Awesome New Addition to Our History Trunk!

We just received a gift in the mail today from our newest and most distant member, Rick Sheets of Durham, North Carolina.  Rick is a colonial artisan and horn-maker.  He specializes in making reproduction colonial-era powder horns and other horn objects.

And what did he send us?  This incredible horn book!

Horn Book by Rick Sheets

Horn Book by Rick Sheets

The hornbook originated in England as long ago as 1450. They were used in Colonial America as well. The hornbook was used to teach reading to children for over 300 years. A child was not trusted with an expensive book, but would start out with this primer of a single sheet of press-printed paper usually containing the Lord’s Prayer.

The sheet was pasted on a wooden paddle then covered with a pane of horn that was flattened and thinned to the point of being nearly transparent. A mica pane was also used instead of horn on many hornbooks.

The horn or mica was held in place with metal or leather strips (called lattens) and tacks.
Around 1800, the hornbook fell out of use in favor of cheaply printed lessons on thin cardboard.

Rick wanted this piece of history to be included in our “American Revolution in a Trunk” presentation in classrooms and schools.

Here’s a picture of Rick at work in the field, wearing his colonial clothing and working with authentic tools.

Screen shot 2014-12-20 at 4.47.12 PM

Check our Rick’s work and the merchandise he has for sale at!

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