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Catalog Data

Medium:
Metal
Type:
Watering cans
Date:
ca. 1900-1950
Description:
Metal watering can with open top. The body is oblong with three horizontal bands pressed out around the center. The back has a low handle, and the front has a water spout that is taller than the body of the can and curves at the end. A wire handle is attached on either side of the can near the top.
Label Text:
Water is a necessity when maintaining plant life, thus watering cans were vital to the Victorian garden. Before irrigation systems with water on tap, watering cans were essential to the transport and supply water to plants in the home, garden, and professional greenhouses. Indoor gardening was an extremely popular pastime throughout the nineteenth century, and watering cans were vital to the successful cultivation of plants indoors because these plants did not have the benefit of water coming from precipitation. Until the 1870s, water on tap was still considered a luxury for many people, and municipal water had only become available in the 1830s. People often relied on rain-water barrels, ponds, streams, and wells to gather water for their gardens, and this was one of the biggest chores without convenient taps or running water. There were a variety of watering cans available to the Victorian gardener. Pots with long spouts were used for plants on shelves, finely perforated spouts and French pots which had zigzag bends in the spout were used to break the force of the water as it fell on plants to resemble rain, small, flat cans were used for watering plants in corners and small spaces, and long spouted watering cans were available to water plants on shelves.
Topic:
watering cans  Search this
Equipment and supplies  Search this
gardening  Search this
Tools and Equipment  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
2017.001.001
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/aq4729bc1f8-3a9f-4aa5-bbfa-93c60009a761
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:hac_2017.001.001