December 1, 2008

The Geer House

An amazing account of one family's dedication to the Connecticut soil they've owned since the 1680s. It's a dramatic tale of deceit, struggling orphans, hard work and love, culminating in the story of a remarkable woman, Charlotte Geer, and the house she built on land held by her family for ten generations.

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Early Tin Cookie Cutters

This article sheds fascinating light on the evolution of shaped cookies from ancient times to the 1850s, from pagan ceremonies to the heyday of the American tinsmith. It also features interviews with four of today's leading creators of tin cookie cutters, using the traditional methods.

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October 1, 2008

Windsor Writing Chairs

Windsor chairs are a hallmark of American furniture making, and the Windsor writing chair is the pinnacle of the line. Throughout the 19th Century it was favored by statesmen, doctors and clergymen for its elegant lines and utilitarian appeal. This article presents the fascinating history of the Windsor writing chair and features a half-dozen of the country's most notable furniture makers who still create by hand this distinctive chair.

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The Reeves House

Visiting collector Vernon Reeves in his unique eastern Missouri home that integrates an 1840 log cabin into a new structure designed to showcase his extensive array of antique furnishings. An antique collector since he was 10, Vernon's pieces span the 18th and 19th centuries, with emphasis on primitive pioneer pieces of the early 1800s.

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June 1, 2008

Early Nails

A deeply researched article tracing the development and use of the common nail from the Stone Age to the mid 19th Century. A number of fascinating facts are included, as well as interviews with a handful of blacksmiths who still maintain the long legacy of creating nails by hand for historic homes and museums. The article also has a look at the one steel-cut nail factory still operating in the US.

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April 1, 2008

Simplicity in Storage

The Shakers demonstrated an incredibly clean and ingenious approach to everything they created. One of the most lasting examples has been the simple Shaker box. This article presents a history of the Shaker box and features interviews with five of today's finest creators of things Shaker, plus a man who has taught more than 5,000 people to build the boxes.

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Early Pistols

Early pistols were a sign of social prestige. Military officers carried them and duels were fought with them. Yet they were were difficult to handle and amazingly inaccurate. This article traces the history of the pistol through several centuries, culminating with the famed American flintlock pistol. Noted antique gun dealer Paul Ambrose was a great source of information of interest to today's collector.

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February 1, 2008

Lighting the Night

We see quaint colonial lights on porches, lightposts and doorways of countless early American buildings. The fact is, these lights never existed during the period. This article was great fun to research, with comments from leading curators and from several of today's leading creators of early exterior lighting fixtures.

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