The Cooperage at Mystic Seaport: A Woodworking Craft

Just about 40 years ago, while a student studying naval architecture, I had a summer job working for a major oil company in New York City. One weekend, two friends and I took a train out to visit Mystic Seaport. Departing Manhattan and arriving in a 19th century seaport village was a revelation. I recall being very impressed by the Charles W. Morgan and the Joseph Conrad. The chandlery, the pharmacy and the rope walk were both interesting. Oddly, the one shop that I recall most distinctly was the cooperage — where the barrels were made. I had known at least something about whaling ships before I arrived yet I simply hadn’t given the work of the cooper any thought. Without the cooper’s staves, hoops and barrels, no whaler would have a profitable voyage. Here is an excellent video about the cooperage at the Mystic Seaport Museum.

The Cooperage at Mystic Seaport: A Woodworking Craft

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3 Responses to The Cooperage at Mystic Seaport: A Woodworking Craft

  1. walt stevens says:

    Water water everywhere not a drop to drink: Alas, Fresh water came in those beautifully hand crafted barrels!

  2. Rupert Danyow says:

    Can you buy any item from the copperage on line. I was there and made the mistake of not buying anything.

  3. Rick Spilman says:

    Mystic Museum has an online shop but I am not aware of whether anything from the cooperage is for sale there.

    https://store.mysticseaport.org/