Maple Sugar House Mold

Maple Sugar House Mold

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Maple sugar is produced by boiling sap to evaporate the water until past the point of syrup production. It then can be placed into wooden or metal molds to harden into cakes to be used later. Early settlers in New England had greater access to maple sugar, while early abolitionists often promoted the use of maple sugar versus cane sugar due to the slave labor used in cane sugar production. While maple sugar production could never compete with cane sugar in terms of scale, it was often easier and cheaper for those on the northeaster frontier to produce.
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Mold, Maple Sugar
date made
19th Century (?)
place made
location where used
associated place
United States: South Carolina, Charleston
Physical Description
wood (clamp material)
wood (end material)
wood (side-roof material)
wax (overall material)
overall: 5 1/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 13.335 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


Add a comment about this object