The Freaking Firkin Club


| 11/9/2017 4:15:00 PM


Tags: Firkin, Sugar Bucket, Antique Buckets, Antiques,

Country MoonIt still amazes me how some things can snowball. Some simple little remark or incident that you thought was so insignificant can grow into something huge. This just happened to me, all over a firkin.

Dear friends Davy and Sandy from Pennsylvania love the primitive decorating style and recently mentioned how much they like firkins. Now, even though I do know some antiques and am on the verge of being one myself, my educated guess was that a firkin was some type of antique furniture. Well, that was about as wrong as I could be. However, my curiosity started a firkin frenzy.

A firkin is actually a lidded wooden container with bent wood handles. Originally, these were so named after the unit of measure that filled these particular types of kegs that were used for cask conditioning, usually being filled with a certain kind of beer. A “firkin” unit of measure is equal to one-quarter of a barrel, 72 pints or 8 gallons.

In later use, besides being used for storing beer, firkins were used to hold sugar, salt and even fish and other staples. They come in various sizes and colors depending on the type of wood used. Most have lids, however through the ages, some have been lost or destroyed, so firkins can be found without lids. Some are straight and some are slanted. Many times they are referred to in antique shops as sugar buckets.

OK, back to the freaking firkin story. I like wood and I like things to stuff more things into. So, naturally, I fell in love with Sandy and Davy’s “freaking” firkins. Finding one would become my “thrill of the hunt” whenever I went to garage sales (which is really not my thing) or perused antique shops, which I don’t do very often either. The word “freaking” in this context is an adjective meaning exceptional; hence it is a perfect description of firkins because they are pretty awesome and a special find. So, in my world, they became freaking firkins.

As fate would have it, in the next couple of weeks my friend Steph, who is a garage sale pro, asked me to go with her to the US 12 garage sales in Michigan. I told her that my quest was to find a freaking firkin, thinking that I could (finally) educate her on something. Her reply was “Oh, I have one!” and then she proceeded to show me this perfect, small, dark-stained, lidded wooden bucket. I wanted one even more.

dbentz1
11/15/2017 3:12:05 PM

Lois, I'm glad you found what you were looking for. I thought it was cool that you would want to finish a knitting square and give it as a high school graduation present from great great grandma. What a wonderful idea. I have blankets and afghans that were made by my grandma. it will be meaningless for those that come in behind me after I'm gone but it is special keepsakes for me. Have a great freakin' firkin huntin' day. ***** Nebraska Dave


dbentz1
11/15/2017 3:10:16 PM

Lois, I'm glad you found what you were looking for. I thought it was cool that you would want to finish a knitting square and give it as a high school graduation present from great great grandma. What a wonderful idea. I have blankets and afghans that were made by my grandma. it will be meaningless for those that come in behind me after I'm gone but it is special keepsakes for me. Have a great freakin' firkin huntin' day. ***** Nebraska Dave





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