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By Eric Sloane

The exact wisdom of which wooden is fitted to which job, the prepared id of local bushes, the reverence for wooden, the instinctive wisdom that wooden can hot the soul in addition to the physique -- those virtues of a bygone age are revived in Eric Sloane's outstanding paintings. seriously illustrated, with a bit on id of approximately sixty local bushes, A REVERENCE FOR wooden presents an illuminating view of the source that made attainable loads of the early cost of North the USA.

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The big trees appeared two at a time, placed as "husband and wife trees" when a house was built. They were usually on 47 the east side of the house or at each side of the entrance; you could pick out the farmhouses on any New England landscape by these double clumps of green. Hidden in the ravines and river valleys, however, there were still groves of tall virgin pine. They stretched skyward above the sea of forest shade in their effort to reach sunlight, their trunks mastlike before they burst into foliage, often as high as seventy-five feet.

There it was rejected as wood that splits easily, warps badly, and works with much difficulty. The English, however, adopted it as hedge or fence material because of its thorns. But by the time of the Revolution, after some of the hedges had been left to grow into trees, it was found that full-grown locust trees harbor borers and other insects and "that damned American locust tree" was blamed for all sorts of plagues and banned. Oddly enough at the same time, America was blaming English barberry for a plague of wheat rust, accusing the British of planting barberry wild .

Why should anyone choose to build a zigzag stone fence? And without realizing that the forest was once cleared fields, there are those today who wonder at stone fences built directly through dense woods. Most history books comment upon wire fencing as comparatively recent Americana, giving such dates as 1873 for the invention of barbed wire and 1883 for woven wire. Yet Benjamin Franklin is said to have experimented with wire for enclosing cattle, and a lengthy "Account of Wire Fencing" was read at the Philadelphia Agricultural Society on January 2, 1816.

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