‘Clockwork in the Kitchen’ talk at the Wyman Tavern

Bob Frishman of Andover, Mass., will give a presentation on “Clockwork in the Kitchen” as the first lecture in the 2014 Wyman Tavern Lecture Series at the Wyman Tavern tonight at 7 p.m.

Frishman’s presentation will appeal to anyone interested in food preparation as well as in culinary timekeeping. Some three centuries after the appearance of mechanical timekeepers in Europe, similar geared machines were applied to the tedious task of turning spitted meat before roaring hot hearths. These roasting jacks were among the first machines in the kitchen.

Other forms of wind-up clockwork such as timers and clocks accompanied a more scientific approach to cooking when recipes and cookbooks began to designate more specific cooking times.

Many of the hundreds of thousands of fancy but inexpensive ‘kitchen clocks’ produced between the Civil War and the Great Depression still tick and bong in American homes.

Frishman’s presentation will include examples of roasting jacks and kitchen timekeepers, as well as lush illustrations of kitchen clockwork.

Frishman writes and lectures about the history and culture of horology, the art and science of making timepieces and measuring time.

Frishman has repaired, restored, and sold antique clocks for 33 years. In 1992 he founded Bell-Time Clocks in Andover, where he buys, sells, and restores antique clocks.

The presentation is free and open to the public, and hosted by the Historical Society of Cheshire County.

The Wyman Tavern Lecture Series started 11 years ago to provide talks on early American life at one of Cheshire County’s most historic houses, the Wyman Tavern.

This year’s topic is “Kitchen Technologies.” The second lecture is scheduled for Oct. 23, when Sandra Tarbox from Newmarket will address the evolution of cooking ingredients and kitchen wear in the colonial kitchen.

As space is limited, interested participants are recommended to contact the historical society at 352-1895 or to make a reservation to attend tonight’s talk.

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