At last I was able to visit the new “Made in Cincinnati” exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center and see the display on Henry Boyd, a black 19th century furniture maker who bought his way out of slavery in Kentucky and built an impressive furniture company in downtown Cincinnati.
We are working on a children’s book about Boyd that is in the final stages of illustration and – we hope – will be out before Christmas.
The new permanent exhibit on Boyd makes me happy. While his story is well-known in the black community and among furniture-makers, his achievements are the sort of thing that should get a public school named after you.
The display has one of his famous beds, which is cool to see without any mattress or bedding. Plus there is an interactive exhibit that shows you how his threaded bedstead rails worked (the display has metal screws whereas Boyd’s were wood).
There are also displays that document Boyd’s life and career, a selection of tools from the period and the workbench that we built with the help of readers for the exhibit.
All in all, it’s a great start to opening the eyes of the general community about Boyd. I hope our book will also help. And then maybe we should talk some more about naming a school after him.
— Christopher Schwarz