In the backyard our fence is wooden. In the front it is wrought iron, with a cool swinging gate that features of the shield of the fence’s manufacturer, the Stewart Iron Works of Cincinnati, Ohio. (I did a Google search for the company, and to my surprise it still exists and continues to make wrought iron fences and furniture, as it has done for 150 years.)
The front fence is entirely ornamental, in the sense that it isn’t there for security but rather to add to the aesthetics of the place. I like it for that reason, but I especially like the swinging gate where the Stewart Iron Works shield is found. After almost 100 years, it operates perfectly, and I find myself enjoying the simplicity of its design, which allows the gate to swing freely without squeaking and close by itself, with no need for springs. The de facto latch is especially cool — a small depression in the fence that marries up to a free standing tongue of iron on the gate.
For me the gate serves a a different aesthetic purpose. When I arrive at the gate after the end of a workday, depress the iron tongue, and watch the entrance swing open, it’s like the door to my evening officially has opened, my own private little sanctuary has been reached, and the workday truly has ended.