Late 1700s Fireplace Trammel ~ Early Hearth Cooking Pot Rack Mount ~ Forged Iron
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Late 1700s Fireplace Trammel ~ Early Hearth Cooking Pot Rack Mount ~ Forged Iron:
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Late 1700s FIREPLACE TRAMMEL ~ EARLY HEARTH COOKING POT RACK MOUNT ~ FORGED IRON
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PEOPLE LIVING IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES DURING THE 1700S COOKED THE WAY PEOPLE HAD FOR CENTURIES ~ OVER AN OPEN FIRE IN A FIREPLACE, REQUIRING CONSTANT MONITORING OF BOTH THE FIRE AND THE COOKING PROGRESS.
NATURALLY, FIREPLACES HAD NO THERMOSTAT, AND CONSEQUENTLY FOOD TENDED TO COOK UNEVENLY IF THE HEAT VARIED FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER. AS HEAT LEVELS SHIFTED, COOKS USED TRAMMELS TO RAISE OR LOWER COOKING VESSELS AS THEY HUNG OVER THE FIRE. THESE TRAMMELS, SPECIFICALLY HANGING ADJUSTABLE HOOKS, WERE ATTACHED TO A HORIZONTAL POLE HIGH IN THE CHIMNEY. SHOULD THE FIRE BECOME TOO HOT, THE COOK REMOVED THE POT AND ADJUSTED THE TRAMMEL HOOK TO A HIGHER POSITION.
FROM AN OLD NEW ORLEANS ESTATE, AND LIKELY OF FRENCH ORIGIN, THIS EXAMPLE MEASURES 39.5" LONG, FEATURING A SHAPED LOOP AT THE TOP FOR HANGING IN THE CHIMNEY, OR FROM A FIREPLACE CRANE, WITH A 26" LONG SAWTOOTH BAR, WITH A SCROLL DESIGN AT THE TOP AND A FIGURAL SEA SHELL HOOK AT THE BOTTOM. SELDOM ARE TRAMMELS FOUND TO HAVE DECORATIONS OF THIS NATURE, BEING RATHER PLAIN AND SIMPLISTIC IN DESIGN.
NOTABLY, THE LOWER LOOP, USUALLY IN THE LOOP/LINK FORM, IS MISSING, PREVENTING STABALIZATION OF THE SAWTOOTH BAR. THE LOOP WOULD CATCH ONE OF THE TEETH. IF HUNG, THE BAR WILL EXTEND THE LENGTH OF THE CHIMNEY ROD. IN ADDITION, THE HOOK LOOP AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CHIMNEY ROD IS BROKEN AT THE TIP, WHICH IF USED, WOULD NOT ALLOW THE LINK TO CATCH ON THE LOWER LOOP OF THE HANGING ROD.
OTHERWISE, AS IT STANDS, A RATHER UNIQUE ARTIFACT, PERHAPS SUITABLE FOR DISPLAY, AND RATHER UNIQUE, CONSIDERING THE SEA SHELL DESIGN.
SOLID FORGED WROUGHT IRON, HAVING THE CHARACTER OF MANY YEARS OF PLACEMENT IN A FIREPLACE WITH A RUSTY, DARK PATINA.
DESPITE ANY ISSUES, RATHER GOOD, VINTAGE CONDITION, BEST NOTED BY EXAMINING THE IMAGES OFFERED.
HISTORY OF HEARTH COOKERY
The field of hearth cookery, in its most general sense, is immensely broad, encompassing standard kitchen practice from ancient human settlements to present-day cultures throughout the world. The twentieth century has seen the growth of this new study as historians and social and physical scientists worldwide have found it a source of illumination in traditional areas of research. Among them, one thinks of gender and work, family structure, economics and status, technology, ethnicity and acculturation, and health. Growing numbers of interdisciplinary publications attest to its value, as does its use in living history museums throughout the world. The traditional foods of the hearth have become fashionable in barbecue pits and smokehouses of both professionals and aficionados, in the recreated foods of brick-oven pizzas and artisanal bakeries, and in the restaurants of imaginative chefs using their dining-room fireplaces to simultaneously cook for their patrons and entertain them.
Despite vast differences between ethnic cuisines, this far-flung cookery practice may be described as a relatively simple array of basic cooking utensils used at a hearth, or fire-site. The hearth was usually situated at floor level and held the burning fuel (chiefly but not exclusively local wood); the flames, embers, and radiating heat did the work. More the exception than the rule, a few cultures developed convenient raised hearths, often built eighteen inches or so above floor level; despite this variation, the utensils and cookery principles remained the same. Where fuel was abundant, home brick or clay ovens were used as well. Until relatively recent innovations in fuels and technologies, hearth cooking was the predominant way ~ indeed, often the only method of cooking.
American hearths have existed since the Stone Age in various degrees of modernization. Pre-Columbian Native American cookery sites were usually simple, their utensils often fashioned artfully from natural substancesood, clay, stone, bone, shell, and hide. The family cooking site was generally out of doors and typically consisted of a flat stone-lined shallow pit, sometimes holding a small tripod of stones to support rounded clay pots or stone griddles. This was commonly augmented by deeper cooking pits in which food was buried for steaming, and with smoking and roasting racks of wood. Indoor cookery, appropriate for inclement seasons or for security, was a simplified version in which smoke escaped through the roof.
The earliest Europeans in the New World brought a working concept of the hearth that was in many ways similar and had in common frequent use of clay pots, tripods or legged trivets, large rounded forms, and flat griddles. Major differences were largely a consequence of the Old World metallurgy hitherto unknown in the Americas, and they added clear advantages of strength, transportability, durability, and more subtle heat transmission.
Seventeenth-century American colonists, following European architectural innovation, improved on their earlier floor fires and roof smoke holes by installing fireplaces with extended stone or brick hearths and chimneys. This new workspace was safer, more flexible, efficient, and comfortable, but hardly simple. As temperatures directly over the flames often exceed 600, control of cooking temperatures was a technological challenge. Small three-legged clay, bronze, or iron pots were perched over small subsidiary fires or piles of glowing embers shoveled from the main fire onto the hearth. In addition, horizontal lug poles were installed high in the chimney; and from these hung iron trammels of several designs, their adjustable hooks capable of suspending pots at variable levels. The cook "turned" the temperature up or down by moving pots toward or away from the heat. In the early eighteenth century, innovative swinging cranes added the possibility of adjusting hanging pots and their contents without the work of lifting them.
Hearth cooking was characterized not so much by the recipes, which varied widely according to time and place, as by general knowledge of fuels and heat regulation and the maintenance of steady heat in the face of everchanging temperatures. Fires waxed and waned as fuels ignited, blazing up into flames, and then subsided into glowing coals or embers. Good cooks used this varying heat to advantage, shifting pots according to the state of the fire and the needs of the dish. For example, when boiling water, one hung the kettle close to the hottest flames, but when warming milk, which burns easily, one set the pot on the hearth away from the scorching temperatures and, along with stirring, may have rotated it 180 degrees periodically for even cooking.
The experienced cook judged cooking temperatures with sensory cluesisual, auditory, olfactory, and tactile. Heat was estimated repeatedly through the cooking processes by holding one's hand between the fire and the pot, by the sounds of frying or boiling, and by the appearance of the coals.
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