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.

from “Seasons of America Past”

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.

from “Once Upon a Time – The Way America Was”

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

from “A Museum of Early American Tools”

Do yourself a favor, spend some time with Eric Sloane.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Explore posts in the same categories: gateway skills, historic woodworking, life in craft

6 Comments on “Thank You, Eric Sloane”

  1. Ron Says:

    I love Eric Sloan’s books. Great post

  2. Kevin Wilkinson Says:

    I love Eric Sloane’s books and first discovered them in the Brooklyn Public Library as a small child. I didn’t make the connection that the woodworking methods depicted could still be used until very recently.

  3. Tico Vogt Says:

    Yes, he’s the man. His book on barns, too.


  4. I have read a number of his books. He’s an excellent writer, and the illustrations are always beautiful. I’ve learned a lot of things from him.

  5. nathan Says:

    He is actually the guy that got me into woodworking. My moms friend died and left a box of books for my mom to give away. I found 10-12 Sloan books in the box, and read them all cover to cover. I started to realize that everything we do with power tools had at one time been done with hand tools, so I got online and fell down through the rabbit hole. Now I have a workbench and a decently stocked hand tool shop.


  6. Eric Sloane has always been one of my heroes….He influenced my art, my design work, my philosophy of life. Thanks for the tribute!


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