All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick

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About 1890, 19th century
14.6 cm
Gift of Dr. Berton A. Puddington Estate
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

The lumber camp cook awoke well before dawn to prepare breakfast for the other workers and, more often than not, he was the last to go to bed at night. Arising around 4 a.m., he usually worked until 9 p.m. or later. In between there was breakfast, dinner and supper, and mountains of dishes and pots to wash. No one really minded if the cook was temperamental as long as he was good, since his cooking could make or break a camp.

Invariably, the cook's light source was kerosene, which was used throughout the camp.

  • What

    This lamp is made of glass and is fitted into a sheet-metal wall bracket with an accompanying sheet-metal reflector.

  • Where

    Lamps such as this would have been imported from the United States, Ontario or Quebec.

  • When

    For everyone except the cook, lights went out in the camp at 9 p.m. Most workers did not mind, however, after the rigours of the day.

  • Who

    Abraham Gesner of New Brunswick invented kerosene.