Archive for January, 2013


These pew markers were used at the Second Congregational Church in the Scotland District, York. They probably date back to 1820 and were later replaced with nickel plated tags. Second Parish was created 1724 by Father Moody to better fit the needs of a growing population.

The hint apparently caused a bit of confusion. The order of the 10 Commandments varies between the Book of Exodus and the Book of Deuteronomy. I was looking for the commandment, “Honor the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy”.

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H.1983.68x-front detail

This week’s mystery object is a fundraising quilt made by the Ladies Circle to commemorate funds raised to build the vestry at the Cape Neddick Baptist Church.

All of the donors, whose names were written on the back of the quilt, provided a great way to date it. Mabel Norton’s maiden name appears, dating the quilt no later than June 2, 1896 (her marriage date). Reverend William Fletcher’s wife’s name is included, dating the quilt no earlier than Sept 5, 1895 (their marriage date). Several Civil War Veterans names appear on the quilt as well: James S. Brewster, Charles L. Grant, and George H. Hutchins.

At a time when women were unable to vote or earn their own money, quilts like this one offered a means to endorse a social issue or raise funds for a worthy cause.



1987.11x large-portion

Another fundraising quilt in the collections of the Museums of Old York in which the embroidered signatures are the only design element.

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What is it? A poke!


This week’s mystery object is a yoke used for a small animal, usually a goose. The term “poke” is usually used to distinguish it from the device used by larger animals. It is used to prevent an animal from leaping over or breaking through fences.

Great guesses!

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This week’s mystery object stumped everyone! The u-shaped steel rod fit under the rim of a pie pan (a mid-late 19th century light weight metal one) to lift it out of the oven.

I will admit: I am not sure if I would trust one of my pies with it!


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Last week’s mystery object was a glass fishing float, also known as a net buoy. These were first used in the mid 1800s in Norway by fishermen to help keep their nets and droplines afloat. Their popularity quickly spread as glass was a cheap way of supporting fishing nets and offered lots of buoyancy. By the early 1900s Japan became the main producer. In fact, most floats from this period are green because the glass used was mainly from recycled sake bottles which were typically this color. Cork and aluminum floats began to replaced glass floats for their greater durability and ease of attachment by the 1920s. Today most fishermen use foamed plastic floats.

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