Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Wearing Out Of Date Clothing. Old Clothes Sellers.

I have spoken before about the using of equipment and clothing from an earlier period than ones interpretation. On the frontiers style was not only slow to change, but it really had no place at all. What was important was being comfortable in the clothing you wore, and the equipment you used. Both had to be hardy and functional. Home made clothing would I think have tended to follow a set style, one the women folk were used to making, and the men used to wearing. The same goes for the women.
But until recently I had not considered second hand clothing dealers. Then I came across this etching of an old clothes street vendor and I realised that this opened up a whole new outlook for the wearing of out of date clothing. Apparently not only were these clothing items bought and sold in a town or city in England, but they were also exported overseas!

Contrary to the impression generally given, the old-clothes trade was
not primarily devoted to buying and refurbishing hawkers' goods, known
as 'clobbering'. London was certainly a centre for the wholesale traffic in
used clothing. This is borne out by the known export of bales of clothes,
carpets and so on to Belgium, France and specifically to Holland and later
South America, some of them purchased by wealthy merchants from
different parts of the United Kingdom and Europe (for example, Lazarus
Jacobs48 and Samuel Wolf Oppenheimer from Paris49 and Jacob Schloss from
Frankfurt).50 The first stage of this seemingly lucrative trade was
performed by the old-clothes hawker. A traveller towards the end of the
18th century says that the poorer class wander through the streets of
London, calling 'old clothes', 'which they buy up and mostly send
abroad'.51 This export trade continued well towards the end of the 19th
century, as is confirmed by the case of Solomon Joseph, who was a dealer in
new and second-hand clothing and was said to have bought his
merchandise for colonial export.52

Old-clothes men: 18th and 19th centuries*

By Edme Bouchardon 18th century.

By Paul Sandby 1759.

A Rag Fair in Rosemary Lane By Thomas Rowlandson late 18th century.

Tales From The Green Valley. 17th century video. Part 1.

E1 Tales from the Green Valley by zodiacza

Monday, 29 October 2012

My Latest Knapsack Project.

Whenever I see something in an op-shop or second hand shop that can be used for living history purposes, I grab it. Apart from my own family we have our group, and using second hand items to produce good equipment only seems sensible. A new member can purchase an item from me at cost, and if they can't afford that, then I will give it too them for free.
Some time ago I found another one of those all cotton made in China knapsacks, the ones that school kids used to use before all these synthetic zip-ups came into use. Only this one was already partly stripped. The lower straps were missing, and so were all the outside pockets and the piece that covers the back of the top straps. In amongst my bits and pieces I also had an all cotton waist belt, so I decided to cut up this belt and use it for the lower straps.
Normally I would use leather, but I am short on leather so I decided that if I used an awl to make the adjustment holes in the cotton straps, I could use standard type brass buckles.
Are cotton straps authentic when used in this manner? I think one would be hard put to not be authentic, given that these days cotton is often used in place of the more common linen, and given the fact that many 18th century knapsacks were home made and people simply used whatever they had. Some packs in period painting look as though they are using rope for straps.

 If at some date I find that this arrangement is not suitable to the period I can always change it. Nothing lost. But for now it gives me another knapsack for someone.

 This is how it was when I bought it. Devoide of lower carry straps, pockets and flap securing straps and buckles.
 Aluminium tabs on the ends of the top carry straps. I cut these off, doubled the ends over and stitched them.
 Brass buckles added to the straps I cut from a belt. By using an awl I was able to push the buckle's tongue through the strap without breaking any threads in the weave.
 Straps sewn to the bottom of the bag with heavy linen thread.
 I did a double row of stitching on the top straps as the securing strip was also missing.
 Again I used the awl when adjusting the carry straps.
 I made two button holes and whip stitched them with heavy linen thread.

Two pewter buttons used to secure the flap.
The bag cost me a couple of dollars I think, so all up this knapsack cost me no more than $4.00 plus my time. I already had the buckles and the buttons. I could have used wood, horn or bone for the buttons and old saddle buckles are often only a dollar or two from a friendly saddler.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Off The Topic, Off The Grid. Or, A Bug-Out Retreat.

