A great old article about the evolution of the eating plate. Something I find myself surprisingly interested in.
GOLD and silver; earthenware, pewter and china, have, in different times and under different circumstances been used for plates. Our own forefathers relied on wood. From the earliest times to days well within living memory the wooden platter, the bowl, the drinking vessel, the spoon and even the knife and fork lay on the rude trestle table for daily meals.
Many countrymen recall the wooden implements of childhood memory, and the writer himself remembers the flattened wood porridge plate and the coarse surfaced bowl of the wooden spoon.
Until early Tudor times the wooden platter was almost universal. Then, and for long before (indeed, too, for long afterwards) the common table was found in every home, the humblest stable boy “supping with his titled lord.” His only dish might be a square wooden platter such as (A) in the illustration, whilst for anything approaching an implement such as a knife…
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