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Cooperage by J. B. Wagner is offered humbly, making no claims to status as a scientific manual or work of literature. It is a simple manual and love letter to a craft which has meant everything to humanity in the past. Wagner happily acknowledges that the information he records in this volume is not new, but since its publication the knowledge has been covered in dust and forgotten to such an extent that it emerges as brand new once again.
The work is ‘profusely illustrated’ in the words of its author and is written in plain, clear language which is still as appealing and informative to the modern reader as it would have been to a tradesman in 1910. It covers types of wood, methods of working the wood, places of origin, designs of barrel and the required tools for a variety of barrel types. Every aspect is considered, and whilst the author makes no claims to writing literature, it is clear from the work that he has created art both on the page and as a master Cooper.