My new DVD is now available and can be ordered from the same "Buy Now" button to the left of this post.
Off the Grid DVD
Price: US $20.00
Discounted Price for Multiple Quantity Orders: US $18.00

Off The Grid DVD. The author shows you around part of his property & family home. He talks about how they live off the grid with their own water supply, grey water disposal, composting toilets, solar electricity, cooking on a wood fire stove, heating, gardening, water saving methods & more. Plus 9 other videos related to self-sufficiency.

DVD Contents:

Off The Grid, plus 9 more videos:

Making Tallow 1,2,and 3

Making cordage from plant fibres.

Making dipped candles.

Traps and Trapping: 
  • The Figure 4 trigger and the cage trap.
  • The small game snare.
  • The preditor snare.
  • The trail snare.

Longhunter Blog.

My young friend over at his Longhunter blog  http://longhunterunited.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/i-am-back_28.html  still has a lot to learn and a ways to go, but he is making a real good effort. Good to see you back Longhunter, and your friend.
Regards, Keith.

Receipt for Pompion Ale


Friday, 26 October 2012

A Ladies Garters ?

Queens stitch garters, circa 1753.
These garters are in the Wintertur Museum online collection apparently, though going to the link I was unable to access any online collection for more information. This sadly is often the case. I fail to see why they design such sites as to baffle the prospective viewer! I have (again!) contacted the museum asking for some clarrification.

Ladies Hat Found In Cottage Wall.

Wardown Park Museum has revealed the latest addition to its famous headwear collection; a rare 400-year-old wide brimmed hat recovered from the interior wall of a 17th century cottage in Essex.

The fragile 18th century lady’s hat, which is only one of four of its kind in the world, has been carefully treated for pests to limit further damage to the hat itself and also to rule out any risk of contaminating other hats in the museum’s collection.

Wide brimmed hats were popular with women in the eighteenth century, and like this example recovered from behind the cottage wall, were often decorated with motifs over a linen lining.

It joins a holding of hats and headwear that reflects a long and distinguished tradition of hat-making in the city dating back to the 17th century. Hat making and millinery dominated the town in the eighteenth century.

The museum’s Significant Collections Curator, Veronica Main describes the storage of the hats as a "pest management environment control nightmare" due to the combination of materials including metal, fur, straw and wool.

The new arrival has been subjected to a technically advanced anoxic treatment within an oxygen-free chamber to eradicate any insect infestation and is now safely on show to the public.



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan invoiced Fort Pitt

In June 1766 the eastern trading firm of Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan invoiced Fort Pitt for a diverse inventory that included claret, rum,

blankets, tobacco, gun flints, paint, wampum, hatchets, brass kettles, bar

lead, thread, vermilion, lace, gun powder, bullet molds, hunting saddles, tin

cups, jews harps, combs, knives, awls, muskets, bed lacing, shears, ribbon,

pipes, looking glass, razors, silver jewelry, needles, and articles of clothing

including ruffled shirts, plain shirts, calico shirts, leggings, matchcoats,

gartering, and breechclouts.

 The following year, the Indian department commissary at the post reported

that over 26,000 pounds sterling worth of merchandise, including 6,500 gallons

 of rum, had passed through the fort. He also noted that over 13,000 gallons of rum

 had been distributed by unlicensed traders and that other sutlers had exchanged

 up to 40,000 pounds sterling worth of goods. In return, Fort Pitt had taken in 10,587 pounds (weight) of

beaver pelts, 15,253 pounds of raccoon skins, 178,613 pounds of "Fall

Skins," 104,016 pounds of "Summer Skins," and smaller amounts of pelts

from otters, fishers, wolves, panthers, elk, and bear.


7. Boissevain, Friends of Friends, 147-69.

8. T. H. Breen, "An Empire of Goods: The Anglicization of Colonial America, 1690-1776,"

Journal of British Studies, 25 (October, 1986), 467-99; James H. Merrell, "'Our Bond of

Peace': Patterns of Intercultural Exchange on the Carolina Piedmont, 1650-1750," in Peter

Wood, Gregory Waselkov, and Thomas Hatley, eds., Powhatan's Mantel: Indians in the

Colonial Southeast (Lincoln, 1989), 198-222. For a general study, see Carolyn Gilman, Where

Two Worlds Meet: The Great Lakes Fur Trade (St. Paul, 1982).

