A tradesman today is a specially trained worker who might work in fields such as construction or crafts. In addition to construction We are used to thinking of the trades as conditioning, plumbing, and heating.
The trades in the past covered a much larger listing of trade types and delt with all aspects of life as you will see in this section on trades from 1600 to 1950
If you have ancestors who were in the trades become a member of our trades community.
Auchmutys schools are now assured of a future of
large and constantly increasing usefulness, and ought
to serve as a model for others in all the large cities of
These schools, in fact, supply the only means hy which
American boys can become skilled workmen CENTURYMAGAZINE
The history of printing started around 3000 BC with the duplication of images.Our concentration on this trade will begin in 1796 and the invention of Lithography.
If you would like to participate in this trade area please sign up as a member.
apprentice system has gone, never to return. Both the
spirit of the time and the changed conditions of trade
are against it. Outside the large cities, in the so-called
country districts, boys can still he taught a trade by the
workers in it; hut in the large cities, where skilled la-
bor is in demand, this is no longer possible. The trade-
unions in these cities are controlled hy foreigners who
seek to confine their industries to men of their own
nationalities. They not only refuse to teach an Amen-
can boy a trade, hut they combine to prevent him from
getting employment after he has succeeded in learning
it in a trade school. This is a situation of affairs with-
out parallel in any country in the world, and one which
will not he tolerated in this country when once public
opinion has been aroused to a full comprehension
Colonel Auchmuty has shown from statistics that
out of $23,000,000 paid annually to mechanics in the
building trades in New York city, less than $1i,ooo,ooo
goes to those born here. The number of new jour-
neymen trained outside the cities in the trades them-
selves is not sufficient to fill vacancies, much less to
supply the constantly increasing demand for larger
forces. Thousands of foreign mechanics come here
every year, some to remain, others to work through a
busy season and return to Europe with their profits.
These foreigners have no sympathy with Americans.
They control the trade-unions, which in turn control
the labor market, absolutely in their own interest.
They seek to keep wages high by closing the doors of
employment to all comers not of their own kind. The
result is that in free America, sometimes called the
paradise of working-men, the field of skilled labor is
occupied almost exclusively hy foreigners who declare
that an American boy shall not enter, either to learn a
trade, or to find employment if he shall have been able
to learn his trade elsewhere.
We present to the civilized world the astounding
spectacle of a great nation, which boasts itself the freest
on the globe, throwing open its vast and lucrative fields
of skilled labor to the mechanics of all other nations,
while closing them to its own sons. Was there ever a
more incredible act of national folly! We have in
America material from which to make the best and
quickest mechanics in the world that is the testimony
of all competent authorities; yet we refuse either to
train them or to give them work if trained. We deplore
the existence of increasing numbers of idle and unoc-
cupied young men in all our cities, and then accept
conditions which compel a multiplication of the num-
bers. It is useless to put the blame upon the foreign
laborers: they are merely improving their opportunity.
The American people are responsible, and they must
supply the remedy.
The first step toward the remedy is the multiplica-
tion of trade schools, and the second is the insistence
upon the free exercise of every mans right to earn his
living in his own way. It is surely not too much for the
American people to say that their own sons shall not
only he permitted to learn trades, hut shall he permit-
ted also to work at them after they have learned them.
We advise any one who is (lesirous of seeing the kind
of skilled working-man that the American hoy makes,
to visit Colonel Auchmutys schools and look over a set
of photographs of his graduates. He will find there a
hody of ciear-hrowed, straight-eyed young fellows who
will compare well with the graduates of our colleges.
This is the stuff from which lahorers are made who
honor and dignify and elevate lahor, not hy agitating,
hut hy heing masters of their craft, faithful in its per-
formance, and willing to share its toil with all comers,
fearing honest competition from no quarter. Such
men are at once true American lahorers and true Amer-
ican citizens of the highest type, and the educational
system which evolves them is a national henefaction of