Peaseware sewing caddy
Ohio Life

Ohio Finds: Peaseware Sewing Caddy

This sewing caddy, treasured by collectors across the United States, was made by David Mills Pease in Ohio during the second half of the 19th century.

During the 19th century, girls were expected to learn rudimentary skills needed at a time when many families could not afford store-bought clothing. Needle, thread and cloth were at the heart of any project, but home seamstresses found ways to add a bit of polish to a sewing room through items such as figural pincushions and sewing boxes. 

Among Ohio’s contributions to those accoutrements were sewing caddies made by David Mills Pease, who settled north of Akron in 1840, following a move from the Connecticut River valley, where his family worked with wood. By the 1860s, he was making a variety of lidded kitchen containers, most having a squat form that stood on a pedestal or short foot. 

Adapted from traditional Peaseware, the sewing caddies often had metal spikes to hold spools of thread. The lidded vessels also offered storage space for items such as thimbles and scissors. The caddies were the type of utilitarian objects that helped refine a 19th-century sewing room. Today, they are treasured by collectors across the country.  

Sold at Auction: $200

Richard Jeffers is the owner of Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Columbus.