This refreshing and delightfully written book underscores the important role that wood has played in the development of American life and culture. Charmingly illustrated with author Eric Sloane’s own sketches, the text illuminates with rare insight the enormously varied and useful qualities of wood.
Covering such topics as the aesthetics of wood, wooden implements, and carpentry, Sloane remarks expansively and with affection on the resourcefulness of early Americans in their use of this precious commodity. From cradle to coffin, the pioneer was surrounded by wood. It was used to make tools, fence the land, and build barns. People sat at wooden tables on wooden chairs and ate from wooden dishes. Charcoal, one of the many by-products of wood, was used to preserve meat, remove offensive odors, and produce ink. The bark of various trees was processed to make medicine.