Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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Found only once in the Dictionary Archive, in the promotional literature of a BIRMINGHAM manufacturer selling ordinary IRONWARE [Tradecards (1791)]. One may deduce therefore that the Canada stove was not fashionable, unlike the BATH STOVE, for example, or that it was made for export.
A nineteenth-century industrial recipe for 'ginger candy' boiled clarified SYRUP, flavoured either with essence of GINGER or GROUND GINGER, to the ball, and then dried off [Haldane (1883)]. William Rabisha in the seventeenth century gave a recipe for what he called PRESERVED GINGER, which was much more like a candy [Rabisha (1682, facs. 2003)]. Recipes of the time are rare, though candied ginger was quite common in the shops. This would suggest that most may have been imported.
So-called candied ORANGE or oranges were stocked fairly frequently by early-modern retailers. Although it is possible some of the examples did refer to oranges candied whole, most were probably referring to ORANGE CHIPS, or what would now be called candied peel.
A rectangular or cylindrical box with a hinged lid and a shaped back, pierced with holes or fitted with loops to allow the box to hang horizontally on a wall. They were often found in domestic probate inventories listed in association with the chief fireplace. Although originally made of wood, by the eighteenth century most were of metal. One of the earliest uses of MAHOGANY was in a candle box commissioned by a Dr Williams Gibbons of Wollaston his cabinet maker in the 1720s [Gloag (1952, revised 1991)].
A ROD on which lengths of WICK YARN were tied and suspended in molten TALLOW or WAX for making CANDLEs. Within the context of CANDLE making, often abbreviated to ROD; for example, 'for Moulds bords & Rodds' [Inventories (1702)]. The context of the entry '25 Dozen of Rods at 6d per Dozen' [Inventories (1762)] might seem less certain, but they belonged to a chandler, and suggest incidentally that he was making candles on a large scale.
A small sliding SCREEN on a pole used in the eighteenth century on a WRITING TABLE to protect the writer's face from the glare of the CANDLE. Alternatively they were a small semi-circular screen designed to protect the candle itself from draughts. The advertisement for 'Candle Screens and Reading Shades' suggests the former [Tradecards (1800)], as does one announcing 'Ladies Candle Screens repaired' [Newspapers (1790)].
According to Randle Holme, the candle stage was a substantial structure 'made all of spars or Joyce and set vpon four, or generally six feet' on which 'the new made candles hang on the rods till they be could and hard' [Holme (2000)]. This is presumably what was meant by the 'Tallowe presse and a Candle stage' owned by one one CANDLE maker [Inventories (1597)]. It may be the same as the 'tallow stage' owned by a chandler [Inventories (1673)].
Randle Holme included a candy basin among the sugar boilers equipment and wrote that 'It hath but a narrow brim, round in the sides and a flat bottom', but he did not add any information on its size or its use [Holme (2000)]. The only example of candy basins in the Dictionary Archive is found among the stock and equipment of a London merchant who appears to have been SUGAR boiling. He had '86 Candy basons att 3d a peece', which suggests they were quite small and perhaps used like the SUGAR POT (he had some of those, too) for crystallizing CANDY rather than LOAF SUGAR [Inventories (1674)].
A CAN or BOX, usually of metal, for holding TEA, COFFEE, etc. It could be small and fitted into the outer case of a TEA CADDY, as in 'TEA CHESTS and CADDIES, plain and with handsome Cut Glass Cannisters' [Tradecards (1790s)], or a substantial container for carrying goods in transit [Diaries (Blundell)] and for storage in the shops. For example, in 1760 was advertised for sale 'A parcel of Tea-Canisters neatly painted to be sold cheap, like wise the shelves & counters in his late shop' [Newspapers (1760)]. For tea in this last sense, a canister may have contained up to 100 LB.
Canisters also appear in the Gloucester Coastal Port Books as an uncommon early measure of capacity used for LEMONS and ORANGES [Gloucester Coastal Port Books (1988)]. Highly compressed ROLL TOBACCO was sometimes called canister tobacco [Brongers (1964)], though it has not been noted in the Dictionary Archive.
Found described as LARGE, OLD, POWDER, ROUND, SMALL, Square, SUGAR, TEA, TIN Found made of GLASS Found containing ARROWROOT, TEA
Found designed to contain 2 OZ, 4 OZ, 8 OZ, POUND Found in units of DOZEN
A term not found in the dictionaries and only once in the Dictionary Archive [Inventories (1670)]. None of the meanings of 'cant' in the OED fit comfortably, and it is probably a shortened version of a 'Cantle saddle', that is a SADDLE with a CANTLE attached.
