Shelby Says “What's this?” – The Wellington Daily News – Wellington Daily News

Shelby Says “What’s this?”

It’s Shelby and I am back to hopefully get you unstuck from last week’s “What’s this?” object. Unless, of course, you already knew it was a glue pot.

Yes, this glue pot is made of cast iron, although other glue pots have been made of copper and other metals. Use of copper was more frequent as it conducted heat efficiently and inhibited the glue from molding or spoiling.

This cast iron, double boiling pot would sit on a nearby stove and keep water boiling under the portion of the pot that contained the glue, keeping it hot and liquid. The copper counterparts would sometimes have the vessel sit above a water reservoir that would then be over an area designed for a heating element such as an alcohol fueled lamp.

When we think of glue, we usually first think of those little dependable white bottles of Elmer’s we used as kids and now kids continue to use daily. Since the 1920s, glue was developed through the use of newly invented synthetics. However, before that, glues were made from either animal, vegetable, or mineral material.

Hide glues were made from various animal parts and had different ratios and recipes. Most simply, they were made from blood, hoof, and bone, or skin where collagen is stored. Not wanting to make waste any part of the animal, making glue from these elements ensured that every part of the animal was used.

Today, glue comes in a liquid form in a bottle, whereas hide glue came in “hide glue wafers” which were small, thin rectangular sheets. In the 1800s, these sheets would be purchased, taken home and soaked in water overnight. Then, the sheet was heated in the top boiler of the glue pot.

Another form of hide glue came in a granulated form, with small, finer pieces. This is the common form found today for the tradesperson still using this application. Rendered animal parts that had been processed, boiled down, dried, and reconstituted. This glue may not be for the faint of heart or smell.

Hide glue had been the tried and true method for those that did woodworking, piano restoration and construction until World War II. At that point in time, synthetic glues were produced and became more common, especially postwar. The variety of synthetic glues allowed for more specialized uses.

Carpenters who used these glue pots had to keep a watchful eye as it sat on the heated stove in a room full of combustibles and highly flammable woods, shavings, and dust. In June 1889, a carpenters glue pot was the cause of the Great Seattle Fire, which started in a cabinet shop and spread many blocks burning buildings to the ground for two days before it was finally extinguished.

Thanks again for allowing me to return with something that may seem boring, but turns into something a little more intriguing than previously thought. Join me again and tell me what this is?

Shelby with Wiens Auction/Realty and her 1969 Volkswagen
Squareback Type 3

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It’s Shelby and I am back to hopefully get you unstuck from last week’s “What’s this?” object. Unless, of course, you already knew it was a glue pot.
Yes, this glue pot is made of cast iron, although other glue pots have been made of copper and other metals. Use of copper was more frequent as it conducted heat efficiently and inhibited the glue from molding or spoiling.
This cast iron, double boiling pot would sit on a nearby stove and keep water boiling under the portion of the pot that contained the glue, keeping it hot and liquid. The copper counterparts would sometimes have the vessel sit above a water reservoir that would then be over an area designed for a heating element such as an alcohol fueled lamp.
When we think of glue, we usually first think of those little dependable white bottles of Elmer’s we used as kids and now kids continue to use daily. Since the 1920s, glue was developed through the use of newly invented synthetics. However, before that, glues were made from either animal, vegetable, or mineral material.
Hide glues were made from various animal parts and had different ratios and recipes. Most simply, they were made from blood, hoof, and bone, or skin where collagen is stored. Not wanting to make waste any part of the animal, making glue from these elements ensured that every part of the animal was used.
Today, glue comes in a liquid form in a bottle, whereas hide glue came in “hide glue wafers” which were small, thin rectangular sheets. In the 1800s, these sheets would be purchased, taken home and soaked in water overnight. Then, the sheet was heated in the top boiler of the glue pot.
Another form of hide glue came in a granulated form, with small, finer pieces. This is the common form found today for the tradesperson still using this application. Rendered animal parts that had been processed, boiled down, dried, and reconstituted. This glue may not be for the faint of heart or smell.
Hide glue had been the tried and true method for those that did woodworking, piano restoration and construction until World War II. At that point in time, synthetic glues were produced and became more common, especially postwar. The variety of synthetic glues allowed for more specialized uses.
Carpenters who used these glue pots had to keep a watchful eye as it sat on the heated stove in a room full of combustibles and highly flammable woods, shavings, and dust. In June 1889, a carpenters glue pot was the cause of the Great Seattle Fire, which started in a cabinet shop and spread many blocks burning buildings to the ground for two days before it was finally extinguished.
Thanks again for allowing me to return with something that may seem boring, but turns into something a little more intriguing than previously thought. Join me again and tell me what this is?
Shelby with Wiens Auction/Realty and her 1969 Volkswagen
Squareback Type 3

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