The Pennsylvania Barn: Its Origin, Evolution, and Distribution in North America

Overview

In his widely acclaimed The Pennsylvania Barn, Robert Ensminger provided the first comprehensive study of an important piece of American vernacular architecture—the forebay bank barn, better known as the Pennsylvania barn or the Pennsylvania German barn. Now, in this revised edition, Ensminger has continued his diligent fieldwork and archival research into the origins, evolution, and distribution in North America of this significant agricultural structure. Including an entire chapter of new material, 85 new ...

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Overview

In his widely acclaimed The Pennsylvania Barn, Robert Ensminger provided the first comprehensive study of an important piece of American vernacular architecture—the forebay bank barn, better known as the Pennsylvania barn or the Pennsylvania German barn. Now, in this revised edition, Ensminger has continued his diligent fieldwork and archival research into the origins, evolution, and distribution in North America of this significant agricultural structure. Including an entire chapter of new material, 85 new illustrations, and updates to previous chapters, this edition of Ensminger's classic work will appeal to students and scholars in cultural and historical geography, folklore and vernacular architectural history, and American studies, as well as to general readers.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Vernacular Architecture Newsletter
The Pennsylvania Barn belongs on the shelf of all students of the vernacular landscape. It is hard to imagine that this monumental work will ever be displaced by a new interpretation.

— Robert W. Reynolds

Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

A comprehensive study that will be of interest to the general reader as well as scholars and students of the vernacular landscape... The book is profusely illustrated with good photographs, diagrams, and line drawings.

Illinois Historical Journal

With the perspective of a master builder and farmer and the eye of an artist, Ensminger guides the reader through the historical development of Pennsylvania barns from their origin in medieval Europe to their present-day uses... All may be identified by studying the photographs generously scattered throughout the text.

Professional Geographer

With this volume, Ensminger has drawn our attention to one of the most distinctive buildings in the American landscape, one which offers lessons not only pertinent to American agriculture and ethnic history, but one whose study reveals much about settlement processes. Every scholar concerned with material culture on whatever level will want to read and treasure this book.

Material Culture
Ensminger's volume may well rank as the best scholarly work to date on the study of a specific American barn type... This enthusiastic Pennsylvania scholar-farmer has produced an attractive and highly readable account of the Pennsylvania barn.

— Steve C. Gordon

Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage
[A] monumental study... This commendable book offers a fitting tribute to what is undoubtedly the greatest contribution of Pennsylvania Germans to the agricultural landscape.

— Clarke E. Hess

CRM: Journal of Heritage Stewardship
Reading the second edition of The Pennsylvania Barn is like sitting at the kitchen table with an old friend.

— Stephen Gordon

CRM: Journal of Heritage Stewardship - Stephen Gordon

Reading the second edition of The Pennsylvania Barn is like sitting at the kitchen table with an old friend.

Vernacular Architecture Newsletter - Robert W. Reynolds

The Pennsylvania Barn belongs on the shelf of all students of the vernacular landscape. It is hard to imagine that this monumental work will ever be displaced by a new interpretation.

Material Culture - Steve C. Gordon

Ensminger's volume may well rank as the best scholarly work to date on the study of a specific American barn type... This enthusiastic Pennsylvania scholar-farmer has produced an attractive and highly readable account of the Pennsylvania barn.

Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage - Clarke E. Hess

[A] monumental study... This commendable book offers a fitting tribute to what is undoubtedly the greatest contribution of Pennsylvania Germans to the agricultural landscape.

Booknews
Ensminger (geography, Kutztown U., Pennsylvania) presents the Swiss origin, the American evolution and distribution, and the future of one of the most important and widespread vernacular architectural styles in the country, known as the Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania- German, or the forebay bank barn. Well illustrated with monochrome photographs, drawings, and maps. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801871344
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2003
  • Series: Creating the North American Landscape Series
  • Edition description: second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 348
  • Sales rank: 824,348
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert F. Ensminger is a professor of geography, emeritus, at Kutztown University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents: List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction1 The Origin of the Pennsylvania Barn

2 Classification of the Pennsylvania Barn

3 The Evolution of the Pennsylvania Barn

4 Diffusion and Distribution of the Pennsylvania Barn

5 The Future of the Pennsylvania Barn

6 The Pennsylvania Barn Updated: New Insights, Corrections, and AmendmentsAppendix A Supplemental Sightings of Pennsylvania Barns

Appendix B Classification of Pennsylvania Barns by Charles Dornbusch

Glossary

References and Selected Bibliography

Index

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Reading Group Guide

With the perspective of a master builder and farmer and the eye of an artist, Ensminger guides the reader through the historical development of Pennsylvania barns from their origin in medieval Europe to their present-day uses . . . All may be identified by studying the photographs generously scattered throughout the text.
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