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FEBRUARY 2019

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THE STRIPED PIG: A TALE OF PORCINE PROTEST

A clever scofflaw sidestepped a new 1838 Massachusetts law prohibiting alcohol sales by providing free refreshment to those who paid to view famous striped swine. The nation took notice in song and dance.

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THE AUTHOR'S RETREAT

Judy Condon defined “simply country” for a generation of period homeowners through a series of elaborately illustrated books. We show that she practices what she preaches with a peek at her own early-19th-Century Massachusetts home.

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HANDIRONS AND FIREDOGS

As soon as home fires moved from a central fire pit to a wall with hearth and chimney, blacksmiths and forges crafted decorative tripods to lift logs off the floor for hotter, more complete fires. We look at two centuries of evolving iron (and brass) artistry.

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CONNECTICUT HOUSE FINDS A NEW HOME

Three owners tried to rebuild a historic 1796 Connecticut house without success, but Don and Jill DeSapri showed the fourth time is the charm. They rebuilt the masterpiece mansion in rural Ohio to be the showcase for their collection of Connecticut antiques.

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TRADITIONAL LOOM WEAVING

Even as water-powered looms in textile factories cranked out cloth by the yard, many Americans depended on their own hand-loomed fabrics. They found weaving to be easy—the challenge and the artistry came before, in setting up their looms.

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FOLLOWING THE FREEDOM TRAIL

Landmarks of America’s earliest skirmishes in the fight for independence stand head to shoulder among modern skyscrapers in downtown Boston. Because of the city’s geography and reverence for history, you can easily retrace the footsteps of patriots.

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BUILD A RUSTIC LANTERN

A colonial necessity for finding your way in the dark, a wooden lantern could exhibit both fine workmanship and functionality. A maker and restorer of period furnishings offers his plans and techniques for bringing light to your period landscape.

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THE BENEFITS OF BUCKWHEAT

Although Europeans thought buckwheat a poor man’s food, the hardy plant fed many colonists (and their livestock) with higher yields than barley or wheat. Now rarely grown in America but still a staple elsewhere in the world, the nutritious harvest isn’t really a grain at all.

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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF EARLY AMERICAN LIFE

As Early American Life enters its 50th year, we look back at highlights from our previous decades and ahead to what the world of antiques, period homes, social history, and traditional craftsmanship have in store for lovers of America’s early heritage.

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Issue highlights

in every issue


FROM THE EDITOR

Back to Basics

Jeanmarie Andrews

PEOPLE

Potter Publisher

PLACES

Kingsley Plantation

SKILLS

Leather Care

EVENTS

Laura Amick

STYLE

Bookish

Tess Rosch

ON THE COVER

A pierced tin lamp casts decorative shadows on the blue kitchen cupboards in Judy and Jeff Condon’s Massachusetts home. Photograph by Winfield Ross.

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