Posted October 23, 2013
Now that weve had our first light snowfall this morning and temperatures are dipping down to around freezing at night, leaves will start falling at a faster rate from the trees. So I thought it would be a good day to look at photos of some pretty fall leaves. But are they really leaves!? Look closer!
These are actually hand-carved from wood! They were created by Emmet Dodge of Akron. He began carving these leaves during the Depression and continued up until about 1950. Mr. Dodge started wood carving while a student at Culver Military Academy in Indiana. One of his teachers was none other than Daniel Beard, considered the Father of the Boy Scouts. So the impetus for these carved leaves can be traced back to the beginning of the boy scout movement. All of his leaves were carved with an ordinary pocket knife and show amazing detail. In fact, he even carved a copy of his own pocketknife out of wood! Most of the leaves are not carved from the wood they represent, however the original wood labels he made for each leaf are.
Detail of the Northern White-cedar
After completing his collection, he used to take it to local schools to do presentations on trees. These programs were very popular with the children. Then in 1971 he donated his collection of 134 leaves to the Ohio Historical Society. Shortly afterwards he was elected as a Life Member of the Society in recognition for his donation. The leaves were displayed in the Ohio Historical Center beginning in 1973.