In this Corner

American pioneers may have had less than the merchant and well-to-do residents in a city — but they had dishes. Some of them brought over from Europe. Others were manufactured more local.

It was common for the kitchens in the first half of the 19th Century to have a corner cupboard. This is where the dishes were kept. It used a minimum of floor space — important in a small cabin. The pioneers were also aware of the taxes.

Taxes? A corner cupboard?

Yes — taxes were not always assessed as they are today. At various time and various places the tax collector counted windows, doors, or rooms. A closet counted as a room — they used shelves with half (not full) doors as a “clothes press” or a free standing wardrobe. A built in kitchen cupboard would count as a room if it had three sides and a door — hence the corner cupboard.

             Plates, platter, bowls, cups, and a teapot.                                          Everything necessary to set a table for guests on the frontier.

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