Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Houses in that day were not well sealed. Outside air in the winter can have single digit humidity, even here in TN and for sure in MN. Brought inside and warmed even slightly the humidity of this air will near zero. The opposite in the summer. No humidity control. Humidity swings stress joints. I can not see how anyone can make a case that humidity swings were less in 1720 for a table sitting by a fireplace.
I believe antique furniture suffers joint failure because it was stored in the chicken coop for 20 years when it fell out of fashion. I also believe that antique furniture suffers joint failure because someone short of lumber in 1720 hoped they could get by using wood less dry then optimum, or they had no idea how dry it was.
An there is ignorance or stubbornness. For a time English used cross grain drawer bottoms. Every one I have seen is busted. How can it not be!?! regardless of central heating.
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- Seasonal Movement, Then and Now