Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Fork Story

This is one of my history essays.

I'm finishing or wrapping up a book which probably won't get much attention but it lays out a curious bit of European and American history.  The book?  Home Life in the Colonial Days by Alice Morse Earle.  The studies a lot o things around early American households and how society adapted to innovation.

One of the great inventions of all the fork.  I'd laugh about it but imagine trying to eat any dinner without the fork.

So I came to this passage in the book, which discussed the arrival of the fork in 1633 to America.  Oddly, the pilgrims had left out of Europe and arrived in the new colony in 1620, without forks.  What they ate....was mostly from a knife, wooden spoon or by hand.

The fork delivered in 1633?  Well, it went to a governor....John Wintrop.  It was delivered in a leather case.

Historians talk about this curious device that we use today.....that it wasn't ready developed or accepted.  From 1633 to a decade or two prior to the Revolutionary War (1750s to 1770s)....came the technology push to make the item a regular gadget in the lives of most Americans.

In today's item might get introduced on day one, and within sixty might already be in the hands of ten-percent of the population.  Within five years.....most everyone might have access and use of that item.  A big difference with the fork where it took almost 150 years.

1 comment:

Jess Short said...

It took 150 years because is was hard to give up eating with you fingers.