Date: c. 1890
The Christmas season conjures up images of decorating trees, cookies, snow, and maybe even sleigh bells. In fact, Jingle Bells is one of the most popular songs around Christmastime. It was actually the first song ever played in space.
However, sleigh bells were not just used for decoration, but served a practical purpose. In the early 19th century as the population of the United States increased and the quality of roads improved, sleigh bells were badly needed. Unlike the wheels of a carriage, which create noise, sleighs are relatively quiet. The snow even mutes the sound of the horse's hooves. The bells were an auditory warning to prevent collisions with other sleighs or pedestrians.
William Barton of Connecticut is credited as being the first American sleigh bell manufacturer, in 1818.
Look for the sleigh bells in the Kitchen