'A hand-mast POLE, fit for making small MASTs or YARDS, booms, etc.': this definition, taken from Smyth's Sailor's Word Book and given in the OED, is not overly helpful, given that it includes the term 'Hand-mast', which is not elsewhere defined. In an act of 1720 cant spars were linked with booms or boom spars [Acts (1720)], suggesting that they were not intended for the big masts. John Ogilvie included 'Cant timber' but it seems to be something rather different [Ogilvie (1865)], while Webster suggests a 'Cant' is a piece of wood laid upon the deck to support the bulkheads [Webster (1884)]. So, the second half of the OED definition is probably the most helpful, suggesting that cant spars were used to make minor booms and yards.
A term not found in the dictionaries, and only once in the Dictionary Archive in the 'presse roome' of a London tradesman who appears to have been processing TOBACCO. The full entry is '12 lyinge presses Six dozen of Quarters & 7 dozen of Cante Webbs Skinns & Lumber' valued together at £18 18s [Inventories (1668)]. The inventory seems to have been taken in an orderly fashion, from which it may be concluded that the 'lying press' with its 'Cante Webbs' was used after the cutting. However, the context does not help any further.
There seems to be some confusion as to the precise nature of cantaloons and it may well have changed over time and place of manufacture, as many other TEXTILES did. Wilhelmsen claimed little more than that cantaloons were a WOOLLEN - STUFF associated with the West Country with 1711 as the earliest date of reference [Wilhelmsen (1943)]. This definition corresponds with Daniel Defoe's statement that cantaloons were part of the western 'woollen manufactures' and made in 'Bristol, and many towns on the Somersetshire side' [Defoe (1724-6)]. He also found them for sale at Sturbridge fair right over on the other side of the country [Defoe (1724-6)].
Kerridge, presumably taking the spelling from one of his main sources, writes of 'Cattaloons', though he seems to be referring to the early history of cantaloon. He quotes at some length from a NORWICH source, in which the weavers there explained that 'cattalowne' was a SINGLE CAMLET differing only from PEROPUS and PEARL OF BEAUTY in breadth. Kerridge then amplifies on this, describing WORSTED cantaloon as a BUFFIN with yarn of two colours twisted in the WARP and a third colour used in the WEFT. These fabrics appeared first in 1606, but continued to be manufactured in Norwich for another hundred years and more. He mentions briefly that the manufacture of JERSEY (as opposed to WORSTED) cantaloons spread to Bristol [Kerridge (1985)].
Montgomery traces the origin of the term back to a bed cover of fine wool woven in Catalonia in Spain, but gives no reference. Having quoted from the same Norwich source as Kerridge, she uses letters and account books relating to the western manufacturers, with swatches dated 1708-11 showing worsted cantaloons woven either as a MEDLEY or in brightly coloured stripes [Montgomery (1984)].
Cantaloons were a used extensively by 'All the mean people, the maid servants, and indifferently poor persons' [Montgomery (1984)], although they suffered in comparison with the attractions of the new PRINTED - COTTON. Even so cantaloons were incredibly cheap, sometimes being valued at as little as 4d a YARD [Inventories (1708); Inventories (1713)].
A small round ribbed variety of musk MELON, with a delicate flavour. They were listed on an undated handbill in several varieties as Orange, Red Dutch, Silver rock, and Gold rock, 'annually imported from Holland' [Tradecards (n.d.)]. The brother of Gilbert White grew his own and in 1789 cut his first at the end of June [Diaries (White)]. Martha Bradley described the Cantaloup as 'inferior to Sunado [a name that seems to have disappeared], but 'tis a very rich and fine kind' [Bradley (1756 facs.1996-8)].
A small CASE divided into compartments for carrying FLASKs or BOTTLEs of WINE. By the early nineteenth century it referred to a container for CUTLERY, an outfit of COOKING UTENSILs especially in connection with campaign use. Although not noted in the Dictionary Archive in this sense, 'canteen' was also a dialect term for a small, flat cask containing about half a GALLON that a pitman carried his liquid refreshment [Wright (1898-1905)].
The name given to a family of beetles; in pharmacy the dried beetle Cantharis vesicatoria, or SPANISH FLY, whose outer wing cases are a golden green. It was used externally as a rubefacient and vesicant, and internally as a diuretic and stimulant to the genito-urinary organs, etc. It was formerly considered an aphrodisiac and was included in the Materia Medica of 1746 [Pemberton (1746)].
A term not found in the dictionaries, and only once in the Dictionary Archive where they appear among the stock of a brazier as '4 Brass streight ffenders 8 Canting ffenders' [Inventories (1716)]. Given that they were contrasted with 'streight ffenders', a cant fender was probably a FENDER with its front not vertical or with the sides at more than a right angle to the front.
A term not found in the dictionaries, and only once in the Dictionary Archive, a cantle cloth has been noted among the stock of a Saddler valued at 1s 6d INVLATE MY1769DODT]. It was presumably a cloth for covering, or going under the CANTLE of a SADDLE.
