- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (June 17, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801862280
- ISBN-13: 978-0801862281
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,215,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Colonial Craftsmen: And the Beginnings of American Industry Paperback – June 17, 1999
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"Of great interest to historians of technology including blacksmiths... Tunis's work is a useful overview of tools and processes in the hand-craft era and the beginning of the industrial revolution... With their well-balanced blend of text and drawings they provide an interesting sampling of colonial craft practices, as well as a delightful 'flavor of the times.' We [blacksmiths] should all become familiar with this widely read book."(John Austen The Newsletter of the Blacksmiths' Guild of the Potomac)
From the Back Cover
In this superb book, Colonial Craftsmen, Edwin Tunis vividly reconstructs the vanished ways of colonial America's skilled craftsmen. With incomparable wit and learning, and in 450 meticulous drawings, the artist-author describes the skills, technologies, workshops, town and country trades, and individual and group enterprises by which early Americans forged an economy in the New World.
The first craftsmen set up their trades in coastal settlements, which often sprang up around a mill or near a tanyard. Blacksmiths, coopers, joiners, weavers, cordwainers, housewrights, and their assistants invented their own tools and devised their own methods for using them. Soon they were making products that far surpassed their Old World models: the colonial ax was so popular that English ironmongers often labeled theirs "American" to sell them more readily. In a thriving town square, a colonist could have his bread baked to order, wig curled, eyeglasses ground, and medicinal prescription filled. With increased trade in bespoke (made-to-order) work, fine American styles evolved, many of them now priceless heirlooms--the silverware of Paul Revere and John Coney, redware and Queensware pottery, Poyntell hand-blocked wallpaper. Tunis describes the development of the Kentucky rifle, Conestoga wagon, and iron grillwork that still graces houses in some parts of the South. He also shows how colonial trade formed the basis for such important modern industries as papermaking, glassmaking, shipbuilding, printing, and metalworking. In many cases, Tunis's own careful research reconstructs the complex equipment that served these enterprises.