Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lifting Spirits: Mystery Artifact Revealed

Hearty congratulations to our anonymous guesser, who correctly guessed that this artifact . . .

. . .was used to lift the hot lids off of wood- or coal-burning stoves.  As this advertisement from the 1897 Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog shows, they could be purchased for the bargain price of 3 cents and were guaranteed to be "always cool."

Stoves such as the ones advertised in the same catalog (photo below) could be ornate or utilitarian, but all promised functionality with hard or soft coal or wood.  One even promises "flues of such large capacity as to insure a quick, strong draft and perfect operation, even with the poorer qualities of coal."

The stove in the museum's collection is of the more utilitarian variety, but it is a lovely shade of blue (a perfect accent to any turn-of-the-century kitchen)!

You can see our stove on display in our Home Grown exhibit for another month.  Keep in mind that the museum closes December 31st and will reopen March 1. 

Stay tuned, as we have many exciting plans for new exhibits and programs in 2015!