Stępa vessels, also called groats mortars, were commonly used in many houses as early as in the interwar period. Grains of crops were shelled and crushed by them in order to obtain the groats, including among others millet groans, or peeled barley. Groats mortars were also used to crack, that is grind, grains, more rarely to break grains into meal, and even to press oil from flaxseed.
One of the rooms in a barn is traditionally called a mow (sąsiek). In this case, the name refers to a wooden chest, usually situated in a hall or in a chamber behind a hall, which was designed for keeping grains for sowing. A chest belonging to the collection of the Museum in Kęty is typical of southern Poland. Inside the chest are two chambers for two types of grain.
One exhibit which usually arouses substantial interest among visitors to the Museum in Kęty is the 19th-century wooden lister, which can also be called a plough or a small plough. A lister differed from a plough in the fact that it did not turn over a ridge during ploughing and because...
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 lockable presented chest—decorated with zigzag and oblique grid motifs—was used for grain storage. It was carved in an interesting way. The craftsman who made it either knew—or had come into contact with—the achievements of Roman culture.
The photograph taken by Henryk Hermanowicz (1912—1992) gives a perfect example of the then propaganda, in which those who were smarter could see the criticism of the authorities who decided to build industrial facilities on perfectly arable soil. It is also a kind of document of how our approach to the environment has changed. It should be remembered that until the 1970s there was no environmental awareness, even in the West.