of Connecticut sold a horse of this finish to Oliver Wolcott in 1802 for six shillings (one dollar). At Hartford Daniel Wadsworth paid more than two times that amount to Benoni A. Shepherd for his white frame. When requested, both cabinetmakers also produced cherrywood clothes frames. The only other cabinet wood associated in records with this frame is birch. Job E. Townsend of Rhode Island made one in 1823 for seventy-five cents. In New York state Philip Filer sold “Stuf for [a] Closehorse” for twenty-five cents, a savings to the consumer of $1.75 over the framed price.
Ironing followed washing during the week, preferably when the hearth or stove was in use for another purpose, such as baking, so that the flatirons could be heated at the same time. The critical piece of furniture for this task was the “ironing bench,” “table,” “board,” or “folding board.” In December 1800 Reubin Loomis of Connecticut made note of “puting up a bench to iron on” at the small charge of 2s.6d. (forty-one cents). Later in Maine, Paul Jenkins recorded a job of making an “ironing tabel 2 drass” (drawers) for Captain George Lord. The price at $2.84 reflected the cost of constructing a frame with four legs and providing drawers for storage. Illustrating this type of table are the plain examples visible in figure 6, a drawing made by John Lewis Krimmel in the Delaware Valley near Philadelphia. Whether the extended ironing surface at the left represents the table top or a long board laid over the top is unclear. The extended table top in the right background probably is a loose board.
The laundress shown in figure 6 is using a flatiron. A trivet to support the hot iron is at the right and a flatiron grown cold at the left. The tables are covered with old blankets or flannel and a top sheet. Many housewives reserved a set of table covers especially for ironing. The wooden laundry basket on the floor is made of angled, butted boards with handholds at the ends. Another drawing by Krimmel clearly delineates a row of flatirons stored on a kitchen shelf high above the hearth. Some flatirons had cast metal handles; others had wooden grips. Abner Haven of Framingham, Massachusetts, replaced two wooden flatiron handles in 1820 for the family of Captain John J. Clark, charging seventeen cents for each.
References to the ironing board identify various forms, from a large board to lay on another flat surface to a large board fixed or hinged to a table. The variety is described in Philadelphia records, where no less than five leading cabinetmakers active in the late eighteenth century recorded this form in their accounts. Both William Wayne and Thomas Tufft produced a “large Ironing Board.” David Evans gave the dimensions of a similar board in 1787 as “6 foot by 3 foot 8.” Earlier he had described “an Ironing Board & Pine table” made for another customer. A further indication of a board and table combination occurs in Daniel Trotter’s work for Stephen Girard, a merchant prince of the city. Although Trotter billed the two items separately, they were posted together under the same date. An order to William Savery in 1771 from Philadelphian John Cadwalader describes the most complex unit, and again the cabinetmaker priced the two units separately: “To a Kitchen Table 4 foot by 2 f[oot] 6 I[nches] with a Drawer 1.0.0 / And fixing the Ironing Board to it 0.2.6.”
The folding board, its physical appearance not further described, appears in several accounts from northeastern Massachusetts. The price, which varied from five shillings to nine shillings, was modest. Elias Hasket Derby, the leading merchant of Salem, bought his board in 1784 from Samuel Cheever. Daniel Ross sold a board a few years later at Ipswich. In 1799 Isaac Floyd of Medford provided Boston merchant Benjamin H. Hathorne with a folding board at the same time he supplied a kitchen table.
Perhaps no piece of household equipment is mentioned as frequently in craftsmen’s accounts as the trough for making bread. Of four terms that emerge from records, “bread trough” is the most common by far. That name was used in more than sixty percent of the fifty documents in the study that list this equipment. “Dough trough” was next in popularity, representing twenty-eight percent of the sample. “Kneading trough” accounted for a modest twelve percent of the sample, and one document identified a “baking trough.” In terms of regional preference, “bread trough,” “kneading trough,” and “baking trough” were found almost exclusively in New England and New York state records, whereas “dough trough” was the choice in the greater Delaware Valley, comprising eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Most bread troughs appear to have been simple boxes with steep canted sides, frequently made of butted boards, and designed to stand on a table. Prices ranged from less than fifty cents to about two dollars, suggesting that size, material, and construction method could vary substantially. A small group of troughs was priced higher. Abraham Overholt of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, described one of these as “a dough tray table . . . painted . . . red” and charged three dollars. He used brown paint on other examples. Friedrich Bastian of Dauphin County identified the same equipment as a “Doe troft with feet” priced at four dollars. Even more expensive was Hiram Taylor’s “Dotraugh l[a]rge size at five dollars” sold in 1836 in Chester County.
The supported bread trough illustrated in figure 7 would appear to fit Taylor’s description. Remnants of reddish brown paint remain on the dovetailed box, frame, and lid. Among other references to the bread trough are several that mention a “cover” or “top.” One had a stained finish. A customer of John Austin in Methuen, Massachusetts, purchased a “meal Chest” in 1772 when he acquired his “Bead tropp.” William Mather of Whately sold a “sifting stick” together with a bread trough.
The “process of making household bread” was described succinctly in the early nineteenth century in the first American edition of Abraham Rees’ Cyclopaedia: “To a peck of meal . . . add a handful of salt, a pint of yeast [or other leavening agent], and three quarts of water . . . ; the whole being kneaded in a bowl or trough . . . will rise in about an hour; . . . then mould it into loaves, and put it into an oven to bake.” For forming the dough into loaves, the housewife might find “a Bord to roal Bread on” a convenient piece of equipment. Many householders had a large brick oven constructed as part of the fireplace. Other ovens were located in a separate building out of doors.
The large size and high temperature of the bake oven necessitated the use of a long-handled implement called a “peel” to insert and remove baked goods. An alternative term for this equipment was described by Elizur Barnes of Middletown, Connecticut: “To peal (or b[r]ead shovel).” The example with arched head illustrated in figure 8 is more ornate than common. The complete furnishing for a bakehouse, possibly for commercial use, is itemized in the accounts of Daniel and Samuel Proud of Providence under the date 1779. Charles Boller purchased four bread peels, including a large one. He then paid the Proud brothers for “putting on a lock to bake house,” supplemented by “making a Lage Led [large lid] to a Chest for the Bake house” and “an Oven led for [the] bake house.”
To store baked bread householders purchased a plain, utilitarian “bread box,” or “bread chest,” for a modest sum. More popular was the “bread tray” used in serving. Although some references to a tray likely identify the bread trough, others refer to a low open box (fig. 12). Dovetailed and butted construction was available. In 1821 Titus Preston of Connecticut sold a “bread trey without dovetailing” for four shilligs (sixty-six cents). Handymen could purchase “Stuff for [a] Bread tray” for self assembly.
On February 15, 1813, Oliver Moore of East Granby, Connecticut, recorded the sale of a bread tray to “The state of Connecticut” for $1.50. As East Granby was the site of the Newgate Prison, the tray appears to have been purchased for use at that facility, more likely by the warden than by the inmates. An alternative term and form for this serving piece, as recorded by Allen Holcomb in central New York, was “Bread Boat.” The cost was a modest fifty cents.
A piece of baking equipment mentioned with some frequency in craftsmen’s records is the gingerbread board, also called a gingerbread “mold” or “print.” Use of this accessory was reserved for the ginger-flavored confection rolled on a board rather than the cakelike variety. Rees’ Cyclopaedia describes typical ingredients as flour, sugar, pounded almonds, ginger, licorice, powdered aniseed, and rose water. When mixed to a paste, the cook was directed to “roll it, print it, and dry it in a stove.”
The cost of a gingerbread board varied, depending on size, material, and degree of incised or carved decoration on the printing face. Unfortunately, craftsmen’s accounts reveal nothing about the nature of the decoration. A “Cake board” purchased for twelve cents in 1819 from Nathan Cleaveland of Franklin, Massachusetts, was a simple affair compared to the “gingerbread mould” acquired in 1802 by a customer of Daniel Ross in Ipswich for more than four dollars. A few years earlier a client of Job E. Townsend of Newport, Rhode Island, ordered a “Dubble Gingerbread Print” for which he paid only 1s.6d. (twenty-five cents).
The rolling pin was an essential piece of equipment for rolling out paste for sweets and dough for pies. The form was a cylinder, sometimes swelled slightly through the center and formed into small handles at the ends. Early pins (fig. 9) have short thick knoblike handles. Before ball bearings were introduced to this implement, the palms of the hands conveyed motion to the pin. Eighteenth-century European prints illustrating the kitchen sometimes include this activity. Several craft records identify the fabrication method. In 1825 Increase Pote of Maine charged a customer twenty-five cents for “turning one Roleing pinn.” Some customers purchased “a Roleing Board” with their rolling pin.
Pie making is little mentioned in woodworking accounts, primarily because the fabrication of baking dishes was the province of the potter. On two occasions, however, the papers of the Norris family of Philadelphia describe the rolling board as a “Pye Board,” and one is identified as “large.” Thomas Tufft, a cabinetmaker of the city, supplied the equipment along with a rolling pin. Pies in great quantity and variety—fruit, vegetable, custard, and meat—were a diet staple of the American family, assuring that the rolling pin and board were in constant use. Harriet Beecher Stowe described how at baking time, and especially at the Thanksgiving holiday, “butteries and dressers and shelves and pantries were literally crowded with [a] jostling abundance” of baked pies and cakes.
Butter and Cheesemaking Equipment
Many families, even those living in close proximity to an urban area, kept one or two cows to provide fresh milk for family use and to convert the surplus into butter and cheese. Milking was a twice-a-day chore. Milking stools, often three-legged, and milk pails were kept handy by the back door or in an adjacent milk house, which also might be furnished with a “milke hows tabl.” Alexander Low of Freehold, New Jersey, constructed a table of this description in 1806 and charged his customer sixteen shillings ($2.66). In southern New England Elisha H. Holmes, Job E. Townsend, and Philip Deland produced milking stools for twenty-five cents or less in the early nineteenth century.
Fresh milk was placed in low, broad milk pans to allow the cream to rise for skimming to make butter. The remaining curds were used for making cheese. Although many documents mention the butter churn, repairs to used churns were more common than new equipment. Two Massachusetts craftsmen, Philip Deland and Samuel Davison, priced their churns from $1.50 to three dollars. Deland described his two-dollar churn as “first rat[e].” A typical churn of the colonial and federal periods is illustrated in figure 10. It is an upright tapered cylinder constructed of staves bound with hoops. Although making butter was a relatively simple task, a poorly made churn could produce disastrous results. Martin Weiser of York, Pennsylvania, bought butter from Claus Hufschmit after his wife gave up and concluded that her churn was “bewitcht.”
From time to time householders called upon a local woodworker to freshen the appearance of their churn with a new coat of paint, a job that cost between ten cents and twenty-five cents as recorded by Josiah P. Wilder and Gaius Perkins in northern New England and John Ellinger in Pennsylvania. The most common repair was replacement of the “dasher,” or “dash” as it often was denominated. This interior mechanism creates the agitation necessary to obtain butter. When in 1794 Job Danforth of Providence made a new dasher for a customer’s churn, he also supplied a “cover,” sometimes called a “top.” A further request directed to woodworkers, particularly by householders in Pennsylvania, was for boxes and molds to form, store, and print butter. For example, Abraham Overholt of Bucks County recorded on January 19, 1804: “I made a pair of walnut butter boxes and a butter mold for Henrich Kindig.”
Cheesemaking often went hand-in-hand with processing butter if a family had sufficient milk. Records occasionally mention the sale of a cheese tub, as for example the one supplied for $1.25 in 1816 by Chapman Lee of Massachusetts. The usual request was for a cheese press or repairs to one already in use. The cost of a press varied broadly—from as little as sixty-two cents to $3.50—suggesting that the mechanism could be relatively simple or complex. Several craftsmen calculated their charge for a cheese press based on actual working time, although it is unclear who supplied the materials, the craftsman or the consumer. In 1774 Samuel Hall, a cabinetmaker, house carpenter, glazier, and farmer of Connecticut made a charge of 1s.9d. (twenty-nine cents) for “half a days work making a chees press.” Twelve years later John Paine, a jack-of-all-trades on Long Island, calculated a full day’s labor for making a press at only 2s.6d. (forty-one cents).
Sophisticated presses were available by the early nineteenth century. In 1807 Robert Whitelaw of Vermont made his first ledger entry for the sale of “a pattent Cheese press” priced at a substantial six dollars. Whether he was the patentee or purchased the rights to manufacture the press is not indicated.
Utensils for Food Storage, Preparation, and Serving
Salt and sugar for cooking, baking, and preserving were available from merchants and shopkeepers. Although a family might have a significant quantity on hand in a storeroom or other location for butchering and preparing foods for winter use, having small containers of both salt and sugar in the kitchen was more convenient for day to day use. Craftsmen from New England to Pennsylvania made salt boxes. At seventy-five cents, a container made by Peter Ranck of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, was priced somewhat higher than those acquired from other craftsmen, including Philadelphia cabinetmaker Samuel Ashton. Most boxes probably were plain painted, and some were made to hang on the wall. A few examples from the German-settled regions of eastern Pennsylvania bear striking ornament (fig. 11).
The hinged-lid, hanging salt box made in 1796 for Margaret Miller (fig. 11) is part of a small group of ornamented wooden objects associated by signature or motif with decorator John Drissel of upper Bucks County. A woodworker of the region provided structural interest by fashioning an ornamental backboard and lid. The undecorated box likely sold for less than one dollar. In rural Pennsylvania few craftsmen earned that much for a day’s labor, which usually extended to ten or twelve hours, more than enough time to complete a box of this type.
Sugar was available in large quantities in granular form, although most householders made do with loaves of sugar molded in hard cones. Records describe both sugar boxes and “suger boles.” The bowls were turned and may have had a lid to protect the contents from flies and other insects, as the use of window screens was rare. To remove chunks of sugar from the cone to pulverize it for use, a householder needed a special implement easily fabricated in most woodworking shops. In Rhode Island, where sugar refining was a substantial business, William Barker, Daniel and Samuel Proud, and Job E. Townsend all sold sugar “mallets.” In New York state Philip Filer referred to the same implement as a sugar “pounder,” and in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Hiram Taylor sold sugar “mashers.”
Craft records list more pestles than mortars, suggesting that the pestle was more susceptible to damage or easily misplaced. Accounts identify turning as the fabrication method, and most prices fell between ten cents and twenty cents. A “pestle for Morter” priced in 1788 at two shillings (thirty-three cents) by Samuel Wayne of Philadelphia appears to have been made of a costly wood, such as lignum vitae. Both lignum vitae and maple mortars were available in 1798 at the Providence estate sale of William Barker. The business records of Philip Deland of West Brookfield, Massachusetts, indicate that the mortar and pestle met several needs in the kitchen. In 1834 the craftsman sold a “spice mortar and pestle.” Seven years later another customer called for a “salt mortar and pestle.” One craftsman produced a cover for a mortar.
A somewhat unusual piece of kitchen equipment listed in craft records from Maine to Philadelphia is a chopping box, also termed a “trough,” “tray,” or “board.” David Evans of Philadelphia identified at least one use for this item in a day book entry dated 1782: “a chopping Box for mincing meat.” Records mention both cherry and oak as the construction material. John Cadwalader of Philadelphia appears to have purchased his oak board as an accessory to his oak-top kitchen table purchased at the same time.
Two entries in the accounts of Elisha H. Holmes of Essex, Connecticut, suggest that little in the routine of daily life escaped the purview of one’s neighbors. On October 9, 1826, a Mrs. Hill purchased a chopping box for fifty cents from Holmes. One month later to the day William Williams visited Holmes’ shop and bought his wife “1 chopping Box like Mrs Hills.” Holmes still sold chopping boxes for fifty cents in 1829.
Lime or lemon juice was an ingredient in punch, a popular drink that also contained citrus zest, sugar, water, and either rum or brandy. To extract juice easily from the fruit the preparer needed a pair of squeezers, variously called “lemon,” “lime,” or “squash squeezers.” Several references to squeezers dating to the 1740s occur in the accounts of Solomon Fussell of Philadelphia. Turning was the common fabrication method, and the price was low—about one shilling or slightly more—for a long period. Daniel Ross, a craftsman of Ipswich, Massachusetts, made a “Lemmon press” for a customer. “Press” may have been an alternative term or the description of a squeezer mounted on a low stationary frame to accommodate a bowl to catch the juice.
Although coffee was not as popular a beverage as tea, it was common enough that the coffee mill, used for grinding coffee beans, occurs with regularity in the visual and written documents used in this study. The calamity that occurred in York, Pennsylvania, when a steer bounded into the Laumaster kitchen upsetting the dresser, as sketched by Lewis Miller (fig. 3), reveals the presence of a coffee mill in the household. Miller sketched another mill, complete with handle, hopper, and box, on the mantelpiece of the kitchen in the York Hotel. Still another mill appears in the right foreground of John Lewis Krimmel’s painting, Quilting Frolic (fig. 17).
References to coffee mills in craft documents focus almost exclusively on repairs because many new mills used in America through the mid-nineteenth century were imported from England. Several notations cover general repairs. During the 1790s Daniel Ross of Massachusetts supplied a new handle for a mill, and Job Danforth of Rhode Island replaced a box bottom. One day in August 1799 Isaac Floyd of Medford, Massachusetts, was busy “Making wood for [a] Coffee mill” for a local customer.
References to miscellaneous appliances for kitchen use serve to broaden an understanding of the equipment and gadgetry available to householders before factory production made these and related items commonplace. The appearance and mechanism of some items are more easily perceived than those of others. “Sticks to stur toddy” are identified in the accounts of Daniel and Samuel Proud of Providence and Elizur Barnes of Middletown, Connecticut, the price in the six to eight cent range. Toddy is a drink made of spirits and hot water sweetened. Stirring sticks probably took varied forms. One privately owned seven-inch example that by tradition was used for toddy is made of ash. The slender cylindrical shaft flares at either end to form a small bonelike protuberance.
The “Stick to fill Sasages” in the accounts of the Proud brothers of Providence perhaps approximated the form of the toddy stick, the bulges at the ends serving as tampers. At seventy-five cents, the “egg beating machine” sold by Thomas Boynton of Windsor, Vermont, possibly had some moving parts. Considerably more expensive was the “Cage to press Currens in . . . $1.75” made in 1814 by Nathan Lukens in or near Philadelphia for a member of the Richardson family. The word “currant,” as used here, is unclear. It may identify a fresh or dried grape, although it more likely refers to the edible berries of a shrub of the genus Ribes whose juice was used for making jelly and jam.
Perhaps more easily identified is the “Cabbage box” purchased in 1835 from the shop of John Ellinger of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, by Daniel Ulrich. Sauerkraut, or finely cut cabbage fermented in brine, was a favorite vegetable among the Pennsylvania Germans. Ulrich’s cabbage box may have served to receive the shredded vegetable for transfer to a large fermentation tub. The process calls to mind an incident recorded at York, Pennsylvania, in 1806 by Lewis Miller in his sketch book. Anthony Ritz and his wife were in the cellar of their home tending to a batch of sauerkraut near a small window with an open grate. Passing by in the street above was John Lohman who “through the little window made his water in the tub, without knowing it.”
Records identify a container for storing knives and other flatware as a “knife box” or “tray.” Of the two terms, box was the more common. When two expensive mahogany examples are eliminated from the survey, the price range extends from thirty-three cents to $1.38. Moses Parkhurst of Massachusetts made the box valued at thirty-three cents in 1819, possibly spending less than half a day because his next posting for the same customer is a charge of $2.50 for “2 1/2 Days work.” The box valued at $1.38 was made by Isaac Ashton of Philadelphia in 1793. Because the majority of boxes and trays recorded in documents cost one dollar or less, it appears that all were of the same open form (fig. 12), the cheaper ones of butted construction, those of higher price dovetailed and possibly divided by a central arched partition with a hand slot. A box of this description stands on the table at the left in figure 17, part of its flatware already laid on the cloth. By contrast, the brown-painted pine example illustrated in figure 12 has a high back with a central hole for hanging on a wall or other flat surface.
As early as 1732 a turner from London advertised hardwood bowls at Philadelphia. Turning was an alternative to the laborious task of hand whittling. The turned applewood bowl illustrated in figure 13 is attributed to Felix Dominy and descended in his family of East Hampton, Long Island. Although the bowl measures about nine inches in diameter, it probably is smaller than the “large Wooden bowl” listed in the accounts of both Robert Whitelaw of Vermont and Philip Deland of Massachusetts, priced at thirty-four cents and fifty cents, respectively. At sixteen shillings ($2.66), John Sanders of upstate New York paid a premium price in 1820 for his “knot bowl” (burl wood). Bowls made of common wood could be painted, as indicated in the accounts of Allen Holcomb of Otsego County.
In an era before matched cooking ware or even stamped metal lids were available, cooking vessels were covered with inexpensive turned disks of wood, usually identified as “pot lids” or “pot covers.” In 1818 Abner Haven of Framingham, Massachusetts, priced “a lid to an Iron kittle” at six cents. Similar equipment identified as “Tops for Kettles for Kitchen” cost Samuel Larned considerably more while he was serving as a diplomat at Lima, Peru, in 1832. Another use for wooden lids, as noted in 1834 by Moyers and Rich of Wythe Court House, Virginia, was as “Milk covers.” Complementing the array of lids available were wooden spoons and sets of measures.
For serving prepared foods or beverages household members could use a “Tea Bord” or “Tea Waiter.” Dimensions are specified occasionally, as for example in 1789 when Jonathan Kettell of Massachusetts sold a “Tea Board 2 feet 1 Inch.” In a 1751 public notice John Tremain of New York suggested that customers might want to “find their own Stuff” (material) when ordering tea boards or other cabinetwork from his shop. Serving trays are depicted in both figures 17 and 28, although their oval form suggests they could have been fabricated of japanned sheet iron, a popular alternative.
With utensils and vessels in constant use, repairs were an ongoing concern in most households. Wooden handles were particularly vulnerable. Those for beverage pots—coffee and especially tea—top the list. Most replacement handles cost one shilling to three shillings, except for those placed on silver vessels, which often cost more. New handles for silver tea and coffee pots in two Virginia families in 1790–1791 cost six shillings apiece. A “kink teapot handle,” possibly one with a reverse-curve profile, cost even more when purchased from Joshua Delaplaine by Doctor Brownjohn of New York City in 1741. A complement to a new teapot handle purchased in Newport, Rhode Island, just before the Revolutionary War, was a “Nub for the Top.” Ephraim Haines of Philadelphia turned pot handles, whereas some other artisans made them by shaving and shaping blanks.
