Woman Demonstrating Use of Fly Brush

Fly Brush: A fly brush of paper strips tied to the end of a cane would be waved over those eating at the kitchen table to shoo away flies. Shooing away flies was typically the work of young children. A fly brush, made of peacock feathers, is also located in the dining room. Pieces of cloth tied over the mouths of storage jars kept flies out of stored preserved food and pierced tin panels kept them out of food safes while allowing air to circulate. Why would flies be such a problem in kitchens during the 19th century?

Return to Kitchen