In 1800 there were only 4.4 million free men and women (almost half the population of NYC today), and almost 900,000 slaves living in the United States. Most of the citizens were of English nationality, having just won independence from England one generation earlier. Families worked together on their farms and offered surplus or additional products for trade or cash sales. They carved their livelihoods mostly from the earth and sea. By 1860 the U. S. had 23 million more free citizens, and 3 million more slaves.

Between 1800 and 1860, hearth or fireplace cooking was replaced with the iron-cook stove; canals and trains facilitated trade, bringing more variety into the kitchen; and an influx of new immigrants confounded the relationship between household help and housewife.

The following articles contain details of this time period:

Ancient grist mills automated

In the 1780s Oliver Evans of Delaware invented a grist mill design that was more efficient. Before this, grist mills hadn’t changed their design since the Middle Ages. He was the 3rd person to be granted a patent by the newly opened American Patent Office. Out of necessity in the 1790s many grist mill owners switched to Evan’s grist mill design to stay competitive in the marketplace.

His design included a hopper to process and dry grain, automated conveyances, and other updates.

1830s Grist mills locations unlimited to water supply

By the 1830s mills were powered by steam engines, and no longer had to be located on a river to generate power.

In 1850 there were over 100,000 gristmills. Because people had to visit the mill weekly to get their flours, the local mill became a social event. Now there are fewer than 1,000 mills in the United States, but some are open to the public. Like

If you’d like to visit one, here is a partial list:

More Mills:
See the wikipedia site for List of Water Mills, tidemills, and Gristmill

See Threshing and Milling post

* Gristmills, Grinding grain, preserving history by Marti Attoun. American Profile. Harold Rapp, president of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills.

* Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, by Andrew F. Smith, 2009

* The Young Mill-Wright and Miller’s Guide, by Oliver Evans, 1795

A 200-Year-Old Tour of Gastronomic Paris
By Tony Perrottet Published: November 22, 2009
A food-obsessed traveler uses the Zagat guide of the Napoleonic era to explore the culinary wonders of this city in the 21st century.

On the Historic Trail of a Parisian Gourmand
Ed Alcock for The New York Times Published: 2009-11-22
A culinary guide to the City of Light through a 19th-century foodie

A 200-Year-Old Tour of Gastronomic Paris
Published: November 22, 2009
A Revolutionary-era gourmand financed his appetites by writing about them.

Early Mexican kitchen in the Avila Adobe, Los Angeles, California. Picture taken by Brenard Gagnon. Click picture for details.

Another early-1800s Mexican kitchen to visit is at the Hacienda de los Martinez Museum in Taos, New Mexico