Wandergesellen

Tomas Munita for the New York Times

Today’s New York Times has a nice article about the Wandergesellen, the journeymen tradition, that continues in parts of Europe. There are loads of photos and you can read it here.

It also confirms that bell-bottoms never go out of style.

Suzanne Ellison

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3 Responses to Wandergesellen

  1. rdwilkins says:

    Good article. Plus the article points out their great traditional, and painful use for hand wrought nails. I’ll pass on trying that one.

  2. tpobrienjr says:

    Thanks for sharing the story about a great tradition.

  3. I am sorry to say these traditions flash flooded away in England between the end of the eighteen and the mid nineteenth century. The transition was rapid and violent the masters dictating what was to be done and the price paid. Inevitably the pay went down and the working hours up. Many craftsmen lost their homes that had been part of their pay and workhouses sprang up – they were like prisons without so many bars. The “inmates” had to work to be given food and many were ruled over by an overbearing bully. Their lives were extremely poor and you can read about it in the many books written by Charles Dickens. By contrast the rich became very rich indeed. Many of the poor escaped to the USA and others were deported for minor offences to Australia and other colonies where most flourished. It was during this period that huge quantities of wooden hand tools were burnt perhaps to keep warm!

    I sometimes wonder if we really have become more civilised since then and I suspect that one or perhaps both of the founders of LAP may have views about this!

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