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December 2019 Source Guide
Places: St. Augustine’s Impenetrable Fort
North America’s indigenous peoples designed flat-bottomed sledges for hauling their possessions over fresh and broken snow along narrow trails and across frozen rivers long before European settlers arrived. Voyageurs found them the perfect transport.
Creating a Legacy
The Ohio home of Don and Gayle Ferguson showcases its owners’ talents—from Don’s cabinetry to Gayle’s floorcloth painting and curtain making. The whole family decorates for the holidays, creating traditions for the next generations.
The Origins of Denim
Although working-class Americans made the fabric for sturdy cotton jackets and trousers their own long before Levi Strauss riveted the pockets of his jeans, it originated in Europe. A textile expert explores the fabric’s murky history and enduring popularity.
Old Design for a New Home
As a child, Gail Reeder developed an appreciation for handcraftsmanship in early homes and their furnishings from her house-builder father. Decades later she put her knowledge to work and designed her Kentucky Cape, filling it with antiques.
Tape Loom Weaving
Before buttons and zippers, colonists fastened their clothing with tapes woven on small, portable looms. Directory artisan Rudy McKinney builds reproductions of 18th-Century tape looms, on which wife Pat learned to weave. As re-enactors, they share the skill at events—and with us.
In the 1700s, a Scottish company invented a new type of ship’s cannon called the carronade. Shorter and lighter than the traditional long gun, it still delivered maximum firepower. At close range, the barrage from carronade fire could be devastating, demonstrated by America—s victory in the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie..
The Truth about the Pheasant
Now a favorite game bird sought by hunters, the colorful ring-necked pheasant didn’t arrive in America until the late 1800s, making it an anachronism in period decorating. Early references to pheasants more likely describe the ruffed grouse, a native North American species found in deciduous woodlands.
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