Grandma Trayer’s egg basket

gathering eggs

It’s just an old basket, right?  Actually it’s about 150 years old, and my uncle’s grandmother used it to gather the eggs from the chickens on the family farm. It’s not actually worth much, except for its story, which money can’t buy.

I have a nostalgic love for old things.  Sometimes you can almost feel history as you hold them in your hand. My uncle was married to my aunt, my mother’s sister, so was not my blood relative, so Grandma Trayer wasn’t actually a relative of mine.  But my uncle was sick and knew he was going to pass on soon, and he had a reverence for old things too, something his own children lacked.  He knew if this part of his history which was so important to him went to his own kids, they would probably get rid of it cos it was just an old basket. Its story, and part of his story, would have been lost. So he gave it to me, cos he knew I would take care of it and treasure it for its history.

So what’s reverence for an old egg basket………a chicken and some eggs of course!  The chicken came from a department store, that was easy. The old wooden eggs were more of a challenge.  They used them years ago to put in the chickens’ nests to encourage them to lay their eggs where the fake wooden ones were. Sometimes chickens would just lay eggs any old place, so these eggs  showed them where the keeper of the chickens wanted them to lay them, in their nests!  I’ve heard older people talk about using other things instead of these, glass door knobs, small balls, etc.

It took going to several flea markets before I found wooden eggs, cos I guess they’re not made any more and they are hard to find. (Or maybe they’re still being used and I just didn’t know where to look.)

Then Grandma Trayer’s egg basket sort of had some eggs, and I might as well throw in a chicken too. I showed my uncle what I had done with the egg basket before he passed away.  He liked that. So do I.

16 responses to “Grandma Trayer’s egg basket

  1. If a chicken snake ate glass egg it wood be obstructed. They’d wrap themselves around a tree to crush it. My grandma told me od finding snake skelatonswith door knobs, wooden, or China eggs inside.

    • Thanks. I remember seeing them when I was a kid, cos where we lived had an old outbuilding for chickens, and I was fascinated by the wooden eggs. So I knew what I was looking for when I wanted some, just not where to find any till I thought of flea markets.

  2. I am such a softie for chickens. I got to hold ‘Lucy’ at a farm on Saturday and it made my day. I still want to get chickens again in my back yard. That looks like a fine egg basket too-150 years old wow!

    • It would have to be about that, cos my uncle would be 85 if he was still living. Do they still use the wooden eggs or is that a thing of the past? I hope you can get some chickens!

      • Yes absolutely ! I used them myself when I had chickens for 10 years…the day after I first put them in the nest box, they began laying eggs in it. Coincidence? I think not!

      • No I don’t think so either. It was an old good thing to do, and those things were right things to do.

        It hasn’t rained here in maybe three weeks. Grass is brown and my veggies are only alive cos I’ve watered them every day. Now it’s pouring and I was just sitting on the back porch listening to it rain. I think I heard some veggies in the garden singing…….maybe it was just rain. 🙂

  3. I love the story and the way you have set up the basket. As you already know I have a love of history as well as anything vintage. 🙂

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