Remember Those Who Built Them

Let’s remember those who built our historic houses on this Labor Day weekend.

This hand-colored lithograph was produced by the Louis Prang Company in Boston in 1874. “Prang’s Aids for Object Teaching” was a series of 12 lithographs showing different occupations intended for display in grammar schools. This print, titled “Carpenter,” shows a variety of typical tasks done by carpenters on houses under construction.

In the 1870s, much of the work was still done on-site, by hand, but the effects of the industrial revolution were evident. Clapboard, shingles and interior trim would be made in mills for on-site installation and windows, doors, and shutters would likely be assembled in mills before shipment to the site.

A significant difference between a house built in 1870 and one built in 1970 is the presence of the human touch in its construction. This evidence of the labor that went into the construction is part of the character of historic houses and reminds us of those who did the work. Preserving this evidence honors those workers.

Learn how (and why) to do repair and restoration work appropriately to preserve historic character while making changes necessary for modern life in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”

Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.

Our shop also carries select preservation and restoration titles by other authors. Save with our multi-book combo packs!

© Scott T. Hanson 2023

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