Monday, February 16, 2009


I am curious about the tools carpenters had around 1800. Asher Benjamin wrote for the trade. He was a 'joiner' himself. He knew what his readers were working with. His books will make more sense if I too know what was in those carpenters' tool boxes.
It is not easy to find any information that's not prefaced with, " I think..." The list so far includes hand saws, chisels, hammers, plumb bob, planes, wooden squares, bits and braces.

No rulers, no measuring sticks. This last fact really interests me.

Eric Sloan wrote about early American tools in the 1960's. His books have beautiful pictures, some dates, and basic information. He knew a great deal more than is in the books. I wish he had written more.


I want to know what other people have written about Asher Benjamin. The books I want to read aren't in most libraries, but through the inter-library loan system I can borrow them. So I went to our public library where I can ask for 3 books a week.

The first came yesterday. It wasn't a book, but a reprint of an article, a very good read.

The library tells me that some of the books I asked for can't be borrowed - too fragile or unique. However, I can go to them, and many are at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, Mass., about 2 hrs. away.

Asher Benjamin built a school there, now a museum - I have seen it. I look forward to seeing it again.