Saturday, June 6, 2015

Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties

Daniel Carter Beard - Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties (1914)

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Don't say you never got anything practical from this blog.  Here's a guide to building small shelters that will come in handy when we get to the post-apocalyptic world promised by so many recent novels.  Adobe huts, tents, lean-tos, bog kens (built on stilts above a marsh), beaver-mat huts, tree-top houses, all the way up to full log cabins - it's all here.  The author draws some of the opening from American Indian practices (distinguished by different tribes) but covers a wide range of structures for a variety of uses.  And variety is just what we need for implausible construction projects.

At the start he says this book "is written for boys of all ages" and separates it into a first half that needs just a hatchet and a second half that requires an axe (among other tools).  I can't help but wonder how true this was at the time because much of the late material in the book is beyond the abilities of most adults today.  The log cabin he describes is an actual small house, not just some tossed-together spare lumber.