Saturday, August 14, 2021

Cooper's House

The Cooper's House at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

The Library of Congress

Coopers, or barrel makers, practiced their trade on a seasonal cycle. A Cooper's Shop is normally crowded with tools, casks, kegs, and pails. In the winter, they cut and hauled wood for stave stock and stacked it by the shop to dry, choosing different woods based on the goods that would be stored inside each barrel. 

The Library of Congress

From late March until June, coopers did farm work and made and repaired dairy containers that had shrunk or been damaged over the winter. During the summer, they worked in the fields. But at harvest time, they made barrels to store and transport grain, apples, potatoes, meal, flour, freshly pressed cider, and salted meat.

The Library of Congress
The word "cooper" is derived from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German kūper 'cooper' from kūpe 'cask', in turn from Latin cupa 'tun, barrel'. A barrel is a type of cask, so the terms "barrel-maker" and "barrel-making" refer to just one aspect of a cooper's work.
Photo from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress


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