Carpenters' Company Library Collection
About the Collection
The Carpenters' Company, which embodies the legacy of the European medieval guild system, remains the United States' oldest extant trade guild. The original founders initially focused on the building trade and education in the science of architecture. In keeping with this historic tradition, The Carpenters' Company proudly announces the reprinting of two of its major publications: Building Early America and The Rules of Work of The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia. In addition, we offer Charles Peterson's important "Robert Smith" work.
Building Early America
$5.00 paperback • $10.00 hardcover (plus shipping and handling)
Edited by Charles E. Peterson, PAIA, Building Early America contains the proceedings from a symposium held in Philadelphia in the spring of 1974 to celebrate the 2850th birthday of The Carpenters' Company. The symposium provided the first opportunity for its speakers and participants — all colleagues — to meet with each other, which accounts for the uniqueness of the book. Prominent authorities in the field of early building technology who contributed to this volume include Penelope Hartshorne Batcheler, Mario Campioli, Patrick A. Faulkner, Bernard M. Feilden, Brooke Hindle, Harley J. McKee, Roger W. Moss, Robert P. Multhauf, Lee H. Nelson, Robert M. Vogel, and Diana S. Waite among others.
Upon publication of the first edition of Building Early America, The Journal of the Royal Society of Arts described the book as "an invigorating tale that reveals the skill and vitality and enterprise and adventurous innovations of the men who worked in that industry and built early America."
- Chapter 1: The King's Works: A Thousand Years of British Building by J. Mordaunt Crook
Summarized and illustrated here is the history of construction by the British monarchy (known as the King's Works) from the Saxon kings to the 19th century. American architecture, the author points out, grew from a centuries-old tradition of patronage by the monarchy.
- Chapter 2: America's Wooden Age by Robert P. Multhauf
Using timber from America's abundant forests, settlers established a civilization which equaled or surpassed those they had known in Europe. Growth of an affluent class in this country owed much to the forests, the principal source of American exports.
- Chapter 3: The Origins of The Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia by Roger W. Moss, Jr.
The Worshipful Company of Carpenters, from its inception in London in the 14th century, played a vital role in that city's construction until after the great fire in the 17th century. Youthful craftsmen, suffering from a stifling depression and a glutted market, were receptive to promises by William Penn for employment in his new colonial city. By 1700, in the face of rapidly growing competition, Philadelphia builders founded The Carpenters' Company to set standards for construction as well as regulate prices.
- Chapter 4: The Eighteenth-Century Frame Houses of Tidewater Virginia by Paul E. BuchananSimplicity is probably the basis for the aesthetic appeal of these structures, yet no two buildings are exactly alike. Colonists had to adapt their buildings to unfamiliar factors such as climate and topography as well as limited availability of materials and tools. Five basic plan trees are given together with descriptions of materials and framing used.
- Chapter 5: Brick and Stone: Handicraft to Machine by Harley J. McKee
Owing to high transportation costs, masonry materials were used near their source. Thanks to an abundance of suitable clay, bricks were more prevalent than stone for construction. Methods of brick making and stone-cutting and finishing are described.
- Chapter 6: Pioneer British Contributions to Structural Iron and Concrete: 1770-1855 by R. J. M. Sutherland
The period selected for this chapter brackets the change in design from intuition to calculation, and in construction from craft to industry. Earliest uses of cast iron in buildings were for visual effect as well as economy. Aiso, the utility of cast iron was in components — columns or beams — in structures dependent for their overall stability on brick w stone.
- Chapter 7: Building in the Age of Steam by Robert M. Vogel
The Age of Steam (1800-t860) favored large construction projects, with machinery gradually replacing men and animals in public works construction. Not until later in the 19th century was much machinery applied to erection of buildings.
- Chapter 8: Roofing for Early America by Diana S. Waite
Surveyed here are the principal types of roof coverings used in the United States, especially in the Northeast, prior to the Civil War. Discussed are: thatch, ceramic tile, wooden shingles, slate, tinplate, zinc and galvanized iron.
- Chapter 9: Window Glass in America by Kenneth M. Wilson
Despite attempts in the 18th century to produce window glass in this country, most of the growing demand was supplied from abroad. Production here expanded during the 19th century, although plate glass continued to be imported in large quality.
- Chapter 10: An Historical Sketch of Central Heating: 1800-1860 by Eugene S. Ferguson
Franklin's response to the British open fireplace was to heat the air more efficiently without shutting up the cheery blaze. In the 19th century, numerous examples of hot air and steam heating were found here and in Europe. In 1833, Jacob Perkins, a Philadelphian, developed a high pressure, hot water heating system. Joseph Nason's contributions are also described.
