Copper Tea Kettle
This copper tea kettle is an icon from the immigrant era and almost every Swedish immigrant trunk contained one of these. Used during the sea journey in steerage and then after reaching their port of entry, immigrants used copper tea kettles along the route to their destination.
Sweden had the largest copper mine in the world (Stora Kopparberg Mining Company) in Falun, Dalarna, Sweden; and copper cooking utensils were the norm for households. They were valuable, and often listed on the death inventories and designated in wills.
The cover knob was designed to have maximum surface space to help keep the knob relatively cool while heating and lessening the need for a hot pad to protect the person removing the cover.
Often, with use, the bottom would wear thin or have a hole. At that point, it was repaired by a Tinker, a travelling metal worker who cut out the bottom in a design with “tabs” on the outer edge and then replaced the bottom with a piece of copper cut with matching tabs and soldered in place. This can be seen on the copper tea kettle that is at Gammelgården Museum of Scandia.