Trade Kettle.

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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I am really surprised to hear that brass and copper were so common. Everything sticks to them. They're too thin to be used without a lot of care. They slowly leach off metal into the food, my Grandmothers 'jeely pan' is so thin now that the bottom boings when pressed, and it was only ever really used in jam making season. Not as an everyday pot above a fire.

Iron takes on a patina, gets a proofed coating that stops food sticking, that brass doesn't.

We used it for jam making, but not even for boiling the dumplings ...and mind that our 'clootie dumplings' and haggis are just kinds of the boiled foods that were once so common place. If it could be packed in a cloth or a bladder and boiled to cook, it made not only good tasty food, but the base for broth and stew with the boiling water too. Commonplace cooking from the earliest days of humanity....the brass pans though leach out copper into the mix. Fine in a quick boil up of jam when a miniscule amount of copper acts as a fungicide and does no harm to us, don't think I'd be so keen on it from an hours long boiling though.

M
 
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Tengu

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But brass is pretty and I imagine would catch the magpie eye of the native better.

Theres records of them using copper as decoration, arent there?

Now imagine what a status symbol such a pot would be.

(Spoonage, what about HORN spoons?)
 
What makes that a "kettle" rather than just a pot?

Since there's no spout, even just a pressed shape in the rim or a lid?
From what I have read & seen sunndog, cooking pots tend to be made of iron & sometimes have legs. Trade kettles came in a variety of sizes, but most, if not all, were made from brass or copper & had no legs. Remember we are talking 17th & 18th centuries, & we are referring to cooking kettles & not tea kettles. However, some pots were made from brass, & later the military started using tinned iron kettles. So I guess that these two terms, pot & kettle can be interchangeable.
Lids could be used on both kettles & pots, & were often made of wood. I don't use a lid because it adds bulk & weight.
WOODEN-KETTLE-LID-VENDOR-1659.jpg

Wooden kettle lid vendor 1659.
COOKING-POT-CAST-IRON-SWEDISH-18-TH-CENTURY-REDUCED.jpg

18th century Swedish cooking pot or kettle.
http://www.laserow.nyc/accessories/uconm4nljxycrjnj1ijvezh662851w;
18th-century-brass-cooking-pot.jpg

18th century brass cooking pot or kettle.
https://www.catawiki.com/l/6650893-brass-pot-cooking-pot-with-handle-on-three-legs-18th-century;
Trade-kettle-REDUCED.jpg

18th century brass trade kettle.
http://littlereview.blogspot.com.au/2006_07_01_archive.html;
Keith.
 
I am really surprised to hear that brass and copper were so common. Everything sticks to them. They're too thin to be used without a lot of care. They slowly leach off metal into the food, my Grandmothers 'jeely pan' is so thin now that the bottom boings when pressed, and it was only ever really used in jam making season. Not as an everyday pot above a fire.

Iron takes on a patina, gets a proofed coating that stops food sticking, that brass doesn't.

We used it for jam making, but not even for boiling the dumplings ...and mind that our 'clootie dumplings' and haggis are just kinds of the boiled foods that were once so common place. If it could be packed in a cloth or a bladder and boiled to cook, it made not only good tasty food, but the base for broth and stew with the boiling water too. Commonplace cooking from the earliest days of humanity....the brass pans though leach out copper into the mix. Fine in a quick boil up of jam when a miniscule amount of copper acts as a fungicide and does no harm to us, don't think I'd be so keen on it from an hours long boiling though.

M
As you will see Toddy, some of the kettles were tin lined, as is mine.
Jean-Simeon-Chardin-The-Meat-Day-Meal-1731-REDUCED.jpg

But these were different times, & any metal kettle or pot was better than no kettle or pot at all. Some cooking pots were ceramic, but they were heavier & not as robust.
17th-century-cooking-pot.jpg

17th century Dutch ceramic cooking pot.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SuperB-ear...g-pot-cauldron-Jan-Steen-Delft-/332823251812;
Keith.
 

Toddy

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Brass is, and was more expensive than iron though, well once we were really into the iron age and it was no longer an 'exotic' material, and it needs not just copper, but tin to make it.
It doesn't wear as well with this kind of use either.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I do wonder about the survival of the brass ones, the expensive ones that weren't recycled as much as the old iron ones were. Whether they are disproportionately represented in the surviving numbers. Pretty vs very utilitarian ?

