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“Fire Strikers,” a.k.a., “Strike-a-Lites” in the American fur trade

A popular tool in the days of the 18th century North American frontier was the “fire striker, or “strike-a-lite,” or “fire steel” or, well there are a number of names for these things. The purpose is obviously to start a fire. The design is simple: a piece of carbon steel, which is struck against a piece of flint, chert, or similar rock, thus making sparks, which would then fall onto some sort of tinder, thus creating fire.

Cooking stuff recently excavated from Byrnside’s Fort, all cleaned up and preserved for the SCAV Museum

We found some some ladle, or skillet, handles in the yard at Byrnside’s Fort. They’re blacksmith made, wrought iron forged, each with a little rat tail style curl on the end for hanging around the fireplace. I finally got around to doing some preservation work on the handles in the past few days, and they …

Read moreCooking stuff recently excavated from Byrnside’s Fort, all cleaned up and preserved for the SCAV Museum

Iron Artifact found at Byrnside’s Fort Identified: huge trammel for the fort’s cooking fireplace

When I originally found this huge iron object at the fort, I first assumed it was a big forged hinge of some sort, or other architectural hardware. After examining it, it’s not a hinge at all, it’s part of a very large fireplace trammel, which would have been used as an adjustable hanger for kettles for cooking in an open fireplace.