Annapolis Heritage Society | Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Artifacts – Do You Know?

Here are some objects from our collection. Can you identify their use?

In order to get the answer, click on the picture of the object.

Object #1:

  1. a tool for making lead bullets
  2. a druggist’s tool for making pills
  3. a tool used for ironing women’s caps
Show Answer
This item is called a gophering iron. The iron attached to the handle was heated in the stove and then inserted into the base. Caps could then be pulled over the warm base attachment to remove wrinkles.

Object #2:

  1. an early Acadian chain armour
  2. a pot scrubber
  3. a tool used for catching minnows
Show Answer
Pot scrubbers like this one would have been used to clean heavily soiled cooking pots.

Object #3:

  1. a tool for making decorative pie crusts
  2. an ancient pully
  3. a tool used for measuring distances
Show Answer
This tool is known as a traveller. Along the edge of the wheel are notches divided into segments of an inch. The wheel would be rolled along a surface and a measurement could be taken based on the number of revolutions.

 Object #4:

  1. a tool for tightening ropes on a rope bed
  2. a tool for taking bungs out of barrels
  3. a garden tool
Show Answer
Before modern box spring mattress were invented beds were often supported by ropes strung through a wooden frame. Mattresses on these beds were often filled with straw. When the supporting ropes became loose and saggy a rope key like this one was used to tighten them. This type of bed gives us the expression “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

 Object #5:

  1. a shoe for oxen
  2. a tool for shaping wood
  3. a drafting tool to help draw curved
Show Answer
Unlike horses, oxen are not able to stand on three feet while being shod. A blacksmith or farrier would have a large harness that the ox would stand in to support its weight while its shoes were nailed in place.

 Object #6:

  1. a bottle used to transport spirits or other alcoholic beverages
  2. a hot water bottle
  3. a bottle used to store cream
Show Answer
Hot water bottles of this sort were also called “stone pigs.” This type of bottle would commonly be used for warming a bed or to warm your feet in the winter.