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Maker(s):Stearns, Calvin (attributed)
Culture:American (1779-1857)
Date Made:circa 1805 with later additions
Materials:wood: pine
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Northfield
Measurements:overall: 30 in x 107 in x 23 in; 76.2 cm x 271.8 cm x 58.4 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2012.16
Credit Line:Gift of Robert Johnston in memory of his wife Rosa Johnston
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Pine workbench attributed to Calvin Stearns (1779-1857) of Northfield, Massachusetts. Wooden bench on four legs, rail in front at base, shelf for wood in the rear, surface of work bench has a rough and worn surface through heavy use. Calvin Stearns trained as a carpenter in the late eighteenth century, possibly in or near his hometown of Warwick, Massachusetts. He had a long and successful career as a house builder in the town of Northfield where many of his houses still stand. His workbench, ca. 1805, made of pine is 23 inches deep (narrow enough to fit through a doorway), 107 inches wide, and 30 inches high. The top contains holes for holdfasts used to clamp boards to the bench and an iron bench stop to secure wood while planning. The threaded vise support remains intact on the front as do drawer slides under the top at the right end of the bench. Stearns used the workbench to cut and shape wood for houses, outbuildings, sheds, and fences. Ordinary workbenches made by rural artisans are rare survivals; for Calvin Stearns’ workbench to remain in the house he built over two centuries ago is extraordinary.

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