What Is It?
Social Studies, History, Information Technology/Technology
Change, Ways of life
- Photographs of artefacts from Eaton's catalogues (links
- Teacher hints (below)
- Ask students to select an object from the photographs included below.
- By using the on-line catalogue pages on this site, and with the help
indexes, students must find out when it was used, what it was used for,
- Shoe and harness repair kit
- Pair of sad iron handles and bases
- Meat grinder
- Foot-powered sewing machine
- Electric toaster
- Electric washing machine
Footwarmer, ca ?
On a cold winter's night in a home heated
by a woodstove, a stoneware footwarmer filled with hot water would have
a welcome addition to a bed. Footwarmers were also used in carriages and
automobiles that didn't have heaters.
Shoe and harness repair kit, ca 1900
This "Combination Family Cobbler/Tinker &
contained the tools required to perform repairs to shoes and horse
in this kit were children- and adult-sized lasts, or shoe forms, a
hammer, a tack hammer, a leather punch, and a variety of nails.
Pair of sad iron bases and handles, ca 1900-50
Before women used electric irons to press clothes and
they used sad irons. Sad irons were usually sold as sets with one
wooden handle and three cast-iron bases. Women heated two or three bases
wood stove at a time. They attached the handle to one preheated base, used
to iron until it cooled down, and then replaced it with a heated base from
Meat grinder, ca 1910-50
At a time when people raised their own livestock and did
own butchering, many people made their own sausages and ground meats by
a hand-powered meat grinder. After clamping the grinder to a table, they
drop chunks of meat into the funnel-like hopper and turn the handle. An
blade inside would grind up the meat and the resulting ground meat would
out through the opening on the side into a sausage casing or a bowl.
Foot-powered sewing machine, ca 1910-1950
Eaton's offered its own brand of sewing machine in
catalogues. This Eatonia sewing machine would have been fastened to a
cabinet with a foot-pedal underneath. By pumping the pedal with her foot
guiding the fabric with her hands, a woman could sew clothing modeled on
latest catalogue fashions.
Electric toaster, ca 1920
This electric "turn-over" toaster was used to
one piece of bread at a time. When one side was toasted, the user flipped
bread over so the other side could be toasted too.
Electric washing machine, 1926
"All the old, wearying, back-breaking rubbing and
of wash-tub days done away with for you," boasted the advertisement
this electric washing machine in the Eaton's Spring and Summer 1926
However, most Canadian homes did not yet have electricity in 1926, and
would continue to do the laundry by using washtubs, washboards and their
muscle power for a few more decades.