Edwardian Woman Carpenter

Victorian Edwardian Woman Carpenter

‘Beautiful substantial articles that can be made by any woman of artistic tastes and strength enough to drive a hammer – “Grandmother’s clock” is among the lovely pieces of new art furniture that can be made by an amateur. […] There is a great deal of homemade furniture in the land these days. But, as it does not look like home-made furniture nor like amateur work, it can be forgiven. […]

Woman turned carpenter a long time ago. […] It is a story of the lady and the hammer and with the deft instrument she turns out many a handsome bit. […] She must have so many shelves of such size and thickness. They must be of a certain wood finished in a certain way. Then she needs the mechanical parts, the sliding shelves, the drawers, the racks and the moldings. When she has made out her list she adds the trimmings, the little brass knobs, the fleur de lis in brass, the great ornamental locks and the immense hinges which are now the fancy; and she adds a plentiful supply of great ornamental nails, for it is now the style to have all the materials show when the piece of furniture is complete. […]

With plenty of energy and lots of stain she goes to work. She stains and she stains and her hands bear witness that she has done it in no timid manner. She puts the stain on thinly and frowns because it sinks in darkly. Then she applies another coat and it sticks better; a third is better still. […]

Victorian Edwardian Woman Carpenter-2
Silk petticoat box covered with matting & homemade desk

This box should be made of wood with a slight odor to it. Odorous woods drive away insects and prevent moths from entering. If the box has no scent then put some scent into it. […] Women who like highly scented garments are in the habit of buying half an ounce of oil of rose geranium. This they use for polishing the inside of the shirt waist box […] A little of the oil is dropped upon flannel and the inside is thoroughly polished from one end to the other. The remainder of the oil is poured into the cracks. Now comes the laying of a padded piece in the bottom. It should be half an inch thick and should be absolutely filled with scents of all kinds, with a preference for the neutral herbs, which are never nauseating and which endure longer than the artificial scents. Powdered cloves make a nice fixative for other scents.’ (San Francisco Call, 1903)

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