The earliest hinge common to all the colonies is of course the ordinary
strap type, plain and stout. Sometimes of necessity these were made of
old wagon tires, as for a like reason we find old oxshoes wrapjointed
for a side member to the strap. Aside from beveling, little ornamentation
is found on these earlier hinges excepting at their finials, which were
usually round or ovate, but occasionally arrowhead, heart, fishtail and
in rarer instances tulip or fleurdelis in form.
The early Cross Garnets as a rule were also simple in form, and such
ornament as they had was more or less for the purpose of added strength
rather than decoration.
Excepting the infrequent Jacobean Cockshead patterns, a few of the Dutch,
and those of the Moravian and other early German sectarians of Pennsylvania,
there is little in the way of decorative treatment of hinges that at
all approaches the florid European examples with which the average smith
of those days must have been familiar. This is but natural under the
circumstances, for the stern necessities of early colonization gave little
opportunity for devoting time or thought to matters of estheticism, which
the rewards of privation and labor later permitted. The seeming lack
of artistry in the hinges of that period may have been due to a stern
protest against frills, or as some contend, was just an expression of
the inherent good taste of the first settlers, but the most potent factor
was probably economic.
All hinges are sold in pairs unless stated otherwise.