Q & A

Top Tools Of The Pioneers

The early European settlers in America had to make do with whatever tools they could find, long before Vampire Tools and the internet made it possible to order high-quality screw removal pliers and the best scissors online and have them shipped directly to your door.

We tend to idealise the lives of the early Americans, but they faced a harsh, hazardous, and sometimes terrifying world. Luck, physical and mental fortitude, and cooperation were all necessities for making it through. It also necessitated using the finest equipment available.

All of the Pioneers’ needs had to be met independently, from food and shelter to shelter and clothing to defence to planting and harvesting.

And what did our ancestors rely on the most to get it through the harshest of conditions?

To construct a safe haven, tools like hammers, saws, and axes were required. Wood was the most common material for building houses on the Frontier, though sod was also used. Logs were split, rocks were broken, nails were hammered, and metal was shaped with hammers.
Digging with a spade or shovel was necessary for building root cellars, establishing gardens, and even burying people.
Tools such as ploughs, hoes, flails, and scythes were essential to the Pioneers’ ability to farm and maintain their survival. Nearly every Pioneer had a shotgun, and many often carried pistols, as hunting was a common pastime. Hatchets were essential for self-defense, and everyone carried a hunting knife.
The same was true for the household, where having the right tools was crucial. Textiles like woollen blankets, cotton garments, and hemp rope were all products of the widespread use of spinning wheels. A majority of women have experience with spinning. Hand washing was done on a washboard and hung to dry, or sometimes done in a local stream.
It was not uncommon for women to use a mill to process grain into flour.
Every woman’s smallest and most basic instrument was the needle. Unless it was created or repaired by hand, no one could afford to have their clothes replaced or fixed. Blankets, leatherwork, bags for storing bread and grain, and even blankets for horses all required the ability to sew from scratch.
Many things that we now take for granted would have baffled our ancestors had they known how much easier, and yet how much more complex, life would be at the turn of the twenty-first century. Take a moment to remember the people who came before you every time you use your finest pair of scissors or other equipment. Our lot in life couldn’t be easier.





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