It always surprises me what weird and wonderful things one can find while searching through the Museum’s collections. While locating items for our upcoming Journeys themed Hands on History Session (on the 15th of September if you would like to come join us), I stumbled upon something I had never seen before and found rather odd. This was clearly a jug of some sort, but it had a series of rather large holes in the neck as well as some conspicuous spouts set in the rim.
After a quick search thanks to our ordered stores and helpful database, I discovered that this object is a puzzle jug. What is a puzzle jug? Well, the helpful taunting text on the body provides a good clue.
“Here Gentlemen, Come try your Skill;
I’le (sic) hold a wager if you Will
That you don’t Drink this Liquor all;
Without you spill or lett (sic) some fall”
The goal, then, is to drink the contents of the pitcher without spilling any – a task made quite obviously difficult due to the large holes in the neck.
The secret, however, is that the rim and handle are hollowed, allowing the clever person to suck the liquid through a small spout. This example has an added layer of complexity in that the other two spouts would need to be covered in order to create suction. Or, of course, you could always enlist more drinkers!
I have had a bit of fun learning about drinking puzzles, something entirely new to me, and I hope that you might be inspired to investigate as well. Be sure to share with us in comments some of the interesting things you discover!