Defunct Trades


“It is surprising,” said an intelligent workingman, “to notice the change that machinery of all kinds has worked in the different trades within comparatively few years. For a time there was an objection to machine work of all kinds as not being equal to hand work, but this has worn away and machinery rules everywhere.”

“In the trade of a blacksmith machinery has made great changes and actually new trades; but there is one trade which machinery in recent years has killed, that of the cabinet-maker. I have known hundreds of good cabinet-makers, after serving a long apprenticeship, finding that machinery has taken away their occupation, to become house carpenters straight away and are now earning good wages.”

“I do not think,” he continued, stroking his chin reflectively, “that contractors will be able to do without house carpenters or lay bricks by machinery for many years yet, which is one comfort.”

New York Telegram – c. October, 1887

—Jeff Burks

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