9. "The Crown to Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan For sundry goods delivered at different

Times, by order of Capt. Murray and Mr. Alexander McKee assistant agent for Indian Affairs,

for the use of the Indians, June 12, 1766," James Sullivan, Alexander Flick, Milton W.

Hamilton, et. al., eds., The Papers of Sir William Johnson, 14 vols. (Albany, 1921-1965), 5:

1600-1700 spectacles

Spectacles with case.Material : Glass, horn, wood and leather, 1600-1700.
Probably made in England.

The frames of these armless spectacles are horn, which has been wrapped in leather. The case is pine.

www.antiquespectacles.com is an excellent
source of information on the history of eyeglasses!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Provisions List from An Account of Two Voyages to New-England

Provisions List from An Account of Two Voyages to New-England
by John Josselyn

2d edition, London, 1675

The common proportion of victuals for the Sea to a Mess, being 4 men, is as followeth;
Two pieces of Beef, of 3 pound and 1/4 per piece.
Four pounds of Bread.
One pint 1/2 of Pease.
Four Gallons of Beer, with Mustard and Vinegar for three flesh dayes in the week.

For four fish dayes, to each mess per day.
Two pieces of Codd or Habberdine, making three pieces of a fish.
One quarter of a pound of Butter.
Four pound of Bread.
Three quarters of a pound of cheese.
Beer as before.

Oatmeal per day, for 50 men, Gallon I. and so proportionable for more or fewer.

Thus you see the Ships provision, is Beef or Porke, Fish, Butter, Cheese, Pease, Pottage, Water-gruel, Bisket, and six shilling Beea.

For private fresh provision, you may carry with you (in case you, or any of yours should be sick at Sea) conserves of Roses, Clove-Gilliflowers, Wormwood, Green-Ginger, Burnt-Wine [brandy], English Spirits, Prunes to stew, Raisons of the Sun, Currence, Sugar, Nutmeg, Mace, Cinnamon, Pepper and Ginger, White Bisket, or Spanish rusk, Eggs, Rice, juice of Lemmons well put up to cure, or prevent the Scurvy. Small Skillets, Pipkins, Porrengers, and small Frying pans...

