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Dominy Craftsmen Collection

Hummel, Charles F. / With hammer in hand; the Dominy craftsmen of East Hampton, New York (1968)

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  [p. [IX]]  


In addition to those individuals mentioned in the Preface, I have been fortunate in having the assistance of many other good people. I am most grateful for the encouragement and support of the Board of Trustees of The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Dr. Edgar P. Richardson, the former director of the Museum, and the present director, Charles van Ravenswaay. A particular debt is owed to John A. H. Sweeney, former curator of the Museum and now senior deputy director for Collections and Interpretation. His patience, advice, and willingness to provide research time to his associate curator, often at the cost of his own plans, provide a model for staff relationships in a museum.

My work was aided greatly by the cooperation of members of the Museum's Division of Libraries. To Frank H. Sommer III, head of the division; Helen R. Belknap, librarian of printed books; Mrs. Charles B. Wood III, former librarian of the Joseph Downs Manuscript and Microfilm Collection; Mary E. Norton, its present librarian; and Mrs. James V. R. Taylor, assistant in the same collection, go my thanks for cheerful, unselfish help. It would have been impossible to accomplish research in the community of East Hampton without the generous attitude and assistance rendered by Mrs. Robert M. Cheney, former head librarian of the East Hampton Free Library, and Mrs. Amy O. Bassford, former librarian of the Long Island Collection in the same institution.

Three people must be singled out for their willingness to share information about the Dominy craftsmen which they had gathered over a period of years. Elizabeth R. Brown of East Hampton, New York, compiled a fine list of Dominy clocks that helped me to begin a complete catalogue. Frederick K. Selchow, formerly of Hopkinton and now residing in Chester, New Hampshire, provided additional information about the location of clocks made by the Dominy craftsmen, technical data about the construction of their clocks, and study photographs of some clocks for which it was impossible to obtain recent pictures. Henry de V. Williams was also most generous in sharing his knowledge of the existence of Dominy clocks and providing study photographs.

An author's assumption of responsibility for all errors usually follows the names of those friends and colleagues who have read the manuscript. Because this sequence has always seemed to me to have an implication of ingratitude, I here and now admit my responsibility for all errors in the book and acknowledge that there would have been more had it not been for the advice, suggestions, and comments of those mentioned below.

The level of technical information was greatly improved by the reading given the tool catalogue by Joseph A. Link, president of the Early American Industries Association; Lawrence A. Cook, former president and member of the Board of Directors of the same organization;   [p. X]   and Peter C. Welsh, curator, Growth of The United States, Smithsonian Institution. The style and content were improved as the result of scrutiny by my colleagues Dorothy W. Greer, Charles F. Montgomery, and John A. H. Sweeney. Mrs. Arnold E. Rattray, author and publisher of the East Hampton Star, gave added confirmation to references to local events, places, and history. Robert M. Dominy's reading of the manuscript was of special help in matters relating to the Dominy family.

Other Museum staff members whose assistance must be acknowledged are Gordon K. Saltar, for the analysis of wood samples; Jonathan Fairbanks, for a preliminary design of the map of the area served by the Dominy craftsmen, and Mrs. George B. Heath, who made the final drawing; and Mrs. Charles W. Hutton for preparing the index. Gilbert Ask is responsible for all the excellent photographs of tools and most of the clock and furniture photographs used for illustrations. When the occasion demanded it, Robert A. Ardis spent long, patient hours photographing clocks and furniture in the homes of their owners. It was my good fortune to have my scribblings translated into neat, error-free typescript by three curatorial division secretaries: Justine M. Mataleno, Brita E. Penttila, and Marion E. Wilson. To them go my thanks for long, tiring effort without complaint.

In the production of this book I was especially fortunate to have the good taste and judgment of John D. Morse, head of the Museum's National Extension Program. I am grateful to his editorial assistants, Mrs. Edward T. Mitchell and Mrs. Richard Terdiman, his secretary, Mrs. Adeline Penrose, and, for special editing, to Charles Boland. It was also a great joy to be privileged to work with the staff of the University Press of Virginia.

It may seem trite for an author to conclude with praise for his wife and children. Nevertheless, many books are written as a result of the love, encouragement, and unselfishness of wives and offspring, and this book is no exception. My wife and children asked only that if I had to deprive them of a full measure of love and care I produce a good book. I hope I have used their time well.


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