- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada, Province / Territory - Ontario, Municipality - Port Perry
- Category Tools and equipment for science and technology
- Sub-category Meteorological tools and equipment
- Department Folklore
- Museum CMH
- Earliest 1875/01/01
- Latest 1899/12/31
- Materials Tin, Wood
- Measurements Height 35.0 cm, Length 107.0 cm, Width 70.0 cm
- Caption Weathercock, Quebec, mid-19th century
- Additional Information The most common motifs on Canadian weather-vanes are the horse, the cow, the beaver, the fish, and especially the cock. In its effort to Christianize established customs, the Church began in the ninth century to crown its places of worship with the rooster, which in Egyptian and Greek mythology symbolized resurrection and vigilance, two themes of Christian teaching since its beginnings. The custom of putting cocks on church belfries has been especially common in Québec, and was extended to wayside crosses. The rounded and stylized contours of this rooster convey an impertinent energy. Cut from two sheets of tin , then hammered and soldered together, it is painted a copper tone.
- Caption The Tinsmith
The tinsmith's work is organized around the seasons. Much of the winter is spent inside the workshop, repairing some tin goods but mostly producing new items for sale. Using patterns that he keeps for common objects, he traces the forms onto sheets of tinplate and cuts them out. He then uses hand and machine tools to shape the tin into the desired items. Chisels and punches of different shapes are used to pierce holes in the metal as needed. Resin is applied to the joints of liquid containers to ensure that when they are soldered, they will be leak-proof. Plates, cups, pails, colanders, dippers, funnels, sieves, measures, pans, cookie cutters, milk cans, candle snuffers, lanterns, and many other items are now ready for market. Some will be sold directly from his shop, but the tinsmith bundles the rest of his wares on his sleigh and travels into the countryside, selling his goods from farmhouse to farmhouse.
Warm weather allows the tinsmith to pursue a different specialty, that of tin roofer. Light, durable, and non-combustible, tinplate makes an ideal roofing material. As in the winter, the tinsmith leaves his shop for several days at a time. He applies the tinplate to farmhouses, schools, churches or other buildings in one of two methods. In the first, "à la canadienne", the plate is nailed to the roof in diagonal, overlapping rows so that water cannot penetrate. In the second, the plate is joined using long vertical seams, often with regularly spaced, small wooden battens underneath.