If you want to get an idea of the importance of this book, just take a walk around the older sections of your town and take a look at the single family dwellings there. What you will see, over and over again, is buildings that look exactly like the drawings and designs in this book. That is because this book was the most popular source for designs for buildings throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Starting from the date of its first publication in 1852, thousands of buildings were built all across America copied directly from the designs and floor plans in this book. Even today, buildings could be built and perhaps are still being built based upon these floor plans and designs. There are hundreds of drawings in this book, each by Samuel Sloan himself. These individual drawings were first published starting in the 1840s and were then combined into a book. Volume One was published in 1852 and Volume Two in 1853. Both books were reprinted many times, with changes, additions and modifications. Samuel Sloan (born March 7, 1815, died July 19, 1884) was the leading Philadelphia-based architect of the mid-nineteenth century.