Caution should be exercised when interpreting references to knife handles because some identify a knife used as a tool rather than as a table utensil. An account book entry made in 1812 by Alexander Low of Freehold, New Jersey, is straightforward: “to 10 handels for knives & forkes” at three shillings the lot. Elisha Hawley of Ridgefield, Connecticut, identified the fabrication method when he recorded “turnin five nife handles” in 1793. Occasionally a craftsman produced a “knife handle with ferel.” There also are references to repairs to a special knife identified as a “Chopin Knife Handle” in several accounts, including that of Lemuel Tobey of Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Craftsmen also made handles for utensils employed directly in cooking. References to the chafing dish, a type of double boiler, occur with frequency in accounts. In 1758 Joseph Symonds of Massachusetts replaced a “chafn desh handel” for a customer at a charge of 2s.6d. (forty-one cents). Sometimes a wood turner produced a batch of handles to meet the needs of a metalworker or hardware merchant. Other records identify several long-handled kitchen tools. Most common is the “dipper,” occasionally referred to as a “ladle.” The work varied from “putting [a] handle on [a] dipper” to producing an all “wooden dipper,” such as the “first rate” one that Philip Deland sold for twenty-five cents. A related tool is the skimmer, whose bowl is more shallow than that of the dipper. A member of the Almy and Brown firm at Providence was indebted to William and John Richmond in 1799 for providing a “Scimmer handle” at thirty-seven cents. In 1827 Nathaniel Knowlton of Maine recorded “toaster handles.”
A boon to the housewife in daily household activity, especially the preparation of meals, was a clock, whether it stood on a shelf or on the floor near the kitchen. In the immediate work area a simpler time gauge for monitoring short tasks was the double glass filled with sand (fig. 14). Although this device measures prescribed periods of time, usually an hour, the experienced housewife could identify shorter periods by observing the level of sand in the top or bottom glass. A cage, frequently of turned wood, protected the glass from damage. A device of this type is identified in the accounts of George Short of Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1815 as “a time glass frame”; the charge was seventeen cents.
The nature of activity in the colonial and federal kitchen and its adjacent storerooms assured there would be problems with rodents. Compounding the situation during the warm months was the necessity of leaving the windows and doors standing open without benefit of screens, which still were uncommon. Although household cats performed good service, inexpensive wire traps would have been a welcomed addition. In at least one instance a local woodworker was called upon to build a better mousetrap. Doctor Hazard of Newport, Rhode Island, engaged Job E. Townsend in January 1819 to provide “a Mohogony Mouse Trap with 12 holes & springs” for which he paid two dollars.
Equipment for Household and Personal Cleanliness
The water bench identified in the accounts of several craftsmen may have been indistinguishable from the wash bench, a common piece of laundry equipment. Use of the term may focus on the alternative function of the furniture as a stand to hold buckets of water to fill general household needs—drinking, cooking, hand washing, dishwashing, scrubbing, and the like. John Ellinger of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, charged from two dollars to three dollars for his water benches. In Bucks County Abraham Overholt painted a bench brown. The buckets used to store water probably were no different from those in the laundry (see fig. 4). A sketch of a “Scrub Woman,” made by the Baroness Hyde de Neuville during a residency in the United States with her husband in the early 1800s, clearly delineates a stave bucket bound with hoops supporting at the rim a scrubbing brush of flatiron form. At Philadelphia Solomon Fussell kept a supply of hog bristles, which he used to make the scrubbing brushes he sold during the 1740s for 2s.6d. apiece.
References to brooms and mops occur with frequency in craft records. The material of the broom head is identified as broom corn. In 1821 Luke Houghton of central Massachusetts charged thirteen cents for a “corn broom.” The price was higher in some shops. A decade earlier in Connecticut James Gere sold a corn broom for twenty-five cents. The common form of broom at the time was a cylindrical pole with the sweeping material wrapped around one end and tied to form a cylindrical head (see fig. 17). By contrast, mops often were purchased incomplete. A woodworker provided the turned handle, sometimes called a “stick,” and the purchaser completed the mop by attaching woolen scraps or yarn. Albert Greene purchased mop handles at two different times during the 1820s from John Proud of Rhode Island.
Although craftsmen list brushes as items of trade, few identify their specific function. Like the mop, some handles were sold separately. Elizur Barnes of Connecticut produced “2 Brush handles 6 feet Long” for a business customer in 1822. Purchases made in 1834 by Peter Gansevoort in Albany from Stephen Van Schanck included several cleaning utensils: “1 Sweeping Brush” for one dollar, “2 Dusting Brushes” for seventy-five cents, and “2 Dust Pans” for fifty cents. At Beverly, Massachusetts, Isaac Flagg supplied Robert Rantoul with a pair of shoe brushes a few years earlier. The Providence business accounts of Almy and Brown identify a “wisk Broem” purchased from William Barker.
One use for water stored on the water bench was dishwashing. Three times a day water for this task was heated on the hearth. Families, usually large already, often were extended at mealtime by the presence of apprentices and hired help. Tubs for washing and rinsing dishes probably were commonplace. Other equipment seldom is identified. In 1789 Stephen Collins, a Philadelphia merchant, paid Robert Mullen, a carpenter, fifteen shillings for “making a Bottel and Plait Drenor.” Equipment of this general description still met the needs of the domestic household some thirty years later when Elizur Barnes charged a Connecticut customer twenty-five cents for “putting Leggs to [a] Bottle Drainer.”
The lone reference to a soap dish and wash bowl, which Philip Deland supplied a family in Massachusetts in the early 1840s, appears to identify objects made of wood. By contrast, a common entry in woodworker’s records is the “towel roller.” The price was modest. In the early nineteenth century David Alling charged thirty-one cents at Newark, New Jersey, George Landon recorded 31 1/4¢ at Erie, Pennsylvania, and Robert Whitelaw asked only seventeen cents at Ryegate, Vermont. Perhaps more expensive than any recorded towel roller is the relatively ornate example with scalloped top in figure 15. In place of the usual turned cylinder, or roller, this rack has a roll shaped to paneled form through the use of a drawknife. John Lewis Krimmel, a Delaware Valley painter, delineated a different roller pattern in one of his early nineteenth-century sketches. Two shaped vertical boards with sweeping ends top and bottom support between them a roller that is removable via an open slot in one of the vertical panels.
Spinning, Quilting, Weaving, and Related Equipment
Although imported textiles were available in abundance throughout the period covered by this study, records indicate that woodworking craftsmen fabricated a substantial amount of equipment used in the production of domestic cloth and needlework into the second quarter of the nineteenth century. As early as the 1720s Jacob Hinsdale built “Great,” or wool, wheels for his rural neighbors in Harwinton, Connecticut. By the 1750s Robert Crage could offer residents in the vicinity of Leicester, Massachusetts, a range of equipment for home spinning. John Green’s purchases of February 9, 1757, included “a foot wheel” (also known as a “spinning,” “flax,” or “linen” wheel), “a woollen wheel,” and “a Clock Reel,” a device used to wind spun fibers into skeins for storage or ease in handling.
During the dark uncertain days preceding the Revolution, urban craftsmen also offered spinning and related equipment. Wright and McAllister of New York City, located “at the Spinning-Wheel, nearly opposite St. Paul’s Church, Broad-Way,” encouraged the public to support American manufactures. In 1775, Philadelphia cabinetmaker Francis Trumble advertised to hire several journeymen spinning-wheel makers and solicited suppliers for “500 setts of stocks and rims for spinning wheels.”
John Lewis Krimmel sketched some of the apparatus of spinning in the early nineteenth century (fig. 16). Clearly delineated from the front and side is a flax wheel, also called a “foot wheel” because the treadle mounted between the three legs activates the wheel by means of foot action and a cord. Mounted on the plank, or table, immediately behind the wheel is the low spinning mechanism consisting of a U-shaped flyer, a slender cylindrical bobbin, and a multi-disk-turned whorl, all drawn in detail at the lower left. As the flyer revolves it twists the thread being spun and leads it to the bobbin where it is wound. The flyer is set in motion by means of a continuous cord that forms a loop around the wheel rim and the whorl of the spinning mechanism. The tall turned pole next to the spinning mechanism is part of the distaff. It supports near the top the distaff cage, an apparatus wound around with unspun fiber, which the artist has sketched separately. Two views of a winding wheel appear at the right in the sketch. The size of the box supporting the wheel and the vague suggestion of a dial below the nave appear to identify the apparatus as a clock reel. Spun fiber to be measured into skeins was wound around the outside of the cylinders at the arm tips as the wheel was rotated. The clock recorded the revolutions.
As late as 1820 the United States census of manufactures pinpoints pockets of settlement where spinning was still firmly entrenched in the economy of the home: central New York state, north central Pennsylvania, south New Jersey, south central and western Virginia, central Georgia, and various locations in the newly settled regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana. Although the country was experiencing a nationwide recession at this date and many craftsmen reported that business was dull, there were a few bright spots. James W. Moore, a wheelwright who constructed flax and cotton wheels, reels, swifts, and bedsteads in Rutherford County, Tennessee, stated that “there has been a greater demand for articles in my business than heretofore [and] sales have generally been productive.” Uzziel Church produced a comparable line of equipment in his two-man shop in Union County, Indiana. He reported that sales were “verry good and Ready.” Artisans in all areas also responded to a steady demand for repairs to equipment already in use.
Although the wool wheel is considerably larger than that used to spin flax or cotton, the mechanism is simpler and the cost was more modest. The accounts of Jonathan Dart of New London County, Connecticut, are revealing on this point. Large and small wheels made in his shop in 1796– 1797 were priced at eleven shillings to thirteen shillings and twenty-one shillings, respectively. In a Massachusetts record the material of the wheel, large or small, is identified as oak. At Boston, painter Daniel Rea, Jr., noted on several occasions that he had painted a spinning wheel “mehogony Colour.” When householders ordered a new wheel from the local woodworker the charge, like those for other products, was posted to his account, the balance satisfied periodically by payment in cash, services, labor, barter goods, and the like. In 1818 George Landon noted a special arrangement with one of his customers in Erie, Pennsylvania: “Ebenezer Graham . . . is to have a big wheel Maid by the last of february for wich he is to Give 3 1/2 Bushels of weete or $4:50 in Cash.” Amos Purinton of Weare, New Hampshire, sold many spinning wheels to peddlers, who carried them disassembled to eager consumers throughout the state.
Two other pieces of spinning equipment, the swift and the quill wheel, filled critical needs when converting skeins of yarn to manageable form as balls or wound bobbins for use in knitting and weaving. The common swift had a collapsible horizontal reel mounted on a short vertical shaft with a screw base for clamping to the edge of a table or other flat surface. Householders often purchased their swifts in pairs. Elisha H. Holmes sold “1 pr of winding swifts” in Connecticut in 1827 for fifty cents. In a letter dated at London in 1766, Benjamin Franklin wrote to his wife in Philadelphia saying that he was sending their daughter “two little Reels,” and he explained further: “The Reels are to screw on the edge of a Table, when she would wind Silk or Thread. The Skein is to be put over them and winds better than if held in two Hands.” The quill wheel looks like a large spinning wheel; however, the simple mechanism at the front holds a bobbin, or quill, to be filled with yarn for weaving. The price usually was slightly more than that of a clock reel. In 1813 Abner Haven of Massachusetts sold “a quil wheel” for $1.50, the same price charged by James Whitelaw in Vermont a few years earlier.
The records of a few craftsmen identify frames for executing needlework as well as small looms for weaving tapes. The accounts of Jeduthern Avery of Bolton, Connecticut, and Philemon Robbins of Hartford list a “Lace fraim,” each priced low at twenty-five cents and fifty cents, respectively. Of more frequent mention is the embroidery frame, also identified by Robbins as a “Tabourret frame” and by others as a “tambour frame.” At Litchfield Silas Cheney supplied Sarah (Sally) Pierce, proprietress of a successful girl’s school, with a number of embroidery frames, including one fitted with a stand priced at eight shillings ($1.33). Cheney identified another frame as cherrywood. Philadelphia records name mahogany as the material of some frames and Daniel Trotter and Thomas Affleck as two cabinetmakers who produced them.
Small hand or table looms appear to have been uncommon. A reference to a “Garter Loom for Miss Salie” (probably a member of the Taliaferro family) in an unidentified Virginia account book of the 1760s and 1770s is the only one to specify a function other than tapemaking. The modest price was 1s.6d. (twenty-five cents). A turned tape loom made by the Proud brothers of Providence a few years later was priced about the same. Tape looms made by Jacob Hinsdale and John Wheeler Geer of Connecticut for about five shillings appear to have been more elaborate, perhaps open boxes formed of butted boards.
An item rarely mentioned in records is the “thread stand.” Nathan Cleaveland of Franklin, Massachusetts, listed one in 1828 priced at sixty-two cents. The notation calls to mind several journal entries made by Edward Jenner Carpenter while serving an apprenticeship in Greenfield. On September 18, 1844, he noted: “Mr. Buzzell was up here tonight & turned some ivory feet for a spool stand that he is making for the Mechanics Fair, it is going to be a nice one.” Further entries followed during the course of a week. Finally on Friday evening, September 27, following the fair, Carpenter wrote: “the spool stand that Buzzell made sold for five dollars. W. F. Davis bought it.”
Evidence of the purchase of quilting frames and repairs to equipment in use covers a broad area extending from Vermont to the Delaware Valley and likely beyond. Just as broad was the pricing of the equipment, from as little as 16 1/2¢ to well over two dollars. The accounts of Jacob Bachman of rural Pennsylvania, which record the sale of new frames during the seven years from 1830 to 1837, list three price levels—fifty cents, one dollar, and $1.50. Obviously, size, finish, material, and the fabrication of a special support structure had a bearing on the cost. Other records provide confirmation. Job Danforth of Providence sold a frame in 1806 for 8s.3d. ($1.36), although he priced another described as “Small” at only fifty-eight cents.
Of particular interest is an entry in the accounts of Ezekiel Smith of Massachusetts for repairs to a quilting frame accompanied by the notation “mending your Chears [chairs] Backs.” The two items were priced together, offering a strong suggestion that use of the frame was interconnected with the chairs. Frames not fitted with their own supports sometimes were balanced on the backs of chairs when in use. Either the lengthwise or crosswise bars could be made longer for this purpose. By contrast, the quilting frame illustrated in figure 17 was constructed to rest on its own supports. Neither the lengthwise or crosswise bar extends far enough beyond the corner joint to provide adequate support on a chair back. In addition, two holes pierce the tip of the short crosswise bar, indicating that when the frame was used the tips of the short bars were placed over slim extension pieces at the tops of four standards. The accounts of Thomas Boynton of Vermont confirm that the individual pieces of quilting frames were referred to as “Bars.” The records of an anonymous Boston woodworker also identify special seating purchased for use around a frame in June 1758, when John Avery acquired “a quilting fram[e]” and “2 stulles” for four shillings.
The happy scene depicted in figure 17 apparently is true to common practice of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. A frolic, or general merrymaking, attended by neighbors, friends, and family often was the climax of a group working session for spinning or knitting fibers, processing harvested foodstuffs, or completing a task, such as making a quilt. Refreshments, music, and dancing were common accompaniments. Jacob Hiltzheimer, a businessman and street commissioner of Philadelphia in the late eighteenth century, noted in his diary that he attended at least two frolics. One was a “cider frolic,” the other a celebration associated with a house raising in Market Street.
Weaving equipment was large, bulky, and expensive, and beyond the means of many families. Nevertheless, craftsmen’s accounts provide good evidence of the construction and repair of looms for domestic use. The records of four craftsmen in locations extending from Maine to Pennsylvania describe a price range of $6.50 to nine dollars for the loom. James Geer of Groton, Connecticut, was explicit in identifying the construction material of his looms as chestnut. Thomas Boynton of Windsor, Vermont, recorded making “a bench for a loom,” a simple affair for which he charged twenty-five cents. Many other business accounts record repairs to looms and the supply of small accessories essential to the weaving process.
Householders set up their looms in any of several areas in the home or on the property, depending on family size and availability of space: the attic, a spare room, an ell or attached shed, and even a freestanding building. The probate records of Ebenezer Tracy, Sr., a cabinetmaker and chairmaker of eastern Connecticut, describe a “weaving house” in the estate division. The estate inventory further lists a loom and accessories along with a quill wheel, five wool wheels, three linen wheels, and a clock reel. Raw material on hand included fifty pounds of flax and three pounds of wool.
Bedsteads, Children’s Furniture, and Low Stools
A majority of documents consulted for this study contain references to furniture built for repose and sleep. The discussion is limited to bedsteads of moderate cost, thus eliminating frames of higher price made to accommodate expensive hangings or constructed of fine cabinet wood. As explained by Thomas Sheraton in The Cabinet Dictionary (1803), the term “bed” in a general sense “includes the bedstead and other necessary articles incident to this most useful of all pieces of furniture,” namely the mattress, linens, blankets, outer covers, and pillows. Like the bedstead, mattresses varied widely in quality, from cases filled with straw to those made of flock (fabric fragments, frequently wool, cut up and used for stuffing), feathers, and curled horsehair. Although it was expensive, Sheraton endorsed the hair mattress because of its “elastic nature, which prevents from sinking so as to perspire.” He also had some special words of wisdom often repeated today: “And all such persons, who by a relaxed habit have contracted weaknesses in the back, should be particular in avoiding soft beds.”
A popular design was the low-post bedstead (fig. 18), its corner supports often formed with a combination of blocked and turned elements. An alternative term for this frame—“common bedstead”—was used less frequently. Probably deriving directly from British terminology was the name “stump bedstead,” as found in the accounts of William Rawson of Killingly, Connecticut, and in a bill prepared by James Linacre of Albany. A rarer term is “short-post bedstead,” which appears in the accounts of Peter Ranck of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. Also belonging to the low-post group is the frame identified as a “toad back bedstead” in the accounts of Reubin Loomis of Connecticut in 1806. The name derives from the particular design of the headboard, which has an arch across the top and deep U-shaped cutouts forming long fingers at the joints with the head posts. The profile appears to have been duplicated several decades later in the backs of painted fancy chairs, where it is termed a “frog back.”
The cost of a low-post bedstead varied substantially—from less than one dollar to well over seven dollars. Several factors influenced price. Many, if not all, higher priced bedsteads came equipped with a sacking bottom, as suggested in several records of Philadelphia origin. For instance, Nathan Trotter paid six dollars for a “Low-post Bedstead & bottom &c.” in 1821. When acquiring low-post bedsteads several decades earlier, John Cadwalader and William Wallis paid eighteen shillings ($2.97) and nineteen shillings ($3.13), respectively, for “Sacken & Lacing” and a “Bottom & line.” A sacking bottom served in place of bed slats to support the mattress and bedding. It consisted of a stout, coarse cloth attached by means of lacing, or cord, to small, turned, regularly-spaced “pins” (also called “knobs,” “nubs,” and “buttons”) mounted upright on a ledge inside the frame. An alternative support structure is illustrated in figure 18, which has a drilled frame to receive a rope bottom. The rope lacing was drawn taut by means of a T-shaped wooden implement with a cleft shaft called a “bed key.” Several appear in craftsmen’s records. In the 1820s Elisha H. Holmes of eastern Connecticut and Miles Benjamin of central New York supplied customers with inexpensive bed keys.
Choice of wood also influenced the price of a bedstead. In 1798 a customer of Daniel Ross in Massachusetts chose birch and paid $2.33 for his “Common” frame. A “best curled maple” low bedstead purchased in 1822 from William Jones in Delaware cost five dollars. Although James Gere identified a “common bedstead 2nd Quality” priced at two dollars in 1826, the Connecticut record provides no indication of how quality was determined: choice of wood, simplicity of design, or another factor? Paint was the finish on many bedsteads, and a range of colors was available. Two are listed in Connecticut records. In 1800 Silas Cheney made a low bedstead painted red (reddish brown); five years later Solomon Cole painted a similar frame green. Both cost fourteen shillings ($2.31). Size and headboard design were other factors that determined price. The pointed-top panel in figure 18 took less time to saw to form than a headboard with curves.
A frame only slightly less popular than the low-post bedstead was one built with a joint in the long side rails near the headboard and supported at that point by an extra pair of feet and a cross brace. The popular name for this frame was “turn-up bedstead.” A few woodworkers in Connecticut used the alternative term “joint bedstead.” As its name implies, the turn-up bedstead was built to fold up against a wall to clear floor space for other activity. Two of its basic components, the corner posts and the headboard, were similar to those in the low-post bedstead. Unlike the press bedstead, which also is jointed, the frame usually did not fold into a wall closet or box. It could be concealed from view, however, through the use of a cover made of fabric or other material.
The price range and average cost of the turn-up bedstead was similar to that of the low frame. The picture can be enlarged somewhat based on craftsmen’s accounts. A few frames had high posts at the head. In 1825 Elisha H. Holmes made one at Essex, Connecticut, for $4.50. A similar bedstead made by Elizur Barnes in 1822 for a customer in Middletown also had “Buttons,” identifying it as a frame to be fitted with a sacking bottom rather than a rope support. Oliver Moore’s “joint bedstead with he[a]d posts turned” may have had high posts. When charging another customer for “helping your Father to turn bed posts,” the East Granby craftsman noted that the task required “one days work in my shop in ye labour.”
The turn-up bedstead, like other frames, could be made in single or double widths. Philemon Robbins produced a single one at Hartford in 1834. A rare account entry was penned at Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1805 by Harris Beckwith: “to A turn up Bedsted and Box.” The low charge of three dollars indicates the furniture was made of common wood to be painted. Abner Taylor of Lee noted an alternative finish a decade later with an account entry for “a Bedstead to turn up Stained.” Space requirements in the home changed from time to time, leading one customer of Job E. Townsend in Rhode Island to pay him for “Altering a Bedsted to turn up.” When not used for sleeping, the bed could be folded out of the way. This convenience may have been foremost in the mind of a consumer billed by Job Danforth at Providence in 1803 for “a Turnup Beadstead for one of your men.” Hired men and journeymen commonly occupied quarters on the premises of their masters—in the attic, in a shop loft or shed, or in another outbuilding. Wherever bedded, economy of space likely was critical.
