Sturbridge, Massachusetts, c. 1800-1850

Reconstructed by OSV, 1985

The tin business in New England grew rapidly after 1820. Tin shop owners imported tinplated sheet iron from Great Britain, shaped it into a variety of forms, and distributed their finished goods through peddlers and country stores. They also sold tinware in their shops. Colanders, dippers, dish kettles, funnels, measures, and pans were in greatest demand. Other common items included lanterns, foot stoves, teapots, coffeepots, “tin kitchens”, skimmers, and sconces.

The Tin Shop at Old Sturbridge Village is a reconfigured the early 1800s shed. Here, “tinners” work with hand tools as well as machines that were new innovations in the early 19th century. These machines turned tinplate, made grooves and folds, and inserted wire, increasing a shop’s production.