Henry Will, New York City Pewterer

The gallon, half-gallon, and pint measures were likely made by Henry Will, a prominent New York City pewterer in the late 1700s. As his 1786 advertisement shows, that year Will created a new set of standard measures from which all others in New York State were produced―a very important task. He earned this commission after a public scandal resulted in an investigation by city officials, revealing that the previous set of measures did not conform to customary New York sizes.

These liquid measures are closely related to other Winterthur items. Henry Will’s ledger book is housed in the Winterthur Library and records numerous purchases for pewter measures of all sizes. This new group, assembled over many years, joins copper and brass liquid and dry measures in the collection.