By Wayne Franklin
Ebook by means of Franklin, Wayne
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Extra info for A Rural Carpenter's World: The Craft in a Nineteenth-Century New York Township (American Land and Life Series)
Milch cows kept in the township numbered 923; from them in 1864, 102,250 pounds of butter had been produced (in the middle range for the county, whose high was 221,815), as well as a modest 5,841 pounds of cheese (here the county high was a whopping 569,659 pounds). Pork production was low (80,963 pounds sold in 1864), but sheep numbers (4,278) and wool production (15,735 pounds) were both high by Otsego County standards. These figures suggest that Westford, though it possessed good soil in its arable districts, was largely devoted to cattle and sheep production, both of which activities could put the township's many hilly areas to good use.
But A Rural Carpenter's World probes far more deeply. Professor Franklin has picked up one shaving from the shop floor and used it as a sort of prism, glimpsing not only the board on which the plane worked but also the tree from which the board came-and most significantly, the hand, eye, and mind that guided the plane shaping the board from rough lumber. A Rural Carpenter's World demonstrates what scholars fascinated with artifacts, and particularly with structures, have long suspected. Most buildings, and almost all rural buildings, are anonymous today only because their written records vanished long ago.
On that artificial river floated vast quantities of freight east and west, freight that converted New York from a minor member of the new American union into the major American state. But the canal, for all its magic, also left large parts of New York in the backwaters of their Page 10 2. Looking southeast toward Westford, along the Middlefield road Page 11 3. F. W. Beers, map of Westford township and Westford village, 1868 Page 12 4. F. W. Beers, map of Otsego County, 1868 Page 13 old condition.