Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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The pounce box was the term commonly used for a container for POUNCE, as suggested by a quotation in the OED, dated 1863. A notice in the Hull Advertiser dated 29 June 1799 for 'Slates, inkstands, pounce-boxes, sealing-wax' bears testimony to the same meaning. However, although all the examples in the Dictionary Archive were probably used in the same way, any of them could have referred to a container of similar structure, usually called a 'pouncet box', which contained PERFUME.
Found in an inventory of a rope maker in Newcastle upon Tyne [Inventories (1670)]. Like many other terms relating to flax, the descriptor 'pound' seems to have indicated the unit of weight in which it was packaged.
[puder blew; powtherblewe; powther blue; powther blewe; powdre blew; powd'r blew; powder-blue; powderblew; powder ditto; powder blewe; powder blew; powder & stone blue; pow. blew; pow blew; pouther bleu; poud'r blew; pouder blue; pouder blew; pod' blew; po: blew; po' blew; p' blew; blue powther]
It was a name used for powdered SMALT, a valuable blue PIGMENT also used in the laundry. Alternatively, according to [Patents (1675)], it could be made out of 'the useless dust or powder of indigo' and also used to give an appearance of a good whiteness in LINEN. Contexts show that, however it was made, it was much more commonly used in this sense than as a pigment. The various descriptors used with it show that it came in various qualities, and these were reflected in the valuations, which ranged from 8d to 14d LB, while price went from 8d up to 2s LB.
Basically a BOX for holding POWDER, but the nature of the intended contents may well have affected the design. For example, the 'box of powders' listed among the stock of one specializing in APOTHECARY, was probably a simple box holding medicinal powders already packed up in papers [Inventories (1624)], while the 'boxe for powther' found with a GUN [Inventories (1555)], almost certainly contained GUNPOWDER and was made of LEATHER to reduce the risk of sparks. Many powder boxes had holes in the lid for sprinkling POWDER, either to dry INK, for example as a POUNCE BOX, or they were items of TOILETRY. Typical of this latter meaning are entries like '1 dressing Box w'th a powder box & A Brush' [Inventories (1721)], and 'Powder Bags and Boxes, Powder Puffs of all sorts' [Tradecards (18c.)].
Various devices for puffing HAIR POWDER onto the hair are described by Cox, but none of them given the name of a powder ENGINE [Cox (1966, pb 1969)]. A powder engine, however, has been noted in association with a POWDER PUFF and classified as 'for the hair' [Tradecards (1790s)], so presumably it was a device for scattering powder on the hair.
[powther suger; powther shug'r; powthar suger; powd'r sugger; powdery sugar; powdered suger; powdered sugar; powdered sheweger; powder'd sugar; powder & peece sugar; powd' sug'r; powd' sugar; pouther shuger; poulder sugar; poudr sugr; pouder suger; pouder sugar; pouder sug; poth suger; po suger]
REFINED SUGAR, crushed into powder. Generally it was valued more highly than MUSCOVADO and BASTARD SUGAR, but less highly than LOAF SUGAR, as for example in [Inventories (1690)] and [Diaries (Blundell)].
Apparatus for proving the strength of GUNPOWDER. Randle Holme illustrated a simple version [Holme (2000)], which he described as a metal container with a small hole at the base and a hinged lid. The whole was attached to a vertical plate from the top of which a curved iron arm with internal ratchets fixed in such a way that the edge of the lid could engage with them. A measured quantity of gunpowder was placed in the container, the lid closed and the powder was then set alight through the hole. The quality of the powder was measured by the number of ratchets by which the lid was forced up. This was a simple devise that could be used by anyone and repaired by any blacksmith. It was thus ideal for use in the field. Whether this was the same as those found in the Dictionary Archive nearly a century later is not known.
A MASK to wear to protect the face when powdering the hair. Cox includes illustrations of masks 'to place on the face when powdering' taken from Diderot. One covers the forehead, upper cheeks and nose, the other the whole face. Both had narrow slits for the eyes [Cox (1966, pb 1969)].
[powtheringe tubb; powthering tubbe; powthering tub; powther tubb; powtering tobe; powldering tubb; powd'rn tub; powdring-tubb; powdringe tubbe; powdringe tubb; powdringe tub; powdring tubbe; powdring tubb; powd'ring tub; powdring tub; powdrin tub; powdreing tubb; powderyng tubb; powderinge tubbe; powderinge tubb; powdering tube; powdering tubbe; powdering tubb; pouthering tub; poultering tub; pouldringe tub; poulderinge tubbe; poudringe tubb; poudringe tub; poudring tubb; poodring tubb]
The usual name for a TUB in which the flesh of animals like BEEF and PORK was POWDERED or salted. This tub went under a variety of names, including SALTING TUB and POWDERING TROUGH. Although only one of the many examples in the Dictionary Archive referred to a COVER [Inventories (1707)], most such tubs may well have been covered to keep out vermin and dirt, particularly if the tub was used for storing the meat as well as preparing it.