We have scientific writers of several kinds, and their number is continually increasing; there is no harm in that, but their studies are mainly directed to form theorists capable of ordering workmen, but unable to put their own hands to the work. Banish to their country seats the most celebrated engineers, and they will be as embarrassed to perform the smallest thing for themselves, as our statesmen, magistrates, professors, poets, painters, and wealthy merchants.
If a lamp leaks, a coffee-pot is broken, a screw lost, a lock damaged, or a chair on three legs—and for a thousand other petty trifles—they must send to the neighboring town. If it is an emergency, a messenger on horseback must be dispatched, with perhaps a kettle round his neck, and a couple of watering-pots in his hand: there is no poor Robinson Crusoe to be found in these oases of luxury and indigence. (more…)
See to it, good farmer friend, that your wife or handy daughter has a kit of tools for her own use. By a “kit,” I mean the very-much-needed articles of your workshop that she has to use and borrow from you (perhaps forgetting to replace them). For instance: Hammer, gimlet, hand-saw, (always kept in good trim), a box of mixed nails and screws, screw-driver, and, strange as it may sound, a mitre-box and a double glue pot.
You will be surprised to find how much of your very valuable time will thus be saved; and you may also be astonished at the amount of good work in carpentering accomplished by the good ladies of your household. A discarded mitre-box and a few feet of molding, left by a busy workman as a donation to the good wife, resulted in a very durable and handsome picture frame that gave great pride to the home manufacturer.
The girl of to-day is beginning to look to cabinetmaking and other branches of industry that heretofore were looked upon as the sole domain of her more favored brother. Well, encourage the girls in the use of necessary tools on a farm. Then perhaps we men folks shall have a few less hingeless, knobless doors to look after on a rainy day. Or perhaps we might get the girls to repair a broken fence if the cattle got out when we were away thrashing.