- Chapter 11: Early Nineteenth-Century Lighting by Loris S. Russell
Artificial lighting for interiors, the author points out, can be viewed as an extension of the fireplace. The function and relative efficiency of many sources of illumination are described: fireplace, tallow candles, spermaceti candles, paraffin candles, pan lamp, betty lamp, whale-oil lamp, Argand lamp (double and multiple burners, Sinumbra lamp, lard lamp, Solar lamp, kerosene lamp, gas chandeliers.
- Chapter 12: Building the Capitol by Mario E. Campioli
Architectural symbol of the world's greatest experiment in democracy is the United States Capitol. Its creation involved the intense devotion of many gifted people: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and others. The architects, all of whom were able, never departed happy. Physically this vast structure illustrates the progress of the nation's building technology over seven decades. Generally, it reflected the best of most periods.
Part Two: Building Preservation
- Chapter 13: Preservation of Historic Monuments in the United Kingdom by Patrick A. Faulkner
Opening the chapter is a summary of formal preservation in the U.K., discussing levels of organizational authority, intent, scope and influence of the British preservation movement. Following are seven case histories ranging from medieval residential structure to the Banqueting House at Whitehall. In addition to regulatory and advisory consulting, 8ritish authorities sponsor a conservation studio and laboratory, archeological excavation and dissemination of literature.
- Chapter 14: Restoring Three Cathedrals: York Minster, Norwich, and St. Paul's. by Bernard M. Feilden
Three case studies examine the long-term nature of conservation for monumental stone structures. Cathedrals are unique because of their age, massive size and me fact that they were completed over a long period. The studies explore these issues and the history of construction compared with the methods selected to cope with problems today.
Part Three: The Restoration of Independence Hall
- Chapter 15: Independence Hall: Its Fabric Reinforced by Lee H. Nelson
The State House, one of the largest buildings in the colonies at the time of its construction, presented its builders with problems they solved creatively. The full account of the structural rehabilitation of 1962-63 is important for its lessons on early framing and construction techniques as much as for the specific structural interventions of the project. The author details the original construction and changes made by succeeding generations.
- Chapter 16: Independence Hall: Its Appearance Restored by Penelope Hartshome Batcheler
Through careful archival research and observation of clues within the structure, the author reveals information left behind justifying the "techniques, foibles and individualism of its early builders.. Just as structural rehabilitation gave a first-hand look at me building's shell, this chapter illustrates the habits of interior finish workers that enabled the architectural team to accurately identify and restore the public areas of Independence Hall.
- Chapter 17: Restoring Jefferson's University by Frederick D. Nichols
The University of Virginia's architectural history exemplifies changes that structures undergo which reflect changing needs of their occupants. The author opens with a review of Jefferson's educational philosophy and the architecture he designed to carry it out. Following is a series of mini-case studies portraying the lengthy restoration of the pavilions, gardens and rotunda. The chapter is a valuable assessment of one of the nation's finest examples of areas of significance addressed in National Register nominations.
- Chapter 18: Training Architects for Conservation in Britain by Derek Linstrum
- Chapter 19: Canada Prepares for a Great Program by Jacques Dalibard and Martin Weaver
These two concluding chapters deal in depth with the reasoning and structure behind course selection and training of tomorrow's professionals in the field of conservation/preservation. The British system is highly structured and designed for practicing architects seeking to perfect their skills with a formal diploma. Relying on lecturers from around the world, Canada employs a more flexible system permitting a wide range of professional disciplines (archeology, history, architecture) to take advantage of training on an as-needed basis.
Hide Chapter Listing
The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia 1786 Rule Book
$15.00 (plus shipping and handling)
by Charles E. Peterson, F.A.I.A.. 47 Pages. Clothbound. The 1786 Rule Book is one of the earliest works on American architecture and was created to illustrate, describe, and set the prices on the various components of a building. It was restricted to the secret use of the members of the Company, an exclusive group of leading carpenters in 18th century Philadelphia. The Rule Book includes 37 copper plate engravings that illustrate such building elements as chimney pieces, fanlights, dormer windows, and fancy railings. It also contains a comprehensive listing of all the types of work done by the members, together with the prices to charge for each.
Robert Smith: Architect, Builder, Patriot, 1722-1777
$10.00 (plus shipping and handling)
By Charles E. Peterson FAIA with Constance M. Grieff & Maria M. Thompson. (Athenĉum, 2000). 164 pages, Illustrated hardcover, with a forward by Robert Venturi. Robert Smith was the most important and influential architect-builder in the American colonies. His major buildings were ornaments of Philadelphia, where he lived. But his reputation also brought him commissions from as far away as Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Among his accomplishments were the steeple of Christ Church (1753-54), St. Peter's Church (1758-61), The Walnut Street Jail (1773-74), and Benjamin Franklin's House (1763-65).