In Chris Schwarz Blog, Required Reading

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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

– Christopher Schwarz

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  • Ed Furlong


    Funny thing about good magazines… I have the same experience when Woodworking arrives–After dinnder the easy chair whispers my name, the reading lamp goes on, and I am engrossed until I fall asleep!

    Thanks for the tip on the Chronicle. May be a good christmas gift for me and one or more of my woodworking/handtool-addicted relations!

    Keep up the great work, your blog is some of the most enjoyable woodworking writing I have experienced, and the magazine is just as good.

    Ed Furlong
    Evergreen, CO

  • Karl

    As this seemed likely to fly under the radar of my local WACS (Wives Against Chris Schwartz) member, I sent my EAIA application the night you posted this entry. If The Chronicle proves as interesting as you suggest, my wife may even drop her WACS membership and become a member of the harder to pronounce WFCS (Wives For Chris Schwartz).

    Here’s hoping 😉

  • Gary Roberts


    And may I add that the DVD edition of all the back issues of The Chronicle will be ready soon. We’re in the final stages of the project. From your description of the Morris Chair and after dinner time, I estimate 240 evenings will be required for you to bring yourself up to date. Or you may begin by counting 240 bottles of beer on the wall and so on as you read each issue.


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