I have both, I've used both all my life, I have very old ones that belonged to family too, so I see the wear over time, I understand the limitations of both, iimmc ?
I suppose weight is the one factor that doesn't really tie into my domestic use though, or my family's use of them over the years. That said, the weight issue among colonisers might be an issue, but we know that our own Highlanders carried an iron girdle /bakestone with them when they travelled, and those aren't light.

Ceramic pots have a very long provenance, and they're making something of a comeback.
India, famed for it's brassware, used it for serving dishes, teapots, etc., and clay vessels for cooking. Much of rural India still does so.
From the Mesolithic onwards we have pottery in this country. Not always hard fired, but hearth fired enough to be sound and useable. Sealed with milk while still hot the lipids make even that soft pot waterproof. Croggies are still made and used in demonstration that way.
I hadn't seen the Dutch pot before :) Thank you for the information :cool:
 
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TLM

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Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
To be exact brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. BUT in tech everyday usage bronze is often used for all copper alloys like phosphor bronze, aluminium bronze. Brass is mostly used just for copper/zinc.

Archaeologist use bronze for all copper alloys, which at ancient times apparently often were a mixture of whatever.

Not that it matters all that much. I don't know if brass leaches copper differently from bronze. All copper kettles or pots I have seen here were tin coated.
 
Brass is, and was more expensive than iron though, well once we were really into the iron age and it was no longer an 'exotic' material, and it needs not just copper, but tin to make it.
It doesn't wear as well with this kind of use either.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I do wonder about the survival of the brass ones, the expensive ones that weren't recycled as much as the old iron ones were. Whether they are disproportionately represented in the surviving numbers. Pretty vs very utilitarian ?

I have both, I've used both all my life, I have very old ones that belonged to family too, so I see the wear over time, I understand the limitations of both, iimmc ?
I suppose weight is the one factor that doesn't really tie into my domestic use though, or my family's use of them over the years. That said, the weight issue among colonisers might be an issue, but we know that our own Highlanders carried an iron girdle /bakestone with them when they travelled, and those aren't light.

Ceramic pots have a very long provenance, and they're making something of a comeback.
India, famed for it's brassware, used it for serving dishes, teapots, etc., and clay vessels for cooking. Much of rural India still does so.
From the Mesolithic onwards we have pottery in this country. Not always hard fired, but hearth fired enough to be sound and useable. Sealed with milk while still hot the lipids make even that soft pot waterproof. Croggies are still made and used in demonstration that way.
I hadn't seen the Dutch pot before :) Thank you for the information :cool:
I have often wondered about the griddle, I have one, & as you say, they are not light compared to my kettle. Talking with you about these things reminded me of the lead dinner plates they used in the 18th century, a different time Toddy.
Regards, Keith.
 

DocG

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Dec 20, 2013
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I think I'm right in saying that Wayland of this parish - sorry, only know nom de guerre - discusses the etymology of kettle either on his website or on an earlier thread. "Kettle" as open pot rather than enclosed, spouted object was, IF I'm right, the older term for a cooking pot.
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I have often wondered about the griddle, I have one, & as you say, they are not light compared to my kettle. Talking with you about these things reminded me of the lead dinner plates they used in the 18th century, a different time Toddy.
Regards, Keith.

I know of pewter ones but pewter is mostly tin, and I know that poor grades were made with up to 2% lead, but on the whole it's very stable in the alloy and isn't etched away as easily as copper is from brass.
While I mind, brass and bronze are hardened using zinc and tin, but in the Americas the native tin is arsenical tin which has real health issues. The alloy melts at a lower temperature, flows better, etc., Arsenical tin is harder, crisper...not so good for swords if I mind my archaeology metallurgy classes right.
 
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Tengu

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Arsenical tin? But int tin found in common with copper and arsenic anyway?

Thats how it is in Cornwall.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
Arsenical tin? But int tin found in common with copper and arsenic anyway?

Thats how it is in Cornwall.

Not always, and Cornish tin isn't as rich in arsenic as the stuff folks first used in the 'bronze' age cultures like Greece. They seemed to suss out that it wasn't doing them any good pretty sharpish though and changed their sources. Besides Cornish tin mining progressed and they started scraping the chimneys and that's how they go the arsenic.
Some South American tin is really rich in arsenic.

Archaeo metallurgists can suss out where an ore came from (and get a decent idea of trade connections because of that) by the proportions of the other metals in the mix. Some bronze pieces found in Switzerland had tin from Cornwall, Brittany and the Adriatic.
Surprisingly adulterated stuff is copper. Lot of silver found with it too.

M
 

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