Cannonball Story
Serving Austin & the Dallas Metroplex
Doris Younger, ASID, RID | TX Certified Interior Designer #2977

The Cannonball Story

There’s a wonderful story about poster beds during the early days of our country.

Long ago when America was still a group of 13 separate British colonies, you were very careful about sharing your opinion that we would be better off as an independent nation. You see, this was called treason and you could be hung for it! So the colonists developed two secret ways of signaling to each other that they were patriots.

The first way was to change the way they ate. Europeans and the British always picked up their knife with their right hand, their fork with their left hand. They lifted the fork, tines down, to their mouths as they ate --- a very sensible, easy way to dine. But the patriots began by cutting with their knives in their right hand, fork in their left hand and then switched the fork over to their right hand, tines up before placing their food in their mouths. It is extra trouble for sure, but it was a way of signaling to each other that the days of the old ways were numbered and they were in favor of an independent United States. The second way was with their furniture. Most posts ended in the European tapered finial that we still see today on traditional style beds. But, during that period, the patriots sanded off the points, and rounded off their finials into “cannonballs of defiance” against the British. So, whether you were in a formal home or a humble home and you saw that round ball finial, you knew you could speak your mind in safety. Times have changed! Most Americans appreciate greatly our closest allies the British today. But the tradition of an American cannonball finial hasn’t changed or been forgotten and is now a permanent part of our history and symbolic of the American love of freedom.

Just for Fun with Doris Younger Designs

The evolution of furniture from utilitarian to artful is often a key to the manners, mores and means of other times and places.  In that spirit and just for fun, here are “romance” stories about some of those pieces picked up over thirty five years of studying and practicing interior design.  Are they true? I don’t know for sure but if not, I’m sure at the very least they contain seeds of truth in the development of traditional furniture styles and, as I said, just for fun……. Read More fun stories here.