Inheritance: Clothes or House?

'"But we shall live to see the day, I trust," went on the artist, "when no man shall build his house for posterity. Why should he? He might just as reasonably order a durable suit of clothes--leather, or gutta percha, or whatever else lasts longest--so that his great-grandchildren should have the benefit of them, and cut precisely the same figure in the world that he himself does. If each generation were allowed and expected to build its own houses, that single change, comparatively unimportant in itself, would imply almost every reform which society is now suffering for."' (183-4)

From The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel "There's a reason it's not called The Jacket of the Seven Pockets" Hawthorne, written 1851.

Bonus: description of "most durable textiles", mid-nineteenth-century!