icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Things To Do
Dress Up | 1st Person | African American Map | Now Read This | Magic Lens | In the Round | Tool Videos | Architecture | e-Postcards | Chronologies | Turns Activities

Video Demonstrations of Early American Tools

Brief videos that show how these tools were used. The tools depicted here are common, everyday implements. Although some might be primarily used by one gender, all were used by enslaved or free people of any race in New England. For instance, in the Reverend Jonathan Ashley's account book are these entries:

"1758 Janry to Titus thrashing Corn a day"
"to Abijah Prince thrashing Rye a day"
It means that in January of 1758, Titus, who was a slave, and Abijah Prince, who was a free African American, both received credit for thrashing (or threshing) corn and rye for the reverend. In Edwin Nims' agricultural diary is this entry, which was entered on August 4th, in either 1830 or 1831:
"Hiram & Baxter Threshed Rye in the forenoon, afternoon they threshed wheat"
Hiram and Baxter were white men.

churning butter

Churn

a tool used to turn cream into butter
(file size: 17.1 MB)

flail

Flail

a tool used to separate the seeds from the heads of dried grain
(file size: 6.6 MB)

winnowing basket

Winnowing Basket

a tool used to separate grain seeds from the "chaff" or seed coverings
(file size: 10 MB)

 

top of page


button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents

 

Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback