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Old Times: April 8

We always love seeing antiques that bring back stories, and sometimes memories, of daily life long ago. Whether they are pieces used in cooking, or washing, or farming or any of the dozens of kinds of activities that made up life–they have a pull that takes us back. We wonder how our great-grandparents might have used them. Sometimes we wonder, too, if our lives might actually be simpler if we tried them out.

Here are a few we’ve selected from readers’ recent posts. We hope they bring back your own family’s stories….

Thanks go to Trey, Patsy and June for sharing them with us.

from: Trey Stubbs: “This antique dough box is probably our favorite piece. The box is made from 6 single boards with a hand dovetailed stretcher.”

How many of our readers have used an old bread box? Dough would be kneaded on the top, then transferred inside for rising. The whole box could be easily moved to a warm spot in the kitchen or cabin. The solid box kept out insects and varmits.

from: June Stearns Butka: “I remember using one of these at my aunt’s house”

How many of us may have helped with laundry using tubs and a scrub board? The stick was used for lifting clothes out of boiling hot water. The hand-turned wringer really was good at squeezing out the water, but you sure didn’t want to get fingers caught in it! There was a significant danger, too, of tubs being knocked over, resulting in really awful scalding burns. Often families, even of modest means, hired someone else to do the laundry. It was a hard, hot and dangerous job.

from: Patsy Allen: “I still spin on this old “flax” wheel – she’s more than 100 yrs. old – anyone recognize it?”

Many of us are still fascinated by fiber arts and the skilled artists today who still use the time-honored traditions and tools. Not only is their work beautiful and often practical, but they are keeping alive valuable historical knowledge.

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