Artifacts & Primary Sources

Teacher Resources. Exhibit Highlights Artifacts

Bed Key

Bed Key

A bed key is a tool used to facilitate the tightening of the ropes on a rope bed. The forks of the key, placed to strattle the rope between the pegs of the bed rails, is then twisted to increase the tension on that part of the rope. It was necessary to adjust the tension on the ropes periodically, even as often as once every few days, otherwise the rope would become loose and the mattress would sag. "Sleep tight" refers to sleeping on a tight rope with the body evenly supported, or to sleep in comfort.

Handcuffs

Handcuffs

First appearing in the 4th century B.C. when conquering Greeks found them among the baggage of the fleeting Carthaginians, handcuff styles varied greatly throughout the centuries. The early handcuffs in America were mainly of British design. The word "handcuff" is a popular corruption of the Anglo-Saxon "handcop" which translates to "cops" or "catches" the hands. The handcuffs that are pictured here are said to have been used by George B. Brown, the first Sheriff of Fulton County, elected in 1850.

Wagon Wrench

Wagon Wrench

Used for wagons from the 1800s into the early 1900s, the wagon wrench served a dual purpose. The wrench was used as a pin to connect the wagon to the "double tree" crossbar to which the horses were harnessed. And, much like today’s tire iron, the wagon wrench was also used to loosen and tighten the nut that secured the wheel to the wagon body when the wheel needed to be greased, fixed or replaced.

Candle Holder

Candle Holder

These candle holders were used on Christmas trees from 1870 to 1910. The ball on the end acts as a counterbalance for the candle when they were placed on the Christmas tree branches.

Peach Grader

Peach Grader

This machine was made by George Moesing in 1910. The operator pushed a pedal and the peaches fell through and were sorted by size. Up until the 1930s, peaches were graded as follows

C = between 1 ¼" to 1 ½",
B = between 1 ½" to 2",
A = between 2" and 2 ¼" and
AA = more than 2 ¼". 

Swamp Shoes

Swamp Shoes

These wooden shoes were similar to snow shoes, which helped a person walk on top of the snow. These shoes, however, were to help get a person through the mud! They were put on the feet of horses or oxen to aid them in walking through the thick mud of the Great Black Swamp!

Cheese Bowl

Cheese Bowl

This item probably dates between 1880 to 1910. The holes in the base of the bowl would have let air circulate around the cheese as it was stored.

Clay Marbles

Clay Marbles

These particular ‘clay marbles’, from the Sauder Village Collection, probably date from the 1920s although clay marbles have been around for a very, very long time. This type of clay marble was used prior to and after glass marbles were introduced since glass marbles were too expensive for most people. Clay marbles were great to play games with in the winter.

Horse Tags

Horse Tags

The ‘horse tags’ were used as livery checks at David Shoop’s stable in Wauseon, OH. People coming into town stabled their horse (& buggy) at Shoop’s Stable. The horse was assigned a set of tags, each with the same number. One tag was kept with the horse and the other tag was kept by the owner, who redeemed it to claim his horse when it was time to go home.

Spooners

Spooners

Dating from 1890 to 1920, spooners, usually made of glass, were kept on the dining table or kitchen counter to hold spoons, creating more table space as well has keeping spoons handy for those needing them throughout the day.

Lantern Slides

Lantern Slide

Introduced in 1849 (ten years after the invention of photography), negatives printed onto glass rather than paper could be projected and viewed by larger audiences, changing it from the more intimate medium it had been. Originally used for entertainment, lantern slides had the greatest impact on educational lectures, especially in visual disciplines like art and architecture. Images were often hand-colored using special tints. Their popularity began to decline in the 1950s with the invention of the easier and less expensive methods of projection.

German Noodle Cutter

Noodle Cutter

Dating back to the 1830 to 1850s, it is believed that the early settlers brought this noodle cutter from Germany due to the German inscription on the side of the machine. After lifting the lid, the dough is places on the belt, below the roller press. The crank is attached to a gear that pulls the dough forward and a blade that cuts the dough into a noodle every cycle of the wheel. Visit the Eicher Cabin at Sauder Village and take a closer look at this old-fashion kitchen gadget.

Compass

Compass

This particular compass is from the mid 1800s. This small compass belonged to Erie Sauder’s great-grandfather, Joseph Sauder. Joseph used this compass to find his way here when he moved from Pennsylvania to Northwest Ohio in about 1840. He was one of the first pioneers to settle in this part of the Great Black Swamp, now know as German Township.

Howard German Tomatoes

Howard German Tomatoes

Originating in the Americas, this variety was taken back to the "Old Country" and came back to the United States in the early 1900s. With few seeds, low acidity and a meaty texture, this tomato is versatile and easy to grow. Why not try one in your own garden this year! Stop by the Herb Shop and purchase one of these heirloom varieties of tomatoes.

Telegraphy Machine

Telegraphy Machine

A mandatory skill for all depot operators until the 1980s, telegraphy was the nerve center of the railroad. Railroad Morse Code dots and dashes, tapped into the telegraphy machine, allowed train movements to be coordinated to avoid collisions with other trains as well as the passing of orders and inventories for the day. Some depots served as public telegraph stations while others contracted with private companies like Western Union.

Hand Agitator

Hand Agitator

Hand agitators, also called laundry pluggers or stompers, were developed in the 1800s. Before the 1800s, women used a long stick or paddle to stir clothes boiled over the fire in a kettle. With the development of washboards in the late 1700s, laundry moved from the kettle to the laundry tubs and the paddles had crossed boards or stool-like stompers added to increase productivity. These would eventually become the cone shape associated with the laundry plunger. Plunger use and popularity grew following the invention of the wringer (also called a mangle) and developed into the short handled agitator after the Civil War. Ultimately, the agitator would be incorporated into the washing machine. This all-metal, double cone hand agitator dates to the early 1870s and shows signs of heavy use and repair. You can see this item in the Stuckey Summer Kitchen in Pioneer Settlement.

Chamber Pot

Chamber Pot

The chamber pot was in common use in American homes through the end of the 1800s and in areas without indoor plumbing well into the early 1900s. The chamber pot, typically found under the bed or in a washstand, was a portable toilet used at night for young children or those who did not want to go outside during bad weather when outhouses were inaccessible, or in residences such as tenements that had limited facilities. Chamber pots, made in a variety of different forms, often included a lid and a handle for carrying outside to empty. The earlier chamber pots were made of metals such as tin, lead, pewter, copper, silver and even gold - although earthenware and delftware would come into common use by the 1700s. Local tinsmiths used the designs found in guidebooks like Thomas H. Quantrill's The Mechanic's Calculator & Tinman's Guidepublished in 1847 when creating them. Sauder Village's resident tinsmith used the book to replicate this tin chamber pot, which is part of the furnishings in the jail in Pioneer Settlement.

Curfew

Curfew

The curfew, or ash cover, was a fireplace tool for covering the fire. This metal cover promoted a slow burn of embers preserving the fire overnight. The origin of the word "curfew" comes from the French term "couvre-feu", which means to cover the fire. The modern use of the word "curfew" derives from a Middle Ages law requiring the evening bells to be rung to signal it was time to extinguish the lights and cover the fire. Historians believe that this law was intended to prevent rebellious nocturnal assemblies. Although repealed, the use of curfew bells continued into modern times. The Sauder Village tinsmith made this reproduction based on a historic piece from Adams County, PA. The curfew is part of the furnishings for the Witmer-Roth Home located in Pioneer Settlement.

Wood Beam Boring Machine

Beam Bore Tool

Mortise and tenon joints in large construction projects such as barns were drilled using wood beam boring machines like this one. These hand-operated machines were adjustable for use at any angle. The operator sat on the platform to hold the machine in place thus leaving his hands free to crank the machine. This rare double spindle called "The Boss" (manufactured ca. 1884-1893) is the ultimate mortise-boring machine, featuring an all cast iron frame and a reversible two speed head. Henry Cloyd of West Alexandria, OH invented this double spindle design and received a patent on December 19, 1882. The Buckeye Manufacturing Company, Union City, IN originally made buggy parts, but soon after added a line of specialty hardware including these drills. The company moved to Anderson, IN in 1893. The Lambert family, including John William Lambert, who invented America's first gasoline powered automobile in 1891, founded the Buckeye Manufacturing Company in Union City, a community that straddles the Ohio/Indiana border. The company also made stationary steam engines, farm implements and the Union and Lambert automobiles.

Typewriter

Typewriter

John Becker of Boston invented The World Type Writer, receiving a patent on October 12, 1886. Initially manufactured by The World Type Writer Co. of Maine, production moved to Pope Manufacturing Co., makers of Columbia Bicycles and Tricycles.

Henry Mill of England invented the first writing machine in 1714 with the first practical mechanical typewriter machine patented in 1868. Many of these early machines were expensive and complicated to use. The World Type Writer was a cheaper alternative to these other writing machines on the market. Indicator typewriters abandoned the budding idea of a keyboard in favor of a simpler and more direct alternative. It used a letter index with an indicator arm that users easily mastered. It worked by pointing at the letter with the swing arm and stamping the character onto the paper using a semicircular rubber type sheet. Additionally, it came in a simple box that made it easy to transport and store.

Mouse Trap

Mouse Trap

J.H. Norris and L.B. Brown of Bradford Pennsylvania, invented this wood and tin mousetrap, called the Delusion. Sold from the 1880-1920s, the Delusion Mouse Trap, manufactured exclusively by the Lovell Manufacturing Company of Erie Pennsylvania, was a live trap.

The mouse entered the trap through the dome shaped door stepping onto the balancing tin platform, which closed the door. The mouse then crawled through the small side hole and became trapped in the main compartment. Once trapped in the main compartment, the trap would reset itself to trap the next mouse.

It was also marketed under the name “Catchemalive” instructing users to release their captives in a nearby field or woods.

Syllabub Churn

Syllabub Churn

Syllabubs were traditional English desserts made by churning fresh milk or cream, sugar, eggs and cider or wine until it becomes a frothy mixture. Developed during the Tudor dynasty (1485-1603), syllabubs remained a popular dessert in the United States through the 1800s. Today syllabubs are still popular in England and are made of whipped cream, sugar and white wines flavored with lemon or other fruit.

Tinsmith, Mike Runyon, made this reproduction Syllabub churn, which acts as a whisk and aerates the ingredients to create this dessert. This churn features a perforated dasher and works with an up and down movement. A small hole at the top near the dasher handle allows air to enter the cylinder. This churn can also be used to prepare fresh whipped cream. Enjoy making this easy but elegant dessert at home by following this simple historic recipe. Take two porringers (about 2 cups) of cream and one cup of white wine (or cider), grate in the skin of lemon, take the whites of three eggs, sweeten to your taste, then whip it with a whisk (syllabub churn), take off the froth as it rises and put it into your syllabub glasses or pots, and they are fit for use. Reproduction syllabub churns are available through the tin shop.

(Recipe from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1796)

For additional recipes follow this link: Historic Recipes

Drum

Civil War Drum

Civil War drums called men to arms, rallied troops during marches and battles and entertained soldiers during their free time. This drum is a featured item in the new Civil War exhibit at Sauder Village.