Early kitchen wizards on display

At Middletown hall through end of May

Back in the days before electric appliances did most of the work of slicing, chopping and dicing, the well-equipped kitchen contained a variety of hand-forged‚ÄÇchoppers, or chopping knives. Fran Faulkner of New Kingston has placed some of these unusual implements on display at the Middletown Town Hall on Route 28 between Margaretville and Arkville.
The exhibit, designed by Town Historian Shirley Davis, can be seen during weekday business hours through the end of May.
Fran began collecting early American kitchenware in the 1970s. “Choppers are particularly interesting to me because of the variety of form and excellent workmanship used by blacksmiths to make them. They are quite decorative on a kitchen wall. Their shape and the type of wood used for the handles (pine, maple, tiger maple, burl) also contribute to their appeal.”
An exceptional example on display at the town hall is a chopper with the forged blade connected‚ÄÇto the handle by a wonderful twisted iron extension. Another unusual chopping knife is fastened to a small cutting board of tiger maple.
A chopper for two-handed use has upright handles at each end of the blade. And one of steel has a blade that pivots, one end makes scalloped cuts, the other is strictly a chopper.
The implements are exhibited in a vintage display case that came from the former Bussy Store in Margaretville. Previous displays arranged by Faulkner and Davis have featured school memorabilia, tools, toys and antiques with “heart.”