2001: John McAlister
John worked wood as an amateur for over 35 years, most of it satisfying his passion for building 18th century American period furniture. He was a self-taught, consummate craftsperson whose introduction to furniture making was Marlow's Fine Furniture for the Amateur Cabinetmaker. John made all the pieces in the book.
In fact, no period piece had ever intimidated John, but that is to be expected from this former fighter pilot who flew P-51's during WW II. His home was filled with his work, including his masterpiece Goddard-Townsend secretary. This piece was featured on the back cover of the April 1998 Fine Woodworking.
Like many period furniture makers who started before woodworking magazines appeared, John visited countless museums inspecting and measuring pieces of furniture that he later recreated in his basement workshop.