Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Surprises from the stacks

We've been working on an inventory project at work, identifying books that were not added to our catalog when we transitioned from cards-in-drawers to records-in-computers about 30 years ago.  We've come across some real gems, and here are just two that struck a chord with the woodworker in me.

Both are academic, but completely fascinating to anyone who has an interest in period work.  Here are two illustrations from the books- on the left are two photographs of bodgers (the term for chairmakers), one installing legs to a seat, the other bending what will become the back of a Windsor chair.  On the right is a reproduction of an image of an early gang saw mill.

From The Early Sawmills of New Jersey:

Sawmills, unlike gristmills, were not places of romantic interest.  Although the early sawmills were run by wooden machinery, the water wheel vibrated the building, there was no odor of ground meal, no millstones to rumble, no dusty miller drawing in fat bags of grist, and no miller's daughter to enhance the surroundings.  Instead of gently descending mealy showers, the air was full of sawdust, bad language of the men struggling with logs, and the noise and screeching of the saw.  Sawmills were places for work and not for idle gossip or the exchange of neighborhood happenings.

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