That is the common held belief, but I've seen a lot of broken antique furniture anyway. Lots of splits, lots of failed hide glue caused by wood movement. I have some 70 year old stuff in my garage that was my Mom's bridal bedroom set. Failed dovetails, failed bridle joint, cracked shelf, etc....
The idea for some craftsman is that "I've never had a failure" giving them the excuse to break the law of nature. We put too much effort into making fine furniture to randomly break the laws of wood movement.
We had an add-on bathroom in our old farm house. In a hard winter, we barely took any baths because the cast iron was brutal to touch. You sat in the center of the hot water pool. In our home, we were never allowed more than 2" of water in the tub. Any more was just wasteful! The drain trap almost always froze up. Our coal furnace did not have a stoker, so Dad would get up at least once or twice to shovel coal through the night. In the morning, we stayed under the quilts until we could smell heat coming back into the house! That smell always had the light scent of coal to it, lol.
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- Seasonal Movement, Then and Now