Salesman’s Sample Barn, ca. 1900
Jim, you came in, and you had a plain green box. And what did you have inside?
A salesman sample of a barn.
And when do you think it dates to?
I would believe around the turn of the century.
I think it's just around 1900. So you've got the whole front section constructed here, and we know the back would be constructed like the front. And probably what they're doing is showing you the construction of the first bays with all the bracing.
And then you can just duplicate that the whole way down. If you wanted it 60 feet, you bought two more, and you just kept going back as far... So the salesman could take this frame around and sell prefab frames. And then you'd have a barn raising. You'd invite your neighbors, and they would...all the men would get together with some oxen, and they'd pull the front up, then they'd pull the side up and put the tresses on, while another group stood up nailing it. Then usually the owner of the barn finished the walls and the roof by himself or with his family. But it took the neighbors to get it up. The fun to me is to see this as a salesman sample, and it's not so much what I consider to be the value of it as to be the historical importance of still having a model of how they would do a barn. And my feeling is because of its interest, I would say it was worth between perhaps $1,200 and $1,500, okay?
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