Monday, June 6, 2016

Josiah the Cooper

Very great Uncle Josiah Milton Warren was a cooper. He made barrels. In 1910 on the census his occupation was listed as cooper and the industry he was working as a cooper for was a Brewery. He lived on Bedinger Street in Elsmere, Kenton, Kentucky.

I can find no breweries in Elsmere but there were three breweries in operation in Covington Kentucky which is very near in 1910. The Covington Brewery, The New Kentucky Brewery and Bavarian Brewing.  I have no idea at which he may have worked.

Before 1910 he lived in Cincinnati Ohio and there were 23 breweries in operation in 1910. He could have been employed by one of them.
Besides barrels, coopers also made utensils, casks, buckets, butter churns and drums, mostly things that had staves and required the skill of a hooper. The hooper was the title of the worker who put the metal hoops around the staves to hold them together.

The word cooper came by way of the German word kuper from the word kupe or cask, which came from Latin cupa which was a barrel.

A slack cooper made barrels to hold dry goods such as tobacco, nails, vegetables.

A dry-tight cooper made barrels that would keep out moisture and the product inside dry. They were used for products like gunpowder.

A white cooper made buckets, butter churns, and wash tubs, they were made to hold liquids but were not suitable for shipping items.

A wet cooper made barrels that would hold liquids tight for shipping purposes.

Seguin Moreau is a cooperage (a factory for making barrels) that was incorporated into the House of Remy. They produce Limousin oak barrels which gives the cognac aging in them the distinct vanilla notes found in Rémy Martin Grand Cru which sells for about $1500 a bottle making the value of the contents of each barrel a quarter of a million dollars.

What a shame he did not work there.