History of Buckets


Open-ended containers with flat bottoms have existed since ancient times. Vessels commonly referred to as buckets, typically with a handle, or bail, across the top, are medieval inventions. Numerous materials have been used in the manufacture of buckets.


  • The word bucket appeared in the 13th century. It possibly derives from the Old English word "buc," meaning pitcher, bulging vessel or belly. Animal organs may have constituted the earliest buckets.


Wooden Buckets

  • Coopers fashioned wooden buckets by fitting wooden staves inside metal rings in the Middle Ages. Wet coopers specialized in watertight buckets, while dry coopers made buckets that could not hold water.

Galvanized Iron

  • Stanislas Sorel patented galvanization in 1837. The metallurgical process shielded iron or steel with a zinc-coating. For buckets, the process promised sturdy construction without fear of rust. Galvanized iron buckets replaced leather buckets as the firefighting buckets of choice.


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  • Photo Credit champagne bottle in ice bucket image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com on the peg image by mark smith from Fotolia.com seau et bouclier image by Jacques PALUT from Fotolia.com bucket image by MLProject from Fotolia.com bucket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com
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