Resident of Roxbury, Vermont, Draws Off The Finished Syrup From a Homemade Evaporator

Quick, take a look at today’s source! Now, what is he up to? Looks simple? Easy? No big deal?

NO WAY. The ancient, chemistry-filled process of going from sap to syrup is an expert’s craft. See those two other Vermont woodsmen trying their hand at syrup-making? They’ve failed! The guy on left didn’t evaporate enough out of his condensing sugar to hit the right mixture (leaving his syrup gross), while the guy in middle hit too much density, crystallizing the whole mix! Only our hero scored the right density of 1333 kg/m³, and can bring his amber-golden syrup to millions.

A Note on Sources

The American Scraps Executive Reference Library

Every American Scraps comic strip cites, links-to, and—where possible—displays a preview of its source artifact. These artifacts are all from public-domain, royalty-free sources, and are appropriate for use in the classroom. Most American Scraps sources come from The National Archives And Records Administration (NARA), whose “Today’s Document” feature was the original inspiration, in 2010, for this whole enterprise. (On a personal note, I’m grateful to NARA for the invaluable work they have done, and continue to do.)

For ease of use in the classroom—specifically grades 5–12—American Scraps organizes its material according to UCLA’s National Standards for History Basic Edition (1996), as you can see in those ten “Historical Eras” above. Learn more about the National Center for History in the Schools here.

If you’re a teacher and are using American Scraps in the classroom, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at

A Note on Theft

The original art you see here on American Scraps is copyrighted, and reproduction of it is prohibited without written approval.

In other words, unless I’ve told you otherwise: Don’t save or screenshot these comics for use in your own post, tweet, slideshow, or embed. Don’t “remix” or “aggregate” them. Don’t reproduce them, even in an appreciative way. Don’t sell them. Don’t drop them into a listicle called “15 Comic GIFs That Tell The Story Of American History (And You Won’t Believe #8!)”.

Instead, contact me at and let’s talk about your idea.

American Scraps