Three-legged cook pot

flat bottom cook pot Gavin

single handle cookpot,
Herbst excavation

2 handled cook pot Gavin

double handle cookpot,
Schaffner-Krause Pottery site excavation

3 leg pot Gavin

three-legged cookpot,
Schaffner-Krause Pottery site excavation

Hearth cooking in Salem after the 1830s?

As the 19th century progressed, cast iron stoves became more common in America. Flat bottomed cookpots were produced by the Salem potter for use on top of these stoves.

Excavation at a cellar hole on the Herbst House lot recovered many flat-bottom cookpots. The temporal context for this site is the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

Subsequently, Old Salem Director of Archaeology Dr. Michael O. Hartley moved excavations to the Schaffner-Krause Pottery site, following the Herbst excavations, to specifically study the source of the Salem ceramics from this time period. The pottery operated from 1834 until ca. 1905.

As expected, flat bottom earthenware cookpots were found there, as the flat bottom cookpot emerged in the 19th century when the iron cook-stove replaced open hearth cooking on the coals.

However, change can be hard, especially in the kitchen.

This flat-bottom cookpot with three legs was also excavated at the Schaffner-Krause pottery site and indicates that the pottery shop had a customer (or possibly more than one customer) who still cooked the old way, on the coals of an open hearth.

So the potter accommodated someone who still did it the old way, by adding the legs to the more modern flat-bottom form, to set the cookpot in the coals of the hearth.