When The Chronicle shows up in my mailbox, I know that my evening is shot. I take the magazine to our sunroom after dinner, settle down in my Morris chair and pretty much read the whole thing.
The Chronicle is the quarterly magazine of the Early American Industries Assc., a non-profit organization founded 72 years ago to understand early technology in the home, farm and workshop. Each issue explores the physical world of handcraft, though it is by no means a hand-tool-only publication. Machinery looms large in the history of early American industry.
What you get in each issue is a heavy dose of hard-to-find information on tools and processes that are in danger of vanishing, like quarrying granite or harvesting ice. And because our country was built mostly from wood with woodworking tools, there is always a strong woodworking undercurrent that runs through the publication.
In the new issue, which I just received last week, there are fantastic articles exploring the crooked knife (essentially a beautiful Native American drawknife), how to read tool marks on old furniture (axes vs. adzes vs. froes and so on), and a detailed exploration of the Stanley 620 hand drill.
How do you get The Chronicle? By joining the Early American Industries Assc. It’s just $35 a year and opens up a world of tool information for you. In addition to The Chronicle magazine, you also get the organization’s newsletter, the opportunity to attend their annual meetings (always in a cool place), the Eastfield Summer Workshop (usually on traditional skills) or take a European tool tour.
If you pick up your tools (hand or power) and understand that they are a connection to our past, I know you’ll enjoy reading The Chronicle. You can join today by visiting their web site at eaiainfo.org.