New Discoveries at Jamestown eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 57 pages of information about New Discoveries at Jamestown.

It is believed that wooden hardware was used on many of the early houses.


A few glass window panes may have been made in the Jamestown glass factory which was built in 1608.  Most of the window glass used in the colony, however, was shipped from England.  Many of the early panes used were diamond-shaped (known as “quarrels"), and were held in place by means of slotted lead strips (known as “cames").  The window frames used in a few of the Jamestown houses were handwrought iron casements.  Most of the humbler dwellings had no glass panes in the windows.  The window openings were closed by batten shutters, operated by hinges of wood and fitted with wooden fastening devices.


Most of the hand-painted tiles used at Jamestown (for decorating walls and fireplaces) were imported from Holland.  A few were made in England.  Made of a light-buff clay, and known as delftware, the tiles unearthed are decorated in blue, with a conventionalized design in each corner and a central picture or motif.  Covered with a tin glaze, the majority of tiles found measure about 5 inches square by 3/8-inch thick.  The edges are beveled, permitting them to be set very close together at the glazed surface.  The attractively decorated tiles added a touch of beauty to a few Jamestown interiors.


Four kinds of roofing materials have been excavated:  Plain, flat, earthenware tiles; curved earthenware pantiles; slate; and wooden shingles.  The plain tiles were made in Jamestown brick kilns, and it is possible that some of the S-curved red pantiles were also made locally.  Slate was brought over from England, whereas most of the shingles were rived from native cedar and oak logs.  Other materials used in roofing included bark, marshgrass and reeds (thatch), and boards.  Sod appears to have been used on some of the very early houses.


Lime for mortar, plaster, and ornamental plaster was made in crude lime kilns at Jamestown from calcined oyster shells.  The oyster shells came from the James River.

[Illustration:  A wrought-iron window Casement unearthed near an early 17th-century building site.]

[Illustration:  Wall or fireplace tiles found at Jamestown which were made in HollandThe blue designs and pictures were painted on A white background.]

[Illustration:  Kinds of roofing materials excavated include flat tiles (Shown here), curved pantiles, slate, and shingles.]

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New Discoveries at Jamestown from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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