Trundle bedsteads appear with frequency in craftsmen’s records—as many as the combined total for low-post and turn-up frames. Although the price range was broader than that for the other two bedsteads, the average cost of the trundle bedstead at $2.60 was still only seventy-seven to eighty percent that of the larger frames. The term “trundle” actually identifies the small wheels at the bottom of the posts, which are part of the furniture’s basic construction (fig. 19). Dictionaries cite “truckle” as an alternative term for both the wheels and the bedstead and pinpoint the unique feature of this frame: “a low bed on wheels, that may be pushed under another bed.” Reubin Loomis of Connecticut and Charles C. Robinson of Philadelphia were two of a small number of craftsmen who used the word truckle instead of trundle. Abner Taylor of Massachusetts described the frame as “a Bunk or trundle bed stead.”
Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century diaries, letters, and journals often describe the trundle bedstead as a sleeping place for children, although the earlier function of this piece of furniture was broader. In the Middle Ages and later students often occupied trundle frames in the chambers of their tutors. The inexpensive frame also provided a place to bed servants, who in early practice frequently slept in the same chamber with their master.
A few accounts identify special features or unusual circumstances connected with the purchase of the trundle bedstead, as for instance Philemon Robbins’s record of a “trundle bedstead with sides” made in 1834 at Hartford. Another Connecticut craftsman, Titus Preston of Wallingford, billed Jared Allen ten shillings ($1.65) in 1804 when he “finished a trundle bedsted of your timber.” Other documents and extant frames address the support structure for the mattress. Hiram Taylor of Chester County, Pennsylvania, and Samuel Douglas of near Canton, Connecticut, described trundle bedsteads with “board bottoms.” Figure 19 illustrates an alternative support system with rails drilled to accommodate a rope grid. The accounts of David Evans of Philadelphia and the Waters family of Salem, Massachusetts, document the use of the more expensive sacking bottom, with its cords for lacing a stout cloth to the frame.
Occasionally, records identify the construction material and finish of the trundle bedstead. In 1811 Saint George Tucker of Williamsburg, Virginia, paid John Hockaday for a “Colourd poplar Trunnell Bedstead.” Expenses for a set of casters, seven yards of cord, three yards of sail duck, thread, and labor for making the sacking bottom supplemented the charge. Several accounts identify painted surfaces. Those of Boston ornamental painter Daniel Rea, Jr., and Middletown, New Jersey, cabinetmaker Fenwick Lyell name green paint specifically. Customers of Silas Cheney in Connecticut and Abner Taylor in Massachusetts chose a stained finish for their trundle bedsteads.
Furniture repairs accounted for a substantial amount of a craftsman’s working time. In the case of the trundle bedstead one of the repetitive tasks was the replacement of the wheels, or trundles. Two early references from the 1750s appear in the Massachusetts accounts of Robert Crage of Leicester and Peter Emerson of Reading. Samuel Hall provided “trundles for a Bidsted” in Middletown, Connecticut, preceding the Revolutionary War. Use of the trundle bedstead continued during the early nineteenth century, when Alexander Low of Freehold, New Jersey, and other craftsmen continued to supply new wheels to these frames. Some bedsteads sustained more extensive wear and damage. Perez Austin of Canterbury, Connecticut, provided new timber for a bedstead he repaired, and Isaiah Tiffany of Norwich added two braces to strengthen a frame.
Until the Windsor took over the market in children’s seating following the Revolution, “little” chairs with rush or, more rarely, board bottoms were the choices available to consumers. “Little” was the preferred term for the child’s chair in craftsmen’s accounts, and notations such as that made by Robert Crage of Leicester, Massachusetts, confirm that the two words were synonymous: “To a Childs Little Chare 0.1.4.” The low price of Crage’s chair suggests that it was purchased as an open frame without the woven bottom and possibly without any surface finish.
The business records of Solomon Fussell of Philadelphia provide a comprehensive account of early seating for children. The price of side chairs varied from 2s.6d. to 3s.6d., three shillings being the usual charge. Included in this range were a few chairs described by color: white, brown, and black. Two special designs were priced slightly higher. Fussell identified one as a “4 Slat” chair, which suggests that the standard back had three slats or possibly only two. At 4s.6s. the “rake back” chair was the most expensive. The raked design introduced a bend to the cylindrical back posts just above the seat to create an inclined back for greater comfort. To produce the rake Fussell employed two-axis turning, a labor-intensive procedure reflected in the cost.
Fussell offered another piece of seating furniture to his customers described as a “Childs Table chair” priced at five shillings to 5s.6d. The modern term is “highchair.” In the late eighteenth century “dining chair” became the common name for this tall seat, especially as Windsor construction began to dominate the market. As descriptive terms, the words dining and table focus on the chair’s place of use rather than the now common tray, which was a later, nineteenth-century innovation along with the foot rest. The tall chair was built to the appropriate height to permit the child to join family members around the dining table at mealtime, as confirmed in an account entry made by Samuel Durand of Milford, Connecticut, dated January 24, 1815: “To 1 Chair for Child to Sit at table.” The charge was six shillings.
A few documents identify rush-bottom rocking chairs for children. Some chairs were built to form originally; others were converted for rocking at a later date. After the Revolution when the Windsor began to dominate the vernacular seating market, open-frame construction is identified in records through price (usually in the range of four shillings), terminology, or other internal evidence. At Hartford in 1834 Philemon Robbins described his product: “To 1 flagg seat childs chair with Rockers.” The cost was sixty-eight cents (four shillings).
The seats in children’s rush-bottom furniture required refurbishing or replacement periodically. The replacement cost with material and labor was about nine pence (twelve cents). Although the charge was modest, the recurring maintenance in rush-bottom seating gave the plank-bottom Windsor a decided edge with consumers. Paint helped stabilize a woven seat, although few householders appear to have opted for the extra expense. One of Oliver Moore’s customers in Connecticut decided on a positive course of action in 1820 and paid the craftsman for “puting a bottom in [a] small Chair and painting it twice over.” Sometimes the seats of new chairs were painted at purchase. Elizur Barnes charged seventy-five cents for “a Little Cheir Seat Painted.” The replacement of a chair seat sometimes prompted other repairs, as in 1758 when Isaiah Tiffany saw “to puting an Arm & bottom to a little Chair.”
The “Small bord chair for child” or, as also described, “little chair with board bottom,” was salable well into the nineteenth century. The price varied from as little as fifty cents to just over one dollar. The most popular design was the “childs wood seat ch[ai]r with hole.” The geographic range of this form was broad— from Newark, New Jersey, to New Ipswich, New Hampshire. Extending the variety of board seating is the rare identification of a “Childs Banch” priced at 7s.6d. ($1.16) in the accounts of Silas Cheney of Connecticut. This simple piece of furniture may have had shaped board ends of the type illustrated in figure 21. The gocart was another special form requested occasionally. In the colonial and federal periods the word referred to a framework to support a child when learning to walk. Robert Crage of Massachusetts built “a goe Cart for a Child” in 1758 and charged 2s.8d. In Connecticut Samuel Hall repaired a gocart in 1789 by providing three new “trundles,” or wheels.
Because most families were large in the colonial and federal periods, the cradle was an important form, as amply demonstrated in craftsmen’s accounts. Records offer little particular description of the open box on rockers, although many examples were of board construction, either butted (fig. 20) or dovetailed. The “Post cradle” described in 1826 by Elisha H. Holmes of Connecticut was joined with mortises-and-tenons. Holmes also identified a “Round end cradle.” The accounts of two other craftsmen itemize a “Cradle with a Head,” or hood. Abner Taylor of Massachusetts substituted the word “top.” The only mention of a “swing,” or suspended, cradle is that in the accounts of Solomon Cole of Connecticut, and it was expensive at £1.14.6 ($5.69). The average price of a cradle on rockers, excluding two expensive examples, was two dollars to $2.50.
Records provide a greater amount of information about the materials of cradle construction, identifying six basic woods—pine, yellow poplar, birch, gum, walnut, and cherry. Mahogany and cedar cradles priced at twelve dollars and ten dollars, respectively, hardly qualify as “everyday things.” A common price for a pine cradle was two dollars; yellow poplar was slightly more expensive. Jonathan Kettell of Massachusetts sold a birch cradle in 1790 for one pound ($3.30). David Evans made a gumwood cradle in Philadelphia shortly after the Revolutionary War. The walnut cradles in the sample originated in eastern Pennsylvania, whereas cherrywood construction was fairly broad, covering southern New England, New York state, and southeastern Pennsylvania.
Stain and paint were common finishes on cradles. One stained example was made of “whitewood” (yellow poplar). Pine is identified as a painted wood, and records list several paint colors. The blue mentioned in three accounts dating between 1799 and 1802 probably was made from the pigment Prussian blue, which produced a vivid medium-light shade. The account books of two painters, William Gray of Salem, Massachusetts, and Daniel Rea, Jr., of Boston identify “Seder Colour” and “mehogony Colour,” both likely executed in imitation of wood grain. The only cradle repair work identified in records used in this study is rocker replacement. The need was widespread, as recorded from Freehold, New Jersey, to Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Cribs appear in craftsmen’s records in fewer numbers than cradles, and for the most part they were priced consistently higher. When an infant outgrew the cradle, there was the crib or the trundle bed. The tall crib could be drawn close to a mother’s bed. If one side were constructed to lift out or fall down, the mother had access to her child during the night without getting out of bed.
Particular information about the crib’s appearance is sparse in records. Cherrywood is named as the material of construction in the accounts of Elisha H. Holmes of Essex, Connecticut, and Job Danforth of Providence. Daniel Rea, Jr., painted several cribs, one identified as green, an indication that less costly woods also were used in the construction of such forms. The addition of casters provided ease of movement within the bed chamber and other areas. One family purchased a “Double crib bedstead” from Holmes, although whether to hold twins or to serve another purpose is unknown. Modifications to a crib could extend its useful life, as in 1823 when the Ward family of Middletown, Connecticut, sought the services of Elizur Barnes to lengthen a crib. Perhaps the ultimate in pre-Victorian crib design was one built at Hartford in 1835 for Charles Goodwin by Philemon Robbins. The small bedstead had a sacking bottom and a “sett of hooks for vallance roods.”
Crickets and footstools frequently are distinguished one from the other in records, although a close relationship is suggested in the item “a Cricket or foot stool” in the accounts of Abner Taylor of Massachusetts. Randle Holmes’s definition of a stool in the Academie of Armory & Blazon (1688) further notes the interchangeability of the two terms: “a kind of low footed stool, or Cricket as some call it.” Nevertheless, colonial and federal craftsmen appear to have made distinctions between the two, as confirmed in account entries and recorded prices. A tabulation of cost indicates that the average price of the cricket was about thirty percent less than that of the footstool, and the figure drops to about fifty percent when the price extremes in both categories are eliminated from the tabulation. Clearly, the cricket was simpler in design and likely smaller in size than the footstool.
Even within their individual categories the cricket and the footstool could vary in appearance, as indicated by brief descriptions that accompany some account entries. Either stool could have a solid wooden top or an open frame for upholstery. The wooden top also could be concealed by stuffng. Carpeting, and more specifically Brussels carpeting, is identified in records as an appropriate cover. Not all tops were rectangular; oval is mentioned in at least one document. Paint, and in particular green paint, covered some surfaces. The varnish coat mentioned in other records probably covered woods such as birds-eye maple, curled maple, and mahogany, all of which are named in the records.
Evidence suggests that crickets usually had turned legs. The casualty rate appears to have been relatively high, given the number of leg repairs mentioned in records. One unusual variation was the “Cricket with wheels” made by Philemon Robbins in 1835 for a Hartford resident. An alternative support to the turned leg was the panel end with an arch cut out at the bottom to form feet. The cricket shown in figure 21, which is representative of this group, is a particularly fine example because the cyma arches of the end panels are repeated in the apron at each long side. The construction is simple. Both aprons abut the side faces of the end panels at rabbets and are nailed in place; the panel ends are set at a slight cant. The top board is nailed to the top edge of the panels, the nails visible in single rows on the board top near either end. A plainer example appears in the right foreground of figure 17.
Crickets and footstools, or “low stools,” functioned in various ways. Women used low stools to elevate their feet above floor drafts, and a mother could support a nursing child on the knee of a leg elevated on a low stool. The foot support also was a boon to the elderly. As early as 1718 John Gaines II of Ipswich, Massachusetts, charged a customer two shillings (thirty-three) for “a cricket for yr mother.” The low stool was synonymous with childhood as well. Children sat on crickets to pursue their lessons, work on their sewing, participate in devotions, or to listen to stories. The same stools were used for standing at the knee of a parent or teacher to recite or read aloud a lesson. The limited surface area of the stool discouraged fidgeting. In 1816 Job E. Townsend of Newport, Rhode Island, recorded that a Mrs. Kindel paid him one dollar for “making 4 Creekets for her Children.”
Low stools served an expanded function in churches and meetinghouses. Parishioners often purchased low stools for use in their private pews. At Providence John G. Hopkins sold Albert C. Greene, Esq., “one pare of Crickets for pew.” Fenwick Lyell made “7 foot Stools for Pews” for the family of John J. Post at Middletown, New Jersey. A longer support was the foot bench, which could serve two occupants of a pew seated side by side. In 1837, George Merrifield of Albany constructed a pair for one dollar. The “pair [of] foot benches” purchased by the wealthy New Yorker Arthur Bronson in 1832 were out of the ordinary at seven dollars. Perhaps they were for use with his two eighty-dollar sofas acquired a few months earlier.
Storage Furniture and Boxes
Adequate, convenient storage that was part of the built structure of the house was uncommon in the colonial and federal periods. Householders met this need in part by engaging local woodworkers to build any of a variety of cupboards and shelves where they would serve to advantage. Descriptions usually are brief, and few specific locations are identified.
Records name only the corner cupboard, or buVet, as a recognizable form. Presumably other units were rectangular. Common locations for corner cupboards were front and back parlors, where they held dishes and other equipment used in dining, tea service, and related activities. The “cupboard for your fire place” built by Titus Preston for a Connecticut customer also appears to have been located in a principal space, such as the parlor or kitchen. The “cellar” cupboard named by Enos Reynolds of Massachusetts may have stored preserved foods. An addition to a house provided a convenient opportunity to increase both living and storage space. In 1805 Robert Whitelaw of Vermont charged James Whitelaw seventy-five cents after spending “one day making a Cupboard in your New room.”
Features noted occasionally in descriptions of cupboards are paneled doors, shelves, and locks. When Jonathan Loomis built a book cupboard for Captain Lucius Graves at Whately, Massachusetts, in 1815, he charged extra for the “trimming for Do.” The material of the common cupboard is seldom mentioned, and size usually is expressed as “large” or “small,” when identified at all. An exception is the “pine Corner Cupboard” built by William Savery of Philadelphia for John Cadwalader in 1771. The storage piece stood five feet, six inches high and measured two feet deep from the center front. The cost was £2.10. A common cupboard repair was rehanging the doors.
Hanging cupboards are difficult to discern in craftsmen’s accounts. Only in notations such as “a job of work putting up Cupboard” is this form distinguished from others. Perez Austin of Canterbury, Connecticut, provided a few additional particulars in his accounts for February 1831. The craftsman spent half a day “making a paniel Cubboard Dore.” This was followed by almost another “half Days work Caseing & han[g]ing [the] Cubboard.”
Bookshelves and bookracks are about equally represented in craftsmen’s accounts of the early nineteenth century. Prices ranged from under one dollar to over three dollars, although most racks were higher priced than shelves. Bookcases were still more expensive. The form of the bookrack is speculative. Given its price, it was more than a simple table-top unit and different from a standard set of shelves. Early in 1832 the Boston firm of Samuel Chamberlain and Son purchased both a set of shelves and a rack for seventy-five cents and two dollars, respectively. An entry “To Putting up Book Rack” in the accounts of Elizur Barnes of Connecticut indicates the storage unit hung on a wall. Perhaps it was a shelf-like framework with horizontal bars across the front similar to a plate rack to house books with the front covers visible.
Housing books was just one of several named functions of hanging and wall shelves. Next in importance was a shelf to support a clock. References “to putting up clock shelve” range in origin from New Jersey to northern New England, demonstrating the widespread incidence of this practice. Paul Jenkins of Maine provided a “mahoganey shelf for [a] time piece,” and William Hook of Massachusetts supplied a “Brackit.” A patron of Thomas Boynton’s Vermont shop in 1841 commissioned “a flower pot shelf” and paid seventy-five cents. Decades earlier Nathaniel Kinsman of Massachusetts responded to a request for “a Bord for [a] mantle.” Whether the board replaced a damaged one or created a shelf where none had existed is unknown. The mantle shelf illustrated in figure 17 supports a pitcher, two books, and a vase of flowers.
Other references describe the nature of the shelving or the place of installation. In accounts dating to 1792 Isaac Ashton of Philadelphia described a job of installing three corner shelves and two long shelves priced by the shelf at 82 1/2¢ and $1.23 1/2, respectively. A year earlier Job Danforth of Providence charged a householder for “puting Shelfs in your closet,” and a New York City resident sought the services of Peter Oldershaw to install kitchen shelves at seven shillings for the work and materials.
References to the low chest with hinged lid and bracket feet occur in almost half the documents consulted for this study (fig. 22). Based on the evidence, it appears that the low chest was the most common piece of movable storage furniture in the American home in the late colonial and federal periods. Descriptive information that accompanies many accounts permits insight into the function, materials, structural embellishment, paint colors, and general size of the low chest.
The basic purpose of this furniture was to store textiles, both personal apparel and bedding (also called bed linens). Records identify the low box without drawers as the most common form of lidded chest. Of the 143 chests tabulated in the sample, fifty-three percent appear to have been of this form. One- and two-drawer chests were of about equal popularity, representing twenty-one percent and twenty percent of the sample, respectively. Three-drawer chests accounted for about 3.5% of the total. At one dollar to six dollars, the price range of the lidded chest was broad. The few examples below and above that range were eliminated from the calculation as being of simpler form or of expensive wood. The average cost of 124 priced chests was $3.20; however, the greatest concentration of examples (fifty-eight percent) was in the $1.50 to three dollar price range.
The purchaser of a lidded chest could choose from a variety of other structural options. One individual ordered a “fast,” or sham, drawer, a feature that simulated a more costly construction while maintaining adequate interior storage space. A customer of Elisha H. Holmes in Connecticut called for a “Pine chest secret draw” and paid $2.75. The interior till, a small lidded box or drawer mounted high on an end board, was a feature of some chests. In 1831 Mrs. Nancy Barnes of Preston commissioned an elaborate example—“one large pine Chest with 2 drawers & till with 3 Small Drawers &c.”—valued at six dollars and paid with “seamstress work.” Exterior trim was another option (see fig. 22), whether a belt molding on the case or an ornamental drop centered in the base. A lock positioned at the center top of the case was a regular request. Although brasses are seldom mentioned, this hardware was more common than apparent, as many cases were built with drawers.
Records that identify the material of the low chest indicate that pine was the principal choice, and the number built was greater than that of the other selections combined. New England was a center of pine chest construction, and Elisha H. Holmes of Connecticut filled many orders. As an alternative choice some of his customers requested chests made of butternut, a wood of the walnut family (Juglans cinerea) that had some currency in cabinetmaking in eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. Two other named woods appear in Pennsylvania work, yellow poplar and black walnut (Juglans nigra). Abraham Overholt of Bucks County built low chests of either material. The original selection was still broader, as indicated in documents such as probate inventories.
Records identify stain and varnish as the finish for some low chests. Elisha H. Holmes stained at least one butternut chest. At Middletown, Connecticut, in 1822 Elizur Barnes recorded making a “Cloths Chest Staind & varnished,” although he did not name the wood. The more common finish was paint. Of twenty-nine references in the sample, nineteen name a specific color. Brown and green each are mentioned once. “Red” probably identifies a brownish color. On at least two occasions Oliver Moore of East Granby made “a low Chest painted Mahorony” (mahogany). The paint may have duplicated the brown shade of the wood or simulated the actual grain of the material.
A popular color among consumers was blue, sometimes identified as Prussian blue. In 1809 James Chase built a plain “four foot Chest painted Blue” in New Hampshire and charged his customer $1.83. Blue-painted chests appear to have been in demand in eastern Connecticut where Amos Denison Allen, among others, finished a more elaborate example in 1802 described as a “Chest with 1 draw blue with lock.” The $3.05 price reflects the greater amount of work involved in making a drawer and providing a lock. Of unusual appearance was the “poplar chest with three drawers and blue speckled” made in 1791 by Abraham Overholt for Martin Oberholtzer (Overholt) of Pennsylvania. At $6.19 this was one of the higher priced chests in the survey. The cost reflects the labor-intensive task of building a dovetailed case and drawers and creating a special finish. Overholt was the only craftsman to note that he painted a chest with contrasting trim: “I made a chest with three drawers, I painted it blue and the mouldings red.”
Some accounts give the specifics of chest dimensions. The shortest length recorded is two feet, ten inches; the longest, four feet. Notations of size usually elicited other particulars. In 1816 Titus Preston of Connecticut penned one of the most complete descriptions located: “a chest with a till & a fast draw the chest about 3f. 6 I[n]. long & 1f. 5 I[n]. square / also the draw under the till & fastning it / the lock & screws was 1/3”. At $2.90 the price was within the popular range.
A number of accounts identify sea chests by name. The craftsmen who produced these specialized containers usually lived at urban or regional centers of waterborne commerce. In a detailed notice of the mid-1770s, Francis Trumble of Philadelphia offered a wide range of cabinetware and common products, including the sea chest. The postwar years brought increased demand for this specialized gear box as the new American nation expanded its commercial base and established an independent economy.
The records of Amos Denison Allen provide insight into the appearance and special features of the sea chest. From his location in eastern Connecticut, Allen had access to New London and Long Island Sound via Norwich and the Thames River. In July 1799 Gideon Hoxey paid sixteen shillings for “1 Chest for sea 3 [ft]-9 Ins long—19 or 20 wide with a case.” In November another customer ordered “1 sea Chest 3-10 long &c” with a “small draw” priced at fifteen shillings. Not every chest was purchased by the person who used it. James Francis of Wethersfield, a trading town below Hartford on the Connecticut River, charged Captain Francis Bulkley twelve shillings in 1797 for “a Sea Chest for your Son Will’m.” Then, as today, parents often assisted their sons in establishing a career that would sustain them in their adulthood.
