Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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In the DRAW LOOM, the frame for guiding the pulleys for guiding the tail-cords and so enabling the weaving of complex designs. The few found in the Dictionary Archive all belonged to weavers in East Anglia, who were weaving the new STUFFs.
An implement resembling a pair of PLIERS used by surgeons to pull out teeth. Randle Holme gave it as an alternative name for a 'Screw Pelican', and described it as a 'kinde of pincers to draw out the gum or grinding teeth withall. Mr Woodall terms them Pullicans, with these kind of Draughts the teeth are drawn out with far more ease, then with any of their other Instruments' [Holme (2000)].
'Pulecat' in other sources, this is a COLOURED - HANDKERCHIEF of SILK or COTTON, originally made at Pulicat. Milburn included pullicates in his lists of INDIAN - PIECE GOODS imported from Bengal [Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996)]. From about 1785 the term was also applied to a material made in imitation of this from DYED - YARN and to a CHECK - HANDKERCHIEF made from it. The home manufacture of pullicates clearly strained work relations since 'Polycat, Romall and other Handkerchiefs' were some of the goods regulated in 1800 [Acts (1800)] 'for the settling Disputes that may arise between Masters and Workmen engaged in the cotton manufacture of England'. In the 1790s a Manchester firm was advertising the sale of pullicate handkerchiefs, but they have not been noted for sale elsewhere in the Dictionary Archive. This supports Montgomery's suggestion that they were mainly manufactured for the South American market [Montgomery (1984)].
A light kind of lava made spongy and porous on cooling. It was used, as it still is, mainly as an abrasive. Samuel Pepys, for example, used it to smooth his face instead of shaving, and found it 'very easy, speedy, and cleanly, and shall continue the practice of it' [Diaries (Pepys)].
Presumably a STRAINER or filter fitted in a PUMP to screen out detritus that might affect the working of the pump. However, the meaning must remain speculative, as the term has not been noted in the dictionaries, and the context is unhelpful in the only example found in the Dictionary Archive [Inventories (1631)].
A term not noted in the dictionaries in this sense, and only in one document in the Dictionary Archive. Here the context makes it reasonably certain that it was not a form of PUMP as over 70 are listed. It seems to have been a container, possibly a SUGAR POT in which the SYRUP was crytallized out into SUGAR. The two sets of pumpers were listed with '½ Syr' and 'Cov'ed Syr' respectively [Inventories (1674)]. It is not known what these terms mean either.
A STRAINER for filtering PUNCH in the same way that a HIPPOCRAS BAG or a HIPPOCRAS STRAINER filtered HIPPOCRAS. It has not been noted in the dictionaries and appears only once in the Dictionary Archive as 'Punch Strainers of various Sorts and Sizes' [Tradecards (1794)].
Apparently a generic name to cover the various MINERAL WATERs popular at the time, which could act as a purge. It became an attractive proposition to make an artificial purging medicine by crytallizing the salts from these waters; hence a patent in 1698 By Nehemiah Grew, Dr in Physick for 'Making the salt of purging-waters perfectly fine, in large quantities and cheap, for use as a medicine' [Patents (1698)]. He was, in fact making EPSOM SALTS. Drinking the waters remained a popular pastime, and some of them were bottled and sold throughout the country, particularly those from fashionable spas. Most had some purging effects.
Purl and PEARL were often used indiscriminately though Purl was the more common spelling in the early-modern period. However, examples of use may be found under PEARL. During the nineteenth century purl became obsolescent if not obsolete.
A THREAD or CORD of twisted GOLD WIRE or SILVER WIRE so made to resemble a string of beads. It was used for bordering or embroidering. By the end of the nineteenth century (and probably much earlier), it was too delicate a thread to be drawn through the fabric and so was laid in place and sewn on with a waxed thread [Caulfeild and Saward (1885, facs.1989)]. The same label was applied to each of the minute loops or twists used to ornament the edges of LACE, BRAID, RIBBON, etc., hence, collectively, a series or chain of such loops.
