1971.22.23 | Pitcher

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Creative Commons License
About 1880, 19th century
14.6 cm
Gift of Dr. Berton A. Puddington Estate
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

"Eat and get out" was the rule in lumber camps. With no unions to demand mandatory rest periods and standard work days, the 19th-century logger was under pressure to get to work as quickly as possible. Huge meals were generally consumed in 10 to 15 minutes, while talking was limited to "pass the bread" since a man couldn't eat and talk at the same time. Heaps of pancakes, beans, roast beef or pork, pies and cookies provided the fuel for the lumbermen, who burned twice the calories of most workers in urban centres.

Dinner tables were usually very long, seating 20 to 30 men, although some camps varied in size from a handful of men to over 100. The general rule was one milk pitcher, sugar bowl and butter dish for every six men. Pitchers-this is one example-usually contained a mixture of powdered and canned milk.

Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    This one-gallon pitcher is made of blue-grey enamelware.

  • Where

    Dr. Puddington practised in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, a noted lumbering centre.

  • When

    This pitcher is dated around 1880, a time when lightweight materials were replacing heavier ones.

  • Who

    The donor, Dr. B. A. Puddington, was an avid collector of historical objects with a special interest in items that illustrated past living conditions.