I received two postcards today. The second one was from Russia...and was a personal swap at the sender's request.
The postcard shows many samovars which are used in and around Russia.
A samovar is a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water. Since the heated water typically is used to make tea, many samovars have a ring-shaped attachment around the chimney to hold and heat a teapot filled with tea concentrate. Though traditionally heated with coal or charcoal, many newer samovars use electricity to heat water in a manner similar to an electric water boiler.
Samovars typically are crafted out of plain iron, copper, polished brass, bronze, silver, gold, tin, or nickel. A typical samovar consists of a body, base, and chimney, cover and steam vent, handles, faucet and key, crown and ring, chimney extension and cap, drip-bowl, and teapot. The body shape can be an urn, vase, barrel, cylinder, or sphere. Sizes vary, from large samovars which hold 110 gallons to small samovars which hold approximately 1 quart.
The first known samovar was manufactured in 1717. The first historically recorded samovar-makers in Russia were brothers, Ivan and Nazar Lisitsyn. From their childhood, they were engaged in metalworking at their father's brass factory. In 1778, they made a samovar. Also in 1778, Nazar Lisitsyn registered the first samovar-making factory in Russia. They might not have been the inventors of the samovar, but they were the first documented samovar-makers.
The sender of the postcard wrote that Russians think tea from a samovar is tastier than from a kettle. ;o)