A: "cheese store" in 1689?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat May 3 02:39:43 UTC 2008

At 5/2/2008 02:58 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
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>On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> > Among the items Samuel Sewall put aboard ship to
> > bring back to New England in 1689 was "one Cheese Store".
> >
> > What is that?  Two possibilities, perhaps (from OED2, under "store n."):
> >
> > 1)  "7. a. A stock (of anything material or
> > immaterial) laid up for future use."  In this
> case, it is "a supply of cheese".
> >
> > 2)  "†10. Means for storing, receptacles for
> > storage." -- but, aboard ship, not 11.a, a
> > "warehouse".  But the only citation for sense 10.
> > is 1497.  In this case, it is "something in which
> > cheese can be kept".  If so, what was it like in
> > the 1680s?  (I'm thinking a platter with a dome.)
> >
>IMHO, a #7a, probably in a #10. For a several months' sea voyage you
>DON'T put cheese on display for serving, you seal it against mold,
>insects, and rats (two-legged as well as four-).  Durable hard cheese,
>in large blocks sealed in wax, in a secure crate.

Sewall brought back a cheese wrapped in lead (as
a gift for someone back home), and a
fellow-traveler, Thomas Brattle, Treasurer of
Harvard, brought back a barrel of cheese.  There
are no other mentions of cheese in Sewall's list of items.

I don't think Sewall put cheese(s) in a cheese store (cabinet) for the voyage.


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