1981.32.1 | Strawberry crate
1898, 19th century
24 x 43.2 x 59.9 cm
Gift of Charles F. Belyea
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Keys to History
In areas of the province with extensive grasslands, such as the river valleys, harvests of hay, oats, buckwheat, corn, potatoes and other root crops reached significant levels by 1860. In 1870, it was estimated that New Brunswick farmers grew enough buckwheat to provide every citizen with 250 loaves of bread or its equivalent in pancakes, a dietary staple. Dairy and meat production also increased. The making of homespun cloth and clothing from wool became cottage industries, creating product surpluses that were marketed beyond the community. Fruit growing, (chiefly of apples and berries) became more prevalent later in the century, when fruit was either shipped fresh or canned.
This crate and its boxes were made in 1898 in a small woodworking shop in New Jerusalem, Queens County, for Charles E. Gorham of Glenwood, Kings County.
Source : Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)
The boxes were made by hand with tacks and a tack hammer.
Kings and Queens counties remain the heart of commercial strawberry production in New Brunswick.
The octagonal shape of the boxes pre-dates the square form, which became more prevalent after 1925.
Charles E. Gorham, who cultivated strawberries, was most likely well supplied with such containers.