pp. Reprinted in 1997 by the Midwest Tool Collectors Association.
Woodworker's manuals 1901 to 1910
What follows immediately below are preliminary remarks designed to highlight matters that I have discovered in beginning a survey of woodworking manuals published over a period of three centuries.
Why survey three centuries of woodworking manuals? The main focus of my study is the 20th century, but since woodworking manuals published in the 18th century remain popular among certain amateur woodworkers today, I believe that I need to explore approaches that allows you to visualize the context in which these "original" woodworking manuals were published, and thus may be able to sense their significance as timeless artifacts.
My first convictions about woodworking manuals is that the intent of their authors of these is to instruct and to inspire.
The "to instruct" -- the "how-to-do-it" function -- is obvious. Potential woodworkers need guidance, and guidance comes best from other woodworkers' experience.
The "to inspire" part may not be obvious to beginners, of course, but finding any evidence of attempts toward inspiration is usually not difficult, especially if you read the introduction to a woodworking manual.
For example, read the introduction to the 1946 woodworker's manual, How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, published by Popular Science.
This manual is the source of the term, "Skill Hunger". What is "skill hunger?" For the editors of the woodworker's manual, How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, skill hunger concerns "How the Hammer, Saw and Try-Square Can Satisfy the Urge to Make Things". Read more on this term by clicking on this hyperlink.
In comparison, how does this 1946, How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, manual stand up in promoting use of power tools over competitive manuals?
I checked this matter by doing a survey of woodworking manuals published between 1941 and 1950 in the Worldcat bibliographic database.
(Worldcat, the world's largest bibliographic database of books, periodicals, publications of governments, etc, etc., currently contains records for over 50 million items.)
For How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, Worldcat registers only 17 copies in libraries worldwide -- telling us that libraries did not perceive this title as a "keeper", meaning that we can't use library holdings as an indicator of the impact of this manual on the amateur woodworking movement in the '40s.
(Since How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools is over 50 years old, and has been "replaced" by numerous other more up-to-date manuals, most public libraries could have "discarded" their copies for more recently published books.
(By discard, do not think the trash can; instead, it is more likely that the book was offered for sale at one of the book sales public libraries conduct annually. As a rule, public libraries -- unlike college libraries -- do not consider themselves "last copy" repositories. However, while this assumption may be soundly based, it is still only speculation.)
Worldcat registers that in 1946, 35 volumes were published, and for the decade, i.e., from 1941-1950, 206 volumes were published that libraries classified as woodworking manuals. So, with these figures, we can conclude that the How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools volume had much competition, especially in a nation occupied by a war.
How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools was, however, indexed in the Index to Handicrafts, Modelmaking and Workshop Projects, 2d supplement, 1950. This is one volume in a series of five volumes, published between 1943 and 1975. These volumes were purchased widely by public libraries, because their contents are indexes the internal contents of manuals. Pages of The Index to Handicrafts where certain "how-to" plans are accessible: for example, the following entry shows that you can find:
"Mortising and shaping on the drill press". In How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools, pp. 91-95.
The Index to Handicrafts began as an in-house file of hand-written 3 x5 inch library cards in the Pittsburgh Public Library. Click on this link for an online example of how a public library lists these volumes.How to get the most out of your home workshop hand and power tools is still in the Index to Handicrafts, Modelmaking and Workshop Projects volume, but the manual itself -- probably because in public libraries it is considered outdated -- has been removed from the shelves of many public libraries.
Chronological List of Woodworking Manuals and Periodicals 1901-1910
W.F.M. Goss, Bench Work in Wood A course of study and practice designed for the use of schools and colleges161
Amateur Work Boston: F.A. Draper, Publisher Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 1901)-v. 6, no. 6 (Apr. 1907) 6 volumes.
I have photocopies of a substantial number of the pages of this impressive monthly periodical. (My library obtained another library's microfilmed version.)
Is Amateur Work patterned on the London-based periodical, Work?
A resemblance between these two periodicals exists, but I have not yet investigated the possibility of such a connection.
Paul NooncreeHasluck, ed. The Handyman's Book of Tools, Materials and Processes Employed in Working Wood London, New York: Cassell, 1903. viii, 760 p. illus. 24 cm.
Hasluck, a prolific writer -- the Worldcat bibliographic database records over 400 "hits" from his pen -- compiled material from the London-based weekly, Work, that he edited between 1889 to 1893. (Hasluck's co-editor was Francis Chilton-Young.) Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA,reprinted unchanged this 1903 edition.
(The subtitle of Work explains much about the concerns of that periodical: Work: an illustrated magazine of practice and theory for all workmen, professional and amateur. For hand tool woodworkers, it is a volume packed with timeless info about tools, techniques, and projects. What seems unusual is that Hasluck does not include the material about electricity, especially the growing interest in electric motors that became a more and more frequent feature of the pages via letters from readers of Work.)
