Sign workshop for children

Signs are everywhere. They identify, direct, decorate, inform and promote. On Saturday, April 8, from 11 to 12:30, the Wilton Historical Society will offer a workshop for children about trade signs and dummy boards.

In Colonial America, trade signs, which featured a literal image of the tradesman’s craft, such as boots and shoes for a cobbler, or a mortar and pestle for an apothecary, hung on stores and workshops. They advertised the service or merchandise available, reaching those who could — and could not — read, with artistry, whimsy and humor. Museum educator Lola Chen will talk with the children about the various trades and their symbols.

She will also discuss dummy boards which are two-dimensional wooden figures of people or pets painted to mimic the look of three-dimensional carvings, popular from the 17th through the 19th century.

Children will have an opportunity to create their own dummy board. A snack of sugar and spice muffins is included, which the children will help prepare.

The program is suggested for ages 6 to 12. The cost is members: $10, maximum $25 per family; non-members $15, maximum $35 per family. Register by calling 203-762-7257 or emailing