In the past I have posted about this silver shuttle, given to me by a friend of the family who had it for years. It had been given to her by a relative and she thought it was quite old.
Yesterday, while tooling around Tat-land, I came across this method of cleaning tarnished silver on Sharren's site. Crazy Mom has a post all about it here, as well.
I used a glass container, aluminum foil, baking soda, table salt and boiling water. I mixed all this up and plunked the shuttle in and stirred it for a bit. Repeated the process. Success!
The back is stamped C.B.&H. (Codding Bros. & Heilborn, South Attleboro MA) Sterling.
Codding Bros. & Heilborn was founded in 1862 in North Attleboro and went out of business in May 1918. They were manufacturers of sterling silver novelties. (Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, Rainwater & Redfield, 1998)
After it was all cleaned up I could really see the stamp and got to wondering about the origins of this shuttle and who had made it. Enter the Internet.
Where would we be without this amazing reference tool for information that it would have taken weeks to find in "the olden days"?
There you have it. A sterling silver shuttle, made in Massachusetts, that is probably one hundred years old or close to it, as it could not have been manufactured after 1918. Amazing. If it could talk, what an interesting story it could tat...
I did try to use this shuttle after it had gone through its metamorphosis and found I was very clumsy with it. I kept dropping it and it seemed to be weighted in all the wrong places. This made me think more about its previous owners.
My thought is that tatters of years gone by did not have the option of light, well-moulded plastics. They did have wood and the early plastic-like materials were light, but the metals were more demanding of control and possibly time. The tips are difficult to keep tight. It is a bit tricky to wind the thread on the silver shuttle, as there is no give at all. That shuttle is hard and cold.
This shuttle definitely takes more time to load and is tricky with that hard silver point. It is heavy. It is weighted oddly. Yes, I do think tatters of an earlier era had a more difficult "tat" than I do with my tiny, trusty Clovers.