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In the United States before the 20th century, a cooperative effort in which the elements of the framework for a large barn were assembled and lifted into place. The walls were supported by sections of a massive timber framework, called bent frames. First, the cellar was dug and the barn floor constructed. Next, the bent frames were assembled on the ground adjacent to the barn by fitting the various components of the frame together and fastening them with wood pegs driven into previously drilled holes. Finally, at the appropriate locations, each bent frame was raised into an upright position by the use of long poles with steel points (barn pikes) and then interconnected with other bent frames. See the illustration under bent frame showing how the bent frames were raised, an action that required considerable manpower and therefore the assistance of neighbors; this collaborative effort is also known as a barn raising or raising bee.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.