Tin Shop

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 wholesale 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, footstoves, teapots, coffeepots, tin kitchens, skimmers, and sconces.

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

Learn more about 19th-century tinning.

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