Success to Trade
A new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown exhibit case illustrates the theme of trade between the American colonies and Britain prior to the Revolution. Located at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, the case contains several objects acquired in recent years for the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
A circa 1765 English firing glass, a form of drinking glass used for delivering toasts, is inscribed “Success to Trade,” a popular sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic. The American colonies were tied to Britain by a complex network of trade relationships, and this transatlantic trade was important both to Britain and the colonies.
In return for exporting mostly agricultural products like tobacco, America received manufactured goods from Britain, exemplified by a side-pillar microscope made by John Cuff in London about 1750 and a pair of 18th-century paktong candlesticks. Paktong, a Chinese alloy of copper, zinc and nickel, was used in 18th-century Britain to make a range of domestic objects. Paktong looks like silver, and candlesticks made of this alloy became a popular alternative to genuine silver candlesticks.
Work is under way on transforming the museum site, and when the project is complete, in approximately four years, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will become the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.