Apparel for one man, and after the rate for more
l s d
One Hatt 0 3 0
One Monmouth Cap 1 10 0
Three falling bands 0 1 3
Three Shirts 0 7 6
One Wastcoat 0 2 6
One suit of Frize 0 19 0
One suit of Cloth 0 15 0
One suit of Canvas 0 7 6
Three pair of Irish Stockins 0 5 0
Four pair of Shoos 0 8 0
One pair of Canvas Sheets 0 8 0
Seven ells of course Canvas to make a bed at Sea for two men, to be filled with straw 0 5 0
One coarse Rug at Sea for two men 0 6 0
Sum total
4 0 0
Victuals for a whole year to be carried out of England for one man, and so for more after the rate
l s d
Eight bushels of Meal 2 0 0
Two bushels of Pease at three shillings a bushel 0 6 0
Two bushels of Oatmeal, at four and six pence the bushel 0 9 0
One Gallon of Aqua vitae 0 2 6
One Gallon of Oyl 0 3 6
Two Gallons of Vinegar 0 2 0
Of Sugar and Spice... your best way is to buy your Sugar there, for it is cheapest, but for Spice you must carry it over with you.
Prizes of Iron Ware
Arms for one man, but if half of your men have Armour it is sufficient, so that all have pieces and swords
l s d
One Armour compleat, light 0 17 0
One long piece five foot, or five and a half near Musket bore 1 2 0
One Sword 0 5 0
One Bandaleer 0 1 6
One Belt 0 1 0
Twenty pound of powder 0 18 0
Sixty pound of shot or lead, pistol and Goose shot 0 5 0
Tools for a Family of Six persons, and so after the rate for more
Five broad howes at two shillings a piece 0 10 0
Five narrow howes at 16 pence a piece 0 6 8
Five felling Axes at 18 pence a piece 0 7 6
Two steel hand-sawes at 16 pence the piece 0 2 8
Two hand-sawes at 5 shillings a piece 0 10 0
One whip saw, set and filed with box 0 10 0
A file and wrest 0 0 10
Two Hammers 12 pence a piece 0 2 0
Three shovels 18 pence a piece 0 4 6
Two spades 18 pence a piece 0 3 0
Two Augars 0 1 0
Two broad Axes at 3 shillings 8 pence a piece 0 7 4
Six Chissels 0 3 0
Three Gimblets 0 0 6
Two Hatchets One and twenty pence a piece 0 3 6
Two froues to cleave pail at 18 pence a piece 0 3 0
Two hand-bills at 20 pence a piece 0 3 4
Nails of all sorts to be values 2 0 0
Two pick-Axes 0 3 0
Three Locks, and 3 pair of Fetters 0 5 10
Two Currie Combs 0 0 11
For a Brand to brand Beasts with 0 0 6
For a Chain and lock for a Boat 0 2 2
For a Coulter weighing 10 pound 0 3 4
For a Hand-vise 0 2 6
For a Pitchfork 0 1 4
For one hundred weight of Spikes Nails and pins 120, to the hundred 2 5 0
For a share 0 2 11
Household Implements for a Family of six persons, and so for more or less after the rate
One Iron Pot 0 7 0
For one great Copper Kettle 2 0 0
For a small Kettle 0 10 0
For a lesser Kettle 0 6 0
For one large Frying-pan 0 2 6
For a small Frying-pan 0 1 8
For a brass Morter 0 3 0
For a Spit 0 2 0
For one Grid-Iron 0 1 0
For two Skillets 0 5 0
Platters, dishes, & spoons of wood 0 4 0
For Sugar, Spice and fruits at Sea for six men 0 12 0

What Provision is made for a Journey at Sea and what to carry with us for our use at Land

What Provision is made for a Journey at Sea and what to carry with us for our use at Land
by William Wood

from New-England's Prospect, being a true, lively and experimental Description of that part of America commonly called New-England, London 1639
Many peradventure at the looking over of these relations, may have inclinations or resolutions for the voyage; to whom I wish all prosperity in their undertakings; although I will use no forcive arguments to persuade any, but leave them to the relation; yet by way of advice, I would commend to them a few lines from the pen of experience. And because the way to New-England is over the sea, it will not be amiss to give you directions what is necessary to be carried. Many I suppose, know as well, or better than myself; yet all do not; to those my directions tend. Although every man have ship-provisions allowed him for his five pounds a man, which is salt beef, pork, salt fish, butter, cheese, pease pottage, water grewel, and such kind of victuals, with good biskets, and six shilling beer; yet it will be necessary to carry some comfortable refreshing of fresh victuals. As first, for such as have ability, some conserves, and good claret wine to burn [burnt wine is brandy] at sea; or you may have it by some of your vintners or wine-coopers burned here, and put up into vessels, which will keep much better than other burnt wine; it is a very comfortable thing for the stomach, or such as are sea-sick; sallad-oil likewise, prunes are good to be stewed, sugar for many things; white biskets, eggs, and bacon, rice, poultry, and some weather sheep to kill aboard the ship, and fine flour baked meats will keep about a week or nine days at sea. Juice of lemons, well put up, is good either to prevent or cure the scurvy. Here it must not be forgotten to carry small skillets, or pipkins, and small frying-pans, to dress their victuals in at sea. For bedding, so it be easy, and cleanly, and warm, it is no matter how old or coarse it be for the use of the sea; and so likewise for apparel, the oldest cloaths be the fittest, with a long coarse coat, to keep better things from the pitched ropes and planks. Whosoever shall put to sea in a stout and well-conditioned ship, having an honest master, and loving seaman, shall not need to fear but he shall find as good content at sea as a land...

