Search in collections
Utilitarian tinware had been a part of American domestic life since the 17th century, when it was imported from England. In the early 19th century, however, a tinplate industry developed in America, with several important shops located in New York State. By the 1820s these shops were producing elaborately decorated tin pieces in a wide variety of forms and styles, and were using peddlers to market their wares across the countryside. Painted decoration, using bronze powder and gold leaf, was often executed by young women working in family tinshops.