Preserving History

On the first floor of Carpenters' Hall are seven silent witnesses to the birth of American independence. Herb fills the shoes of designer and creator ,Quaker craftsman Joseph Henzey and revives a centuries old tradition. (click photos for more)

"Being honest I realized I'd never build reproductions of every chair I measured but I continued on as I was meeting more and more interesting people while I was staying out of trouble while at the same time making interesting discoveries. For one speicific finding I was soon seeing other same style chairs made by the same chairmaker, some who branded their chairs but many who didn't." 


Veteran Cane project, Turner - Herb Lapp

"I started seeing value in my database that would allow me to go beyond the important survey work done by Nancy Goyne Evans and Charles Santore whose research was done back in the 1970s. I have a BS in physics so my technical credentials are strong which influences the way I think and work. I wondered if by analyzing a chair's measurements could one objectively determine who made the chair, especially if it was unbranded. Some professionals working in the furniture field could subjectively observe and analyze a chair and venture a an opinion of who mostly likely made it. I thought I was too uneducated in this field to ever be able to do that. But could measurements provide another tool that would augment what the subjective process has been doing for years and allow me to draw my own conclusion. Initial reaction to that idea from one furniture professional was that was in a way of speaking a wsate of time. But I figured if it failed I still gained by the overall undersatnding of Windsor chairs I was gaining. Fortunately I had the discretionery time to devote to this unusual undertaking. In the end I have measured more Windsors than the late John Kassay whose work I really admired."