The Introduction to this reference volume on the cabinetmakers of America is virtually a concise history of cabinetmaking, set against its background in Europe, drawn from account books, diaries, letters, town records, etc. studied over some thirty years, and brought into focus in six years of intensive travel and research. The mid-17th century brought definite names of makers into prominence, and from then on certain regions were recognized as sources of the best work:- Newport (with the Goddards and Townsends outstanding), Philadelphia (with Savery, Randolph, Affleck as names still talked of today)- these were the masters; later same Duncan in New York, the expanding influence of the English cabinetmakers- Chippendale, Adam, Hepplewhite, Sheraton; the Baltimore school with its more elaborate details, the distinctive work of McIntire in Salem, Seymour in Boston, Belton in New York. The crudity of the colonial period yielded to the refinements of the post-Revolutionary designers; mahogany was introduced from the West Indies; American cabinet makers made their own adaptations and created their own designs. The major part of the book then follows:- an alphabetical encyclopedia of the men and their achievements, a glossary of terms, an extensive bibliography.