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Brooms in the Appalachian Artifacts Collection

Selected brooms and broom-making-related artifacts as documented by Student Curators in 2015

Chain Link Hearth Broom 2006.17.1

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Style: Flat

Handle: Black Walnut

Braid: Simple Weave

Maker: Possibly Bennett Hall

Location: Kentucky, Harlan County, Possibly Pine Mountain Settlement School

String: Cotton String

Length of handle: 7 ¾"

Length of bristles: 16 ¼"

Total length: 24"

Source: Purchase

Descriptive Notes: This broom is well persevered and shows little use. Braid is slightly loose, but sturdy. Handle has scratches. There are no markings.

Provenance Notes: This broom was represented by the seller as a Berea College Broom, but bears no markings as a Berea College broom. It is not tagged and the length does not match with similar models of Berea College brooms. Comparing the chain link carving at the end of the handle with images of brooms known to have been made by Mr. Hall, suggests the broom may have made by Bennett Hall at Pine Mountain Settlement School, Kentucky.

Large Splinter or Shave Broom 2001.1.1

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Style: Splinter or Shave

Handle:  Birch

Braid:  5-½"

Maker: Unknown

Location: Unknown

String: None, wooden strips

Length of handle: 39"

Length of bristles: 13"

Total length: 52"

Source: Unknown

Descriptive Notes: This is a full-sized, or floor-broom-sized splinter or shave broom in very good condition. It is hand-carved from a single piece birch.  There is a hole with a white piece of cotton string for hanging.

Provenance Notes: This broom was likely made during the 1970s or 80s as a demonstration piece for the Berea College Appalachian Museum.

Medium Splinter or Shave Broom 2001.5.1

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Style: Splinter

Handle: Possibly Birch

Braid: Simple Weave

Maker: Unknown

Location: Unknown

String: White Cotton String

Length of handle: 18"

Length of bristles: 8 ½"

Total length: 26 ½"

Source: Unknown

Descriptive Notes: This is a medium-size splinter or shave broom.  It is hand-carved from a single piece of wood, most likely birch. The handle is has a longitudinal crack but is strong. There is a hole for hanging. It has a loose braid instead of stitching.

Provenance Notes: Possibly to have been made as a demonstration piece for the Berea College Appalachian Museum, during the 1970s or 80s.