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State Historical Society of Iowa

Barrel Makers in Union, Iowa, Date Unknown

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Barrel Makers in Union, Iowa," Date Unknown
Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa, "Barrel Makers in Union, Iowa," Date Unknown


Barrel making or being a cooper is a skilled trade. Everything was stored in these wooden containers; flour, grains, salted meats and fish, water, nails, beer, spirits, whale oil and many more. 

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Look closely at the photo and describe what you see.
  • What are the barrels used for?
  • When you think about all the uses of the barrels, why do you think being a cooper craftsman would be a good job?