We build similar contraptions over cooking fires. A stick with a number of notches cut in it or a chain with an S hook allows for easy adjustment of the pot, kettle, or dutch oven.
Anyone who has ever visited a historic home or living history village has probably seen a fireplace fitted out with a cooking crane, perhaps with pots hanging from hooks or a trammel, but long before there were cooking cranes there was the humble lug-pole.
The lug-pole was a freshly-cut pole of green wood, sometimes called a back-bar, suspended between two ledges high up in the chimney from which hung chains, pots, kettles, and other utensils needed for meal preparation.
A lug is a handle or projection used as a hold or support. The chimney-side was called a lug prior to the 18th century, thus the pole that was suspended from side to side high in the chimney was a lug-pole.
The English sometimes called them a gallow-balke, and the hooks that hung from the pole a gallow-crooke. These terms are also found on early estate inventories in New England.
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