Collectors willing to fork over money for old kitchen utensils


The wide variety of kitchen utensils is quite interesting and collecting these instruments is rather low in cost compared to other phases of memorabilia.

It has only been a few decades ago that wives and mothers spent a third of their waking hours in the kitchen using kitchen utensils to prepare her family’s meals.

Home life. The colonial days were quite different than today, even for my mother’s era of housewife. At that time, the cooler days were quite bearable when a person entered the large one room interior of a cabin or even a larger house like Mount Vernon.

To the rear of the dwelling was a large warm open fireplace where all of the food preparation took place. In a small household, the wife and mother accomplished the cooking, baking, laundry and a dozen or more other chores.

Fresh fruit and vegetables were available during the appropriate season and preserving these perishable foods was the only way to enjoy them during off season.

Today, the market can supply both canned goods, vegetables and fruit almost every day of the year.

Canning food. Canning fruits and vegetables was quite common in most households less than 50 years ago. An example was my mother putting up over 900 quarts of home canned foods per year until about 1950.

The utensils employed in these tasks are now sought after as collectibles and decoration. These include various types, sizes and manufactured jars, crocks, jugs and tins, colanders, kraut cutters, sieves, bowls, strainers and dozens of other tools of the trade.

Salt glazed earthenware containers were the first preserving containers for liquids and solids. Homemade beverages made from fruits and vegetables were preserved and aged in tall, light tan and brownish jars with cork stoppers.

Some were made with a hole at the top or bottom into which a spicket device was inserted for dispensing the fluids.

To properly seal with a cork, boiling of this stopper was recommended. When cooling the cork fit more securely and became air tight.

A semi-transparent pure form of gelatin called “waterglass” was employed to place eggs in for preservation for future use. These were wide mouthed and covered with an earthenware lid or wooden stopper.

Collectibles. All items, even more recent utensils, used in the spring house for milk separation, straining, churning by hand or machine to make cottage cheese or butter are now often seen displayed in the living room or in a flower bed.

The butter molds and pats are also of high collectible interest.


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