Welcome to Vitrified Headers

John Rogers House, West Windsor, New Jersey.

You might be aware that Posterous was recently acquired by Twitter. The reporting that I’ve seen indicated that this was a “talent acquisition,” suggesting that Posterous’ continued existence is in doubt. As a result, I decided to move Jennifer W. Hanson’s Commonplace Book over to WordPress, where I have another blog (On the Trail of Henry Charlton Beck).

I’ve never been crazy about “Jennifer W. Hanson’s Commonplace Book” as a title, but I wasn’t able to come up with anything more clever. I’m having difficulty naming this new blog something clever, too. In the end, I decided that cleverness might be overrated when it comes to naming blogs, and I just named this blog after something I like: Vitrified Headers.

What are vitrified headers? Vitrification is the process by which an object becomes glassy when exposed to intense heat. A header is the short side of a brick. Vitrified headers (frequently called glazed headers) are a hallmark of the patterned brick style of architecture that can be found in areas of the mid-Atlantic where Quakers settled during the 1600s and 1700s. Southern New Jersey still holds many of these houses, though others have not survived the centuries.

I wouldn’t call myself an expert architectural historian by any means (though my undergraduate degree was in art history), but I enjoy looking at and learning about architecture, especially vernacular architecture. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become more and more interested in the patterned brick style. I have a small Flickr set of patterned brick house photos, and one of the pages on this site is devoted to a list of known patterned brick houses of New Jersey.

Welcome to Vitrified Headers.