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Clear Glass Upstaged By Colored Offerings

Pressed glass in colors was introduced on a wide scale in the 1880s. Prior to that, almost all pressed glass was clear and colorless and pieces in color are considered rare.

In the 1880s, however, consumers were looking for something new (as always) and the dozens of patterns available in pressed glass were produced in many colors, including green, blue, amber, vaseline and amethyst. Opaque glass was another popular variation introduced on a wide scale at this time. Milk glass and slag glass (swirled mixtures of colors) are in this category.

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Knife & Fork Made For Travel

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, a combination set of knife and fork was a prized possession of the gentry. It was especially needed when they traveled, because they could not expect inns along the route to furnish them with what we consider basic utensils of everyday life.

Sets were made of either two pieces with matching handles, or one utensil with a knife blade that folded out at one end and had a hinged fork at the other. They were carried in one’s pocket, purse or muff, to be readily available and protected from theft.

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Covered Bridges Served Many Needs

The covered bridge is a symbol of the past. It represents a way in which the pioneers reached out to help tame the country, by providing a safe way to cross the water in all seasons. The few that are left in the Northwest are now bypassed by other roads and can only be discovered on a drive in the country.

The covered bridges served purposes other than transportation, too. For instance, they were community bulletin boards. The sides and entrances were frequently painted with advertisements. The promoter of an up-coming revival meeting or the travelling circus would attach his poster to the walls. There was plenty of time to read these messages as the horse and buggy passed by.

Sometimes the bridges served as social gathering places. In the summer, they were cool, and a great place to hold a political rally. Poker parties and dances were also held, and at least one Grange used a covered bridge as a meeting hall. In the 1860s, a covered bridge in Salem, Oregon, was the site for a wedding.

The bridges frequently served as overnight hotels for travelers who couldn’t make it any farther. In Lane County, Oregon, the Woolsey family - all 11 of them - inhabited the bridge for an entire winter in the 1920s. They claimed the road to their home was impassable. Anyone else needing to cross the bridge had to wait while the Woolseys got their things out of the way.

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