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Wooden forks, a popular simple agricultural tool, were commonly used until the first half of the twentieth century, when they were replaced by ever-cheaper iron forks. The type of fork used for spreading dung, displayed in the collections of the Museum in Kęty, could be found in southern Poland, as well as in the area of the present-day Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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Wooden forks, a popular simple agricultural tool, were commonly used until the first half of the twentieth century, when they were replaced by ever-cheaper iron forks. The type of fork used for spreading dung, displayed in the collections of the Museum in Kęty, could be found in southern Poland, as well as in the area of the present-day Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The forks were made entirely of wood. The shaft in the extension turns into the middle tooth, and the two side teeth are attached to it with wooden pins. The tool is slightly curved, which facilitates the collection  and lifting up of manure.
Currently, three-tooth metal forks are used to move hay or straw. For manure, in which there are smaller elements, a fork consisting of four or five teeth is used.
The forks came to the Museum in Kęty along with the collection handed down posthumously to the city by the enthusiast of history and collector of memorabilia, Aleksander Kłosiński. This collection still forms the core of museum collection. It is worth noting that, in the museum inventory of the ethnographic department, the fork was entered under the number 1.


Elaborated by the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty, © all rights reserved

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Multifunctional pitchfork and a non-obvious usage of a polypore

A pitchfork, one of the basic tools used by peasants at work, for centuries was also used as a means of defence — it was used for fighting in the absence of regular weapons. Peasants, drafted into the army since the Middle Ages, had to procure their weapons themselves. Having no armour or...

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A pitchfork, one of the basic tools used by peasants at work, for centuries was also used as a means of defence — it was used for fighting in the absence of regular weapons. Peasants, drafted into the army since the Middle Ages, had to procure their weapons themselves. Having no armour or just a few elements, they used hats made of a commonly available material, namely polypore growing on birches, to protect themselves against injuries.

To make such a headgear, the top and bottom layer (the two hardest parts) of the polypore needed to be cut off and then, after the material had softened, it could be shaped into a mould. A hat shaped in this way not only protected the head but also absorbed sweat, which tended to flow freely during battle.

The pitchfork from the collections of the Małopolska’s Virtual Museums was only used as a working tool. However, it is worth taking a closer look at it, even if simply because of... its inventory number. Sometimes such inconspicuous objects (Kraków’s bed from the collection of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, a pitchfork from the Muzeum im. Aleksandra Kłosińskiego w Kętach) (the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty) are entered into the inventory under the number 1, at the start of the museum’s collection.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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Wooden pitchfork

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