Chapter 6: 1941 - 1950  6:6 Motivations for Woodworking

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6. Motivations for woodworking: a) hours of work and leisure time; b) disposable income; c) other factors

From Home Craftsman 17March April 1948  page 56:

[I checked the pages of issues of American Magazine for  1948, but failed to locate the article reporting the data below. Doubtless, the information was published; it is that, for verification, I am not successful in locating it. The numbers, though, present some interesting speculation. For example, information in issues of the Home Craftsman itself suggests that the men engaging in woodworking are more than 36 years old. Further, the numbers for unmarried men, at 19%, seems unusually high. Unmarried men, as a rule, have other interests, don't they?

In my narrative for each of the chapters, I will deal with the issue of leisure more extensively. My research suggests that the concept of Leisure  was redefined each decade in the first half of the 20th century. Primarily, time for leisure activities is an issue of reducing the hours per week of work. Working 60 hours each week leaves little energy for such activities as woodworking, especially before electrification. (In urban areas, electrification began to "kick in" around 1915, but reported as early as 1907).

Woodwork Ranks High as Hobby

How high woodworking ranks as a hobby of American men was recently indicated by a survey made by the American Magazine among its male readers. Twenty-seven percent of those readers who said they indulge in any type of hobby named woodworking. This was well ahead of photography, 22 percent, and stamp collecting, 9 percent, and was surpassed only by the outdoor hobby, gardening, with 51 percent.

It was found that marriage and age have little bearing upon the number of men who get enjoyment out of woodworking. It is the hobby of 28 percent of the married men who replied to the questionnaire, and 19 percent of the unmarried; 30 percent of those under 36 years, and 25 percent of those who have passed that age.

Among indoor games, card playing leads with 83 percent, followed by bowling, 45 percent, and pool, 21 percent. In outdoor sports actively engaged in by the readers, fishing is the favorite with 38 percent, followed by baseball, 31 percent, and golf, 29 percent.

Source: American Magazine bibliographic details will be given later

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