Dating 20th century
At one time this was regarded as almost unnecessary, but the revolution brought about by Howard Colvin's has changed the nature of post medieval architectural history.
From the first edition, published in 1954 to the thoroughly indexed third edition, published in 1995, we have been able to locate dates and architects quickly and to find the references to back them up.
This is a big topic to tackle and it will not be possible to cover many details in this short column. Oak joint stools, on the other hand, have been around for five hundred years.
Game or card tables did not exist in great numbers until the end of the 17th Century.
There are clues in storey heights and the relation of these heights to ground level, in window spacing, in roof form and pitch, in plan and the position of chimney stacks as well as in the architectural detail. Windsor chairs were not around before the Queen Anne period.Up-and-down saws left vertical, crisp uniform marks and were used from 1700 to the 1860s.Architectural historians find out about buildings; who built them and when; what they were for; how they have been altered and take the form they do now; what people and events have been associated with them. 'D' for date, 'A' for architect, 'M' for materials and so on.The primacy given to date was preceded in later years only by a 'B' for a brief description of what sort of building the list description covered.