This was a TOOL used by saddlers, though its exact appearance and function is unknown. It is not found in the dictionaries and only appears once in the Dictionary Archive in a list of tools that could be exported. Presumably it was considered that export would be unlikely to affect British industry so each was probably a simple and well-established TOOL [Acts (1786)]. A pair of CANTLE pliers was illustrated in a late-nineteenth century American catalogue. Their function is also unknown but it has been suggested that they were intended to reduce damage to the SADDLE TREE when straining the seats [Salaman (1986)].
A term not defined in the OED and only found in the Dictionary Archive in the 1582 Book of Rates. The three entries there suggest it was a THREAD, probably GOLD THREAD, SILVER THREAD or SILK THREAD, which was twisted or 'pirled' in order to make PIRL LACE; hence 'Lace called Pirle or Cantlet thred the groce' [Rates (1582)], and 'Passemin lace of thred called Cantlet of thred the groce contayning xij dosen yardes' [Rates (1582)].
A term not found in the dictionaries, unless it is a corruption of cant rail, a piece of wood triangular in section, which the context suggests it is not, and only once in the Dictionary Archive [Inventories (1671)] where the context is unhelpful.
Nowadays a strong or coarse unbleached TEXTILE of plain weave made of HEMP or FLAX, mainly used for ships SAILS, or TENTS, and for artwork like oil PAINTINGS and TAPESTRY. Although these types of canvas were made throughout the early-modern period, canvas in the sixteenth century and the early seventeenth was the principal LINEN textile used for TABLE LINEN, BED LINEN and CLOTHING. In consequence retailers often stocked several varieties; for example [Inventories (1589)] had eleven sorts in valuations ranging from 10d to 18d the ELL. That a canvas seems to have denoted a SHEET at this time, may indicate how common it was to use this fabric for that purpose. During the seventeenth century its use on the table became virtually unknown and canvas bed linen also became uncommon except for use by the lower orders; for example [Inventories (1635)] listed canvas sheets for the servants. However it continued to be used for UPHOLSTERY (hence 'Easy Chairs stuffed in canvass') and for clothing to some extent. In this context a list prepared in the late seventeenth century of clothing necessary for an emigrant to America illustrates how canvas could be used, and how it compared with other TEXTILES. [Diaries (Josselyn)] recommended for each man a FRIEZE suit costing 19s, a CLOTH one at 15s and one of canvas at 7s 6d, along with a pair of canvas SHEETs costing 8s, and seven ells of coarse canvas to make a bed at sea for two men at 5s. At this time, there was quite a range of values given for canvas in the shops from as low as 6d up to 16d the YARD; somewhat lower than in the pre-Restoration period. Surprisingly, in none of the advertisements for runaways noted in eighteenth-century provincial newspapers did any of them wear garments made of canvas, though some retailers offered READY MADE canvas clothing for sale. Prices and valuations continued to fall after 1700 to as low as 4d the yard, but fine canvas continued to command high prices. Interest in canvas and the variety of uses to which it was put are reflected in several patents that claimed to prepare it for painting or as a wall HANGING, and for reducing the nuisance of mildew on SAILs by a process akin to tanning.
Types of Canvas were often designated by the town or region from whence they were originally imported, hence HESSIAN CANVAS, QUEENSBOROUGH CANVAS, SPRUCE CANVAS, VITRY CANVAS etc., although they appear in the Dictionary Archive in insufficient numbers to differentiate the one from the others in terms of quality. Most are found only in the early part of the period.
Found described as BROAD, BROWN, COARSE, COLLAR, COLOURED, for CROSS STITCH, CUSHION, ELBING, ELL BROAD, DUTCH, ENGLISH, FINE, FLANDERS, FRENCH, Gound, GREEN, GREY, HOMEMADE, HOUSEWIFE, for a kitchen table, middling, NARROW, NORMANDY, NORTHERN, PACKING, PAINTED, QUILTED (with SILK), ROAN, SAIL, SAMPLER, of Shropshire making, STAY, STRIPED(with SILK, THREAD), THIN, TROYES, WHITE, YORKSHIRE Found describing CLOTH, SHEETING, YARN Found used to make APRON, BAG, BED at sea, board cloth, BODICE, BOLSTER, BREECHES, DOUBLET, DRAWERS, FROCK, HANGING, LINING, MATTRESS, NAPKIN, PACK CLOTH, PILLOW BERE, SHEET, SHIRT, STAYS, SUIT, TABLECLOTH, TESTER, TILT, TOWEL, TWILLY, VALISE, WINDOW BLIND Found imported from Dantzick, Germany, Holland Found measured in the shops by BALE, BALLET, ELL, PIECE, SMALL - BOLT, YARD Found rated by the BALE or BOLT, ELL, 100 ELL, PIECE
See also BARRAS, CUSHION CANVAS, HOLLANDS DUCK, MILDERNIX, POLDAVY, SAILCLOTH, TUFTED CANVAS, VANDELAS, WORKING CANVAS, YELLOW CANVAS.
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Rates, Tradecards.