The Craft Apprentice

The Craft Apprentice : From Franklin to the Machine Age in America

2.63 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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The apprentice system in colonial America began as a way for young men to learn valuable trade skills from experienced artisans and mechanics and soon flourished into a fascinating and essential social institution. Benjamin Franklin got his start in life as an apprentice, as did Mark Twain, Horace Greeley, William Dean Howells, Willian Lloyd Garrison, and many other famous Americans. But the Industrial Revolution brought with it radical changes in the lives of craft apprentices. In this book, W. J. Rorabaugh has woven an intriguing collection of case histories, gleaned from numerous letters, diaries, and memoirs, into a narrative that examines the varied experiences of individual apprentices and documents the massive changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 136.4 x 203.7 x 15.2mm | 244.66g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 15 line drawings
  • 0195051890
  • 9780195051896
  • 1,727,418

Review quote

"Using hundreds of autobiographies, diaries, and letters, Rorabaugh...pieces together the broad outlines of the apprentice's experience and the impact of the American Revolution, the ideology of equality, technological changes, and the Civil War on the relations between masters and apprentices....Should be read by all students interested in the history of labor and education."-Choice "The best recent treatment of the decline and fall of an institution once pivotal to American life and labor....In this rich, insightful, and imaginative study, W.J. Rorabaugh has finally given the subject the direct attention it deserves."-Journal of Economic History "One of those rare studies that exposes something grand by focusing on something small....This superb volume makes several significant contributions."-History of Education Quarterly "Americana at its fascinating best....The story of apprenticeship in the US offers a fascinating perspective on the nation during its formative years. Rorabaugh brings these seminal decades alive with vivid first-hand accounts drawn from letters, diaries, memoirs and other primary sources....An original and engaging contribution to scholarship with appeal that goes well beyond an academic readership."-Kirkus Reviews "A highly engaging and insightful study of how the political, commercial, and industrial revolutions in America transformed the lives of those on the bottom rung of the craft ladder....An important contribution to the understanding of the artisan experience in America."-Business History Review "[An] engaging history."-The Philadelphia Inquirer "[A] scholarly and well-documented book....Absorbing and illuminating."-Washington Post Book World "A vivid and vigorously argued history of apprenticeship in America."-Journal of Social History "A first rate piece of scholarship and must reading for students of early American history."-The William and Mary Quarterly
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Back cover copy

This book tells what it was like to be a craft apprentice in America before, during, and after the early Industrial Revolution. The story begins in colonial America, when apprenticeship served several important functions.
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Rating details

11 ratings
2.63 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 18% (2)
3 45% (5)
2 18% (2)
1 18% (2)
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