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Colonial Cooper

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by

Jen Sweitzer

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of Colonial Cooper

By: Braden Speck The Colonial Cooper The Cooper was very Important Coopers provided a very important service to the community. The cooper provided the buckets and containers that were necessary for every day colonial life. They made storage barrels that would hold gunpowder, wine, food, and other necessities. They also made water pails for carrying water from wells to nearby homes and wash tubs for bathing. Coopers provided many things to the community. Bibliography The Skills and Necessities of the Trade There were many skills required to be a master cooper. The cooper had to have excellent woodworking skills so that he could cut and shape the staves. The cooper needed to be able to fit the staves together very precisely so the barrels wouldn’t leak. They also had to be a skilled metalworker because the cooper had to be able to hammer the hoops on. Coopers had to be strong and healthy because of the harsh working conditions. I hope you understand a lot more about coopers, cooper apprentices and more. The Cooper Relied on other tradesmen for his Materials The cooper relied on other tradesmen for his materials. The lumberjack and lumber mill provided white oak for making staves (the wood pieces of the barrel) and hickory (a type of tree) for hickory hoops. Blacksmiths provided strong iron hoops for holding containers together that held liquids. The cooper relied on the lumber mill and the blacksmith. The master cooper needed an apprentice because a “grunt” man was needed to run errands and carry the heavier barrels and buckets. The apprentice made “slack” barrels that would hold large items like apples and horse shoes because less skill was needed to make these barrels. Apprentices were trained for about seven years. Apprentices started at age fourteen and ended at twenty-one. After the apprenticeship ended, the new cooper would start a business of his own in a different town. The apprentices wore an apron, long pants and a long sleeve shirt. They lived in their master’s home. The apprentices were not paid until the end of the apprenticeship, and some weren’t paid at all. Apprentices would gain many secrets, skills, and ways to use all of the tools in their apprenticeship. A cooper was someone who made barrels and buckets. Colonists used barrels and buckets up until the mid 19th century for shipping and storage. Becoming a cooper required a lot of training. Coopers were extremely important to the community. The Apprenticeship of a Cooper www.history.org/ Cooper, April 10, 2013.http://www.dsusd.k12.ca.us Colonial Coopers, April 29, 2013.http://www.colonialsense.com The Cooper, April 23, 2013http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com Old Sturbridge Village Cooper or Barrel maker, April 16, 2013.http://www.osv.org Old Sturbridge Village, Cooper shop, April 19, 2013. About the Trade Thank you!!
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