Sand Pails

With Summer over and Fall just beginning, one item traditionally used by your ancestors over the years also gets put away for the season. A fun activity has been trips to the lake or beach. One popular item to bring was the American sand pails. The making of sandcastles, forts, walls with a pail filled with sand was a great activity. Here is how it all began.

Sand pails first gained popularity around 1850, when Victorians began vacationing by the sea. The vivid colors and charming graphics on the tin pails appealed to young boys and girls. At first, sand pails were imported from Europe, but in the late 1800s, American manufacturers began to make their own.

Early American-made sand pails were made of metal and typically embossed, hand painted, stenciled, or stamped. The most popular American sand pails were made by Ohio Art Company, J. Chein & Co., Morton E. Converse & Sons, T. Bros, Wolverine, T. Cohn Incorporated, and U.S. Metal Toy Manufacturing Company. They were at their most popular during the period from the 1930s to the 1960s. This period is when many of your parents, grandparents would go to the beach they used one of these sand pails and a matching shovel.

During this time, seaside vacations became more popular due to the increased availability of mass transit. The popularity of American-made sand pails and shovels peaked in the 1950s, but by the early 1970s, it had declined sharply. No longer were metal sand pails made but now plastic pails had taken over in the 1970s. The new plastic pails didn’t rust, dent, or break as easily, and they floated in the water.

Any metal sand pails and shovels can be used also as a decoration in a patio, playroom, etc.

Photo: Vintage metal sand pail and a matching shovel.

Related Blogs:

How Your Ancestors Survived Hot Summers

Ladies of the 1880s in the Summer

Children’s Games

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