By Ken Kilby
Wood casks (or barrels) are bins of remarkable power, versatility and mobility yet became a rarity in Britain, displaced so thoroughly via steel packing containers that it's difficult to visualize their value in former instances. The coopers who made them have been as soon as a number of and self sustaining craftsmen, whereas latterly many have been hired through breweries. Their craft was once not just economically important yet was once bodily challenging and required ability received merely via years of perform. This publication seeks to maintain the reminiscence in their talents, tracing the historical past of the craft and describing and illustrating how a barrel was once made.
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Additional info for Coopers and Coopering (Shire Library)
No doubt a certain amount of hand coopering will be necessaryto keep casks in repair but machines will make the casks of the future. Today there are no cooperagesmaking casks by hand commercially. The daysof hammering away at stubborn truss hoops amidst fire and smoke,would seemto be over. Let us hope that future generationsare able to appreciate the tremendous skill of the old coopers and the backbreaking work involved in their trade. The NumerationBook. 1764. H. The Storyof the City Companies.
5 litre) beercask. Pipe: a 108 gallon (491 litre) caskusedmostly for porr. P i t c h :r h eb e l l yo l t h e c r k . Pompeyng: charringthe insideofthe cask. *' a type of jug holding up to 3 gallons(14 ilIfesr. Pmcheon: a72 gallon (327 litre) beer cask, or one of 90 gallons (409 litre$ or more for rum and whisky. Quarter: the part of a cask berween the chirne and the DOOge. Quartired: timber converted along medullary rays. Riders: cxks stacked upon other cxks in higher tiers. Riggle: a word used in the eighteenth century for 'groove'.
The sinking in Caledonia Bay of the shrp Oliue Branch, which was bringing supplies to poverry-stricken Scots, was probably causedby the cooper inspecting a cask with a naked light and accidentally setting fire to the accumulated brandy fumes. The slave trade During the eighteenth cenrury Bristol coopers were kept busy making casksfor the slavetrade. A negroes'crewhada capaciry of l0 head. It had two iron hoops, each hoop pinned to the vesselby three wooden pegs. Negroes' crews were made strong so that the slavescould not pull them apart.