Putting the Little Ones to Work

The children of today really do miss out where the children of the past got to enjoy a hard day’s work. Above we have two of the most necessary tools for any child in rural Western North Carolina in the 1800s, the water yoke and chamber pot. Throughout the day, water would be used in the Vance House for cooking and cleaning, thus there would need to be steady supply of it brought up from the spring house. This is where the water yoke comes in. The apparatus would by placed upon a child’s shoulders and fit around their neck. Two full buckets of water would be placed on the hooks so that the child could easily carry both to the Vance house at the same time. The chamber pot would be less of a tool for the children, as it would be a bane upon their existence. Used to hold the excrement of the Vance Family, the enslaved children would take the chamber pot out every morning to be dumped far from the spring house.  

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