"The art of creating wireware dates back to seventeenth century Slovakia, where craftsmen referred to as tinkers first used strands of tinned wire to repair broken pottery. Their skills in manipulating wire evolved into an art form, which was then brought to America. Tinkers created many useful household objects such as baskets, candelabra, wire frames for plates, kitchen utensils, and of course trivets and sad iron stands. Wireware reached its height of popularity in the 1800s and production continued into the early twentieth century, but by 1940 the craft had all but disappeared. Although some simpler designs were massed produced, the majority of antique wireware was hand crafted by individual artisans or in workshops." The Expanded A-Z Guide To Collecting Trivets, page 46
Trivets in this album are from the collection of Lynn Rosack unless otherwise stated.
For more information on Wire and Wireware, see the book "Everyday Things Wire".
Most early wire trivets were individually hand crafted by tinkers- men who worked with tinned wire. Books on Victorian Wireware show early photographs of these men working with bolts of wire and pliers. Wireware items were also made by peddlers or gypsies.
A number of catalogs from the late 1800s contain wireware. In addition to trivets, there were elaborate serving pieces and other decorative household accessories fashioned from wire. Some simple pieces with plain designs could have been factory made.
People lost interest in wireware in the early 1900s and it pretty much went out of production. Of course there are still some limited wireware items available today, but most of these are fashioned of stainless steel or aluminum wire.