“The beauty of the creation truly reveals the depth of the creator. This exemplifies the heart and soul of Herb Lapp, not only through his works but a knowledge which surpasses wisdom and hinges on greatness. In these times, more than ever, our association to the past is a vital link to the dedication and principals that made this nation great. It’s people like Herb Lapp who have nurtured a segment of history and carried on an American tradition of excellence in craftsmanship that will be passed on to generations to come.” - Edward Morris- (writer and nature photographer)
In the image above you see two chairs. On left is a reproduction of a Thomas Gilpin-made 1750 comb-back Windsor, the original on the right can be found in the collection of Philadelphia's Germantown Historical Society. This chair was owned by an 18th century Quaker flour miller, Thomas Livezey that part of this web site is devoted. These are linked by a photo displaying the right ear volute being carved on the comb for this reproduction.
In 2008 Lapp published his first set of research findings on Windsor chairs in the Society of Early American Furniture Makers journal, Period Furniture on his sack-back Windsor chair research. His article, "The Signatures” of Joseph Henzey "was published in 2008. This article is based on an earlier article on Herb Lapp’s research into sack-back Windsors. (to view the Article click Signatures - for the complete article click here)
To make a Windsor chair took training that included two - one week long classes at the Windsor Institute, Hampden, N.H. and another at the Philadelphia Windsor Chair Shop, Earlville, Oley Valley, PA. As all trade craftsman know it takes years of additional experience. Herb has not only given back to his craft, but also has contributed his time and skill to generate a public appreciation of our history through demonstrations and articles.
In one of his articles, The Craftsmanship of Philadelphia Windsor Chairmaker Joseph Henzey he wrote, “My personal experience with Windsor chair construction led to an interest in early Windsor chairmakers and a desire to learn more about these craftsmen.” (see full article here)
"I have been building chairs since 1999 and Windsors since late 2001. Chairmaking lends itself to two other interests: photography and the study of 18 th century American history. As of this posting I have measured more than 125 original Windsor chairs and have a photographic chair archive of more than 12,000 images. Initially this effort started as a way to enlarge the number of chairs that I could build. After being downsized two years ago and finding that our society doesn't embrace older workers, I used this work as a cathartic exercise. People sometimes asked how many chairs have I measured and why was I doing it. My answers also evolved as I was learning and growing. When I reached the 50 milestone I said to enable me to build reproductions and share those measurements back with the organization that owned the chair." In late 2012 the Director of Collections at the newly formed American Revolution Center commissioned Herb to make five period correct Philadelphia style Windsor chairs for an exhibit at the new to be built museum two blocks south on Independence Hall on Chestnut Street. These chairs display activities within Independence Hall, then the Pa State House, when it was occupied by the British Army after the Battle of Germantown in October 1778. That project is described on another page on this web site.
This web site was the original idea of Bob Fouracre, a good friend from high school. Friends from HS we reconnected after many years sharing what we were working on. At one point Bob said you have so much going on here and need a "Herb Lapp" web site. I never looked at my many interests that way. Bob always was a very creative person but I didn't know he had been developing his own web sites. He was the outsider who saw the need. Hey I've never done like that, I told him panicking. His answer was he'd help me out. Bob then went away and started the "herblapp.com" site from which this has evolved. Later he forced me to personalize and take responsibility for it which I have finally done. But I will continue to write as Bob did as if he were still chronicling what I want to share. I can't write "This exemplifies the heart and soul of Herb Lapp..." But in fact that style makes it easier for me to share and brag a little on the work I have been doing. I hope you won't mind.
My Face Book Page: Click here