Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Colonial WIlliamsburg-The Trades

The kids did a scavenger activity hunt while we were at Williamsburg and had to visit several tradesmen to see which trade they would like to apprentice.

The first shop we visited was the wigmaker.  Did you know that in colonial times, to have a wig made, you would have a model of your head carved out of wood?  Then the wig would be custom-fitted to your (shorn) head.
 The weaver's shop was very interesting and we learned a lot about the dyes used for the fabrics.  Red/pinks were the most expensive cloth to buy because of the number of dips it took to get the color.  And also because the dye was made from cochineal bugs that came from South America.  (This dye is still used today, primarily in food and cosmetics-if you wear red lipstick, you have bugs on your lips!)
 At the wainwright's, we watched a wheel being made for an artillery cart.
 And in the garden we saw all types of medicinal plants.
We also visited the gunsmith, the silversmith, the blacksmith, the shoemaker, a general store, the post office, and ate lunch at a Colonial tavern.

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