Acquisition No.: 2016-30
Title: Basket; Woven by Jake Kaiser.
Item History:

In the 1960's, Jake and Hazel Kaiser lived on the Bon Ox road. Their farm shared a border with Bonneauville Boro, the was the first farm on the left, outside of the borough boundaries. The farm in fact, bordered the town using the same property lines that were laid out in the mid-18th Century.

Jake planted and harvested on his small farm. He also butchered chickens for Bonneauville and surrounding residents.

From the 1950's to the early 1970's large numbers of buzzards could be seen soaring effortlessly over the fields just to the north of Bonneauville. Their roosting area was located in and around the Gettysburg Battlefield (a place they were rather fond of in mid-1863.) Daily the vultures visited the Bonneauville area. Each evening they soared back to their roosts. The object of their visits was the unwanted parts of Jake Kaiser's dressed chickens. He spread the innards across his fields. The symbiotic exchange offered a simple solution to the disposal of the offal and left Jakes land somewhat more fertilized.

Mr. Keiser was affiliated in some way with business at Hanover Market House, which has been in business on Chestnut Street in Hanover, PA since 1815. He also sold his processed chickens at that outlet.

In his spare time Jake wove baskets for sale and as gifts. The material he used was "bailin wire and binder twine." The skeletons for his baskets were made from bailing wire, coat hanger wire, or whatever other scraps he could find. The twine was made of coarse sisal that was used to tie hay bales together. The materials were abundant and free since every bale of hay and straw that was opened, offered either two long strands of the stuff, or two strands of wire.

Jake sold and gifted his creations at Hanover Market House. This example, a wall pocket style hanging basket, is one of Mr. Kaisers creations. It was made in the 1960's for Louise Myers Orndorff. The piece is a true representation of a local folk craft.

Image  Image
Location: Case V
Acq. Date: 10/9/16
Acquired from: Louise Myers Orndorff Estate
Price ($): gifted
Type: accession