Information on containers known as trunks, although limited, describes the basic options. Pricing and other data indicate that the term identified both small personal boxes and large receptacles used for travel, shipping, and storage. The small “Cherry trunk” made in 1789 by Elisha Hawley of Connecticut for seventy-five cents and the eighteen-inch mahogany container purchased for fifty cents from George Short of Massachusetts a quarter-century later were of suitable size to hold papers, personal effects, and other small items that might come to hand. Either George or Joseph Short also penned a series of account entries in 1815–1816 that sheds further light on form and pricing. One customer purchased three groups of small trunks for a total of twenty-four items, probably for resale. The cheapest group contained twelve “15 in[ch] trunks flat top at 2 cts.” The individual box cost of thirty cents suggests that the craftsmen priced the containers by size at two cents per inch. This assumption is borne out by the twenty-one-inch and twenty-four-inch trunks, which cost sixty-three cents and seventy-two cents, respectively, or three cents per inch. What accounted for the difference in price? The logical conclusion is that the larger boxes had domed lids, which required more time to construct.
In an 1828 edition of his dictionary, Noah Webster defined the trunk as “a box or chest covered with skin.” Entries in several accounts confirm the general use of protective covers on the exterior of these containers. The 1785 household inventory of William Rhinelander, a shopkeeper of New York City, itemizes both leather-covered and hair-covered trunks. A new “Trunk Coverd with Leather” could cost as much as £2.10 ($8.25), the price paid by Saint George Tucker in Virginia a few years earlier. A fellow Virginian, Richard Blow, bought a “Traveling Trunk” for a client later in the century, although the cover is not identified. Another choice was described in 1835 at Hartford by Philemon Robbins as a “traveling box coverd with oil cloth” priced at $3.50.
A cluster of small drawers contained within a common open-front case suitable for placing on a table or other flat surface usually was termed a “nest of drawers” in early records. A horizontal or vertical rectangle is the common case form, although triangular stacks appear on occasion. The cost was variable, depending on size, number of drawers, construction method, material, and embellishment. Alternative terms for the nest of drawers include “box of draws,” used by Reubin Loomis of Connecticut, and “case with 14 drawers,” a description employed by George Short of Massachusetts. All three terms—“nest,” “box,” and “case”—also appear in Chester County, Pennsylvania, inventories dating to the 1750s. When Amos Denison Allen of Connecticut noted that he made “6 Small Draws for Tacks” on June 22, 1802, he also described a nest, as these receptacles would have been impractical for use outside a common container.
Records occasionally identify other uses for collections of small drawers. During the 1760s the Charles Norris family of Philadelphia acquired a “Nest of Seed Draws [for the] Garden.” A “Neast of draws” purchased by Doctor Knowles from Benjamin Baker at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1788 may have been for use in his medical practice. Popular in Chester County, Pennsylvania, was the “nest of spice boxes,” although other names also describe this specialized case. A bill prepared in 1771 at Carlisle by William Denny identifies one type of construction material: “one Walnut Nest with 7 Drawrs.” Another document indicates that painted wood served on occasion. One householder, Jonah E. Latimer of Essex, Connecticut, ordered a “Nest of draws lock in top draw.”
Boxes of personal size are often mentioned in craftsmen’s accounts, whether purchased new or brought to a shop for repairs or alteration. Although little description accompanies most business entries, extant boxes provide insights on construction and design. Hinged lids were common, sliding lids less so. The rectangular shape prevailed, although a vertical versus a horizontal orientation introduced variation. Other options included finish and ornament, flat versus curved surfaces (an arched lid, for example), flat or footed bases, and the addition of handles, knobs, and locks. Butted boards or dovetailed corners were construction options. Drawers and interior partitions were available. Joseph Symonds of Massachusetts made “a box with pertions” (partitions) in 1750 followed later by “a box with a Draw.”
Records provide insights into the woods used in box construction, but finishes—paint, stain, and varnish—are seldom mentioned. The basswood box purchased in 1829 in Massachusetts by Henry W. Miller and the pine box made later in Connecticut by James Francis were probably painted. A step up in quality although not necessarily in price, which was determined by size and the nature of the work, were a cherrywood box with a drawer made at Middletown by Elizur Barnes and a “Birch Box 10 in Long 5 1/2 wide & 4 1/2 high” from the shop of George Short in Massachusetts. Walnut boxes were common in eastern Pennsylvania. A comprehensive study of Chester County estate inventories recorded before 1850 identifies 130 examples, which comprise seventy-eight percent of all boxes identified by material in those documents. The use of mahogany was widespread, some boxes framed cheaply from shop scraps. George Short charged one customer only fifty cents for making an eighteen-inch mahogany trunk. In New Jersey John Sager’s price was considerably higher at 18s.9d. ($3.09).
The candle was the principal source of artificial light in the American home until well into the nineteenth century. The considerable amount of work involved in making tallow candles at home and the substantial cost of buying “manufactured” spermaceti candles dictated that householders used either sparingly. The incidence of candleboxes in craftsmen’s accounts is considerable, although some references identify large packing cases used to transport spermaceti candles in bulk. Householders sometimes used other large boxes to store a supply of newly dipped candles. A cool cellar was best; however, care was needed to protect the precious contents against rodent damage. Small finished boxes held modest supplies of candles for daily use (fig. 23). The usual price in New England and the Middle Atlantic region was less than one dollar and sometimes as low as twenty cents. Documents provide little description of material or form. Boxes were made to stand on a flat surface or to hang on a wall away from the heat of the hearth. The candlebox illustrated in figure 23, which is made of butted pine boards painted, has a sliding lid with a raised panel created by deep chamfers and a finger notch for access at the front edge. A candlebox bought near Rome, New York, in 1799 from Philip Filer had “36 Candil Rods.” These were short sticks to be tied with wicks and used in candle dipping.
Boxes made to contain head gear include those for wigs, hats, and bonnets. Except for ceremonial purposes, the use of wigs began to fade after the Revolution. Thus most references to wig boxes and their repair date before the war. Again, source materials provide little description, although the low cost of new boxes suggests they were basic utilitarian forms. Woodworkers provided both hat and bonnet boxes in some numbers, yet except for “two Chesnut hatboxes” made in 1820 by Perez Austin of Connecticut for seventy-five cents apiece, records provide no identification of material or feature. At sixty cents to eighty-five cents apiece, hat boxes were more expensive than bonnet boxes, which ranged from thirty cents to fifty cents apiece. An alternative term for the hat box was “hat case,” although the latter was used infrequently. Woodworkers and others also repaired and refurbished boxes for head gear. Silas Cheney made a new bonnet-box lid in 1800 for the family of Tapping Reeve, the eminent proprietor of the Litchfield Law School. From time to time customers called upon Daniel Rea, Jr., of Boston to repaint their hat boxes. Abraham Overholt of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, recorded a related request in 1799: “I painted five paper hat boxes blue for Martin Oberholtzer.”
Specialized boxes made for women center on the container used to hold sewing equipment, also called a “work box” or “fancy box.” The price range indicates that this item could be a simple painted box or a receptacle fashioned from fine cabinet wood. Notes about work box repairs identify varnishing, painting, and a new top. Of related function was the “pin box with drawer” purchased in 1834 at Hartford from Philemon Robbins by the Reverend Joel Howes. The mahogany work stand purchased at the same time was perhaps for the same family member. On July 31, 1844, Edward Jenner Carpenter, a Massachusetts apprentice, commented in his journal: “I finished the work box that I agreed to make when I was at home . . . all but varnishing. I have been at work putting on the lock all the evening.” Two other boxes for women are notable because their function is identified. On May 10, 1775, Charles Norris’ widow Mary bought “a box for Stays and sundreys” for three shillings from Philadelphia cabinetmaker Thomas Tufft. A female member of the Charles Lee household was the recipient of a “box for jewels” acquired in 1831 from Luke Houghton in Massachusetts. At sixty-seven cents this was a relatively basic container.
Boxes constructed for men describe two principal activities, grooming and relaxation. Entries for shaving boxes in craftsmen’s accounts provide little additional information aside from identifying one mahogany example that cost two dollars in 1828 at the Connecticut shop of Elisha H. Holmes. A few craftsmen supplied boxes priced well under fifty cents, which probably identifies butted construction and painted surfaces. Howard Smith of New Haven priced a razor case at $1.25. The second group of boxes made for men relates to smoking. The construction material again ranges from mahogany to painted wood. In 1775 Edmund Townsend of Newport, Rhode Island, fabricated a “mahogany Pipe box.” Pipe boxes are slim, vertical containers with an open bin at the top and a drawer, when present, at the bottom. A complement to the pipe box was the tobacco box, its modest cost again reflecting its utilitarian character. John Wheeler Geer of Connecticut sold one in 1779 for as little as one shilling.
A significant item in craftsmen’s accounts, as reflected in the number of references, is the spit, or spitting box, the precursor of the cuspidor. In use the low, square box was filled with sand, which gave rise to the alternative name “sand box.” Notably, all references from New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the sample use the present participle “spitting” to identify this container, whereas New England references, which are four times as numerous, almost always use the term “spit box.”
The disagreeable habit of spitting appears to have been firmly entrenched in American society before 1744 when the Tuesday Club of Annapolis, Maryland, required that “each member . . . provide his own sand-box as a spittoon in order to spare the floors at members’ houses.” Touring the new United States in 1783 Francisco de Miranda, a Spanish American visitor, noted the continued widespread use of tobacco in pipes and for chewing, and visitors who followed invariably commented on the “loathsome spitting” that accompanied chewing. Traveling by American steamboat in the 1840s, Englishman James Dixon discovered that the practice of chewing tobacco and spitting was “almost general.” He found “nearly the whole deck soon became coloured and almost impassable.” Apprentice Edward Jenner Carpenter was one of those caught up in the habit. He tried giving up chewing several times without success. In August 1844 he wrote: “I concluded to quit chewing tobacco, but I don’t believe I shall hold out, for the habit has got pretty well fastened on to me.”
The nature of its use precluded that the spit box was anything more than utilitarian in material and construction. References suggest that most boxes were painted, and green is mentioned in the accounts of Elizur Barnes of Connecticut. Some boxes appear to have been fixed in place where they were used, as suggested by Fenwick Lyell of New Jersey who in 1808 supplied “1 Spiting Box and 4 Brackets.” The cost was six shillings (one dollar), although the usual price for the box alone was twenty-five cents to forty cents. The presence of spit boxes in places of business and assembly was universal: Grove Catlin, an innkeeper of Litchfield, Connecticut, bought spit boxes from Silas Cheney; the firm of Ebenezer and George Merriam, bookbinders and stationers, purchased sand boxes from Philip Deland of West Brookfield, Massachusetts; Gershom Jones, a Providence pewterer acquired a box from Job Danforth, Sr.; another Providence resident, businessman Richard W. Green, patronized the partners Church and Sweet for office furnishings that included “2 Spit Boxes.” When the seat of national government moved from New York City to Philadelphia in 1790, David Evans recorded an order to supply “50 spitting Boxes for Congress.”
More than a dozen references to medical boxes of one type or another occur in documents assembled for this study. Seven identify purchases made by doctors, and two record orders placed by Robert Rantoul, a druggist of Beverly, Massachusetts. In 1834 Philemon Robbins of Hartford named a “Capt E Flower” as the purchaser of a “Medicine chest” for three dollars. Perhaps Flower was a ship captain and purchased the box for use on board his vessel.
The terms “medicine box,” “medicine chest,” and “medicine case” all appear in records and at times may have been used interchangeably. “Case” also may identify a stationary piece of furniture. Items designated “boxes” in the sample were priced the lowest at under one dollar. The most expensive item recorded was a “Walnut Medicine Chest” priced at $18.48 and made in 1786 by Philadelphia cabinetmaker David Evans for a Doctor Bass. At three pounds ($9.90), another high-priced container was the “Case for your Drugs” made in Connecticut by John Durand for Doctor Charles Carinton in 1775. One doctor in Maine ordered his chest with a lock. Other notable items include the “six boxes for Salts at 25 Cts a piece” made in Connecticut for Doctor Richard Ely and the four “Pill Boxes” painted at Boston by Daniel Rea, Jr., for Doctor William Jackson.
Quadrant cases and compass boxes identified in craftsmen’s accounts were receptacles for nautical instruments. Daniel Rea, Jr., refurbished a quadrant case in 1790 with a fresh coat of paint. Two craftsmen located on the lower Connecticut River, navigable by ocean-sailing vessels, noted the construction of new quadrant cases. Elizur Barnes of Middletown priced his case at one dollar. The two-dollar case made by Elisha H. Holmes of Essex was probably constructed better or made of more expensive materials. Compass boxes were cheaper. Newburyport, Massachusetts, cabinetmaker George Short produced one for twenty-five cents in 1814.
A convenient piece of fireplace equipment during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the small hand bellows used to fan a fire on the hearth (fig. 24). Woodworkers supplied the front and back boards, complete with handles, and leatherworkers provided the fittings for the metal nozzle and the flexible sides that created an interior chamber, or air cavity. In recording the sale of boards for bellows, a craftsman usually identified the transaction as “a pair of Bellows woods,” although Jonathan Kettell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, also used the term “set” of bellows woods.
Before painted and ornamented bellows became popular in the early nineteenth century, craftsmen made boards from fine cabinet woods finished in stain and varnish. Oliver Avery of Connecticut listed cherrywood in his records, a wood also supplied by Daniel Ross in Massachusetts. Ross’ records identify maple and mahogany as other choices. Material status is reflected in the prices of individual pairs of boards: maple, forty cents; cherrywood, forty-five cents; mahogany, 83 1/2¢. On one occasion Ross supplied “Birch Bellows woods [and] Brass nose” for fifty cents. Repairs noted by Job E. Townsend of Rhode Island in 1783 describe “a new top to a mohogony Bellosses.” Sometimes a consumer acquired a “Bellows & Hearth Brush” as a set, as itemized in an 1837 bill from Pells and Company to Arthur Bronson of New York City. The stained boards of the bellows illustrated in figure 24 appear to be cherrywood, and the decorative focus of the object is its turned ornament rather than paint. The bold pattern of concentric circles is centered by a large boss. On the backboard a central, circular depression bears a small paper label of the manufacturers: “BULKLEY & AUSTINS / Factory / NEW HAVEN” enclosed within a chain of bellflowers.
The fireboard, a wooden panel used to conceal a fireplace opening during the months of warm weather, was an item of some consequence in craftsmen’s records (fig. 25). A few artisans, including Benjamin Baker of Rhode Island and Isaac Ashton of Philadelphia, used the alternative term “chimney board” to identify this screen. In Maine Paul Jenkins expanded the nomenclature when describing a board he made as a “fire Blind.” Other evidence suggests that Jenkins referred to the appearance of the board rather than the form itself. An entry in the accounts of Elisha H. Holmes of Connecticut for “1 Fire board window blind style” provides an explanation. The boards probably were louvered like many exterior window shutters, also referred to in records as “blinds.” The cost of the boards at $1.75 and $1.25, respectively, adds support to the explanation, as many other examples in the records were priced well below one dollar. An advantage of louvered-board construction was the protection it gave from the intrusion of birds and small animals via the unused chimney, while permitting the circulation of outside air.
Several other references to fireboards expand the picture. In 1822–1823 Elizur Barnes was called upon at Middletown, Connecticut, for several tasks of note. One customer wanted “a fire Board and sheat Iron lining.” Another job found Barnes “Sawing [a] Fire board for handiron.” Once after supplying a fireboard to a householder, Barnes spent time “Fiting it in.” Other boards were free standing. A few records refer specifically to fireboards of framed construction. One frame appears to have housed a solid wood panel. Another frame may have been open to receive a different material, perhaps black muslin ornamented with pasted decoration cut from wallpaper, as suggested by Catherine Beecher.
Few records elaborate on the finish of the fireboard and then only in basic terms. Thomas Boynton of Vermont, among others, recorded the use of varnish and paint. Allen Holcomb identified green paint as the choice of one customer in central New York. The records are silent on the subject of painted ornament, although some of the more expensive boards must have been finished in this manner. Many survive today with the original decoration intact. The trompe l’oeil design of the fireboard illustrated in figure 25 creates the illusion of an open fireplace complete with the tin-glazed earthenware tiles popular among prosperous American householders. Other decorative choices include a “large paperd fire board” purchased in 1815 in Massachusetts from Abner Taylor. Similar, perhaps, was the “Bordering for [a] Fire Board” ordered in New York City by Robert L. Livingston in 1832 from upholsteress Rebecca Williamson, proprietress of a “Fring & Ornamental Factory” at 120 William Street.
Woodworkers, especially those working in the eighteenth century, received regular calls for long wooden handles for warming pans. Oliver Wickes of Rhode Island described the fabrication method: “To Turning one wormingpan handle.” His charge in 1801 was seventeen cents. Both the design of the pan and its method of use insured the need for repairs from time to time. The wooden handle fits into a cylindrical metal sleeve projecting from one side of a large, lidded, circular metal pan. Householders or their hired help filled the pan with hot coals from the hearth and then passed it “hastily and sharply all over the bed” to warm the bedding and draw out the dampness, taking care to avoid scorching the sheets or setting the bed on fire. The weight of the filled pan and the fragile joint between pan and handle led many a craftsmen to record his work at “putting a handle into a warming pan.”
The foot stove was a second piece of early equipment that required hot coals to function (fig. 26). A removable interior pan held the coals within a small metal chamber with perforated sides and top and an access door at the front. A wooden framework with corner posts supported the chamber, or box. Oftentimes the corner posts were turned in the popular double-baluster profile of the hourglass (see fig. 14). A wire bail handle at the top provided portability.
Foot stoves, considered the province of women, were especially popular in Dutch-American communities. Like the bed warmer, foot stoves frequently were stored in or near the kitchen where they could be filled conveniently with hot coals from the kitchen hearth for use in parlors and bed chambers or any place in the home where comfort from the cold was required. Because foot stoves were portable, they could be carried outside the home for use in carriages, church pews, and other large interior spaces with little or no artificial heat.
In April 1827 Catherine Gansevoort, widow of Peter, Jr. (1749–1812), of Albany paid a fee of one dollar to Henry A. Guardinien, sexton of the North Dutch Church, for “Fireing Your foot Stoves.” These warming devices probably were the “two Cherry foot stoves” the widow had purchased in 1816 from Peter M. Hench for two dollars. Beyond the spiritual center, foot stoves were useful in spaces devoted to secular pursuit. The November 19, 1750, issue of the New-York Gazette carried a theater notice that is pertinent: “The House being now floor’d, is made warm and comfortable; besides which Gentlemen and Ladies may cause their stoves to be brought.”
Aside from the cherrywood stoves purchased by Catharine Gansevoort, records identify a “Whitewood Stove” (probably yellow poplar) purchased in 1806 at Middletown, New Jersey, from Fenwick Lyell. Broadening the selection is the walnut stove illustrated in figure 26. Several documents that identify repairs to foot stoves extend the geographic range of the form, including those of Silas Cheney of Litchfield, Connecticut, and Samuel Fithian Ware of Cape May County, New Jersey.
Picture and Other Frames
Frames for pictures, mirrored glass, and other materials were requested everywhere—from the Maine shop of William H. Reed to that of Moyers and Rich in southwestern Virginia. A few picture frames are identified specifically as frames for portraits, or likenesses. Silas Cheney used both terms at his shop in Connecticut. In 1828 Increase Pote of Maine exchanged a “Portrait frame” priced at six dollars for 12 1/2 pounds of coffee. Three years earlier Joseph G. Waters of Salem, Massachusetts, paid K. H. Shaw $2.50 for “Framing a Portrait of John Q Adams.” The “portrait” probably was a print. The reverse of the bill identifies Shaw as a gilder. Another type of picture noted only rarely in records is the landscape. Chapman Lee of Massachusetts produced a “Landscape [frame]” in 1822 priced low at twenty-five cents. Some frames listed anonymously in other records likely were intended for the same purpose.
General references to “picture frames” broaden the inquiry. Many name the surface finish, paint being the most common. Elisha H. Holmes of Connecticut recorded black-painted and yellow-painted frames. William Barker “color[ed] 27 picter fraims” at Providence in 1763, a process that may have been synonymous with staining. In Virginia, Saint George Tucker paid the sum of twelve shillings in 1791 for “blacking and varnishing Six picture frames.” The blacking probably was a composition material that employed lampblack. Artisans created more lustrous surfaces through gilding and bronzing. Charges posted by Paul Jenkins in Maine for making a “Large picter frame” in 1837 include fifty cents for “cutting glass for the same” and twenty-five cents for “2/3 book gold Leef.” Veneering capitalized on the grained patterns of various woods. The Massachusetts apprentice Edward Jenner Carpenter reported in August 1844 that he had sawed “some stuff . . . for some frames to a couple of pictures . . . my grandfather brought down here the other day.” A day later he veneered the frames: “I put mahogany on to one & zebra wood on to the other.”
When Elisha H. Holmes charged a customer two dollars for twelve picture frames in 1830, he debited the account another forty-two cents for “Triming . . . the same.” A possible explanation of this charge is that Holmes attached strips of composition beading to the molded surfaces. One of the most common methods of ornamenting a frame was molding wood with a plane or other tool. The multiple rows of flat beading on the face of the frame illustrated in figure 27 were formed in this manner, and the general use of the technique is underscored by Jonathan Kettell of Newburyport, Massachusetts, who supplied “Mouldings for pictures frames.” A more costly ornamental technique is cited in the business papers of William Beekman, a New York City resident. The reference also provides a general summary of the framing process. In 1795 Cornelius Roosevelt supplied Beekman with four picture frames at a basic charge of five shillings apiece. Carving and gilding added another five shillings to the individual price. Roosevelt completed the order with four panes of glass, two priced together at sixteen shillings and two priced together at twelve shillings. Although the frames likely were identical in pattern, two sizes were represented, as indicated in the dual pricing of the glass. When making picture frames at Salem, Massachusetts, for the Orne family in 1763, Jonathan Gavit figured his charge by the amount of material used rather than the number of frames made: “To frameing 54 foot of Pictures.”
