A compilation of engrossing facts and anecdotes vitalized by author Eric Sloane's own pen, this book captures the living legacy of America as seen in "the things that were." According to Sloane, American Yesterday
explores "our national attic of vanishing ways and obsolete occupations." Impressed by the artistry and sturdy realism of pioneer builders, he takes genuine delight in exploring the unique careers of barber-surgeons, dowsers, tithingmen, sawyers, nailers, plumbum-men, and a great variety of artisans, illustrating the activities, customs, and things created by the people who made their living in "antique ways."
Sloane, a devoted student of early Americana, speaks lovingly of the people who spent much of their lives creating wardrobe closets, foot stoves, church pew armrests, grindstones, featherbed patter paddles, charcoal burners, English phaetons, giant hogsheads, drovers' sleighs, windowsill sundials, and other items of long ago.
Credited with "doing gallant service, preserving records of the ways and the means of the forefathers who got along well with the resources now long forgotten" (Springfield Republican
), Eric Sloane has written an immensely enjoyable book that will enchant anyone who takes pleasure in reading about the past and views its artifacts as part of a rich national heritage.
Reprint of the Funk & Wagnalls, New York, 1956 edition.