Bucket : History of Everyday Objects

The word ‘bucket’ is thought to originate from the Old English work ‘buc’ meaning pitcher. In modern times, buckets are most often used to store and carry water from one place to another, especially in villages that have a communal well. But before considering the bucket as a modern instrument, let us travel back in time and explore its traditional use.

It is widely believed that first depictions of the bucket were found in ancient Egypt and Babylon. Wall carvings dating back to about 3000 BC depict priests and common men carrying buckets of holy water. They would then sprinkle this holy water with the help of a pine cone.

The Greeks used buckets made of clay to serve and store their wine. Buckets made of pitch-sealed rope also came to be used by the fire fighters of Alexandria.

The modern era saw similar uses for the bucket. However, the instrument was now made of either wood, metal or leather, instead of terracotta. In fact, modern buckets are even made from plastic, aluminium and brass. In rural areas, they are used to draw water from wells as well as other activities related to agriculture and poultry farming. In parts of India, buckets were traditionally and still are used while bathing.

Fun Fact : In some cultures it is considered bad luck to carry an empty bucket.