2,545 Illustrations and Working Drawings. Cassell, 1905. Black-&-white illustrations. (This book was reprinted by Senate, an imprint of Tiger Books International, in 1998, with the title, The Handyman's Book.)
The box directly below reprints Hasluck's "Preface" and other items in the book.
Samuel E. Ritchey, High school manual training course in woodwork; including cost of equipment and supplies and studies on trees and wood New York : American Book Company, 1905. 222 pages.
Signs of robust, nation-wide, industrial arts/manual training programs, are not good. Because the rate of "school completion" is so abysmal -- i.e., sky-high high school drop-out rates [link] manual arts programs have moved down to elementary school levels. And, the training of industrial arts teachers is a delicate problem. Why? Teachers with cabinetmaking experience are not trained in "teaching", and teachers without cabinet-making expereince are not good at teaching cabinetmaking.
In his manual, under the heading "HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS", pages 207-210, Ritchey offers the prospective "manual training" teacher some advice. Included is this warning under "Motors and Machinery", on pages 207-208:
And, finally, in a 1905 address (source below), the noted Arts and Crafts architect, William T Price, voices his dissatisfaction with the quality of student cabinet-makers being turned out by the schools who teach manual education:
Paul Nooncree Hasluck, ed. Cabinetwork And Joinery,
Comprising Designs And Details of Construction With 2,021 Working
Twelve Colored Plates.
AND JOINERY is a natural outcome of, and sequel to, CASSELL'S CARPENTRY
JOINERY, with which work it is uniform in style and price. Whilst the
object of that work was to explain constructive principles adopted in
related crafts of carpentry and joinery, the present
purpose is to give some hundreds of examples showing further how these
principles are applied in everyday practice.
The reader is here assumed to be acquainted with hand tools and appliances—their shapes, care, and uses; with timber—its qualities, varieties, and selection ; with the different forms of joints and their adaptability to various conditions ; with the setting out of work—including the preparation of rods; and with the principles of construction in woodwork; all these matters are fully dealt with in WOODWORKING and in CARPENTRY AND JOINERY, the earlier volumes in this series. The present book devotes but little space to the rudiments of cabinetwork and joinery, but makes a direct and immediate appeal to the constructive instinct of the craftsman by presenting him with an extensive and varied range of designs of completed articles, accompanied by full explanatory notes. No less than 250 different designs with details are included in this book, the illustrations numbering 2,021 in all.
CABINETWORK AND JOINERY is a natural outcome of, and sequel to, CASSELL'S CARPENTRY AND JOINERY, with which work it is uniform in style and price. Whilst the chief object of that work was to explain constructive principles adopted in the related crafts of carpentry and joinery, the present purpose is to give some hundreds of examples showing further how these principles are applied in everyday practice.
Louise Brigham Box FurnitureNew York, The Century co., 1909.
This book combines the Aesthetic movement, American Arts and Crafts and Mission styles, in other words, "a very early use of the modular concept in furniture design."
Gustav Stickley Craftsman Homes: architecture and furnishings of the American arts and crafts movement.New York: Craftsman, 1909. Reprinted by Dover, 1979.
This link leads to an online version of Craftsman Homes. Stickley, especially through his monthly magazine, The Craftsman, played/plays a dynamic role in promoting amateur woodworkers in America for more click on this link.
1910: Fred T Hodgson (also Frederick Thomas Hodgson). The practical cabinet maker and furniture designer's assistant, with essays on history of furniture, taste in design, color and materials, with full explanation of the canons of good taste in furniture ...1 p. l., 9-372 p. front., illus. 20 cm. Chicago, F.J. Drake & Co.
Popular Mechanics. Mission
Furniture, How to Make it ( Parts one,
two, three complete.) 342 pages. A
George Adolph Raeth. Home Furniture Making, for
amateur wood workers, manual training schools and students; Containing
Detailed Drawings and Perspective Drawings of All Examples Presented.
1910: Albert G. Glidden. Handmade Furniture and How to Make It. Spokane: Hand Made Furniture Shop, 1910. 62 pages.
In several ways, a mysterious book. Glidden evidently originated the Glidden Paint Company, but not in Spokane, Washington.
Glidden Paint is a Cleveland, Ohio, firm. Nonetheless, this is truly a work by a woodworker passionate about the craft and passionate about engaging others in woodworking. My copy is both rare and fragile -- I was lucky to find it for sale -- but now, uploaded on the Internet, it can be enjoyed by everyone. Glidden's focus is entirely Arts-and-Crafts designs, including the icon of the era, the Morris chair. Richly isslustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, and dimenstions are included.