Del Taylor, Program Coordinator at Sainte Marie among the Hurons, wrote: “I recently took a trip to Disney World in Florida and one of the books about Disney stated that the look of some of the buildings portraying Colonial America had shutters on the windows with metal hinges on the bottom and leather on the top which made them appeared skewed to save costs. They gave the impression that this is well documented and researched. What do you think?”
Well, here’s what I’ve discovered from three architectural historians.
The first said she had never heard of such a thing.
The second said it sounded very strange and he noted that leather would not hold up well at all.
The third said “sheer nonsense. If anything, one would have put the iron hinge on top so if the leather bottom hinge tore loose, the top would hold. The other way around the top breaks loose and tips the door over ripping out the lower hinge. Wonder where this crock came from?”
I wondered too.
Wikipedia says that serfs fastened their doors and windows with leather because they couldn’t afford metal hinges, but they cite no source. Anyway, even if it is true, that’s medieval Europe, not colonial America.
Baskets and boxes can have leather hinges. I’ve seen many; you probably have too.
Does anyone have any further information documenting this practice?