This item relates to sugar beets and making sugar molds. To make sugar, the first step was to cut up sugar beets into smaller pieces. Once the sugar beets were cooked, the liquid was put in a wood mold. This was used to mold and harden sugar cane into cone shapes. After the sugar cooled, the sugar beet cones were removed and stored. The jar has an example of sugar beet cones.
When sugar was needed, a person would take the metal sugar nippers and cut off a piece from the cone.
Two of the challenges of sugar cones were keeping bugs away (sometimes done by wrapping the cones in blue paper) and keeping the sugar relatively dry in Minnesota’s summer humidity. Both were not easy tasks and likely meant that early settlers simply didn’t use sugar in the summer.