The following are fines paid by cabinetmakers in Irish shops in 1839. Typically, the fines were paid in drink for fellow shopmates.
1. Entering a shop as an apprentice: 1 pound, 1 shilling.
2. Failure to keep the glue warm: 6 pence.
3. Forgetting to extinguish the fire or candles at night: 2 shillings, 6 pence.
4. When an apprentice “takes the apron” to do man’s work: 1 shilling.
5. When an apprenticeship expires, called “washing him out:” 10 shilling, 6 pence.
6. Getting married: 10 shilling.
7. Having a child: a quart of whisky.
8. Being taught any new task: 1 shilling.
9. Tool not put away: 3 pence.
10. Long beard or dirty shirt: 6 pence.
11. Obtaining a favored workbench near a window: quart of whisky.
12. Gluing someone’s pockets shut: 2 pence.
13. Leaving the rubstone hollow: 1 pence.
“It is wonderful that there are any sober men in the mechanic class at all, when such perpetual drinking tyranny dominates over them… . Boys at first are shy of taking drink, and seem to dislike it, but before they are half out of their time they generally acquire the usual relish for stimulation, and are eager to subject new comers to the same exercise which was so disagreeable to themselves. Thus cruelty and drunkenness are perpetuated, and the foundation of all evil habits laid in the very social constitution.”
Excerpted from “The Philosophy of Artificial and Compulsory Drinking Usage in Great Britain and Ireland: Containing the Characteristic, and Exclusively National, Convivial Laws of British Society” by John Dunlop – 6th Edition 1839.
— Christopher Schwarz
Thanks to Jeff Burks for pointing me to this book. Or perhaps it was an intervention?