Reverence for Wood

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Wood was the plastic of the previous era. Better than plastic today it could be found for free, and re-grew itself. This thin beautiful book is a quick orientation to the merits and features of wood. It begins with trees and ends in tools and materials. Should you appreciate the old-timey ways of working with wood, and how these skills shaped early America, as author and artist Eric Sloane does, his sketches will suggest many ways to use and reconsider wood today.

-- KK  

A Reverence for Wood
Eric Sloane
2004 (1965), 112 pages
$9

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:

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Charcoal during the 1800′s was used for many things other than making iron. People cleaned their teeth with it. Although the first results may look ghastly, there is actually nothing more beneficial for teeth than charcoal powder. Swallow some of it? Also good; there is nothing better for upset stomach. It even sweetens the breath. If you want to purify water or remove an offensive odor from anything, use charcoal. Sailors used to throw burnt muffins into their water supply when it became stale or smelly; meat packers used to pack their meats in charcoal. Ice was stored in charcoal, gunpowder was made with it; printer’s ink, black paint, medicines even highways were made form it. In 1865 someone dreamed up this idea, thinking that since charcoal is the longest lasting of materials, a road made of it would be very durable. Timber was piled along the middle of the road and burned right here; then the charred material was raked out and tamped down.

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