Chapter 2: 1901 - 1910

2:4. Hand tools vs power tools
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2:4. Hand tools vs Power machines:
Woodworker's manuals were almost entirely given over to descriptions of hand tools and instructions in their use. Electrification -- using alternating current -- did not begin in American urban centers until about 1915, and was complete by 1930; then electrification in rural areas begun.

Some direct current lines were available, as you'll note in 
Document 2: A L Hall Workshop at Home 1908 and Document 42: Ira S Griffith's article, "Recreation With Tools" 1910 


Hall himself mentions the availability of DC power, even though he still constructed his Morris chair with a foot-powered table saw. I have uploaded a jpg of Hall's chair below.

Document 2: A L Hall Workshop at Home 1908

a l hall morris chair 1908


















Griffith gives advice to wannabe amateur woodworkers, including what is an ideal home workshop, how to build a suitable workbench, and the essential set of tools to buy:

Document 42: Ira S Griffith's article, "Recreation With Tools" 1910 

griffith's 1910 home workshop



griffith workbench 1910


griffith's list of essential tools






































Mention of foot-power brings up the Arts and Crafts movement, which was initially had a sort of Luddite mentality, ie, anti-power machine. However, when Stickley brought the design movement to America, excuses were created to eliminate Arts and Crafts operations in from their English cousins' constraints. 
In 1903, the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, presented his vindication of using machines for furniture construction in the polemic, "The Art and Craft of the Machine".

Document 21: Frank Lloyd Wright -- Art and Craft of the Machine 1901

Wright, who later became one of America's foremost architects,  embraced ideas from both William Morris (chief exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement's reaction to Victorian excesses in embellishing furniture),

Appendix 11: On the Origins of the Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Style




In 1904, in Document 6, to an observer like Frank T Carlton, a professor at Toledo University School, the potential impact of the Arts and Crafts Movement on American society was quite evident and today, in 2006, a century later, we can only marvel at how remarkable his insights are, but in an uncanny way. 

Document 6: a 1904 article heralding "The Significance of the Arts and Crafts Movement for Woodworking"


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