Archive for February, 2013


This week’s mystery object is a Nine Men’s Morris game board, a cool cross between checkers and tic-tac-toe. The board consists of a grid with twenty-four intersections. Each player has nine pieces or “men”. A player tries to line up three of his own men horizontally or vertically; when this is successfully done the player can remove one of his opponent’s men from the board. A player wins by reducing his opponent to two pieces or by leaving him unable to move.

Nine Men’s Morris has been played for over 2,000 years. This particular board dates from the 1700s.

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The dough trough allowed ample room for kneading lots of dough on the top surface as well as space for rising in the interior. It is also known as a “dough box”, although according to Merriam-Webster this term was first used around 1944.

Because families tended to be much larger than today and bread was consumed at every meal, baking bread was a major task. A dough trough helped with the production of perhaps a dozen loaves at a time, depending on the size and needs of the family.

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