In the 1700s and 1800s it was part of everyday life for pioneers to build homes out of sod, bonnets out of an old dress and bridges out of rope. Today's modern technology makes us take for granted the sweat and labour that went into living in a time before inventions like the modern cooking oven or the car. Here are a few pioneer project ideas for those who have the itch to live like the early settlers did.
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Build a Bridge
Bridges were an integral part of how many settlers were able to cross rivers and ravines. As the people who originally navigated these regions, many settlers had to rely on their own know-how and bridge-making knowledge. There are many bridges that can be made by anyone who wishes to create a way to cross from one point to another. Examples of bridges from the pioneer times include: monkey bridges, single lock bridges, single trestle bridges, draw bridges, suspension bridges, friction bridges, and the Troop 185 bridge.
Build A Catapult
Catapults were one of the earliest inventions for fighting and defending, spanning from ancient times into more modern times. Many Boy Scout Troops in the '60s and '70s would make catapults as a project as well. Types of catapults that are good examples of pioneer projects are the two-person catapult, the Troop 10 catapult and the Ballista catapult. Designs have become more complex throughout the years, but the intent of a catapult is the same regardless of when it was made -- to hurl an object quickly through the air at an intended target.
Old Fashioned Cooking and Baking
On the simpler and easier side of pioneer project ideas are made-from-scratch baking and cooking. In the pioneer era, hobs and ovens were a very new invention and for the most part hadn't become a part of many pioneer women's kitchens. Pioneering settlers cooked many meals over an open fire, preserved fruits more often, and these men and women also made many goods artisanally, such as cheese and hand-churned butter. Homemade beef jerky was also commonly made, as was cooking cornmeal, breads and other meals over a campfire.
Pioneering projects did not just involve building homes and baking meals from scratch. They also involved sewing projects such as making clothing, bonnets, rugs, curtains and other household linens. There are various guides online that can teach anyone to sew an authentic prairie bonnet. Clothes patterns for prairie-inspired dresses are also available in many books or on some Internet sites. Many of these creations use a simple cross-stitch, considering that sewing machines were not patented until 1830.
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