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Tin hand-soldered together with hand-forged turning crank spit rod. Attached to turn crank is a fake piece of roasting meat. Before the 1840s most cooking was done by the use of a fireplace. This reflector oven was also known as a tin kitchen and was one of the tools used for fireplace cooking since around 1790. The problem this oven solved was that roasting meat directly over an open fire would cause grease to drip down into the fire and cause the fire to flare up, sometimes uncontrollable, setting the chimney on fire and filling the home with smoke. This wonderful invention allowed the meat to be roasted outside of the fireplace, by reflective heat, and the grease to drip down into a catch pan. This oven is typical of the type utilized in Winnebago county during early days of settlement. Traveling tinsmiths not only provided the ovens, but could make needed repairs.
Oven, Reflector -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009