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THE FAMILY TOOLS is a recently completed, immaculately photographed fine-art coffee table book focusing on the tool collection of both my grandfather and father. From the introduction to the book:


Stagehands are responsible for almost every aspect of a theatrical production, from the hydraulics under the stage to the flies overhead; we rig the pipe systems on which scenery and lights hang and move in and out, and then we rig the scenery and the lights themselves; we light the production; we maintain the stage on which all the scenery and actors work, including the “elevators” that raise up from the basement; we fabricate, assemble, operate, maintain, and repair the scenery and the props. We even maintain the theatres in which you sit to enjoy the shows. And then we run every aspect of the show itself.

If you go to a concert in a hockey rink, we covered the ice, built the stage, and hung almost everything necessary for the show. We sit in the truss and operate the spotlights, and when the show is over we stay after the crowds dissipate and tear it all down to send on to the next crew in the following city.

I am a third generation IATSE (International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees) Stagehand, working in Local One as a stage electrician/gaffer. My father Eddie and grandfather Joe were both primarily theatrical shop carpenters for Broadway and Television. These are their tools, collected over more than half a century and used on stages and in studios all over New York City.


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