Jobs of the Past

Cooper : Coopers have been around for many years. A cooper is someone who makes wooden, staved vessels, bound together with hoops and having flat ends or heads. Examples are: wine and beer barrels, butter churns and wooden buckets.

This surname of GOLDSMITH was a Jewish and German metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold, a refiner, jeweler or gilder.

Tanners provided leather for many different clothing items. Tanners used all different parts of an animal. Tanning goes back thousands of years. Some African American enslaved people were trained as leather workers.

Wigs were worn by everybody in Colonial times to either cover grey hair, for fashion, or to cover baldness. There were many varieties of wigs including; a ramilee wig, which was worn by, soldiers during the war. This was the most common one. Another type was called a campaign wig, worn by travelers. Ordinary people wore a Sunday Buckle or a Major Bob. People with little money as well as apprentices, wore a Minor Bob. Some African American enslaved people became barbers for white men. They learned to powder their master’s wigs as well.

the Declaration of Independence got on paper? Who was the person that first made paper in Colonial times? How was it used? If you read this, your questions will be answered.

In 1688, paper was not made like it is now. In Colonial times paper was made out of cloth and linen rags. Today it is made of wood from trees. (Wood was used in the 1840s for making paper.) The first person who made paper in Colonial times was William Rittenhouse. Colonial people were thankful that he came. Not many men practiced papermaking because of the steady hand and careful skill it required. Colonists needed paper for writing out receipts, keeping records, newspaper, books, writing letters, and so much more. In 1690 Rittenhouse built the first paper mill in the colonies in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania became home to many paper mills in the early 1700s. 

Ragpickers (apprentices) gathered cotton and linen rags, rolled them in a ball and piled them up. They were beaten by a hammer into a pulp. Then the rags were washed and stored in a chest. Then it was dumped into water and stirred to make sure it did not settle to the bottom. Then a wooden frame covered with wire that looked like a screen was dipped into the mixture. It was then carefully lifted out holding a thin  layer of the rag mixture. After drying and polishing this would become paper. Paper was either cream colored, coffee colored, or gray depending on the water and the rags it was made from.

I bet that is where we got “Rags the nickname from/ same as Sparks who does the wireless on ships.


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