Making Stuff in 1931

My blog buddy Marilyn sent me a link to a cool video that I want to share.

As best I can tell, based on my rusty high school Spanish and attempting to read French, this is a film that was made in 1931 that shows students at several “professional” schools around France.  There is blacksmithing, machining, pattern work in preparation for casting parts, foundry work, drafting, electronics and radio, and of course carving and cabinet making.  Actually I figured that out from the pictures, my high school Spanish doesn’t even cut it for ordering lunch at the local taqueria.

There are also more berets than you can shake a stick at, and a general dearth of safety glasses.  One of the things that caught me interest was the number of people working at once.  My experience is primarily working in my own shop.  At one point I had five people come to my shop on Saturdays to grind, sand and polish chopper parts – but most of my experience is working alone in my shop.  To see a dozen people vigorously planing, chiseling, sawing and hammering is pretty amazing.  The slightly stiff, slightly sped-up-ness of the video helps too.

The video is available here:

My friend Ron wanted to know if wearing a beret would help my dovetails.  Honestly, some days I’d be willing to try.

Paring Dovetails in France, 1931

The Cabinet Shop, Right Side

The Cabinet Shop, Left Side

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