Where would we be without carpenters?

Call them what you want: artisan, builder, cabinetmaker, construction worker, craftsperson, laborer, mason, woodworker…..a carpenter falls under all those monikers.

What kind of pitfalls are there from being a carpenter? I can only guess. Owners consistently keep asking “when will you finish?”, tools get stolen, kids keep getting in the way, dogs won’t stop barking at ‘em, on-the-job injuries, running out of necessary materials, unbearable hot or cold weather, etc.

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I think the thing that must bug ‘em the most would be upon completing the job, the person who hired them complains about the finished product.
“That’s not what I wanted!”
“You didn’t do it the way I said!”
“No, no, you did it all wrong!”
No carpenter wants to hear those words.

Getting razzed by bratty kids must get under their skin, too. When I was a kid, there were workers building an addition onto the school. One of the guys told this little six-year-old kid who was tagging along, “run over to where they’re working and call them pukes.”
“I don’t wanna.”
“If you do I’ll buy you a moped.”
“Okay! (kid runs over to the workers) PUKES! PUKES!” and runs back.
The kid never got a moped.

Either the carpenters were amused or bugged by the whole scene. Point is, being a carpenter is not just starting and finishing a job, it also includes these little peccadillos. But upon seeing their finished product and getting glowing comments, it must feel really good.

Below are a few photos of Michigan carpenters, construction workers, laborers, etc. who break their backs and wrack their brains trying to make us happy…

Michigan Carpenters, 1890s-1920s

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