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The workshop

18th and 19th Century Reproductions by Norm Pederson:
Wooden buckets, tubs, butterchurns and piggins.


Questions that I will try to answer on this site:

What is "white coopering"?

This is the trade which produced wooden containers such as buckets, washtubs and butter churns for use in the home. Barrel making was a separate trade.

How did I get started ?

Growing up using my grandfather's tools, I had a head start in understanding 19th century carpentry. Becoming involved with Historic Richmondtown allowed me to focus on a particular period and trade.

How long have I been doing this?

The carpentry, since I was a little boy. The coopering, for about 12 years.

Why don't I use power tools?

My shop portrays life on a farm in the 1850's. Therefore, you will only see the things you would have seen then; no electricity, no plumbing, etc.

Were 19th century people stupid?

If you compare their world to ours, it might seem so; no airplanes, no CDs, no air conditioning. These things, of course, had not been invented yet. 19th century people were modern people in their own time, just as we are in ours. Imagine what people in the far future will think of our present-day life!

Am I hot in these clothes?

The clothes I wear in my shop are typical for the time. What was considered correct then might seem strange or inconvenient in a different era. Once again, I suggest imagining the future (when styles may be different than now): what will they think of us?

Why do I do this, anyway?

From the standpoint of carpentry, it is fascinating to me to be limited by the technology of that earlier time and find that it is still possible to produce items in a great variety of forms.
From the historical point of view, I find great pleasure in helping people to understand that their ancestors (and mine)were clever, inventive, and ingenious.



To order, please e-mail me at:

Member of the Early American Industries Association


The Cooper's Workshop 
 Historic Richmond Town * 441 Clarke Ave * Staten Island NY 10306