- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Furnishings
- Sub-category Lighting
- Department History
- Museum CMH
- Earliest 1780/01/01
- Latest 1825/12/31
- Materials Tin
- Measurements Height 36.0 cm, Outside Diameter 15.0 cm
- 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.