See the time before power tools and meet our world-class artisans in the Historic Trades. Must see for DIY and makers of all ages!
During the summer, brickmakers mold and dry thousands of bricks. You can even give them a hand by taking off your shoes and stomping water into the clay with your bare feet! Come back in the autumn and see the bricks you helped create bake in a giant, wood-fired oven. Keep an eye out, too, for masons using these bricks in all sorts of projects around town.
In the 18th century, the responsibility of fighting fires rested with the public, so people practiced with and tested fire engines. Join the Military Programs staff and test your skill in helping to run the bucket brigade.
The Revolutionary War wasn't won through battles alone. To keep pace with the might of British industry, Virginia desperately needed a new armoury. Watch our blacksmiths take red-hot iron from the fires of their forges and hammer it into a variety of tools, hardware, and weapons.
In an age before TV, radio, and the internet, the printed word was the primary means of long-distance mass communication. Watch and learn as printers set type and use reproduction printing presses to manufacture colonial newspapers, political notices, pamphlets and books.Learn More
Fashion was just as important in the 18th century as today - maybe even more so if you wanted to be part of the "in crowd". Routinely wearing a wig may seeem strange to us, especially for men, but it communicated the wearer's elegance, his station in society, and even his occupation to his fellow colonists. With the skill of a barber and hairdresser combined, our wigmakers fashion "perukes" of quality and distinction.Learn More
Silver cups, teapots, and spoons were not just for show. They were a good way to "store" your assets. Skilled smiths transformed coins and outdated silverware into fashionable pieces for the dining room, parlour, and personal adornment. Drop in and see how our silversmiths turn ingots into works of art.
Be an 18th-century customer. Share your fashion needs as boxes, drawers, and bundles full of the latest ornaments and accessories, called millinery, are offered for your inspection. Consult with the mantua-maker about updating old gowns to bring them into the newest 18th-century fashion.
The work of a colonial gunsmith united many skills, from forging iron to working wood. A careful eye and steady hand ensured each firearm would work as expected once assembled. Today, our gunsmiths use the tools and techniques of their 19th-century predecessors to make rifles, pistols, and fowling pieces.
From turned, green wood chairs to elaborate marquetry pieces, pre-industrial furniture in America took many forms and sprang from numerous traditions. With each tradition came different sets of tools, shop structures, and approaches to solving problems in a common material: wood. For this, our 20th annual conference, we have brought together an impressive group of presenters to speak to some of these different traditions with an emphasis on shops and tools.
The distinctive collections of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum are located under one roof.
The fun doesn't end just because the sun sets. Whether you're looking for some drama or to be spooked, there's something to entertain you.