Siberian apple - Sink trap

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.

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Nancy Cox, Karin Dannehl, 'Siberian apple - Sink trap', in Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820( Wolverhampton, 2007), British History Online [accessed 20 July 2024].

Nancy Cox, Karin Dannehl, 'Siberian apple - Sink trap', in Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820( Wolverhampton, 2007), British History Online, accessed July 20, 2024,

Nancy Cox, Karin Dannehl. "Siberian apple - Sink trap". Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. (Wolverhampton, 2007), , British History Online. Web. 20 July 2024.

In this section

Siberian apple

A quotation in the OED suggests a CRAB - APPLE, meaning a dwarfish tree with small fruits. However, the 'true' Siberian crab, Malus baccata, was introduced into this country earlier than 1784, when it came to Kew, and is up to 50 FOOT tall and bears cherry-like, bright red fruits [Bean (1914-33, revised ed. 1976)]. This fits with the only example in the Dictionary Archive, where the fruit is described as 'the modest Siberian apple' [Diaries (Schopenhauer)].

OED earliest date of use: 1767 under Siberian

Sources: Diaries.
References: Bean (1914-33, revised ed. 1976).

Side strainer

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)]. It was probably one of the devices for stretching the pieces of webbing that were fitted to the SADDLE TREE to provide support for the seat discussed by Salaman, but not so named [Salaman (1986)].

Sources: Acts.
References: Salaman (1986).

Sifting tub

[sifting tubb; cyfting tub]

Not to be confused with a SILTING TUB. It is a term not found in the dictionaries, and only three times in the Dictionary Archive, all from northern England. The context in each case is not helpful, but a sifting tub was probably a TUB used with a SIEVE in the preparation of FLOUR for baking.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (late).

Signal trumpet


The Index of Patents, the only document in which this term has been noted, gives no detail [Patents (1799)]. It may have been a form of SPEAKING TRUMPET, or bugle used as a signal horn, that allowed communications and signals to be transmitted over a distance further than the human voice could do, or it may have been a simplified form of TRUMPET used for the same purpose.

Not found as such in the OED

Sources: Patents.

Silesia lawn

[slicia lawne; sletia lawn; sleazy lawn]

The term is frequently found in the variant 'sleazy lawn'. The anonymous author of the 'Complete Warehouse laid Open' stressed that Silesia lawn was not of a poor quality, which its variant 'sleazy lawn' might suggest, but rather because it was manufactured in 'a Town called Sleasia in Hamborough in Germany'. He claimed that the type made 'three quarters and a half quarter wide' [just over 30 INCH] wore well if woven evenly, but, like all lawns, that it tended to yellow with age. Silesia lawn was most suitable for HANDERKERCHIEFs, but less so for SHIRTs, which were expected to remain white [Anon (1696)].

Found imported and exported by the PARCEL

Sources: Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Newspapers, Rates.
References: Anon (1696).

Silk loom

[silke weavers lome; lomes to weue silke]

A LOOM suitable for weaving SILK. A newspapers advertisement of 1760 shows that this type of loom was used, possibly among other TEXTILEs, 'for weaving Silk Ribbons and Stuffs, and flat and round Laces' [Newspapers (1760)].

OED earliest date of use: 1797 under Silk

Sources: Inventories (early), Newspapers.

Silting tub

Not to be confused with a SIFTING TUB, this is an extended variant of 'Silt' or 'Silter', a west-country name for a SALTING TUB [Wright (1898-1905)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (mid-period).
References: Wright (1898-1905).

Silver leaf

[leafe-silver; leaf silver]

SILVER beaten out thin; silver foil. It was prepared in the same way as GOLD LEAF, but not to the same degree of fineness since the metal would not stand it [Tomlinson (1854)]. It was not used in food or medicine, and it was mainly used for decorative purposes like covering BUTTONs.

OED earliest date of use: 1728

Found in single size and double size
Found in units of BOOK

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Patents, Rates, Tradecards.
References: Tomlinson (1854).

Simple water

[waters both simple & comp:; symple waters; simple distilled waters; simple destilld waters; simp waters]

The simple waters given in the mid-eighteenth century Pharmacopoeia had, with one exception, two things in common; they were distilled in water, and they had a single active ingredient. The exception was AQUA alexeteria simplex, which has not been found in the Dictionary Archive, and which was composed of three ingredients; SPEARMINT, WORMWOOD and ANGELICA. Pemberton added that 'all these waters may keep the longer, [if] about a twentieth part of proof spirit ... be added to them, after they are distilled' [Pemberton (1746)]. Overall, however, these waters did not keep well, and it is therefore unusual to find apothecaries and others with large stocks, though one early-seventeenth century retailer had over 20 in his shop [Inventories (1625)]. These simple waters were seen as distinct in the Pharmacopoeia from 'Spiritous distilled waters', most of which (but not quite all) still had only one active ingredient, but were distilled with PROOF SPIRIT [Pemberton (1746)], and the 'Medicated waters', which were based on mineral components like ALUM, VITRIOL and CAMPHOR [Pemberton (1746)]. Apart from in medicine, simple waters were usually contrasted with COMPOUND WATERS.

OED earliest date of use: 1651 under Tractic

Found in units of GALLON, LB, QUART

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers.
References: Pemberton (1746).

Single refined sugar

[single-refin'd sugar; single refined loafe sugar; single refin'd sugar; refined double or single]

SUGAR that has been REFINED once. It is less commonly specified in recipes than DOUBLE REFINED SUGAR, but references to SUGAR withough a descriptor may refer to the singly refined variety by default.

Not found in the OED

Found in units of CWT, LB Found in the LOAF form, rated by the HUNDREDWEIGHT

Sources: Inventories (late), Rates, Recipes.

Singlo tea

[singlo green; singlo; single tea; single]

A kind of GREEN TEA, known also as 'Soumlo' tea according to a quotation in the OED. It was originally obtained from the Sung-lo hills in the southern Chinese province of Gan-hwny. According to another quotation in the OED, it was the product of the last crop taken in May and June, and therefore one of the least delicate of GREEN TEAs.

[Acts (1767)] implies that either this was a generic name for green tea in the 1760s, or that it was the only variety available in this country. The latter was certainly not true, as HYSON TEA and several other varieties have been noted. It is the earliest variety of tea recorded in the OED, but it only appears in the Dictionary Archive, nearly a decade after the generic green tea and the BLACK TEA called BOHEA TEA. In 1832 one authority quoted in the OED declared that singlo tea was the 'most abundant' green tea, but it was not referred to at all in the Practical Grocer [Simmonds (1906)]. Whether this was because it was by then known by a different name or had disappeared from the market is not clear.

OED earliest date of use: 1699

Found described as FINE, finer, finest
Found in units of LB, TUBcontaining up to 163 LB

Sources: Acts, Inventories (late), Newspapers.
References: Simmonds (1906).

Sink trap

According to Knight's it was a TRAP for 'a kitchen sink, so constructed so as to allow water to pass down, but not allow reflow of air or gases' [Knight (1874-77)].

OED earliest date of use: 1875

See also STINK TRAP.
Sources: Tradecards.
References: Knight (1874-77).