Dionne quintuplet spoons

Posted by Estyn Hulbert on

Spoons are one of the tools I use every single day.

One year for my birthday my friend Ellen gave me a teaspoon with a little girl and the name ANNETTE on the handle. She had no idea who she was but had found her in a shop and thought I would like her.

Annette Dionne quintuplet spoon

With a little online research I realized that Annette was one of the Dionne quintuplets and that the spoon was part of a set, one of the many commercial products made with their images. 

Over time I found the other four spoons on ebay and completed the set. They live in my silverware drawer, with last week's bottle opener.

Dionne Quintuplet spoons in drawer

Actually, the Dionne quintuplets have a sad story. They were badly mistreated, shown off as an entertaining curiosity throughout their childhood. At one time they were the most visited tourist attraction in Ontario, outstripping Niagara Falls.

When I read about the Dionne girls, I realized that while they were being paraded three times a day in front of paying gawkers, my mother was growing up on an Ontario farm not all that far away and probably very similar to the one where they were born. Small, bizarre world.

I have strong feelings about many of the tools I use. As a maker, these tools are almost as meaningful to me as the things I make. I created #toolsontuesday to keep up the practice of sharing stories about the tools we use and live with.

Every Tuesday, I share one of my favorite tools. I hope you'll share yours in the comments — it feels good to honor these everyday objects.

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