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Tools and Equipment

Textile | Construction | Farm | Other trades

Construction

Carpentry-Cabinet making | Masonry | Blacksmith and locksmithe

When the first tradesmen came here from France, they brought not only their trades but also traditions and customs that they maintained and adapted. As in the case of the old trades and trade associations, they joined together in brotherhoods, each of which had their own patron saint. During the course of history, woodworking has been divided into a large number of specialized trades, from carpentry to cabinet making, and included the art of barrel maker, the cartwright, or the chair maker to mention just a few.

Carpentry-Cabinet making

Along with their tools and skills, the first carpenters to set up shop in New France also brought trades that had been fully developed and enjoyed a very lengthy history. In the Middle Ages, the word “charpentier” (carpenter) in French was often used to refer to anyone who worked with wood, which gave rise to expressions such as “charpentier de tonneaux” (barrel maker), the “charpentier de huches” (wood carver), etc. A tradesman who took part in work requiring large pieces of wood was referred as “charpentier de grande cognée” (timbermen, but literally “large axe carpenters”) since the axe he used to square tree trunks was called a “cognée” in French. At the same time, those who worked with small pieces of wood were referred to as “charpentiers de la petite cognée” (literally “small axe carpenters”).

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Planing bench

Planing bench
Late 20th century
1997.90

Nail barrel

Nail barrel
1994.3604.2

Wood hook

Wood hook
After 1850
1994.3387

Bell spike

Bell spike
1994.310

Bung adze

Bung adze
Late 20th century
1997.88.19

Two-headed hammer

Two-headed hammer
1994.1405

Plane

Plane
1997.81.1-3

Marking gauge

Marking gauge
1994.2477.1-3

Masonry

Since brick and stone were very popular with builders in days gone by, who took their inspiration from a strong European tradition, mortar was an essential element in the construction of masonry structures. In the past, mortar was nothing more than lime which had been mixed with sand. The lime-burner was an important tradesman in traditional society.

Master masons were masters of their art, stacking stones very carefully and looking for the most appropriate surface for joining each stone to the next. Mortar was used to fill in the caps and joints in order to “close the pores”.

And, it should be noted, mortar is quick or “alive”, which may explain is resistance to time and wear.

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Flinting pick

Flinting pick
19th century
2000.3

Claw chisel

Claw chisel
19th century
2000.5

Punch

Punch
19th century
2000.6

Shears

Shears
19th century
2000.7

Blacksmith and locksmith

A large number of forged items were needed to erect a house and the accessory buildings. Some were clearly obvious and played a role that was both practical and decorative. Others, which were hidden, were just as important and served a specific purpose in making a structure solid.

But, the art of the blacksmith acquired a certain degree of refinement when it came to the various components of locks and in all of the ironwork that was used, during the early period, to decorate interior and exterior doors, window sashes and doors of cupboards that were built into walls. Buttons, pendants, rings, locks, pins, hinges and bolts still demonstrate the great skills of our blacksmiths/locksmiths today.

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Key

Key
1994.311.4

Key

Key
1994.313.1

Key

Key
After 1850
1994.2212.1

Bowl mould

Bowl mould
1994.879.1-2

Moule à assiette

Moule à assiette
1994.880

Communion wafer mould (detail)

Communion wafer mould (detail)
1994.881

Communion wafer mould

Communion wafer mould
1994.882

Lock

Lock
1994.313.2