Category Archives: Historical Images

‘Frog Backs to Turkey Legs’

High-backs, low-backs, ball-backs, sack-backs, crown backs. The terms used by chairmakers to describe the details of a chair are various and often confusing. The 1996 issue of American Furniture included a meaty article by Nancy Goyne Evans (author of many … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture Styles, Historical Images | 3 Comments

Snap a Line!

When I was 7 my father called me out to the patio to help him as he was building a bookcase. He told me to hold a string to the end of a board, hold it tight and don’t let … Continue reading

Posted in Asian Woodworking, Historical Images, Personal Favorites | 40 Comments

Avenues of Elms

The American Elm (Ulmus americana) known for its rapid growth and and hardiness was the perfect tree to enhance the towns and cities of a young America. Although there are many Elm Streets and Elm Avenues the devastation of Dutch elm … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Personal Favorites | 12 Comments

Two Mechanics in Old New York

In 1788, New York City celebrated the the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, and the artisans of the city participated in one of the parades. In an article for the journal Material Culture, Thomas J. Schlereth wrote, “…the city’s shipwrights constructed … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images | 20 Comments

The Carpenter Song

This song is dated 1873-1900 and was taught in kindergartens associated with the International Kindergarten Union. We have the lyrics but not the score. Is anyone familiar with the song? Although the records show the song was taught in the … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images | 23 Comments

The Old Workshop at Grumblethorpe

In 1744 John Wister built a summer house in Germantown, a rural area northwest of  Philadelphia. The house later became the primary residence of the family and was known for its gardens, orchards and farm. When Charles Jones Wister (1782-1865), … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Workbenches | 13 Comments

The Carpenters, the Wheelwright and the Turner

Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925) was a painter of working people. He was known as a realist and specialized in depicting people working in their homes, in workshops and the fields. As far as I have found, he completed three pieces … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images, Workbenches | 11 Comments