The woods craftsmen used in framemaking were varied, although the present sample identifies only oak and mahogany. Most surfaces, regardless of material or ornamental technique, received a finish coat of varnish. The addition of a metal ring placed at the top of a small frame provided a convenient hanging device. B. A. Norton and Company supplied brass rings for pictures hung for Samuel Larned of Providence. Picture hanging was a service also requested in 1836 by Arthur Bronson of New York City. A further task performed by Elizur Barnes in 1821 for a customer in Connecticut is described as “Painting & Varnishing 17 Picture Fraimes & Putting in Pictures at house.” The charge was $1.25. Household mishaps required the attention of the woodworker from time to time. The Proud brothers of Providence glued a picture frame for a customer, charging only six cents. A patron of Newport cabinetmaker Job E. Townsend had a different, although relatively common, problem: “To framing one Pickter Broking Glass.”
References to looking glass frames provide less information than those for pictures. The standard maintenance calls were for mending, varnishing, and gilding. A broader look at repairs and alterations occurs in account entries made by Job Danforth of Providence. In 1801 he charged six shillings for “putting a back to a looking glass to finding screws to putting up & gluing frame.” A day later another customer approached him with a request for “cutting a looking glass frame.” Whether the alteration was due to a broken glass or changing household needs is not indicated. An alternative to the rectangular-bordered glass was the “oval looking glass frame.” Philemon Robbins of Hartford recorded an example in 1834.
Maps varied widely in size, from those that fit neatly into small frames to others of large size hung without benefit of a standard wooden support. Maps, like prints, often were framed unglazed, as glass was expensive. To protect the fragile paper from smoke, dust, vermin, and tears, the surface often was varnished. This practice had its own set of problems, however, because the coating material was unstable, causing discoloration and in some cases crackling. Craftsmen’s accounts identify the two methods of map framing. Both Elisha H. Holmes of Essex, Connecticut, and Thomas Boynton of Windsor, Vermont, posted charges for “framing and varnishing a map.” The alternative procedure is highlighted in the accounts of William Beesley of Salem, New Jersey: “to a map frame & glass.
Two other references to framed maps identify the subjects. A 1794 entry in the accounts of Job E. Townsend of Newport, Rhode Island, describes “framing a Map of Dublin.” Several decades later Elisha H. Holmes of Essex, Connecticut, charged seventy-five cents for “Frameing & varnishing United States chart.” If Holmes used the term chart properly, this was a map focusing on coastal navigation.
Large maps generally were left unframed but varnished. To provide a support for hanging and a weight to keep the sheet from curling, many maps were fitted with rollers, or “sticks” (fig. 28). Consumers purchased maps already fitted with rollers or employed a local woodworker to turn the requisite supports. Some customers may have attached the maps themselves, as suggested by Joseph Griswold of Massachusetts, who supplied “two map rollers” for forty cents in 1820. The meaning of Titus Preston’s account of “puting rollers to a map” is clear, and the Connecticut craftsman’s charge of four shillings (sixty-six cents) indicates that he also supplied the rollers. The map on rollers visible in figure 28 probably depicts the New England coast. It occupies a prominent place in the dining room of Doctor Whitridge of Tiverton, Rhode Island, and provides information on the placement of similar maps in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century homes.
Framed slates for school children are itemized in craftsmen’s accounts with some frequency from the late eighteenth century through the early nineteenth century. Both New England and the Middle Atlantic region are represented. The cost was modest, varying from 12 1/2¢ to just over forty cents, the exact figure probably a direct reflection of the size and material of the frame. Account entries for this work show little variation. Nathan Topping Cook of Long Island recorded making a “Slate frame,” whereas Nathaniel Sterling of Wilton, Connecticut, described the task as “puting A frame on A slate.”
Miscellaneous items housed in frames constitute a diverse group. Needlework (usually described as samplers) forms the largest assemblage. Charges were in the fifty cents to one dollar range. Records sometimes identify the family member responsible for the handiwork, as noted by James Gere of Connecticut who charged William Walker fifty-eight cents for “framing sampler for [your] Daughter.” Next in popularity were frames for profiles, or silhouettes. The small size of these pictures kept the frame cost low—sometimes as little as 4 1/2¢ apiece. Thomas Boynton of Vermont recorded a series of pertinent transactions, some reflecting quantity purchases, as for instance the “25 profile frames” priced at 16 1/2¢ apiece acquired in 1834 by Lyman Cowdry. Another customer borrowed equipment for taking images. When the apparatus was not returned after many months, Boynton charged the customer four dollars for “a profile machine lent last Spring.”
Another item sought by householders was a frame to house a family register, described by Elizur Barnes of Middletown, Connecticut, as “a Fraim For [a] Family Record.” The charge was seventy-five cents. Farther down the Connecticut River at Essex, Elisha H. Holmes’s price for “Frameing & glaseing [a] Family Regester” was one dollar. In 1799 Job Danforth produced “a fraim for [a] Diaplomia” for two different customers at Providence. One of them also paid for “pa[i]nting & gilden Dito” and a “glas for Dito.” Of more uncertain identification is Stephanus Knight’s work in “fraiming a Chart of history” done a few years later at Enfield, Connecticut.
The painting illustrated in figure 17 provides visual documentation of picture placement in the home. The large, multi-functional room that serves for dining, socializing, and a family gathering place has as its principal focus the chimneypiece. Both the arrangement and subject matter of the pictures are of interest. The centerpiece is a medium-size framed print of George Washington. The naval prints flanking the portrait probably are scenes from the War of 1812. The pair of profiles in gilt frames flanking the vase of flowers are recognizable as hollow-cut images produced at Peale’s Museum in Philadelphia.
Equipment for Games, Sports, and Pastimes
Craftsmen’s accounts identify three board games popular in the colonial and federal periods—checkers, chess, and backgammon. Of these, checkers appears to have been the most common. The equipment then, as now, consisted of a board and a set of checkermen. Although citations are brief, consumers could choose from two finishes when purchasing a board, paint or inlay. Daniel Rea, Jr., of Boston painted checkerboards for two shillings or three shillings (thirty-three cents or fifty cents). A ship chandler purchased one, possibly for resale at his chandlery to a mariner. At Kennebunk, Maine, Paul Jenkins charged $1.50 for a “mahoganey chequar bord,” probably made of light and dark wood. Some craftsmen may have supplied plain boards for customers to take to an ornamental painter, who provided the playing surface. The method of fabricating the checkermen is described in several accounts, including that of Increase Pote of Portland, Maine: “To Turning one Seet Checker men @ 2/3” (37 1/2¢).
The equipment for chess was similar to that for checkers, except the men usually were more elaborate, a circumstance reflected in the price. Thomas Boynton of Windsor, Vermont, charged $1.50 for “a Sett of Chessmen” in 1822. Shortly after the Revolutionary War Thomas Jefferson paid Philadelphia cabinetmaker Thomas Affleck the substantial sum of nine dollars for a board and set of men. The convertible, hinged game board illustrated in figure 29 is marked on the obverse for chess or checkers. The plain, turned men are for playing checkers.
Backgammon was another board game that required turned pieces, or men, for play, although the use of dice and turned dice cups (fig. 29) introduced an element of chance that may have made the game more appealing to some individuals. In 1780 Daniel and Samuel Proud of Providence reported “turning 2 Back gammon Cups.” Several decades later Increase Pote turned a number of sets of backgammon men for a local firm in Portland, Maine, probably for resale. The reverse, or interior, of the board shown in figure 29 is painted to accommodate the game of backgammon. The terms “backgammon board” and “backgammon box” probably were interchangeable, as suggested by similar five-dollar charges recorded by Thomas Boynton of Vermont for the first named and by Samuel Silliman of Duanesburg, New York, for the second. Apprentice Edward Jenner Carpenter mentioned this game in a journal entry for February 11, 1845: “I have been a making me a backgammon board for 2 or 3 nights back. George Gillagan [a painter] said he would paint it if I would make him a box.” In a list of disbursements for outfitting the sloop Fame at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1799 is a charge from Stephen Goddard of the well-known family of cabinetmakers to Captain Thomas Dennis for “2 Bacgammon Boards,” probably for use on shipboard.
References to making equipment for billiards are uncommon in craftsmen’s accounts, probably because the table required for playing the game was expensive. A few individuals may have had access to a private table, and others possibly frequented local taverns so equipped. Members of the Townsend family of Newport, Rhode Island, recorded the sale of billiard equipment in the 1770s. Job Townsend, Jr., made “two Billard Bols,” and Job E. Townsend supplied “2 Billiards Sticks.”
Outdoor sports required other types of equipment. Ice skating was a winter diversion in the North and parts of the South. Merchants sometimes imported skates from England. At other times local craftsmen met customer requests. In Vermont Thomas Boynton made several account entries for “wooding skates” at charges ranging from twenty-five cents to fifty cents. The wooden platforms supported the feet and secured the metal runners; leather straps attached the skates to the feet. In Providence and Philadelphia craftsmen made particular note of parental largesse: “to wooding a pair of skates for your Son.”
Manifestations of parental affection extended beyond a pair of ice skates. In 1806 Massachusetts artisan Harris Beckwith noted the production of “A Hand Sled for your Boy.” The term “hand sled” is an important distinction because most references to sleds in craftsmen’s accounts refer to horse-drawn pleasure or work vehicles. A younger child would have owned the hobby horse Joseph Pemberton sent to the Philadelphia shop of William Savery for repairs in 1774. The purchase of a “fishing Box Compleate” by Thomas Osborn in 1828 from Thomas Timpson of New York probably represented personal equipment, although the “complete” nature of the gear suggests that a son or sons may have shared their father’s enjoyment of the sport.
Another popular outdoor adult sport among individuals of both Dutch and British background was ninepins, a game in which the pins were set in three rows forming a square. Ideally the playing alley, or green, was perfectly level, although most courses probably were “make do,” laid out on ground as flat as available in community or private locations. Some inns maintained an alley for the accommodation of patrons. Evidence of the game appears in European prints and in several American records. The accounts of Josiah P. Wilder of New Hampshire record a charge of seventy-five cents in June 1838 for “Turning [a] set of Nine pins.” Three decades earlier Robert Whitelaw of Vermont helped a customer “turn balls to play ninepins” for the sum of twenty-five cents, an indication that Whitelaw spent approximately a quarter of a working day on the task.
Although not sporting equipment in the usual sense, the walking stick, or cane, served as a companion for a leisurely stroll and an item of fashionable dress during the period covered by this study. The interchangeable nature of the terminology is demonstrated in the accounts of Robert Whitelaw: “To mending a walking Cane.” Ornamental examples abound today, although many are machine products of later date. Those in the sample were principally utilitarian in nature, as reflected in their low cost. Philadelphia cabinetmaker Francis Trumble advertised “walking sticks” and a selection of utilitarian wares in 1775. Turning was a common method of fabrication, as identified in 1815 by the Proud brothers of Providence and Allen Holcomb in New York state. The walking stick illustrated in figure 30 is a fine specimen of the turner’s art. Its simulated bamboo work executed in curled maple has close parallels in Windsor chair making. Careful study reveals the subtle styling of the graduated segments, rounded at the top and flaring at the base, complemented at the head by a spherical knob that fits into the palm of the hand. A metal ferrel protected some cane tips from wear and mud. The Proud brothers added one to a stick made in 1782.
Eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century records indicate that householders were fascinated with birds, which they kept indoors in cages or sheltered out of doors in appropriate houses. Many wire-formed cages were imported into North America from metal manufacturing centers in England. The example visible in figure 17 may fit this description. Some cages were made by the craftsmen who sold them, although the same individuals sometimes imported goods for sale. Probably representative of the latter practice was the “Birds Cage with 2 Apartments” sold by Annapolis Maryland cabinetmakers John Shaw and Archibald Chisholm in 1772. There is no mistaking the meaning of a July 26, 1809, entry in the account book of Silas Cheney of Connecticut: “to makeing [a] Bird Cage” for $1.50. Some craftsmen also repaired or refurbished bird cages. In 1792, Boston painter Daniel Rea, Jr., billed John Codman for “Gilding and Varnish’g a Bird Cage.”
Records occasionally identify the intended occupant of a new cage. The accounts of Philadelphia merchant Stephen Girard are particularly informative. Twice in 1826 Girard patronized the shop of wireworkers Joseph and John Needles. During one visit he paid $2.50 for a “mocking Bird Cage.” By the early 1800s this little creature had been a prized household pet in America for well over a hundred years. A century earlier, a European traveler in Virginia noted that mocking birds were being sent to England for sale. Girard’s other purchase from the Needles firm was a “mahogany Canary Cage / 2 Fountains,” the price slightly more at $2.62 1/2. Originally, this songbird inhabited the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, although Girard may have acquired his pet elsewhere. Girard’s brother and occasional partner, John, also had an interest in birds. Several decades earlier he had visited the cabinet shop of Daniel Trotter and ordered “a Board for a parrot Stand.” The brightly-colored, exotic pet was a favorite with bird fanciers, from retired mariners to spinsters.
For outdoor accommodation of birds one structure dominates the records—the “martin box,” also called a “martin house” (fig. 31). The purple martin, a member of the swallow family, is noted for its colonizing habit. Thus, from the colonial period to the present its built accommodation has been a multi-compartment facility. From New England to Pennsylvania householders cheerfully accommodated these aerial feeders. The highest-priced martin box recorded was made in 1817 by Thomas Boynton of Vermont for three dollars and described as “a painted martin house and a pole to set it on.” In Connecticut Stephanus Knight assisted one of his customers in housing several colonies of martins: “To Painting Martinboxes finding stuf and helping put them up.” Peter Ranck of Pennsylvania charged a customer 3s.9d. for a martin box, considerably less than the eight shillings paid in Massachusetts by Elias Hasket Derby for “mending [a] martin box.” Records identify one other avian structure, a “Wren hous” built in 1785 by Benjamin Baker in Rhode Island for merchant Jacob Rodriguez Rivera. Baker’s charge of seven shillings ($1.16) reflected “1 Day work.”
Beyond the Door
The woodworker’s sphere of activity extended beyond the interior of the home to the exterior environment encountered when members of the household stepped through the door. The stoop, veranda, and yard all offered many reminders of the regular interaction between the two groups. The domestic scene illustrated in figure 32, which captures the essence of family life, serves as an appropriate vehicle to conclude a discussion of everyday things.
The cottage yard at the small farm in New Brunswick, New Jersey, purchased by the Baron and Baroness Hyde de Neuville (fig. 32) and occupied during two sojourns in America in the early nineteenth century, is alive with activity, both visible and perceived. The porch, or veranda, is filled with potted plants placed there on a bench, shelf, or stand by the mistress of the house, who stands in the doorway. The number of containers for flowers listed in woodworkers’ accounts indicates that this item was not the exclusive province of the potter. Records from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania identify flower pots and boxes fabricated in both rural and urban locations. Luke Houghton of Massachusetts and Miles Benjamin of New York state sold flower boxes for fifty cents or less. Mary Norris paid considerably more for boxes acquired from Philadelphia cabinetmaker Thomas Tufft.
Craftsmen’s accounts provide little insight into the appearance of these receptacles. An unusual notation is that for “a Flower Pot Picketed” recorded in 1824 by Elizur Barnes of Connecticut. The term “picketed” appears to describe stave construction, which was common in the fabrication of pails and buckets (see fig. 4). Two years earlier Barnes produced a “large Green Flowerpot.” Paint, and green paint in particular, was a common finish for flower pots. In northeastern Massachusetts painters William Gray and Daniel Rea, Jr., each recorded a job of painting flower pots in the early 1790s for customers who were physicians. If a consumer were prepared to supply his own labor, he could purchase the necessary “green paint for flower pots” from a woodworker, as recorded in 1823 by Thomas Boynton of Vermont.
The porch of the Hyde de Neuville farm cottage provided several options for plant display. A shelf fixed to the railing of the balustrade held the greatest number of flower pots. The small platform for plants at either end of the porch recalls an account entry made at Albany by George Merrifield for “a plant stand.” Benches for plants occur in several New England records, including a “Green Bench for flower pots” made by Elizur Barnes of Middletown, Connecticut, in 1824. Although primarily for sitting, the long bench on the porch of the Hyde de Neuville cottage could have held plants as well. Another stand for indoor or outdoor use was the “ladder for flowers” acquired in the 1830s by Albert C. Greene of Providence. This structure likely was of rectangular or semicircular, stepped form.
Two items to the right of the Hyde de Neuville cottage enlarge upon the contribution of the woodworker to the botanical interests of a household. The large watering can relates to a credit entry posted by John E. Mehargue in central Pennsylvania when a customer provided a “bottom in [a] Water Can.” The portability of the tree next to the can is addressed in an item recorded by Friedrich Bastian in a neighboring town on the Susquehanna River: “to a Box for to Plant in a Tree.” As drawn, the container appears to be a stave tub with hoops. Nor are these references isolated examples of the practice. James Skerrett of Philadelphia paid a craftsman for making “2 Tree Boxes.” In Vermont, Thomas Boynton described the product as “a Box for a tree to grow in.” Unit prices ranged from over one dollar to about fifty cents.
Without the image of the dog house in the Hyde de Neuville yard, it would be difficult to ascertain the appearance of this shelter as constructed before the mid-nineteenth century. Few early dog houses survive because of their utilitarian function and use outdoors. The design, as might be expected, is a simple gable end with a tall arch for an entrance. In 1789 Robert Mullen, a Philadelphia carpenter, built a dog house for the family of Stephen Collins, a prominent Quaker merchant of the city. In the Hyde de Neuville drawing, one of the family’s pets naps comfortably in its private lodging and another rests in the cool shade beneath the porch. On at least two occasions craftsmen noted the sale of a puppy. John Durand provided one in 1766 for a customer in coastal Connecticut, and Silas Cheney made a similar sale several decades later in western Connecticut. The price was modest—between fifty cents and seventy-five cents.
A simple picket-type fence surrounds the Hyde de Neuville cottage and yard, the entrance via a gate with a hand latch. Exterior structures of this type were particularly subject to wear and the elements. In April 1800 Silas Cheney posted a charge of six shillings (one dollar) for “making fence one day,” the sum equal to his price for two crickets. Stephanus Knight of Enfield devoted less than a day to the same task a few years later, charging a customer 3s.9d. for “Work on the fences about the hous.” At Providence, Job Danforth identified a regular call from householders when debiting an account for “hanging your gate.”
Inside the yard children play in front of the cottage porch. The records of several craftsmen identify small wheeled vehicles for children. In 1803 Silas Cheney charged as little as nine shillings ($1.50) for a “Childrens wagon.” The form, as drawn by the baroness, is a cradlelike box on wheels (see fig. 20). Use on rough, uneven ground insured that these small conveyances would require the attention of a woodworker periodically. In Windsor, Vermont, Thomas Boynton charged a patron twenty-five cents for “fixing [a] childs waggon” in 1822. Another customer requested the same service some years later.
In the lower yard a young girl with a pitcher draws water for household use at a well capped by a pump fitted with a hand lever. At least two craftsmen identified the fabrication method of the lever. In 1777 William Gray of Salem, Massachusetts, posted a charge to a customer’s account for “Turning a handle for well.” Silas Cheney identified the same job as “turning [a] pump handle.” Both charges were less than twenty cents. At the base of the pump a large stave tub, not unlike the container supporting the tree near the cottage door, caught the overflow. The contents of the tub were suitable for watering the dogs and the plants. In the pursuit of everyday life, the water of the well, like the products and activity of the woodworker, represented a substantial support inside and outside the home.
Kitchen table, southern New England, 1780–1810. Maple with pine top. H. 27 1/2", W. 42 1/2", D. 30 1/2". (Private collection; photo, Winterthur Museum.)
Kitchen, or common, side chair, Bergen County, New Jersey, 1800–1830. Maple and ash. H. 40 1/4", W. 19 3/8", D. 18". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of Charles van Ravenswaay.)
Lewis Miller, detail of Jacob Laumaster’s Kitchen, York, Pennsylvania, 1814 or later, depicting an incident of 1809. Watercolor. (Courtesy, York County Heritage Trust, Pennsylvania.)
Stave bucket, eastern United States, 1790–1830. Pine. H. 11 3/4", Diam. 9 1/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of H. Rodney Sharp.) The bail handle is missing.
Clothespin, a Shaker community in eastern United States, 1800–1860. Wood. L. 6 3/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of Mrs. Edward Deming Andrews.)
John Lewis Krimmel, Woman Pressing and Folding Laundry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or vicinity, ca. 1819–1820. Watercolor over pencil. Dimensions not recorded. (Courtesy, Winterthur Library: Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera.)
Covered dough trough, eastern United States, possibly Pennsylvania, 1750–1810. Pine. H. 28", W. 40 1/4", D. 19". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of Mrs. Alfred Harrison.)
Oven peel, Pennsylvania, 1750–1810. Pine. L. 50 3/4", W. 11 3/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Rolling pin, eastern United States, 1750–1800. Walnut. L. 18 3/4", Diam. 2 3/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Lewis Miller, detail of Claus Hufschmit at the Butter, York, Pennsylvania, 1814 or later, depicting an incident of 1810. Watercolor. (Courtesy, York County Heritage Trust, Pennsylvania.)
Salt box, probably decorated by John Drissel, upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1796. Wood. H. 9 7/8", W. 6 1/8", D. 7". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Knife box, eastern United States, 1790–1850. Pine. H. 4 1/2", W. 12 3/4", D. 6 3/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of H. Rodney Sharp.)
Bowl attributed to Felix Dominy, East Hampton, Long Island, 1820–1835. Burl apple (by microanalysis). H. 5", Diam. 9 3/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of Mrs. Carl Mason [Phoebe Dominy]).
Hour glass in frame, New England, possibly southeastern Massachusetts, 1780–1820. Maple, glass, leather, and sand. H. 6 7/8 ", Diam. 3 3/4". (Private collection; photo, Winterthur Museum.) The glass has a history of use in the Lafayette Masonic Lodge of Charleton, Massachusetts, which was chartered in 1796 and disbanded ca. 1827.
Towel roller, eastern United States, 1780–1840. Walnut. H. 9 1/4", W. 19 3/4", D. 5". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
John Lewis Krimmel, Spinning Wheels and Reels, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or vicinity, ca. 1819. Watercolor over pencil. Dimensions not recorded. (Courtesy, Winterthur Library: Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera.)
John Lewis Krimmel, Quilting Frolic, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or vicinity, 1813. Oil on canvas. 16 7/8 " x 22 3/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Low-post, or common, bedstead, Massachusetts, 1740–1790. Ash. H. 34 3/4", L. 80", W. 48 3/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of Joseph Downs.)
