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Wood Maple Tap

Wood Maple Tap

Usage conditions apply
This maple sap tap was used by settlers in upper New York during the 19th century. It would have been used to drive sap spouts into the trunk of the tree. Sap was typically collected and boiled down to make syrup or sugar to use as an alternative to the more expensive cane sugar. Later, when cane sugar became cheaper and took precedence in the American diet, maple syrup was more often produced for either personal use or for supplemental income.
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
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 20.5 cm; 8 1/16 in
ID Number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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