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A Museum of Early American Tools (Americana) Paperback – November 14, 2002


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A Museum of Early American Tools (Americana) + A Reverence for Wood + Once Upon a Time: The Way America Was
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Product Details

  • Series: Americana
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (November 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486425606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486425603
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Fresh, informal, direct, and expressive, A MUSEUM OF EARLY AMERICAN TOOLS covers early tools and the wooden and metal artifacts that our forefathers made with them. Including dozens of pen-and-ink sketches. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The books of Eric Sloane celebrate the time-honored traditions of early America and remind us of the ties that forever bind us to them. A prolific artist, Sloane created nearly 15,000 paintings and drawings over his lifetime, many of which enhance his delightful books of bygone days.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Eric Sloane is an amazing author.
ahajewski
As a collector, user, and now teacher about old hand tool use, I have enjoyed reading and sharing this book with fellow woodworkers.
Daniel DeGennaro
Well written with good illustration.
Scott Jacobs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is loaded with great illustrations of the tools and uses of woodworkers and farmers of old. A fast read and a valuable resourse tool you will be using for years to come.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Ott on January 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Eric Sloane doing what he does best. The illustrations are superb as usual and so are the descriptions of how the tools were used. This book is bound to make you think differently the next time you are at a yard sale or fleamarket standing in front of a bunch of old rusty tools.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I would have to say this is one of my best books! The pen and ink drawings a wonderful. So well writen with so much information. I just finished reading this again and feel like going and useing some of the tools in there that i own! I love working with wood and other materials in the American way. Some of the tecniques he dessribes are so ture an i use the all the time! If u love America and/or hand tools, you must own this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on September 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is dedicated to the pioneer Americans who made their tools, a symbol of sincerity, integrity, and excellence. Mass production made their tools obsolete, along with early individualism, said the author. There was a special tool for every job (pp.vi-vii). In Early America a museum referred to a library of collected facts (p.xi). Shovels were made of wood to prevent harm to grain and apples 9p.xii). A house built of posts and beams used wooden pins which don't rust and loosen like nails. Sloane says that studying the tools used by pioneer Americans reveals their conscience and personality. Things were built to be honest and long-lasting, not to make the most money. There are 48 short chapters and an Index. These drawings are very interesting.

"The Romance of Tools" says a tool was an extension of a man's hand. Some gave pet names to a tool then (p.3), some do today. The Civil War period marked a new era in tool design because of mass-production (p.5). Axe handles became curved, not straight; their end had a "Fawn foot", "Scroll knob", or "Swell knob" (p.7). Early American tools had a traditional design with subtle differences and decorative touches that identify the region of origin (p.6). An ax was the most important tool for early Americans: clear the land of trees, cut fuel, build a house or furniture. Early axes were poll-less; the poll added weight for chopping. There were more than 50 patterns of Axe heads (p.12). The Broad Axe was used to hew round logs into square beams (p.14). Early American roofs were thatched, shingling hatchets were unknown. The claw hammer hasn't changed much since Roman times (p.22). Square-cut nails had greater holding power than round
nails.

Log-house notches were often made with only an ax (pp.24-25).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Rouse on September 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love tools, especially old tools and I found this book to be a treasure trove of information. As the title claims, it is a museum. For every tool there are one or two drawings and a short blurb on the tools were used and made - frequently I want more detail than this, but it is a starting place, just as any museum. For the price, this book is a good value for any lover of old tools.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book or publication has been around for quite a long time now. I have a copy in front of me as I write this review with a publication date of 1964. There have been quite a number of reprints since that date. There is a reason for this and that reason is Eric Sloane, the author and illustrator. Anyone familiar with Sloane is aware of his unique drawing style and down to earth descriptions of not only tools, but of early American building and craftsmanship. He, Eric Sloane is simply one of the best!

In this 168 page book the author has introduced us to a very large number of tools which were used in the past in this country. Tools made of wood and tools made of iron/metal. From cutting, to drilling, to shaving to crushing to measuring to forging to animal care to domestic to various trades...they are all here. These tools actually tell the history of our country and these tools are much more important as a history lesson than for something some yuppie paid too much for and hangs on his or her wall...you know, that "Country Look." No, these tools built a nation. There is nothing wrong in collecting them as it is a great way to preserve our history, but they mean so much more if you know what they are, what they were used for and what impact they may have had on a family or craftsman. They kept families alive, housed, fed and relatively comfortable. They should be held in respect.

The first thing the reader will note is just how ingenious people are. If they have or had a task to perform, they were able to figure out a way to do it more efficiently and more effectively. The second thing the reader will note is that by simply looking at some of these tools used by our forefathers, we do not have a clue as to what there use was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bbolingball on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The original book finally fell apart. I was delighted to find that the book had been redone, and in a user friendly format. Everything that was in the original is in the re-do. The size and paper make it an outstanding purchase for those interested in researching and identifying their personal (or not) collection.
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