Trundle bedstead, New England, 1700–1740. Ash with white pine panel (by microanalysis). H. 19 3/4", L. 61", W. 44 1/2". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Miniature cradle, probably eastern Massachusetts, 1810–1840. Pine. H. 6", L. 12 5/8", W. 5". (Private collection; photo, Winterthur Museum.) In design and construction this example is similar to a full-size cradle.
Low stool, eastern United States, 1775–1825. Wood. H. 7 3/4", L. 16 1/4", W. 7 1/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of H. Rodney Sharp.)
Low chest, Pennsylvania, 1765–1810. Pine and yellow poplar. H. 28 1/8", W. 49 1/8", D. 23 1/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of H. Rodney Sharp.)
Candlebox, eastern United States, 1750–1830. Pine. H. 2 7/8 ", L. 14", W. 5 1/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of H. Rodney Sharp.)
Hand bellows by Bulkley and Austin, New Haven, Connecticut, 1800–1830. Probably cherry. H. 2 1/4", L. 21 7/8", W. 8 5/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, bequest of Henry Francis du Pont.)
Fireboard, New England, possibly Sutton, Massachusetts, 1820–1850. White pine. H. 26 1/2", W. 39 1/2". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Foot stove, eastern United States, 1790–1830. Walnut and tinned sheet metal. H. 5 3/4", W. 9", D. 7 3/4". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of H. Rodney Sharp.)
Picture frame, eastern United States, 1790–1830. Wood. H. 10", W. 8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Joseph S. Russell, Dining Room of Dr. Whitridge, Tiverton, Rhode Island, ca. 1848- 1853, depicting a scene of 1814–1815. Watercolor. 7 1/16" x 9 1/2". (Courtesy, New Bedford Whaling Museum.)
Games board with accessories, southern New England, 1800–1850. Wood and leather. H. 23 5/8", W. 23 5/8" (open), D. 3". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, gift of Russell Ward Nadeau.)
Walking stick, eastern United States, possibly southeastern New England, 1800–1830. Curled maple. L. 40 1/2", Diam. 1 1/2" (at head). (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)
Martin box, or house, Kankakee, Illinois, ca. 1917. Illustrated in Joseph H. Dodson, Your Bird Friends and How to Win Them (Kankakee, Ill.: Joseph H. Dodson, 1917), p. 17. (Courtesy, Winterthur Library: Printed Book and Periodical Collection.)
Anne-Marguerite, Baroness Hyde de Neuville, The Cottage, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1813. Watercolor and graphite. 6 3/4" x 8 1/4". (Collection of the New-York Historical Society.)
This study is based on information drawn from more than 230 original documents, comprising principally account sheets and books, and collections of family and business papers. The records extend in date from the late colonial period to about 1850 and range in place of origin from Maine to Virginia.
Silas Ellis Cheney Daybook, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1802–1807, account with Charles Cilbern, Oct. 18, 1802, Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, Connecticut (hereafter cited LHS); Jane C. Nylander, Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760–1860 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1994), figs. 119, 124, 127: Elisabeth Donaghy Garrett, At Home: The American Family, 1750–1870 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1990), pp. 97, 107, 170.
References to kitchen tables appear in 67 documents used in this study. Pine and whitewood table in Elisha Harlow Holmes Daybook, Essex, Connecticut, 1825–1850, account with Abby Parker, October 10, 1828, Connecticut State Library, Hartford (hereafter cited CSL). Job E. Townsend Account Book, Newport, Rhode Island, 1803–1828, account with Mary Ann Marble, September 9, 1822, Newport Historical Society, Newport, Rhode Island, (hereafter cited NHS); Elizur Barnes Account Book, Middletown, Connecticut, 1821–1825, account with Silas Rice, February 5, 1822, Middlesex Historical Society, Middletown, Connecticut; Samuel Williams Bill to John Cadwalader, Philadelphia, March 14–23, 1770, Gen. John Cadwalader Papers, Cadwalader Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (hereafter cited HSP).
Philemon Robbins Account Book, Hartford, Connecticut, 1833–1836, account with Ebenezer Allen, May 15, 1834, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford (hereafter cited CHS); Titus Preston Ledger, Wallingford, Connecticut, 1795–1817, account with Elias Gaylord, March 23, 1805, Sterling Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (hereafter cited Yale).
Garrett, At Home, p. 96; Holmes Daybook, account with Mason H. Post, March 6, 1830.
Stephen Badlam, Jr., Bill to Maj. Gen. Henry Knox, Boston, September–November 1784, Henry Knox Papers, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
Oliver Moore Account Book, East Granby, Connecticut, 1808–1821, account with Erastus Holcomb, May 15, 1820, CHS; William Barker Account Book, Providence, Rhode Island, 1750–1772, account with Jabez Bowen, Jr., 1767, Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence (hereafter cited RIHS).
True Currier Account Book, Deerfield, New Hampshire, 1815–1838, account with David Prescott, January 1822, Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, Winterthur Library, Winterthur, Delaware (hereafter cited DCM); David Evans Daybook, Philadelphia, 1774–1782, account with George Bringhurst, 1782, HSP.
Skipper Lunt Account Book, Newbury, Massachusetts, 1736–1772, accounts with Joel Bartlet, May 1749, Benjamin Tucker, January 1744, and Isaac Merrill, January 1745, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (hereafter cited PE); Moses Parkhurst Account Book, Paxton, Massachusetts, 1814–1861, account with Abigail Bursley, December 30, 1837, Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts (hereafter cited OSV).
Elisha Hawley Account Book, Ridgefield, Connecticut, 1781–1805, account with Moses Ingersol, August 14, 1794, CHS; Luke Houghton Ledger A, Barre, Massachusetts, 1816–1827, accounts with Abigail Wheeler, July 14, 1824, and Dr. Anson Bates, September 15, 1820, Barre Historical Society, Barre, Massachusetts (hereafter cited Barre); Miles Benjamin Daybook and Ledger, Cooperstown, New York, 1821–1829, account with H. Luce and Company, June 13, 1825, New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown (hereafter cited NYSHA).
Jacob Bachman Account Book and Daybook, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1816– 1837 and 1822–1861, and Friedrich Bastian Account Book, Bethel Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 1802–1829, DCM; John Ellinger Account Book, Palmyra, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, 1832–1845, Pennsylvania Farm Museum, Landis Valley; Abraham Overholt Account Book, Plumstead Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1790–1833, and Peter Ranck Account Book, Jonestown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, 1794–1817, in The Accounts of Two Pennsylvania German Furniture Makers, Sources and Documents of the Pennsylvania Germans, III, edited and translated by Alan G. Keyser, Larry M. Neff, and Frederick Weiser (Breinigsville, Pa.: The Pennsylvania German Society, 1978).
Overholt Account Book, account with Magdelena Gross, April 14, 1827, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 19; Lewis Miller, Sketches and Chronicles (York, Pa.: Historical Society of York County, 1966), p. 72.
Overholt Account Book, accounts with Jacob Holdman, August 31, 1792, and Johannes Detweiler, March 17, 1802 (brown paint), and Magdelena Gross, April 14, 1827 (red paint), in Keyser et al., Accounts, pp. 7, 12, 19; Bachman Account Book, account with Martin Farry, August 10, 1819, and Daybook, accounts with Jacob Rohrer, April 18, 1823, and Adam Kindig, April 9, 1836.
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 199–202; Overholt Account Book, account with Christian Gross, March 31, 1804, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 13.
Ellinger Account Book, account with William Clark, November 1834; William Rawson Account Book, Killingly, Connecticut, 1835–1853, account with Mr. Payson, August 23, 1840, OSV; Israel Houghton Account Book, Petersham, Massachusetts, 1811–1847, account with Gardner Stevens, September 9, 1811, DCM.
Pairs of buckets are recorded in the following: Daniel and Samuel Proud, Daybook and Ledger, Providence, Rhode Island, 1810–1834, account with Harvey Robinson, January 22, 1819, RIHS; Ebenezer Smith, Jr., Bill to Robert Rantoul, Beverly, Massachusetts, October 1796–June 1797, Papers of Robert Rantoul, Beverly Historical Society, Beverly, Massachusetts. Pail bail in Barnes Account Book, account with Sage and Button, December 23, 1821; bucket bottoms in John E. Mehargue Ledger, probably Halifax, Pennsylvania, 1825–1860, credit account with John Barry, May 24, 1844, DCM. Joseph Griswold Account Book, Buckland, Massachusetts, 1816–1844, account with Josiah Spaulding, April 1818, and Daybook, 1816–1843, accounts with Josiah Spaulding and Asa Nichols, March 25, 1818, Private collection (microfilm, DCM); Allen Holcomb Account Book, New Lisbon, New York, 1809–1828, accounts with Jacob Tull, March 24, 1824, and Aaron Wing, July 1, 1822, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Wash trough in Bachman Daybook, accounts with Christian Bachman, April 8, 1824, and Jacob Brackbill, April 23, 1825; cedar tub in Barker Account Book, 1750–1772, account with William Proud, July 17, 1763. F. Andrew Michaux, Jr., The North American Sylva, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: J. Dobson, 1842), 3: 186.
David Evans Daybook, Philadelphia, 1784–1806, account with Charles Shoemaker, April 9, 1791, HSP; Unidentified Woodworker’s Daybook, York, Maine, ca. 1761–1781, account with Capt. Joseph Havies, May 2, 1773, PE (moved from Boston, ca. 1761; see note 78).
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 130–40; Samuel Douglas Account Book, near Canton, Connecticut, 1810–1858, account with Isaac Williams, May 3, 1823, CSL; Overholt Account Book, account with Jacob Lederman, March 4, 1822, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 18; Job Danforth Ledger, Providence, Rhode Island, 1788–1818, account with Amos Throop, December 12, 1791, RIHS. Wash pounder in David Alling Ledger, Newark, New Jersey, 1803–1853, account with Pruden Alling, November 8, 1832, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark. Silas Ellis Cheney Daybook, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1813–1846, account with Orman Marsh, May 15, 1817, LHS; Daniel and Samuel Proud Ledger, Providence, Rhode Island, 1770–1825, account with Duty Roberts, February 10, 1803, RIHS.
Phillip Filer Account Book, near Rome, New York, 1798–1839, account with Mr. Hathaway, June 20, 1800, DCM; Moore Account Book, account with B. Philips, January 5, 1811; George White Letter to Nicholas Low, Ballston Spa, New York, to New York City, November 6, 1803, Nicholas Low Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited LC); Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 130–40.
Holcomb Account Book, accounts with Dr. Hailman, October 26, 1824, and Dan Smith, March 30, 1813; Jonathan Gavit Bill to Timothy Orne, Salem, Massachusetts, May–June 1763, Timothy Orne Papers, PE; Joel Mount Ledger, Juliustown, New Jersey, 1829–1865, account with Samuel Ellis, November 19, 1846, HSP.
James Francis Account Book, Wethersfield, Connecticut, 1797–1835, account with Thomas Mygate, March 17, 1797, CHS; Nathaniel Kinsman Bill to Josiah Brown, Gloucester, Massachusetts, January 1763–July 1768, Nathaniel Kinsman Papers, PE; Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 139; David Hall Daybook, Chatham, Connecticut, 1785–1812, account with Capt. Seth Overton, December 12, 1793, CHS.
Joseph Cotton Bill to Miss Dolly Wendell, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, January– February 1800, Wendell Papers, Baker Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (hereafter cited BL); Smith and Ghiselin Bill to Humberston Skipwith, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, October 30, 1819, Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (hereafter cited SL); Benjamin Daybook and Ledger, account with Richard Cooley, December 21, 1825.
Cheney Daybook, 1802–1807, account with Oliver Wolcott, December 3, 1802; Benoni A. Shepherd Bill to Daniel Wadsworth, Hartford, Connecticut, July–August 1829, Daniel Wadsworth Papers, CHS; Silas Ellis Cheney Ledger, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1799–1817, account with Oliver Wolcott, May 9, 1801, LHS; J. E. Townsend Account Book, account with William E. Williams, May 24, 1823; Filer Account Book, account with George Huntington, May 24, 1799.
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 140–42; Reubin Loomis Account Book, Windsor-Suffield, Connecticut, 1796–1836, account with Almeron Gillot, December 1800, CHS; Paul Jenkins Daybook, Kennebunk, Maine, 1836–1841, account with Capt. George Lord, September 26, 1839, DCM.
The Krimmel drawing showing flatirons stored above the hearth is illustrated in Garrett, At Home, p. 166; Abner Haven Account Book, Framingham, Massachusetts, 1809–1830, accounts with Capt. John J. Clark, July, September, 1820, DCM.
William Wayne Bill to Samuel Wallis, Philadelphia, February 18, 1770, photostat of unknown origin, DCM; Thomas Tufft Bill to Mrs. Mary Norris, Philadelphia, March– October 1783, Harrold E. Gillingham Collection, HSP; Evans Daybook, 1784–1806, account with Benjamin Poltney, March 3, 1787, and Daybook, 1774–1782, account with William Lane, May 23, 1776; Daniel Trotter Bill to Stephen Girard, Philadelphia, January–August 1786, Girard Papers, Girard College, Philadelphia (microfilm, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia); William Savery Bill to John Cadwalader, Philadelphia, August 1770–March 1771, Gen. John Cadwalader Papers, Cadwalader Collection, HSP.
Samuel Cheever Bill to Elias Hasket Derby, Salem, Massachusetts, February 1784– November 1785, Derby Papers, vol. 1, PE; Daniel Ross Account Book, Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1781–1804, account with Robert Farley, April 6, 1793, PE; Isaac Floyd Bill to Benjamin H. Hathorne, Medford, Massachusetts, August 31, 1799, Ward Family Manuscripts, PE.
For an illustration of bread making and a bread trough see Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 197. Overholt Account Book, accounts with Magdelena Gross, April 14, 1827, Johannes Detweiler, March 30, 1796, and Henrich Kindig, March 26, 1803, in Keyser et al., Accounts, pp. 9, 12, 19; Bastian Account Book, account with John Smith, March 15, 1819; Hiram Taylor Account Book, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1828–1855, account with David Wilson, March 29, 1836, DCM.
Joseph Griswold Ledger, Buckland, Massachusetts, 1804–1836, account with Joshua Welden, April 10, 1804, Private collection (microfilm, DCM), and Daybook, Accounts with Levi White, April 20, 1817, and Josiah Spaulding, May 1, 1822; Nathan Lukens Bill to Nathaniel Richardson, vicinity of Philadelphia, March–June 1814, Richardson Papers, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; John Austin Account Book, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, 1766–1803, account with Daniel Kusel, Methuen, Massachusetts, 1772, DCM; William Mather Account Book, Whately, Massachusetts, 1808–1825, account with Seth Clark, January 7, 1809, Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Abraham Rees, The Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature (Philadelphia: Samuel F. Bradford, 1810–1824), s.v. “bread”; Danforth Ledger, account with Rufus Waterman, January 17, 1807.
Barnes Account Book, account with Ephraim Bound, April 24, 1824; D. and S. Proud Ledger, account with Charles Boller, January–July 1779.
Bread box in R. Loomis Account Book, account with Jarusha Mather, May 1802; bread chest in Philemon Hinman Account Book, Plymouth, Connecticut, 1804–1817, account with Dudley Roberts, October 18, 1812, CHS. Titus Preston Ledger, Wallingford, Connecticut, 1811–1842, account with Merit Tuttle, October 2, 1821, Yale; Barnes Account Book, account with Samuel Starr, January 15, 1824.
Moore Account Book, account with State of Connecticut, February 15, 1813; Holcomb Account Book, account with Cornelius Janey, January 15, 1828.
Rees, Cyclopaedia, s.v. “gingerbread.”
Nathan Cleaveland Ledger, Franklin, Massachusetts, 1810–1828, account with Sanford Ware, February 1819, OSV; Ross Account Book, account with Asa Baker, February 1, 1802: Job E. Townsend Ledger, Newport, Rhode Island, 1794–1802, account with William Beebe, February 2, 1796, NHS.
A Dutch kitchen is illustrated in Louise Conway Belden, The Festive Tradition: Table Decoration and Desserts in America, 1650–1900 (New York: W. W. Norton for the Winterthur Museum, 1983), p. 191. Increase Pote Account Book, Portland, Maine, 1824–1830, account with William Capen, July 19, 1825, Maine Historical Society, Portland (hereafter cited MeHS); Ebenezer Porter Bill to Robert Manning, Salem, Massachusetts, December 16, 1824, Papers of Robert Manning, PE.
Thomas Tufft Bills to Mrs. Mary Norris, February 10, 1775, and March–October 1783, Norris Family Accounts, Gillingham Collection; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oldtown Folks (Boston: Fields, Osgood, 1869), as quoted in Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 271.
Milk pails in William Barker Account Book, Providence, Rhode Island, 1784–1787, account with Jethro Lapham, ca. 1785, RIHS. Alexander Low Account Book, Freehold, New Jersey, 1784–1826, account with Lowes Thomson, May 30, 1806, Monmouth County Historical Association, Freehold, New Jersey (hereafter cited MHA); Elisha Harlow Holmes Ledger, Essex, Connecticut, 1825–1830, account with Samuel Ingham, November 7, 1829, CHS; J. E. Townsend Ledger, account with John Taylor, February 6, 1806; Philip Deland Account Book, West Brookfield, Massachusetts, 1812–1846, account with Cheeny Dewing, May 4, 1844, OSV.
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 199–202; Deland Account Book, account with Benjamin Babbit, August 25, 1835; Samuel Davison Ledger, Plainfield, Massachusetts, 1795–1824, account with Steven Worner, August 1801, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Josiah P. Wilder Daybook and Ledger, New Ipswich, New Hampshire, 1837–1861, accounts with Aaron Davis, June 22, 1837, and Cooper I. Blood, May 6, 1841, Private collection (typescript, Visual Resources Library, Winterthur; hereafter cited VRL); Gaius Perkins Ledger, Woodstock, Vermont, 1804–1824, credit account with Artemas Lawrence, February 1818, Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier (hereafter cited VHS); Ellinger Account Book, account with John Bixler, October 5, 1833; Danforth Ledger, account with Andrew Dexter, December 3, 1794; Overholt Account Book, account with Henrich Kindig, January 19, 1804, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 13.
Tub and press in Chapman Lee Ledger, Charlton, Massachusetts, 1799–1850, accounts with David Crage, May 1816, and Thomas Foskett, March 6, 1810, OSV; a press in Joseph Fairchild Account Book, Watertown, Connecticut, 1754–1806 and later, account with David Johnson, June 27, 1757, CHS. Samuel Hall Ledger, Middletown, Connecticut, 1754–1795, account with David Sage, June 21, 1774, CHS; John Paine Account Book, Southold, New York, 1761–1815, account with Ezra L’Hommedieu, June 1, 1786, Institute for Colonial Studies, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York.
Robert Whitelaw Ledger, Ryegate, Vermont, 1804–1831, accounts with James Whitelaw, Alexander Miller, and William Burroughs, 1807–1810, VHS.
Ranck Account Book, account with Christopher Rickert, May 23, 1799, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 87; Samuel Ashton Account Book, Philadelphia, 1794–1803, credit account with George Sower, March 11, 1803, DCM.
Sugar boxes in William Barker Account Book, Providence, Rhode Island, 1787–1798, estate account, July 1, 1798, RIHS; bowls in Oliver Avery Account Book, North Stonington, Connecticut, 1789–1813, account with Nathaniel Hewitt, June 19, 1794, DCM. Barker Account Book, 1750–1772, account with Deborah Rogers, May 4, 1772; D. and S. Proud Ledger, account with Gershom Jones, August 16, 1790; Job E. Townsend Account Book and Ledger, Newport, Rhode Island, 1778–1794, account with Sarah Lake, May 21, 1779, NHS; Filer Account Book, account with Matthew Brown, January 10, 1802; H. Taylor Account Book, account with Gen. Joshua Evans, November 14, 1835.
Samuel Wayne Bill to Samuel Coates, Philadelphia, June 12, 1788, Reynell and Coates Collection, BL; Barker Account Book, 1787–1798, estate account, July 1, 1798; Deland Account Book, accounts with Ebenezer and George Merriam, March 24, 1834, and Jacob Dupee, June 7, 1841; Benjamin Baker Account Book, Newport, Rhode Island, 1760–1792, account with Dr. Knowles, March 13, 1788, NHS.
Chopping trough in Jenkins Daybook, account with Mark Prime, November 26, 1836; chopping tray in Alexander H. Gilbert Account Book, Chester, Connecticut, 1831–1852, account with George H. Abernethy, March 8, 1839, CHS. Evans Daybook, 1774–1782, account with George Bringhurst, 1782; Williams Bill to Cadwalader, March 14–23, 1770.
Holmes Daybook, accounts with Mrs. Hill, October 9, 1826, William Williams, November 9, 1826, and Calvin Williams, September 17, 1829.
Belden, Festive Tradition, pp. 237–39; Solomon Fussell Account Book, Philadelphia, 1738–1748, accounts with John Naylor, August 21, 1742, and William Whitebread, June 2, 1747, Stephen Collins Papers, LC. “Sqush squesers” in Danforth Ledger, accounts with Gershom Jones, August 11, 1789, Richard Jackson, July 7, 1795, and Jabez Bowen, August 4, 1806; turning mentioned in D. and S. Proud Ledger, account with Jonathan W. Coy, July 23, 1799. Ross Account Book, account with Dr. John Manning, May 1783.
Kitchen of York Hotel illustrated in Lewis Miller, p. 24.
Ross Account Book, account with John Heard, December 7, 1793; Danforth Ledger, account with Amos Throop, February 13, 1798; Floyd Bill to Hathorne, August 31, 1799.
D. and S. Proud Ledger, account with Jonathan W. Coy, December 11, 1798; Barnes Account Book, account with William R. Swarthel, February 4, 1824.
D. and S. Proud ledger, account with Rufus Warren Kemball, December 9, 1820 (?); Thomas Boynton Ledger, Windsor, Vermont, 1810–1817, account with Stephen Conant, December 11, 1815, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (hereafter cited DC); Lukens Bill to Richardson, March–June 1814.
Ellinger Account Book, account with Daniel Ulrich, October 16, 1835; Ritz cellar illustrated in Lewis Miller, p. 50.
Parkhurst Account Book, accounts with Jonathan Frost, December 13, 1819, and August 31, 1820; Isaac Ashton Account Book, Philadelphia, 1777–1794, account with C. Davis, February 20, 1793, DCM.