Now for the encouragement of his men, he [the head of a family with servants] must not do as many have done (more through ignorance than desire) carry many mouths and no meat; but rather much meat for a few mouths. Want of due maintenance produceth nothing but a grumbling spirit with a sluggish idleness; when as those servants be well provided for, go through their employments with speed and chearfulness. For meal, it will be requisite to carry a hogshead and an half for every one that is a labourer, to keep him till he may receive the fruit of his own labours, which will be a year and a half after his arrival, if he land in May or June. He must likewise carry malt, beef, butter, cheese, some pease, good wines, vinegar, strong-waters, &c. Whosoever transports more of these than he himself useth, the overplus being sold, will yield as much profit as any other staple commodity. Every man likewise must carry over good store of apparel; for if he come to buy there, he will find it dearer than in England. Woollen cloth is a very good commodity, and linen better; as holland, lockram, flaxen, hempen, callico stuffs, linsey woolsies, and blue callico, green sayes for housewife's aprons, hats, boots, shoes, good Irish stockings, which if they be good, are much more serviceable than knit ones; all kind of grocery wares, such as sugar, prunes, raisins, currants, honey, nutmegs, cloves, &c soap, candles, and lamps, &c. All manner of household stuff is very good trade there, as pewter and brass, for the use of that country; warming-pans and stewing pans be of necessary use, and good traffick there. All manner of iron wares, as all manner of nails for houses, and all manner of spikes for building of boats, ships, and fishing stages; all manner of tools for workmen, hoes for planters, broad and narrow for setting and weeding; with axes, both broad and pitching axes. All manner of augers, piercing bits, whip-saws, two handed saws, froes, both for the riving of pailes, and laths, rings for beetle heads, and iron wedges; though all these be made in the country (there being divers blacksmiths) yet being a heavy commodity, and taking but a little storage, it is cheaper to carry such commodities out of England. Glass ought not to be forgotten of any that desire to benefit themselves, or the country; if it be well leaded, and carefully packed up, I know no commodity better for portage or sale. Here likewise must not be forgotten all utensils for the sea, as barbels, splitting knives, leads, and cod-hooks, and lines, mackrel hooks and lines, shark-hooks, seines, or bass-nets, large and strong, herring nets, &c. Such as would eat fowl, must not forget their six foot guns, their good powder, and shot of all sorts; a great round shot called Barnstable shot, is the best; being made of a blacker lead than ordinary shot. Furthermore, good pooldavies [a heavy canvas] to make sails for boots, roads, anchors for boats and pinnaces, are good; sea-coal, iron, lead, and mill-stones, flints, ordnances, and whatsoever a man conceive is good for the country, that will lie as ballast, he cannot be a loser by it. And lest I should forget a thing of so great importance, no man must neglect to provide himself, or those belonging to him, his ammunition, for the defence of himself and the country. For there is no man there that bears a head, but that bears military arms; even boys of fourteen years of age are practiced with men in military discipline, every three weeks. Whosoever shall carry over drums and English colours, pattesons [spear that is carried in front of troops], halberds, pikes, muskets, bandeleroes, with swords, shall not need to fear good gain for them; such things being wanting in the country.

Plymouth Harbour Settlement.

Supplies for Settlement. 17th Century.

A Catalog of such needefull things as every Planter doth or ought to provide to go to New-England

Victuals for a whole yeere for a man...

8 Bushels of meale 2 Bushels of Otemeale. 1 Gallon of Aquavitae 1 Firkin of Butter
2 Bushels of pease. 1 Gallon of Oyle. 2 Gallons of Vinegar.


1 Monmouth Cap. 1 Wast-coat. 1 Suit of Frize. 2 Paire of Sheets.
3 Falling Bands. 1 Suit of Canvas. 3 Paire of Stockings. 1 Paire of Blankets.
3 Shirts. 1 Suit of Cloth. 4 Paire of Shooes. 1 Course Rug.

7 Ells of Canvase to make a bed and boulster.


1 Armor compleat.1 Sword. 1 Bandilier.60 Pound of Lead.
1 Long peece.1 Belt. 20 Pound of Powder.1 Pistoll and Goose shot.


