View Exhibit

Cranberry Scoop

Display: A Tasting Menu
Culinary Technique: separation

Date: c. 1900–1930

Manufacturer: H. R. Bailey Company

Location: South Carver, Massachusetts

Dimensions: 5" h x 10.5" w x 8.5" d

Cranberries are a unique fruit native to North America. They grow on long vines in sandy bogs and marshes, primarily in the Northeast, but also in Wisconsin, Oregon, and parts of Canada. In the 1800s and early 1900s, people picked cranberries with scoops that acted as combs. Scooping lifted the vines without disturbing their runner roots. Harvesters worked in teams. The picker pushed the scoop into the vines, closed the trap with his thumb, and pulled back to strip the berries from the vine. Then he dropped the fruit into his container, which another worker emptied into a box. Skilled pickers worked a scoop in each hand to gather faster. Later growers used wet-harvesting techniques, flooding lowland fields to fill the bogs with water that would float the air-filled berries to the surface for more efficient collecting.