Advertisement of William Morgan, Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia), November 9–16, 1732; Whitelaw Ledger, account with Robert Scott, March 1811; Deland Account Book, account with Jacob Dupee, December 30, 1840; George Cooper Bill to John Sanders, probably Schenectady, New York, May 20, 1820, Sanders Papers, New-York Historical Society, New York (hereafter cited NYHS); Holcomb Account Book, account with Joshua Weaver, July 1821.
Pot covers in Ross Account Book, account with Asa Baker, January 5, 1791. Haven Account Book, account with Abner Mellen, October 10, 1818; Hodghton and Company Bill to Samuel Larned, Lima, Peru, September 27, 1832, A. C. and R. W. Greene Collection, RIHS; Thomas J. Moyers and Fleming K. Rich Account Book, Wythe Court House, Virginia, 1834–1840, account with John Mayre, May 6, 1834, DCM.
Tea board in Baker Account Book, account with William Potter, March 7, 1792; tea waiters in Henry Potter Account Book, Newport, Rhode Island, 1771–1802, credit accounts with Edmund Townsend, March 27 and July 23, 1773, NHS. Jonathan Kettell Account Book, Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1781–1794, account with Capt. William Noyes, September 1789, PE; advertisement of John Tremain, New-York Gazette Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy (New York), August 26, 1751, as quoted in The Arts and Crafts in New York, 1726–1776, compiled by Rita S. Gottesman (1938; reprint, New York: Da Capa Press, 1970), pp. 118–19.
Robert Borland Bill to Richard Blow, Portsmouth, Virginia, April 29, 1791, Richard Blow Papers, SL; Henry Mann Bill to Maj. Thomas Jones, Richmond, Virginia, September 1789–January 1790, Papers of the Jones Family of Northumberland County, Virginia, LC; Joshua Delaplaine Account Book, New York, 1720s–1770s, account with Dr. Brownjohn, September (?) 12, 1741, NYHS; Job Townsend, Jr., Ledger, Newport, Rhode Island, 1750– 1778, account with Job Howland, May 14, 1769, NHS; Ephraim Haines Bill to Stephen Girard, Philadelphia, October 1806–November 1807, Girard Papers.
Low Account Book, account with John Craig, Jr., August 24, 1812; Hawley Account Book, account with John Watrons, October 16, 1793; Holcomb Account Book, account with Eliakim How, December 23, 1815; Lemuel Tobey Daybook, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, 1786–1792, account with Simpson Hart, October 20, 1791, OSV.
Joseph Symonds Account Book, Salem, Massachusetts, 1738–1766, account with Benjamin Osgood, November 12, 1753, PE. Batch of handles in Ross Account Book, account with Aaron Smith, January 27, 1792; ladles and dippers in Barker Account Books, 1750–1772 and 1787–1798, accounts with Jabez Bowen, Jr., September 9, 1768, and Barker estate, July 1, 1798; dipper repair in Barnes Account Book, account with Josiah Williams, May 17, 1824. Deland Account Book, account with E. and L. Merriam, June 23, 1840; William and John Richmond Bill to Almy and Brown, Providence, Rhode Island, July 3, 1799, Almy and Brown Papers, RIHS; Nathaniel Knowlton Account Book, Eliot, Maine, 1812–1859, account with John Raitt, 3d, March 28, 1827, MeHS.
George Short Account Book, Newburyport, Massachusetts, ca. 1807–1821, account with Thomas H. Balch, May 23, 1815, PE.
J. E. Townsend Account Book, account with Dr. Hazard, January 27, 1819.
Ellinger Account Book, accounts with Henry Garman, August 11, 1833, and William Yarkey, January 2, 1836; Overholt Account Book, account with Henrich Kindig, March 26, 1803, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 12; Hyde de Neuville sketch illustrated in Jadviga M. da Costa Nunes, Baroness Hyde de Neuville: Sketches of America, 1807–1822 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University, 1984), p. 20; Fussell Account Book, accounts with Robert Moore Taylor, January 2, 1741, Joseph Marshall, January 15, 1742, and (for hog bristles) Michael Hilton, April 23, 1741.
L. Houghton Ledger A, account with John Bacon, June 25, 1821; James Gere Ledger, Groton, Connecticut, 1809–1829, account with Richard Stroud, May 1, 1810, CSL; Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 118; John Proud Bills to Albert C. Greene, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, 1820, 1827, Greene Collection.
Barnes Account Book, account with Josiah Williams and Company, May 2, 1822; Stephen Van Schanck Bill to Peter Gansevoort, Albany, New York, August 1834, Papers of Peter Gansevoort, Gansevoort-Lansing Collection, New York Public Library, New York (hereafter cited NYPL); Isaac Flagg Bill to Robert Rantoul, Beverly, Massachusetts, 1823, Papers of Robert Rantoul; William Barker Bill to Almy and Brown, Providence, Rhode Island, February 1793–September 1795, Almy and Brown Papers, RIHS.
Robert Mullen Bill to Stephen Collins, Philadelphia, July 21, 1789, Stephen Collins Papers, LC; Barnes Account Book, account with Samuel Eells, April 16, 1822.
Deland Account Book, accounts with Jacob Dupee, April 13, 1842, and November 9, 1843; Alling Ledger, account with Peter Jacobus, July 20, 1835; George Landon Account Book, Erie, Pennsylvania, 1813–1832, account with John Morris, January I, 1825, DCM; Whitelaw Ledger, account with Andrew Warden, September 16, 1807; Krimmel sketch illustrated in Garrett, At Home, p. 104.
Jacob Hinsdale Ledger, Harwinton, Connecticut, 1723–1774, account with Nathaniel Smith, December 1727, Yale; Robert Crage Ledger, Leicester, Massachusetts, 1757–1781, account with John Green, February 9, 1757, OSV.
Advertisement of Wright and McAllister, New-York Packet and the American Advertiser (New York), June 13, 1776, as quoted in Gottesman, Arts and Crafts, p. 256; advertisement of Francis Trumble, Pennsylvania Gazette, December 27, 1775.
Records of the 1820 United States Census of Manufactures, including James W. Moore, Rutherford County, Tennessee, and Uzziel Church, Brownsville, Union County, Indiana, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (microfilm, DCM).
Jonathan Dart Account Book, New London, Connecticut, 1793–1800, account with Ephraim Browning, March 11, 1796, and list of sales, March 1797, CHS; Crage Ledger, credit accounts with Samuel Richardson, May 4, 1768, and Thomas Green, 1777; Daniel Rea, Jr., Daybook, Boston, 1789–1793, account with Simon Hall, May 30, 1791, BL (microfilm, DCM); Landon Account Book, account with Ebenezer Graham, January 16, 1818; Amos Purinton (1777–1843), Weare, New Hampshire, as listed in Charles S. Parsons, “New Hampshire Notes” (typescript, VRL).
Holmes Daybook, account with Henry Sandford, December 17, 1827; Franklin letter, April 6, 1766, as quoted in Francis Phipps, The Collector’s Complete Dictionary of American Antiques (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1974), p. 549; Haven Account Book, account with William Clark, April 1813; Whitelaw Ledger, account with Samuel Clough, Jr., September 3, 1807.
Jeduthern Avery Account Book, Bolton-Coventry, Connecticut, 1811–1855, account with Joseph Talcott, October 1828, CHS; Robbins Account Book, accounts with Henry Hudson, December 28, 1835, and unidentified customer, November 3, 1834; Cheney Daybook, 1802– 1807, accounts with Sally Pierce, June 11 and 16, 1807; Silas Ellis Cheney Daybook, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1807–1813, account with Mrs. Adams, February 13, 1808, LHS; Daniel Trotter Bill of Accounts with Benjamin Thaw, Philadelphia, 1785–1798, DCM; Thomas Affleck Bill to John Cadwalader, Philadelphia, January–June 1775, Gen. John Cadwalader Papers, Cadwalader Collection.
Unidentified Cabinetmaker’s Account Book, vicinity of Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1767– 1777, account with Capt. Lawrence Taliaferro, October 10, 1775, DCM; D. and S. Proud Ledger, account with Elisha Peck, August 26, 1789; Hinsdale Ledger, account with unidentified customer (page torn), February 1728; John Wheeler Geer Account Book, Preston, Connecticut, 1774–1818, account with Charles Phelps, June 13, 1777, CHS.
Cleaveland Ledger, account with Daniel Thurston, 1828; Christopher Clark, “The Diary of an Apprentice Cabinetmaker: Edward Jenner Carpenter’s ‘Journal,’ 1844–45,” in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 98, pt. 2 (Worcester, Mass.: by the society, 1989), pp. 358–60.
Bachman Daybook, accounts with Isaac McCalester, September 13, 1830, Francis Herr, September 19, 1832, and Benjamin Brackbill, August 9, 1837; Danforth Ledger, accounts with Thomas Jackson, October 20, 1791, and Isaac Pearce, November 23, 1806.
Ezekiel Smith Account Book, Taunton, Massachusetts, 1773–1831, account with Jonathan Bliss, April 24, 1778, DCM; Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with William Leverett, October 22, 1816; Unidentified Woodworker’s Daybook, Boston, 1756–1761, account with John Avery, June 13, 1758, PE (moved to York, Maine, ca. 1761; see note 18).
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 225–28; Extracts from the Diary of Jacob Hiltzheimer, of Philadelphia, 1765–1798, edited by Jacob Cox Parsons (Philadelphia: William F. Fell, 1893), pp. 10, 83.
Knowlton Account Book, account with Benjamin Lamson, August 30, 1814; O. Avery Account Book, accounts with Samuel Chapman, April 1815, and Cyrus Williams, July 16, 1815; Bastian Account Book, accounts with Martin Peck, April 5 and May 1, 1823; J. Gere Ledger, accounts with Henry F. Lamb, January 20 and April 3, 1815; Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with William Ayers, May 21, 1816.
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 177–78; Ebenezer Tracy, Sr., Inventory and Estate Division, Lisbon Township, New London County, Connecticut, 1803–1805, Genealogical Section, CSL.
Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet Dictionary, 2 vols. (1803; reprint, New York: Praeger, 1970), 1: 42–44.
Christopher Gilbert, An Exhibition of Common Furniture (Leeds, England: Temple Newsam, 1982), fig. 7; Rawson Account Book, account with Mr. Carder, October 27, 1838; James Linacre Bill to Mr. Elmendorf, Albany, New York, June 12, 1794, Sanders Papers; Ranck Account Book, account with George Merk, January 21, 1811, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 171; R. Loomis Account Book, account with Dr. G. Wilks Hanchet, February 1806. A frog-back chair is illustrated in Nancy Goyne Evans, “Frog Backs and Turkey Legs: The Nomenclature of Vernacular Seating Furniture, 1740–1850,” in American Furniture, edited by Luke Beckerdite (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1996), p. 49, fig. 33.
Jacob Super Bill to Nathan Trotter, Philadelphia, December 27, 1821, Trotter Family Papers, BL; Samuel Williams Bill to John Cadwalader, Philadelphia, July 18, 1771, Cadwalader Collection; W. Wayne Bill to Wallis, February 18, 1770; Holmes Daybook, account with Richard W. Hart, October 22, 1828; Benjamin Daybook and Ledger, account with Daniel Huson, May 14, 1823.
Turn-up bedsteads are illustrated in Barry A. Greenlaw, New England Furniture at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1974), cats. 19–21.
Holmes Daybook, account with Ansel Pratt, September 2, 1825; Barnes Account Book, account with Elisha Birdsey, March 21, 1822; Moore Account Book, accounts with Calvin Barber, January 28, 1818, and Phineas Newton, Jr., February 27, 1815.
Robbins Account Book, account with William G. Comstock, July 21, 1834; Harris Beckwith Ledger, Northampton, Massachusetts, 1803–1807, account with Asahel Pomeroy, February 6, 1805 (?), Forbes Library, Northampton, Massachusetts; Abner Taylor Account Book, Lee, Massachusetts, 1806–1832, account with Asahel Foot, July 29, 1815, DCM; J. E. Townsend Ledger, account with Gilbert Chase, January 25, 1800; Danforth Ledger, account with Stephen Abbott, 1803.
R. Loomis Account Book, account with Amos Curtis, November 1821; Charles C. Robinson Daybook, Philadelphia, 1809–1825, account with David Sheldrake, January 28, 1817, HSP; A. Taylor Account Book, account with Elisha Foot, ca. 1811.
Garrett, At Home, pp. 52, 121–23; Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 31, 93; Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, 3 vols. (1924–1927; reprint 2d ed., Woodbridge, England: Baron Publishing for Barra Books, 1983), 1: 69.
Robbins Account Book, account with Taylor and Miller, January 8, 1834; Preston Ledger, 1795–1817, account with Jared Allen, August 20, 1804; H. Taylor Account Book, account with John Tucker, October 11, 1835; Douglas Account Book, account with Isaac Barnes, October 22, 1813; Evans Daybook, 1774–1782, account with Clement Biddle, May 27, 1776; William Webb Bill to Joseph G. Waters, Salem, Massachusetts, February 28, 1831, Waters Family Papers, PE.
John Hockaday Bill to St. George Tucker, Williamsburg, Virginia, April 13, 1811, Tucker-Coleman Collection, SL; Rea Daybook, 1789–1793, account with Stephen Codman, July 25,1793, and Daniel Rea, Jr., Daybook, Boston, 1794–1797, account with John Coffin Jones, October 12, 1794, BL (microfilm, DCM); Fenwick Lyell Account Book, Middletown, New Jersey, 1800–1813, account with John Hilliker, December 6, 1807, MHA; Cheney Daybook, 1802–1807, account with Moses Seymour, Jr., November 28, 1804; A. Taylor Account Book, account with Oliver Ives, September 14, 1816.
Crage Ledger, account with Nathaniel Tolman, May 9, 1759; Peter Emerson Daybook, Reading, Massachusetts, 1749–1759, account with Joseph Smith, March 2, 1756, Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts; S. Hall Ledger, account with Joseph Blake, October 31, 1769; Low Account Book, account with William Bennett, December 11, 1816; Perez Austin Account Book, Canterbury, Connecticut, 1811–1832, account with Joseph Safford, March 6, 1832, CHS; Isaiah Tiffany Account Book, Norwich, Connecticut, 1746–1767, account with Urian Hosmer, January–May 1755, CHS.
Crage Ledger, account with Asa Baldwin, January 1759.
Fussell Account Book, accounts with John Knowles, Jr., May 25, 1744, Jacob Durbrow, November 16, 1738, Jeremiah Elfreth, February 12, 1742, John Naylor, May 8, 1744, and Thomas Robinson, August 10, 1742.
Fussell Account Book, accounts with Robert Wood, February 6, 1740, and Benjamin Franklin, January 24, 1744; Samuel Durand Daybook, Milford, Connecticut, 1806–1838, account with Davis Smith, Jr., January 24, 1815, Milford Historical Society, Milford, Connecticut (hereafter cited MiHS).
Robbins Account Book, account with Dr. Kissum, March 29, 1834.
Moore Account Book, account with Erastus Holcomb, May 26, 1820; Barnes Account Book, account with William Scranton, April 16, 1822; Tiffany Account Book, account with Nathaniel Backus, Jr., August 2, 1758.
Jenkins Daybook, account with George Perkins, December 15, 1837; Griswold Account Book, account with Horace Wells, May 25, 1817; Alling Ledger, account with S. S. Morris, January 25, 1839; Wilder Daybook and Ledger, account with Capt. Luke Cram, January 7, 1851; Cheney Daybook, 1802–1807, account with Moses Seymour, Jr., July 24, 1805; Crage Ledger, account with Jonathan Pudney, March 14, 1758; S. Hall Ledger, account with Joseph Willcocks, November 23, 1789.
Holmes Ledger, accounts with Alford Worthington, October 15, 1826, and Stephen W. Starkey, December 16, 1826; S. Hall Ledger, account with Giles Goodrich, February 27, 1781; Timothy Loomis Account Book, Windsor, Connecticut, 1768–1804, account with Simeon Loomis, January 1771, CHS; A. Taylor Account Book, account with Robert M. Ashley, April 1817; Cole Account Book, account with Dr. Harris Reed, August 2, 1804.
Mahogany cradle in Robbins Account Book, account with E. B. Stedman, June 13, 1835; cedar cradle in Elijah and Jacob Sanderson Bill to Nathan Reed, Salem, Massachusetts, May 2, 1798, Papers of Nathan Reed, PE. Kettell Account Book, account with Capt. Richard S. Noyes, July 1790; Evans Daybook, 1774–1782, account with Benjamin Saixes, December 6, 1781. Walnut cradles in Overholt Account Book, account with Daniel Kraut, January 20, 1801, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p.12, and George Claypoole Bill to Samuel Meredith, Philadelphia, April–October 1773, Clymer-Meredith-Read Papers, NYPL; cherrywood cradles in Danforth Ledger, account with Holcroyd and Tillinghast, May 18, 1804, and Samuel Silliman Account Book, New York state and Connecticut, 1804–1807, account with shop (Duanesburg, New York), December 1804, NYSHA, and David Evans Daybook, Philadelphia, 1796–1812, account with Joseph Shea, March 27, 1798, HSP.
Stained whitewood cradle in Holmes Daybook, account with Russell H. Post, September 10, 1827; painted pine cradle in Ross Account Book, account with John Fitz, November 3, 1792; red cradle and blue cradle in Cole Account Book, accounts with Howell Holmes, June 9, 1804, and Roger Holister, August 8, 1800; other blue cradles in Jacob Merrill, Jr., Ledger, Plymouth, New Hampshire, 1784–1812, account with Samuel Derbon, October 18, 1803, New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, New Hampshire, as transcribed in Parsons, “New Hampshire Notes,” and Amos Denison Allen Memorandum Book, Windham, Connecticut, 1796–1803, account with Col. Swift, November 18, 1799, CHS. William Gray Ledger, Salem, Massachusetts, 1774–1814, account with John Chipman, June 8, 1794, PE; Daniel Rea, Jr., Daybook, Boston, 1778–1789, account with Thomas Wells, March 18, 1785, and Ledger, Boston, 1764–1799, account with Thomas Clement, May 31, 1771, and Ledger, Boston, 1789–1797, account with Campbell and Ward, December 1, 1792, BL (microfilm, DCM); Low Account Book, account with John Lloyd, April 7, 1797; Lemuel Tobey Daybook, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, 1773–1777, account with Silas Swift, October 22, 1774, OSV.
Garrett, At Home, p. 122; Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 31.
Holmes Daybook, accounts with Capt. Champlin, July 25, 1825, and Russell Doane, April 6, 1829 (double crib); Danforth Ledger, account with Samuel Ames, June 15, 1807; Rea Daybook, 1789–1793, accounts with Dr. Bulfinch, April 28, 1790, and Cabot Clay, August 16, 1791; Barnes Account Book, account with William B. Ward, August 12, 1823; Robbins Account Book, account with Charles Goodwin, April 4, 1835.
A. Taylor Account Book, account with Dr. Hubbard Bartlett, October 9, 1812; Randle Holme, Academie or Store-House of Armory & Blazon (1688), as quoted in Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “cricket.”
Wooden-top stool in Currier Account Book, account with Moses Prescott, January 1822; open-frame stool in Holmes Daybook, account with Miss Hotchkiss, May 1, 1826; carpet-covered stools in Holmes Daybook, account with Sidney Morgan, September 1, 1825, and Robbins Account Book, account with Wildman and Hamilton, July 24, 1834; oval-top stool in Lyell Account Book, account with John J. Post, February 27, 1808; painted stools in Daniel Rea, Jr., Daybook, Boston, 1789–1802, account with Arnold Wells, October 12, 1801, BL (microfilm, DCM), and Filer Account Book, account with Benjamin Wright, October 10, 1809; varnished stool in Holmes Ledger, account with Charles Conklin, March 1826; maple or mahogany stools in Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with William Leverett, April 28, 1817, and Holmes Daybook, account with Charles E. Fisk, February 7, 1828.
Turned legs in Pote Account Book, account with Nathaniel Elsworth, December 8, 1824, and Currier Account Book, account with Peter Jenness, November 1834. Robbins Account Book, account with Charles Brainard, June 17, 1835.
John Gaines II Account Book, Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1712–1749, account with Phillip Fowler, July 29, 1718, DCM; J. E. Townsend Account Book, account with Mrs. Kindel, January 26, 1816. Crickets in use by a child and a mother with baby are illustrated in Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 175; other crickets in use are illustrated in Garrett, At Home, pp. 63, 72.
John G. Hopkins Bill to Albert C. Greene, Providence, Rhode Island, September 1834–December 1835, Greene Collection; Lyell Account Book, account with John J. Post, November 16, 1808; George Merrifield Account Book, Albany, New York, 1831–1847, account with Mr. Kelso, March 11, 1837, DCM; H. Moricet Bill to Arthur Bronson, New York, May– August 1836, Bronson Family Papers, NYPL.
Corner cupboard in Mount Ledger, account with Samuel J. Lewis, April 1, 1837. Preston Ledger, 1795–1817, account with Billious Cook, December 9, 1805; Enos Reynolds Daybook, Boxford, Massachusetts, 1793–1840, account with Samuel Heath, September 18, 1810, PE; Whitelaw Ledger, account with James Whitelaw, October 24, 1805.
Jonathan C. Loomis Account Book, Whately, Massachusetts, 1808–1828, account with Capt. Lucius Graves, March 29, 1815, DCM; William Savery Bill to John Cadwalader, August 1770–March 1771.
William Rowell Account Book, Amesbury, Massachusetts, 1832–1852, account with John T. Stickney, May 16, 1839, OSV; P. Austin Account Book, account with Walter Eaton, February 1831.
Unidentified Cabinetmaker’s Ledger, probably Salem, Massachusetts, 1824–1840, account with Samuel Chamberlain and Son, February–April 1832, PE; Barnes Account Book, account with Thomas McDonough, September 30, 1822.
Mount Ledger, account with Samuel J. Lewis, February 22, 1837; Jenkins Daybook, account with Capt. Ivory Lord, October 9, 1838; William Hook Bill to Benjamin H. Hathorne, Salem, Massachusetts, June 1812, Ward Family Manuscripts; Thomas Boynton Ledger, Windsor, Vermont, 1817–1847, account with Horace Everett, February 13, 1841, DC; Kinsman Bill to Brown, January 1763–July 1768.
I. Ashton Account Book, account with Mr. Fernant, January 7, 1792; Danforth Ledger, account with Rufus Waterman, March 15, 1791; Peter Oldershaw Bill to Walter Livingston, New York, December 3, 1791, Robert R. Livingston Papers, NYHS.
