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Ken's Korner: Tree rings prove that cabin wasn’t Lincoln’s

Ken’s Korner: Tree rings prove that cabin wasn’t Lincoln’s – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – February 2006
Not long go, the National Park Service enlisted the University of Tennessee’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science in Knoxville to determine the age of its “traditional Lincoln birthplace cabin” — a humble structure in Hodgenville, Ky., said to be the birthplace of Honest Abe. Their conclusion: the logs were cut in the 1840s and 1850s; Lincoln was born in 1809.
Tree-ring dating also proved that a historical Tennessee cabin thought to have been built in the 1790s was actually made around 1830.
But sometimes tree ring analysis can help authenticate a historical claim. Several years ago, it was suggested by some scholars that a rare Antonio Stradivari violin might be a fake. The owner, Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum, sought help from tree ring experts. While the lab experts couldn’t say with certainty that the $20 million instrument was crafted by the renowned violin maker, they did establish that the spruce used to make it was cut after 1687 — within Stradivari’s lifetime.

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