Iron Sap Bucket Spike


This is a hand-made iron spike used to hold a bucket in place for collecting tree sap. The spikes are usually hooked on one end in order to securely fasten the bucket to the spike.

Maple syrup production is one of the few agricultural processes in North America that was not a European import but learned from Native Americans. Sap is typically collected from the Sugar, Red or Black maple, though it can be collected from other tree types. Northeastern North America is the most common area for maple syrup production, with Vermont, New York and Maine leading production in the U.S. Once the sap is collected, it must be boiled down to reduce the water content. It can require anywhere from 20-50 liters of sap to make one liter of syrup, depending on the sugar content of the sap. Each tree is capable of producing 35-50 liters of sap.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Agriculture, Food, Agriculture


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: ZZ.RSN79690Z23Accession Number: 194893194893

Object Name: Harrow, Toothsap bucket spike

Physical Description: iron (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3/4 in; 1.905 cm


Record Id: nmah_857820

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.