Preston Ledger, 1811–1842, account with Phineas Stevens, October 3, 1816; Holmes Daybook, accounts with Gamaliel Conklin, March 27, 1829; James Gere Ledger, Groton, Connecticut, 1822–1852, account with Mrs. Nancy Barnes, September 30, 1831, CSL.
Holmes Ledger, accounts with Jabez Southmayd (?), January 28, 1826 (pine), and Russell Doane, October 24, 1828 (butternut); Overholt Account Book, accounts with Carl Zelner, March 17, 1791 (yellow poplar), and Michael Walder, May 25, 1792 (walnut), in Keyser et al., Accounts, pp. 4, 6.
Holmes Ledger, account with Russell Doane, May 14, 1830; Barnes Account Book, account with Samuel Kirby, April 3, 1822; Moore Account Book, accounts with Silvy Clark, March 10, 1809, and Veranus St (?) , March 27, 1813.
Prussian blue in Rea Daybook, 1794–1797, account with Daniel Rea Tert[iarie]s (?), September 15, 1794. James Chase Account Book, Gilmanton, New Hampshire, 1807–1812, account with Ezekiel Rowe, February 13, 1809, as transcribed in Parsons, “New Hampshire Notes”; Allen Memorandum Book, account with Daniel Ladd, March 13, 1802; Overholt Account Book, accounts with Martin Oberholtzer, March 31, 1791, and Maria Sturd, March 28, 1797, in Keyser et al., Accounts, pp. 4, 10.
Preston Ledger, 1811–1842, account with Phineas Stevens, October 3, 1816.
Trumble advertisement in Pennsylvania Gazette.
Allen Memorandum Book, accounts with Gideon Hoxey, July 5, 1799, and Mr. Selden, November 15, 1799; Francis Account Book, account with Capt. Francis Bulkley, November 15, 1797.
Hawley Account Book, account with Thomas Rockwell, August 16, 1789; Short Account Book, accounts with Richard Drown, November 11, 1814, and Ebenezer Stedman, December 30, 1815, January 6 and 13, 1816.
Webster, Dictionary (1828), s.v. “trunk,” as quoted in Margaret B. Schiffer, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Inventories, 1684–1850 (Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing, 1974), p. 129; William Rhinelander Estate Inventory, New York, November 9, 1785, NYPL; Richard Booker Bill to St. George Tucker, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1777, Tucker-Coleman Collection; Hales Richardson Bill to Richard Blow, Norfolk, Virginia, October 25, 1794, Richard Blow Papers; Robbins Account Book, account with Thomas Day, July 3, 1835.
R. Loomis Account Book, account with Thaddeus Lyman, August 1816; Short Account Book, account with Charles Short, March 1, 1816; Daniel Davis, Mary Chamberlain, and William Melchoir Estate Inventories, 1754, 1752, and 1755, as quoted in Schiffer, Chester County Inventories, p. 118; Allen Memorandum Book, account with Charles Clark, June 22, 1802.
Charles Norris Cash Book, Philadelphia, 1760–1761, Norris Family Accounts, HSP; Baker Account Book, account with Dr. Knowles, March 13, 1788; Joseph Reynolds Estate Inventory, 1735, as quoted in Schiffer, Chester County Inventories, p. 121; William Denny Bill to Stewart Rowan, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, June 29, 1771, DCM; R. Loomis Account Book, account with Dr. G. Wilks Hanchet, 1808; Holmes Ledger, account with Jonah E. Latimer, May 1828.
Symonds Account Book, accounts with H. Higginson, February 3, 1750, and Mr. Hallack (?), February 18, 1756.
E. G. and A. Partridge Bill to Henry W. Miller, Worcester, Massachusetts, July– December 1829, DCM; Francis Account Book, account with Thomas Griswold, January 21, 1833; Barnes Account Book, account with Giles S. Cotton, August 6, 1821; Short Account Book, accounts with Frederick Strong, January 25, 1816, and Richard Drown, November 11, 1814; Schiffer, Chester County Inventories, p. 102; John Sager Daybook, Bordentown, New Jersey, 1805–1817, account with Samuel Clayton (?), October 10, 1805, HSP.
Nylander, Snug Fireside, pp. 106–7, 109–11; Filer Account Book, account with George Huntington, March 20, 1799.
P. Austin Account Book, account with Joseph Simms, March 26, 1820. Hat case in Ross Account Book, account with Richard Lakeman, November 24, 1788. Cheney Ledger, 1799–1817, account with Tapping Reeve, February 1, 1800; Rea Daybook, 1794–1797, account with Charles Smith, April 1, 1794; Overholt Account Book, account with Martin Oberholtzer, April 18, 1791, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 4.
Sewing box in William Crout Bill to Charles Wistar, probably Philadelphia, June 2, ca. 1830s, Charles Wister Papers, DCM; work box in Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with William Leverett, October 6, 1815, and repairs in account with Thomas Leverett and Son, March 20, 1817; other repairs in Boynton Ledger, 1817–1847, account with Jonathan H. Hubbard, June 22, 1837; fancy box in Thomas Safford Ledger, Canterbury, Connecticut, 1807– 1835, account with James Burnap, September 27, 1810, CSL. Robbins Account Book, account with Joel Howes, February 1, 1834; Clark, “Diary of Edward Jenner Carpenter,” pp. 344, 348; Thomas Tufft Bill to Mrs. Mary Norris, Philadelphia, May 10, 1775, Norris Family Accounts, Gillingham Collection; Luke Houghton Ledger B, Barre, Massachusetts, 1824–1851, account with Charles Lee, June 5, 1831, Barre.
Holmes Ledger, account with Jonah E. Latimer, December 12, 1828; Howard Smith Account Book, New Haven, Connecticut, 1844–1849, account with Lewis A. Northrup, February 24, 1846, CHS; Potter Account Book, credit account with Edmund Townsend, April 18, 1775; J. W. Geer Account Book, account with George Palmer, January 12, 1779.
Sand boxes in Deland Account Book, account with Washington Walker, September 6, 1826, and O. Avery Account Book, account with Elias Hewitt, September 1816.
Gentleman’s Progress: The Itinerarium of Alexander Hamilton, 1744, edited by Carl Bridenbaugh (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1948), p. xvii; The New Democracy in America: Travels of Francisco de Miranda in the United States, 1783–84, translated by Judson P. Wood, edited by John S. Ezell (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), p. 6; Frances M. Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, 2 vols. (London: Whittaker, Treacher, 1832), 1: 24; James Nixon, Personal Narratives of a Tour through a Part of the United States and Canada (New York, 1849), pp. 33–34, as quoted in Eleanore H. Gustafson, “Clues and Footnotes,” Antiques 114, no. 5 (November 1978): 958; Clark, “Diary of Edward Jenner Carpenter,” p. 349.
Barnes Account Book, account with Reuben ChaVee, June 11, 1822; Lyell Account Book, account with John J. Post, November 16, 1808; Cheney Daybook, 1813–1846, account with Grove Catlin, June 24, 1814; Deland Account Book, account with Ebenezer and George Merrium, June 25, 1834; Danforth Ledger, account with Gershom Jones, June 6, 1800; Church and Sweet Bill to Richard W. Greene, Providence, Rhode Island, May 1829–December 1831, Greene Collection; Evans Daybook, 1784–1806, account with Philadelphia County Commissioners (for the United States Congress), December 9, 1790.
E. Smith, Jr., Bill to Robert Rantoul, and Ebenezer Smith, Jr., Bill to Robert Rantoul, Beverly, Massachusetts, April 1811–July 1812, Papers of Robert Rantoul; Robbins Account Book, account with Capt. E. Flower, August 26, 1834.
Evans Daybook, 1784–1806, account with Dr. Bass, January 9, 1786; John Durand Account Book, Milford, Connecticut, 1760–1783, account with Dr. Charles Carinton, February 11, 1775, MiHS; Jenkins Daybook, account with Dr. Burleigh Smart, December 22, 1836; Silliman Account Book, account with Dr. Richard Ely (probably East Haddam, Connecticut), May 20, 1807; Rea Daybook, 1789–1793, account with Dr. William Jackson, January 30, 1792.
Rea Daybook, 1789–1793, account with William Williams, July 27, 1790; Barnes Account Book, account with Sage and Russell, August 12, 1824; Holmes Daybook, account with C. U. Hayden, July 1826; Short Account Book, account with Thomas H. Balch, August 27, 1814.
Kettell Account Book, accounts with Joshua Greenleaf, May 1791 (pair) and February 14, 1792 (set).
O. Avery Account Book, account with Randall Wells, June 20, 1809; Ross Account Book, accounts with Thomas Ross, December 1803–January 1804 (cherry, maple, mahogany) and Aaron Smith. October 28, 1799 (with nose); J. E. Townsend Account Book and Ledger, account with John Bass, January 13, 1783; Pells and Company Bill to Arthur Bronson, New York, April 11, 1837, Bronson Family Papers.
Baker Account Book, account with William Potter, August 26, 1791; I. Ashton Account Book, account with Cornell Wiles, December 20, 1791; Jenkins Daybook, account with Joseph Dane, July 6, 1838; Holmes Ledger, account with Samuel Ingham, June 30, 1828.
Barnes Account Book, accounts with Jonathan Barnes, December 18, 1822, Dr. Charles Dyer, May 21, 1823, and Thomas McDonough, December 18, 1822. Framed board in James Linacre Bill to Mr. Elmendorf, Albany, New York, December 8, 1806, Sanders Papers; open frame in Rowell Account Book, account with Moses Goodrich, June 22, 1840. Catherine Beecher, A Treatise on Domestic Economy (Boston: Marsh, Capen, Lyon, and Webb, 1841), p. 349, as quoted in Nylander, Snug Fireside, p. 127.
Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, accounts with Frederick Pettes, October 8, 1813, and Alden Spooner, August 9, 1813, and Ledger, 1817–1847, account with Mrs. Sarah Townsend, August 29, 1817; Holcomb Account Book, account with V. P. Van Renssalear, June 22, 1822; A. Taylor Account Book, account with Jenner Foot, December 13, 1815; Rebecca Williamson Bill to Robert L. Livingston, New York, July 21, 1832, Livingston Papers.
Oliver Wickes Bill to William Arnold, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, December 1799–February 1804, Greene Collection; Book of the Household, 2 vols. (London: London Printing and Publishing Company, ca. 1870), 2: 551, as quoted in Donald L. Fennimore, Metalwork in Early America (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, 1996), p. 175; see also pp. 176–79 for turned wooden handles. Handle repair in J. Durand Account Book, account with Samuel Sanford, September 23, 1762.
Garrett, At Home, pp. 190–91, 214.
Henry A. Guardinien Bill and Peter M. Hench Bill to Catherine Gansevoort, Albany, New York, April 7, 1827, and March 14, 1816, Papers of Catherine Gansevoort, Gansevoort-Lansing Collection; theater notice in New-York Gazette Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy, November 19, 1750, as quoted in Gottesman, Arts and Crafts, p. 122.
Lyell Account Book, account with William Popham, December 3, 1806; Silas Ellis Cheney Ledger, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1816–1822, account with James Winship, January 2, 1821, LHS; Samuel Fithian Ware Account Book, Lower Township, Cape May County, New Jersey, 1826–1849, account with James R. Hughes, November 14, 1830, DCM.
William H. Reed Account Book, Hampden, Maine, 1803–1848, account with Jedediah Merrick, May 17, 1808, DCM; Moyers and Rich Account Book, credit account with E. M. D. Reed, July 12, 1837; Cheney Ledger, 1799–1817, account with Dan Huntington, October 1801, and daybook, 1802–1807, account with Amos Doolittle, July 9, 1806; Pote Account Book, account with James Mountfort, May 7, 1828; K. H. Shaw Bill to Joseph G. Waters, Salem, Massachusetts, March 31, 1825, Waters Family Papers; Lee Ledger, account with Harvey Dresser, April 1822.
Holmes Ledger, account with Asa P. Williams, July 1826, and Daybook, account with Heman Starkey, October 15, 1827; Barker Account Book, 1750–1772, account with Samuel Maye, November 4, 1763; Samuel Abell Bill to St. George Tucker, probably Williamsburg, Virginia, August 9, 1791, Tucker Coleman Collection. Gilding and painting in Boynton Ledger, 1817–1847, accounts with Joseph Flood, June 1, 1825, and Dr. E. E. Phelps, December 2, 1840; bronzing, painting, and veneering in Robbins Account Book, accounts with Ludlow and Oakley, August 19, 1834, and Mr. Sperry, October 28, 1835. Jenkins Daybook, account with Capt. Edmand Wise, December 16, 1837; Clark, “Diary of Edward Jenner Carpenter,” p. 351.
Holmes Ledger, account with Samuel C. Burt, February 9, 1830; Kettell Account Book, account with Edward Bass, November 2, 1784; Cornelius Roosevelt Bill to William Beekman, New York, July–August 1795, White-Beekman Papers, NYHS; Gavit Bill to Orne, May–June 1763.
Oak in Robbins Account Book, account with Dr. Barry, February 20, 1835; mahogany in Holmes Daybook, account with Calvin Williams, January 13, 1826, and Isaac Wright Account Book, Hartford, Connecticut, 1834–1837, account with Winship and Work, February 1, 1834, CSL. B. A. Norton and Company Bill to Samuel Larned, Providence, Rhode Island, January–June 1844, Greene Collection; Matthew Marshall Bill to Arthur Bronson, New York, December 29, 1836, Bronson Family Papers; Barnes Account Book, account with John L. Lewis, August 17, 1821; D. and S. Proud Daybook and Ledger, account with Phillip Lewis, July 11, 1828; J. E. Townsend Account Book and Ledger, account with Henry Barber, January 11, 1793.
Danforth Ledger, accounts with Jabez Bowen, August 17, 1801, and Thomas Jackson, August 18, 1801; Robbins Account Book, account with Charles H. Dickinson, May 23, 1834.
Map framing discussed in E. McSherry Fowble, Two Centuries of Prints in America, 1680–1880 (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia for the Winterthur Museum, 1987), pp. 22–23. Holmes Daybook, account with Richard Hayden, September 26, 1827; Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with Curtis and Coolidge, September 6, 1813; William G. Beesley Daybook, Salem, New Jersey, 1828–1836, account with William Carpenter, February 16, 1829, Salem County Historical Society, Salem, New Jersey.
J. E. Townsend Ledger, account with Joshua Crandel, August 7, 1794; Holmes Ledger, account with Asa P. Williams, July 1826.
Map sticks in Cheney Daybook, 1813–1846, account with Orman Marsh, May 15, 1817. Griswold Daybook, account with Joseph Allen, April 8, 1820; Preston Ledger, 1795–1817, account with Nicholas Jones, December 30, 1803.
Nathan Topping Cook Account Book, Bridgehampton, New York, 1792–1823, account with Samuel Brown, February 1806, DCM; Nathaniel Sterling Account book, Wilton, Connecticut, 1801–1809, account with Ebenezer Bennett, January 22, 1803, CHS.
J. Gere Ledger, 1822–1852, account with William A. Walker, April 28, 1834; Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, accounts with Lemuel Hedge, March 16, 1812 (4 1/2¢ profile frames), and Benjamin Tuells, November 22, 1815 (profile machine lent), and Ledger, 1817–1847, account with Lyman Cowdry, May 4, 1834.
Barnes Account Book, account with Joel Jacobs, January 23, 1824; Holmes Ledger, account with David Williams 2nd, April 1827; Danforth Ledger, accounts with Samuel Clark, August 5, 1799, and Stephen Abbott, August 9, 1799; Stephanus Knight Account Book, Enfield, Connecticut, 1795–1809, account with Nehemiah Pruddan, April 7, 1803, CHS.
Daniel Rea, Jr., Daybook, Boston, 1772–1800, account with Thomas Brattle, January 28, 1773, BL (microfilm, DCM), and Daybook, 1789–1793, account with Joseph Callender, February 23, 1791; Jenkins Daybook, account with William Adams, February 1, 1838; Pote Account Book, account with George Clark, November 29, 1824.
Boynton Ledger, 1817–1847, account with Simeon Ide, April 17, 1822; Thomas Jefferson Account Book, eastern United States, 1783–1790, account with Thomas Affleck, Philadelphia, January 14, 1783, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston (hereafter cited MHS).
The popularity of backgammon in Virginia is discussed in Jane Carson, Colonial Virginians at Play, Williamsburg Research Studies (Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg, 1965), pp. 75–76. D. and S. Proud Ledger, account with Jonathan W. Coy, August 30, 1780; Pote Account Book, account with Pearson Little and Robertson, November 25, 1826; Boynton Ledger, 1817–1847, account with Dr. Daniel Jenison, December 25, 1818; Silliman Account Book, account of shop work, January 1805; Clark, “Diary of Edward Jenner Carpenter,” p. 378; Account of Disbursements for Sloop Fame, Newport, Rhode Island, 1799, account with Stephen Goddard, Wetmore Papers, MHS.
J. Townsend, Jr., Ledger, account with James Sisson, March 26, 1770; J. E. Townsend Account Book and Ledger, account with John Goddard, September 29, 1779.
Carson, Colonial Virginians at Play, pp. 190–92; Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, accounts with Benjamin S. Pilsbury, December 24, 1813, and Curtis and Coolidge, November 6, 1814; Danforth Ledger, account with Charles Holden, January 6, 1792; Thomas Tufft Bill to Mrs. Mary Norris, Philadelphia, 1775 or later, Norris Family Accounts, Gillingham Collection.
Beckwith Ledger, account with Isaac Geer, January 23, 1806; William Savery Bill to Joseph Pemberton, Philadelphia, January 1774–November 1775, Pemberton Papers, HSP; Thomas Osborn Receipt Book, New York, 1823–1846, receipt of Thomas Timpson, July 28, 1828, NYPL.
The sport of bowling is discussed in Carson, Colonial Virginians at Play, pp. 171–80. Carson also illustrates an unidentified European (probably Dutch) print dating to the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century that shows a game of ninepins in progress outside an inn. The pins are arranged in three rows. Wilder Daybook and Ledger, account with Joseph A. Spear, June 4, 1838; Whitelaw Ledger, account with Samuel Clough, Jr., May 4, 1808.
Catherine Dike, Walking Sticks, Shire Album 256 (Haverfordwest, Wales: C. I. Thomas and Sons for Shire Publications, 1990), pp. 3–6; Whitelaw Ledger, account with Robert Scott, September 5, 1811; Trumble Advertisement; D. and S. Proud Ledger, accounts with Calvin Dean, June 16, 1815, and Christopher Whipple, January 5, 1782 (with ferrel); Holcomb Account Book, account with Eliakim How, December 1, 1815.
Bill of John Shaw and Archibald Chisholm to James Brice, Annapolis, Maryland, November 1772–May 1775, Brice-Jennings Papers, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore; Cheney Daybook, 1807–1813, account with Isaac Baldwin, July 26, 1809; Rea Daybook, 1789–1793, account with John Codman, March 10, 1792.
Joseph and John Needles Bills to Stephen Girard, Philadelphia, September 5, 1826, and March 5, 1826, Girard Papers; Carson, Colonial Virginians at Play, p. 101; Daniel Trotter Bill to John Girard, Philadelphia, November 1787–February 1788, Girard Papers; Garrett, At Home, pp. 73, 106.
Jacobs Bird-House Company, Seventh Annual Birdhouse Booklet (Waynesburg, Pa.: Jacobs Bird-House Co., 1915); Joseph H. Dodson, Your Bird Friends and How to Win Them (Kankakee, Ill.: Joseph H. Dodson, 1917); Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with Horace Everett, April 19, 1817; Knight Account Book, account with Ephraim P. Potter, April 8, 1801; Ranck Account Book, account with Martin Meily, ca. 1798, in Keyser et al., Accounts, p. 209; Samuel Cheever Bill to Elias Hasket Derby, Salem, Massachusetts, January 1792–October 1793, Derby Papers; Baker Account Book, account with Jacob Rodrigues Rivera, May 20, 1785.
Nunes, Hyde de Neuville, pp. 16, 17, 33; Daniel Bixby Account Book, Francestown, New Hampshire, 1839–1849, unidentified account, November 1840, DCM; Bachman Daybook, account with Elizabeth Houser, April 7, 1828; L. Houghton Ledger A, account with Seth Lee, May 28, 1821; Benjamin Daybook and Ledger, account with George A. Starkweather, May 26, 1828; Thomas Tufft Bill to Mrs. Mary Norris, Philadelphia, June 2, 1775, Norris Family Accounts, Gillingham Collection.
Barnes Account Book, accounts with Selden and Hurd, May 4, 1824, and William Williams, October 3, 1822; Gray Ledger, account with Dr. Edward A. Holyoke, July 8, 1793; Rea Daybook, 1789–1793, account with Dr. Bulfinch, April 28, 1790; Boynton Ledger, 1817–1847, account with Capt. David Smith, January 1, 1823.
Merrifield Account Book, account with H. B. Haswell, November 19,1840; Barnes Account Book, account with William Williams, November 1, 1824; Hopkins Bill to Greene, September 1834–December 1835.
Mehargue Ledger, credit account with John Barry, June 11, 1844; Bastian Account Book, account with George Remley, July 18, 1825; Isaac H. Madera Bill to James Skerrett, Philadelphia, March 18, 1833, Papers of James J. Skerrett, Loudoun Papers, HSP; Boynton Ledger, 1810–1817, account with Alden Spooner, August 9, 1813.
Robert Mullen Bill to Stephen Collins, Philadelphia, November 1789, Collins Papers; J. Durand Account Book, account with Samuel Sanford, May 15, 1766; Cheney Daybook, 1807–1813, account with Abraham Knowlton, September 15, 1809.
Cheney Ledger, 1799–1817, accounts with Caleb Bacon, April 24, 1800, and Oliver Wolcott, December 29, 1801; Knight Account Book, account with Stephen Root, May 17, 1807; Danforth Ledger, account with Timothy Gladding, June 28, 1804.
Cheney Daybook, 1802–1807, account with Ebenezer Boles, April 1803; Boynton Ledger, 1817–1847, accounts with Edward R. Campbell, August 1, 1822, and Samuel Patrick, April 7, 1841.
Gray Ledger, account with Capt. Josiah Batchelder, Jr., May 1777; Cheney Daybook, 1807–1813, credit account with Charles T. West, March 5, 1812.