Craftsmen in 18th Century Williamsburg
The Cabinetmaker in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg by Mills Brown
The good people of Williamsburg, Virginia, have produced a series of booklets on craftsmen operating there during the 18th Century and generously made them publicly available on Project Gutenberg.
While my site is about 18th Century Britain, the technologies in the Old World and the New would have been much the same. I have extracted some of the more relevant material but I urge you to look at the complete publication. Click on the cover illustration to go to the Gutenberg page.
The publication has lot of interesting information on tools and practices and is worth visiting. Of interest here are two accounts rendered showing both the type of work and the cost. Note that money is in Colonial currency and, as such, is worth somewhat less than sterling.
In 1772 Benjamin Bucktrout submitted a bill for services to the same Robert Carter of Nomini Hall.
|June 15||To mending a Meusick Stand||0||1||6|
|Octbr. 26||To 8 Mahogy. Chares Stufed over the Rails with Brass nails @£25/pr doz.||16||8|
|To 4 Elbow Chares @ 55/||11||0||0|
|Decemr. 29||To 65 feet of pine @ d 1½||8||3½|
|To 150 8d nails for a packing Case for Harpsecord 2/ makeing and packing do. 10/||12||0|
Three years later Edmund Dickinson rendered a similar statement:
The Estate Colo John Prentis
To Edmund B. Dickinson Dr
|Nov 23d setting up bedsted 2/6 July 9th mend: & Cleaning up 6 chairs||£ 1||2||6|
|15th puting lock on closet||2||6|
|19 coffin for his Son William with Nails &c and attendance||2||15||-|
|1774||Jany 3d to 7 pulleys 17/6 January 21 setting up bed at Mrs Hay’s 2/6||1||-||-|
|April 25 takeing down bedsted 2/6||2||6|
|1775||June 14 mend: bedsted 1/3 augt 23d puting lock on Room case 2/||3||3|
|Sept 6th mend: Mahogany table||2||6|
|25 putting up bedsted & Curtains||2||6|
|Novr 4 to a Coffin lined throughout for himself & my Attendance||5||15||0|