Sunday, July 11, 2010

Family Living Center

Rope making is one of our most popular demonstrations because people get to take the rope they make with them. They take bailing twine and make three widths of it into a rope. Sometimes missionaries buy their own bailing twine and make six or eight widths. It's amazing. We could actually survive with the skills and tools we have here in Nauvoo.
The loom is one of the most amazing things. It takes about two full days to load the loom. But it takes many "man hours" to prepare the cloth that goes in to the loom. It is amazing to watch these strips of cloth go in and a rug come out. I have a rug made in this very loom.

The candle making demonstration is one of my favorites. We don't actually dip the candles but about two weeks out of the year to make samples to give our guests. The rest of the time, we just tell about it. Notice how the candles become more and more solid with each dipping. Thirty dips give you about thirty hours of burning time. But it doesn't unless the wick is straight. The amazing thing was that they had to keep the candles away from mice. They would put them in a wooden box and bury them, to keep them safe from the critters. It's easy to see why Abraham Lincoln would have read by firelight, candles took a lot of hard work to make.

This is the baking demonstration. To the very far right is the bustle oven, so named because it sticks out of the back of the home like a lady's bustle. They would light the fire in it and then make the bread dough. They would test the oven by sticking their arm in it. You can see the fire place. We actually make ash bread, but only the missionaries get to try it. The bread we give to visitors is made in the bustle oven. The crane keeps women from catching their skirts on fire, and that's quite an accomplishment as that was one of the greatest causes of death next to child birth in early pioneer women.

This is the spinning and weaving demonstration. The only problem is there are only three missionaries authorized to use the spinning wheel, so when people come in, most of us just have to tell them about it. The gizmo on the table is a weasle. The song Pop Goes the Weasle actually came from this machine. When you get 50 feet of yarn on it, it pops so you know you have enough to sell. The frame to the right of the table demonstrates different ways the wool was dyed. One of those ways with cochineal, which is a bug. The "redcoats" against we fought for independence used that method of dying their clothing.

This is the entrance to the family living center. I actually took this picture a few weeks ago. Now the sidewalk is lined with full bushes of flowers. I don't know if you get the idea of how large the building is, but it's about the size of a full size basketball court.

1 comment:

Mr C said...

That was always one of my favorite places to be. So much fun! AND, if you had 50 feet on you, you'd "pop" too!