It's difficult to overstate the role Eric Sloane played in how we appreciate American hand tools today. Sloane was a prolific author, artist, and tool collector, who in the 1950s and 1960s published books on colonial and early 19th century technologies. It was a subject few historians and antiquarians were giving attention to at the time. In the lead-up to the 1976 bicentennial, America was hungry to find meaning and purpose in its history, and it discovered it in Sloane's best-selling books — including 1964's groundbreaking "A Museum of Early American Tools."
As always your content is rich and objective. Your review of Sloan bias and inaccuracies were excellent. I just got back from a 5000 mile train trip from west to east I spent time in two tours of Mt Vernon and a historical French building (unreal M&T timber framing) in New Orleans . The tactile experience of running your hand up a smooth original walnut bannister that GW Used to get to his second floor (or the irony of walking through slave quarters of his 500 slaves who likely cut down cedar and pine trees and milled them for the mansion) I Also enjoyed your emotional appreciation of passing tools down generations…..or last weekend
sharpening 6 Disston saws from a family barn below aerie PA. I recommend an annual reading of Henry Thoreau’s “Walden” to see his view of the farming community of Walden Pond. He saw them as idiots as opposed to Sloan s romantic notions. Thanks for your cerebral epistles!!.
Fantastic article. Nicely done.