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Video demonstration of a bed warmer, a tool used by families in the 1700s and 1800s to keep their beds warm.
Families in the 1700s and 1800s relied on fire to heat their living spaces. Even so, cold drafts were a problem most winter nights. This tool was useful for warming cold sheets on a freezing cold night. Hot ashes from the fireplace are placed in the copper pan, which then is run between the covers. At Hope [Plantation], this type job would have gone to an enslaved house servant. How would you feel about warming up someone else’s soft bed when you had to sleep on an uncomfortable cot — or maybe even the cold floor?