The Department of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences houses the Rietz Collection of Food Technology. Containing nearly 1,400 items, this collection was assembled by Carl Austin Rietz, an inventor and businessman in the food industry. His interest in the industry led him on travels around the world to collect objects used in the production, processing, storage, presentation, preparation, and serving of food.
A large portion of this collection consists of eating utensils, including tableware and portable eating sets. The variety of forms displayed by many items in the Rietz Collection document the history and evolution of such common utensils as forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks. To see items from the Rietz Collection and to learn about the history of common eating utensils, please click on one of the links below.
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