icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection

Detail 1
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.


label levels:

In the era before the Europeans arrived in North America, the inhabitants collected the sap from the sugar maple (Acer saccaharum; also known as the rock maple), which flowed strongly in the late winter, in the weeks just before spring.The sugar maple's sap sugar content (two to three percent) is much higher than other deciduos trees. Prior to about 1800, cuts were made in a tree, three or four grouped together. This was called a "box." Under it, a wood chip was placed in a horizontal cut. Sap ran out across the chip and was collected in a hollowed-out log or trough. This technique would eventually kill the tree. Beginning around 1800, taps, or hollow wooden dowels, were placed in holes drilled into the trunk, and a bucket caught the dripping sap. Later, iron hangers were pounded into the trunk and used to hold the buckets. This bucket comes from that era: note the distinctive eyelet for the hanger. By the mid-1800s, tin buckets became available. They were lighter, and were more consistently waterproof; the taps were then made of tin and later steel. They served until the 1960s, when tubing was introduced, eliminating the need for buckets amoung many sugaring houses. Other sugarers continued to use buckets to collect sap.


top of page

Sap Bucket

height   11.5"
diameter   11.5"
process/materials   wood, metal
item type   Tools/Agricultural Tools & Equipment
accession #   #1914.16.05

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

"Sap Gatherers"

Maple Syrup Container

"Massachusetts A Guide To Its Places and People"

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback