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Colander

ca.1780-1820
Origin: America
Overall: 5 1/4 x 14 1/2 x 12 1/4in. (13.3 x 36.8 x 31.1cm)
Tinned sheet iron and solder.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1979-293
Tinned sheet iron colander of tapering form with a concave bottom, two handles and a foot ring. Both edges of the handles are wired, as are the top edge of the basin and the bottom of the foot. Soldered lock seams are used to join the two pieces which make up both the basin and the foot, each of which bear a swaged-in triple bead. Three concentric rings of holes punched through the bottom allow for drainage, as do the perforations in the side of the basin, which form a quaint flower design.
Label:Also called a strainer or a sieve, the common colander found in most kitchens is no different than this example wrought long ago by a skilled tinsmith. Perhaps the only exception would be that the modern colander manufacturer would opt for stainless steel or plastic instead of tin-plated sheet iron. No more efficient at draining water from foodstuffs than this early American example, today's colanders are only superior for durability and corrosion resistance.

The two "Tin cullenders" listed in Lord Botetourt's inventory taken at the Governor's Palace in 1770 were likely similar to this example.