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At the turn of the 20th century it was the home of Henry Mercer (manor and carriage house pictured here left and right), and eccentric millionaire who built a large ceramics studio (locally referred to simply as the "tile works") on his estate, and an enormous museum downtown. "Mercer Tiles" are a valued architectural commodity, and are found not only in Bucks County buildings, but in homes and buildings throughout the country.

They are still made today in the same manner they were made over 100 years ago.

Educated at Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mercer was appointed Curator of American and Prehistoric Archeology by the University of Pennsylvania Museum in the early 1890’s.

His time there convinced Mercer that American society was being destroyed by industrialism, leading him to vacate his position in the late 1890’s so he could devote himself to finding old American artifacts and study German pottery.

My parents and a number of friends still live there.

Recently, Bucks County got its 15 minutes of fame as the venue of the movie "Signs", starring Mel Gibson and directed by M.

I had not thought much about the topic of lath before moving into this house and working on the beat up walls. I certainly don't know all there is to know about it, but I will outline what I have learned.

I love talking about and thinking about lath now and I try to figure out what kind of lath is under the plaster in old houses I go into.

They were nailed up on the underlying framing with small gaps, called keys, that the plaster would be pushed into, helping the plaster to adhere.

Mercer became very involved in acquiring materials and hand-crafted tools from early nineteenth century America.

Later in his life, he decided to expand his vast Euro-centric collection and arranged trips to gather objects from West Africa and Asia.

Country furniture does have its styles based predominately on religion and region.

The catholic French and the Irish built cupboards with bold moldings, cut out feet, raised panels and they painted their cupboards in bright colors.