October 23, 2021 Regional Meeting Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace, Kent, Connecticut

The Eric Sloane Museum & the Kent Iron Furnace is the site of an EAIA Regional Meeting on October 23rd, 2021.

Eric Sloane, was a long time EAIA member, who wrote many books about early America with a special focus on tools. He was a collector of tools, primarily woodworking tools, in the 50s and early 60s, at least in part to use them as models for his book illustrations. Clearly he also just liked early tools. His tool collection grew steadily and he established this museum to store and display them. Museum Director, Andy Rowand will give a presentation about the museum, the adjacent Kent Furnace and the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association which exhibits antique machinery on the museum grounds.

Eric Sloane Museum, Kent, Connecticut

Eric Sloane (1905-1985) was a prolific artist, author and illustrator of over 30 books, and an avid collector of Americana. His extensive collection of hand tools is displayed in a building given to the State in 1969 by the Stanley Works, the Connecticut-based tool manufacturing company, to mark their 125th anniversary. The collection tells a fascinating story about bygone times and the great American heritage of craftsmanship. Sloane’s career as an artist comes vividly alive in his studio, minutely re-created with his paint-spattered easel and rows of jars jammed with paint brushes. Examples of his artworks are displayed in an adjoining gallery. Adjacent to the museum, Sloane himself built a pioneer cabin as described by Noah Blake in Diary of An Early American Boy, an 1805 diary published by Sloane.

The Kent Iron Furnace, which is on the museum property, began production of pig iron in 1826. The remains of the granite blast furnace with its Gothic arches which operated from 1826-1892, can be seen just below the museum. A diorama explaining the local iron industry is in the museum lobby. Mining and the production of steel were major industries in the Housatonic Valley. Adjacent to the Museum and Kent Furnace is the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association grounds. It is a fascinating place with many tools and machines involved in mining and the production of wrought and cast iron. Donations for admission are suggested.

Tailgating will start at 9 AM in the parking lot, coffee at 9:30. At 10 AM, EAIA Board Member Terry Wakeman will welcome participants, followed by Andy Rowand, Museum Director who will make a presentation on Sloane and his collections. Tours of the museum and grounds continue until 1:30 PM, where members will convene for a box lunch. After lunch, the museum and grounds will remain open until 4 PM.

Note: Because we do not know the extent of the spread of COVID 19 on October 23, we ask that all unvacated participants wear a mask when inside the museum and suggest social distancing.

The museum is located at 31 Kent Cornwall Rd, Kent, CT 06757

Pre Registration is required and the cost for the day is $20 per person which includes coffee & donuts, a box lunch and museum admissions. You may register and pay by selecting one of the options below. If you wish to pay by check, please contact Meeting Organizer Terry Wakeman tawakeman@gmail.com or call him at 860-429-7736.