Tin was big business in New England in the 19th century and that is what children will discover in a workshop on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road.

According to Old Sturbridge Village, the tin business in New England began in the mid-1700s but grew most rapidly after 1820. Items made of tin were popular and competed with traditional redware pottery.

Tin shop owners purchased tinplated sheet iron imported from England, shaped it into a variety of forms, and distributed finished goods wholesale through peddlers and country stores, and at retail from their shops. Pails, colanders, dippers, dish kettles, funnels, measures, and pans of all kinds were in greatest demand. Lanterns, footstoves, teapots, coffeepots, tin kitchens, skimmers, and sconces were other common utensils produced for house, farm, and shop.

At the Art of Tin Punching Workshop, museum educator Katherine Karlik will talk about tin punching, and about William and Edward Pattinson, brothers who settled in Connecticut around 1740 and established the first tin shop in America.

The workshop project is making a rectangular placard, suitable as a wall hanging, which features a simple dot and dash design. Children will help make their own snack.

The workshop is suggested for ages 6-12. The cost for historical society members is $10 per child, $15 per child for non-members. Register at info@wiltonhistorical.org or by calling 203-762-7257.

“The tin lanterns that illuminated front porches and parlors throughout Europe can be traced to at least the early 16th century. By the Colonial era, tin punching added a bit of variety to the traditional choices of tin lanterns fitted with panes of glass or cow horn. Lanterns with those original types of panes could still be punched, but tinsmiths might bypass panes altogether if they made enough holes to let sufficient light shine through.” - Colonial Williamsburg website.