New PDF release: Colonial and Early American Fashions (Dover Fashion Coloring

By Tom Tierney

Forty-five rigorously researched illustrations current a thrilling landscape of greater than a hundred and fifty years of European-inspired models, competently depicting 17th-century Puritans, an indentured servant, an English officer and his woman, pirates wearing most up-to-date models bought as booty, a colonial retailers kinfolk of the mid-1700s, and extra.

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Because of the turn of the stairs, an attacker trying to climb up would find it difficult to use his sword. Newel, or central pillar TOWER OF BABEL The medieval period was a great age for towerbuilding. Castles and manor houses needed defensive towers, and many churches had bell towers. Most of these towers had stairs on the inside, but this illustration from the 15th-century Bedford Book of Hours shows a different design. The artist gave the mythical Tower of Babel an outside staircase, winding around the four sides of the building.

In time, people began to build floors with wooden boards supported by crossbeams called joists. More elaborate buildings had floors covered with stone flags, bricks, or tiles. Only in the grandest buildings – such as the villas of the Romans with their elaborate mosaic floors, or Italian Renaissance palaces paved with marble – was the floor a decorative feature. Today, most floors in the West are made of wood, and the popularity of carpets and other floor coverings means that the wood remains hidden.

Later 19th-century iron balusters, by contrast, were often mass-produced in a mixture of classical, Gothic, and baroque styles. Handrail Even a staircase built in a narrow stairwell can be an imposing sight, as shown by this 17th-century staircase. Like many others of the period, it is made of oak. The balusters have been turned by a machine called a lathe. The large corner posts, called newel posts, are deeply carved and have tall, tapering finials. Ornate balusters and newel posts were common in grander buildings after the Renaissance period.

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