This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
This wood is not used to any great extent in Carpentry except in Europe, but is made up into tool handles, shoe lasts, and so forth, and is also used in wagon making and ship building. The tree grows freely in the eastern part of the United States and Canada and also in Europe. There are a number of different species and the tree is sometimes called by other names such as "ironwood," and "horn-beam." The wood is used for building work in the United States only occasionally for inside finish and is not a popular wood. It is heavy, hard, and strong, but of coarse texture like the ash. In color it is light brown, or white. It shrinks and checks during the process of drying out, and is not durable when placed in contact with the ground. It works fairly well, stands well, and will take a good polish.