Thank You, Eric Sloane
In recent years, many traditional woodworkers have become very well acquainted with names like Roubo, Besson and Diderot. Through their writings and drawings, we find a very real link to our counterparts of past centuries. But there is another name that should be remembered. Eric Sloane influenced several generations of woodworkers and tool collectors with his wit, his wisdom and his superb illustrations.
Sloane was an artist of the Hudson River School of painting. But he was also a student of meterology, American culture and tradition. But, for me, his knowledge and expertise about America’s past and her early industries, is what shines so brightly. Every book of his is full of drawings about the way things were done in the past. Logging, farming, building beam presses, and so many other methods of coping, and thriving, with early American life, are all part of Sloane’s repertoire.
If I had to venture a guess, I’d have to say that “stewards of the past” like Roy Underhill, learned to rely on Eric Sloane, early on in their career. Sloane turned out many books and, no matter what the subject, the traditional woodworker will find something useful to take away from each and every one. There are three “must reads”: A Museum of Early American Tools; Diary of an American Boy; and, A Reverence for Wood.
Do yourself a favor, spend some time with Eric Sloane. You’ll be glad you did.