Bradley Family Gallery
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Title: Feather Tick
Identifier: T.78.73
Donor: Mrs Calvert
Item Date: 1850-1900
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A blue and white striped cotton tick (mattress) stuffed with feathers. There are ten sections sewn together to stop the feathers from lumping in one spot. The tick is well worn with repairs and has many stains. History: When settlers first arrived in Upper Canada, they slept on mattresses made of straw but would start to collect feathers as soon as possible to make a more comfortable feather tick. It takes approximately 30 to 40 pounds of goose feathers to make a tick. It could take a family up to one year to gather their poultry's feathers to make one bed! Feather ticks helped to keep the occupants warm in the winter as the feathers would hold in body heat. Usually a straw tick would be under the feather tick in the winter to give added support but would be reversed in the summer as this was cooler. Straw ticks were less comfortable as they often contained bugs that would rise to the surface attracted to the body heat of the occupants often resulting in "bed bites". See www.stanleywhitman.org/ropebed
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