1 Broad Howe. 1 Shovell. 1 Felling Axe. 1 Grindstone.
1 Narrow Howe. 1 Spade. 1 Gimblet. 1 Pickaxe.
1 Steele Handsawe. 2 Augers. 1 Hatchet. Nayles of all sorts
1 Whipsawe. 4 Chissels. 2 Frowes.

1 Hammer. 1 Broad Axe. 1 Hand-Bill.

Household Implements.

1 Iron Pot. 1 Gridiron. Trenchers. Dishes.
1 Kettel. 2 Skellets. Wooden Platters. Spoons.
1 Frying pan 1 Spit.


Sugar. Cloves. Mace. Fruit.
Pepper. Cinnamon. Nutmegs.

Also there are divers other things necessary to bee taken over to this Plantation,
as Bookes, Nets, Hookes and Lines, Cheese, Bacon, Kine, Goats, &c.
From: New England’s Plantation, or, A short and True Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of that Country. by Reverend Francis Higginson, London, 1630.

"Certain Useful Directions for Such as Intend a Voyage into Those Parts"
By Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow
as published in Mourt's Relation : A relation or journal of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plimoth in New England, London, 1622
"Now because I expect your coming unto us, with other of our friends, whose company we much desire, I thought good to advertise you of a few things needful.

"Be careful to have a very good bread-room to put your biscuits in. Let your cask for beer and water be iron-bound, for the first tier, if not more. Let not your meat be dry-salted; none can better do it than the sailors. Let your meal be so hard trod in your cask that you shall need an adz or hatchet to work it out with. Trust not too much on us for corn at this time, for by reason of this last company that came, depending wholly upon us, we shall have little enough till harvest. Be careful to come by some of your meal to spend by the way; it will much refresh you. Build your cabins as open as you can, and bring good store of clothes and bedding with you. Bring every man a musket or fowling-piece. Let your piece be long in the barrel, and fear not the weight of it, for most of our shooting is from stands. Bring juice of lemons, and take it fasting; it is of good use. For hot water, aniseed water is the best, but use it sparingly. If you bring anything for comfort in the country, butter or salad oil, or both, is very good. Our Indian corn, even the coarsest, maketh as pleasant meat as rice; therefore spare that, unless to spend by the way. Bring paper and linseed oil for your windows, with cotton yarn for your lamps. Let your shot be most for big fowls, and bring store of powder and shot. I forbear further to write for the present, hoping to see you by the next return. So I take my leave, commending you to the Lord for a safe conduct unto us."

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Woefull Content in Australian Museums. Aboriginal Bark Sheath.

I have not posted this image as an example of Australian Aboriginal craft, I have posted it because it shows the woefull quality of images supplied by Australian museums. This is the ONLY bark knife sheath I have been able to find, and the image is not good enough for me to be sure what it actually is.

Some museums in Australia have no contact address so you can't ask any questions. Some supply an email address that can't be copied, so again, no contact. For those that do have a contact address the staff either don't reply, or when they do they are unable to help with any information.
Information on one museum site stated that Australian Aboriginal knife sheaths were made out of feathers. Now come on, please. I just find this hard to understand, I can't see how such a sheath can be functional.

This I THINK is supposed to be another type of knife sheath. There is no specific information on this object and I can't see what it is made of aside from having feathers attached to it in some manner.
If there are any Australian Museum staff reading this blog, this is a WAKE UP CALL!!!  If you are under staffed, get more. If you are under-funded, fight for it. I cannot publish information that is not there to be found. I cannot recommend a museum that has nothing to offer. Objects in a collection are totally useless without information on that object.
There is a museum here in Armidale, in the collection on display is an object labelled "The Bushman's Friend" When I asked about this oject I was told it was a multi-tool with a corkscrew and an awl. Would you like to know what it really is? It is a muzzle-loading musket tool and the so called corkscrew is in fact a worm used for cleaning the barrel. The curator did not believe me, so I came back with images of originals. That object to the best of my knowledge is still labelled "The Bushman's Friend"!
Here is a similar combination gun tool. Top is a turnscrew, centre is a vent pricker, NOT an awl! Bottom shows an inverted worm (NOT a corkscrew!) which can be unscrewed and screwed onto a cleaning rod or ramrod.