We have no suggestions concerning the meaning of the phrase 'Purls of Broadcloth, the dozen' [Rates (1660)]. A second entry in the same Book of Rates referred to 'purles or plate the marke' [Rates (1660)]. This is listed under COPPER, but apart form that provides no further clue to meaning.
Found described as BLACK, FROST, for LACE, Neck, Point, SILVER Found describing SILK, THREAD Found made of SILK
Found in units of KNOT, PIECE Found imported from Holland by the DOZEN (by implication of GROSS), GROSS Found rated by the DOZEN, GROSS
[purled silke lace; purle lace; purldlas; purld lace; pirled lace; perled lace; perle layce; perle lace; perlde statute lace; perld selke lace; pearle lace; pearld lace; lace purle; lace called pirle]
The OED suggests that purl LACE was characterised by a twisted loop within the fabric of the lace. However, the quotations suggest that it is an edging lace ornamented by loops or twists along its edge. This is also suggested by its alternative name of CANTLET LACE.
Purled was a term applied both to metal objects and to TEXTILES; hence '2 Doz'n Purled pint Cans' [Inventories (1790)] and 'Narrow purld Do' (satin) [Tradecards (18c.)]. Except that it meant decorated in some fashion, exactly in what way is not now clear. ENGLISH - PEWTER was notable for the absence of decoration, unlike that from the continent, but it was fashionable for a while in the late-seventeenth century to engrave what Hatcher and Barker call 'wriggle work' designs and to add punched and cast ornamentation [Hatcher and Barker (1974)]. This may be what was intended by the term when applied to pewter objects, and would explain why one worker in pewter had some 'Half-Pints for Purl' [Tradecards (1788)].
With regard to fabrics, it is less easy to be confident of the meaning in any given case. The OED suggests it meant EMBROIDERED. This meaning could be assigned to two heavily abbreviated pieces of purled silk fabric noted on an eighteenth-century London bill [Tradecards (18c.)]. An alternative meaning in the OED is 'bordered or edged with or as with PURL'. This would fit more readily with another example from the Dictionary Archive for a new style of STUFF patented as 'Prince's everlasting Union', whether 'plain, pearled, striped, figured, cut, or uncut' [Patents (1784)]. It would also explain why PURL LACE was often given a 'purld lace' [Inventories (1612)].
A DYESTUFF extracted from Murex brandis, the use of which was reserved for important people in ancient times. It was yellow when collected; exposure to sunlight turned it red, then deep violet. The method of extraction disappeared from western knowledge; when it was rediscovered it was not used and instead a purple was produced using first INDIGO or WOAD and then KERMES or COCHINEAL, hence phrases like VELVET of purple IN GRAIN.
Found describing BAYS, bed gown, BUCKRAM, BUFFIN, CAFFA, CALAMANCO, CALICO, CARPET, CHAIR, CLOTH, COAT, COTTON, COUNTERPANE, DAMASK, DIAPER, DURANCE, FILLETING, FURNITURE for a bed, GARTER, GARTERING, GOWN, LACE, LINEN, PAPER, PASTEBOARD, RIBBON, room, SACK, SARSENET, SATIN, SAY, SERGE, SHAG, SHALLOON, SHAWL, STUFF, TAMMY, THREAD, VELVET, WAISTCOAT, WILDBORE Found described as IN GRAIN
A low, succulent HERB, Portulaca oleracea, widely distributed in warmer climates, but grown in this country, of which there are two varieties: the common and the golden. It was used as a SALAD, a POT HERB and to make PICKLE and SNAIL WATER. Its SEED also had medicinal applications, as it was one of the four lesser COLD SEEDs of MEDICINE.
Putting up stick
The OED has 'putting stick', suggesting it is the same as a 'putter' and used for crimping a RUFF. The single entry identified in the Dictionary Archive, 'j li puttingupp sticks js viijd' [Inventories (1589)], is measured in LB, which would seem an odd way of measuring for a tool, but which may indicate that it was of a material such as metal.