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SUBMITTED by Theresa Streb, Lyons Public Library (27-Jan-2011)

Memory Jugs
Through the month of February, the Lyons Public Library is featuring a display of Folk Art Bottles and Memory Jugs near the circulation desk. Chris Davis provided the bottles and jugs for the display. The folk art bottles include two painted with scenes on the outside and the rest feature items like a chair, a man climbing a ladder and a ship, all built with in the bottles. This was a favorite pastime for people during the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century.

Several memory jugs are also included in the display. Following is a description from the "Encyclopedia of American Folk Art":
"... any type of vessel or container that has first been covered with a layer of adhesive, such as putty, cement, or plaster. Then, while the adhesive is still damp, a variety of objects are embedded into the vessel’s malleable surface, including beads, buttons, coins, glass, hardware, mirrors, pipes, scissors, seashells, tools, toys, and watches."
Memory jugs may have been used to remember a deceased loved one by attaching things that had some significance in that person's life. Some jugs were probably used as burial markers by those who couldn't afford headstones and others may have just been a hobby or craft. Stop by and see this fascinating collection during library hours: Mon. & Wed. - 10 a.m.-5p.m., 7-9 p.m., Tues. & Thurs. - 12 p.m.- 9 p.m., Fri. - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sat. - 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please call the Lyons Public Library at (315) 946-9262 or email lyonslibrary@owwl.org for more information.

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