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An Honest Living…

 

This print of a clockmaker is the work of Jost Amman (1533-1591), Swiss book illustrator and one of the last major production artists working with woodcuts.  While it’s unlikely that Amman set out to catalog all of the jobs of his time, he did record them, and with great clarity.  The result is a set of 16th-century pre-photographic “snapshots” of the ways in which people conducted their business and livelihood– an Alphabet of Trades.

Barber/Surgeon

Thong Maker

His illustrations were in collaboration with with Hans Sachs for Eygentliche Beschreibung Aller Staende Auff Erden, published in Frankfurt am Main in 1568.  (The full text here is from Bibliothek des Seminars für Wirtschafts und Sozialgeschichte;  another useful full-text here indexes the images; and another here provides an English indexing of the trades).

More examples of Amman’s work at “Towards an Alphabet of Trades–“Snapshots” from 1568.”  (C.F. also, Medieval Occupations.)

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As we punch in, we might spare a thought for Washington Augustus Roebling; he died on this date in 1926.  A civil engineer by training, he worked with his father, John Augustus Roebling, on the design of the Brooklyn Bridge; on his father’s death in 1869, Washington oversaw the completion of construction of the bridge– for twenty years from its opening in 1883, the longest suspension bridge in the world.  (In 1872, he was disabled by decompression illness suffered in a caisson used in the construction; from that time on, he was directed operations from his home in Brooklyn overlooking the site.)

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

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