Monday, March 31, 2014

Everyday Occupations

I'm often searching censuses and historical books for clues into different occupations for 19th century characters. I love reading the censuses from areas where I'm setting a book, as an example from St. Augustine, FL, for my current three book series. The census gives me a clue into what various people did in the town or city during the time frame I'm writing about.

All of that is to say I came across this little gem for those of us who write Historical Fiction it's a Boston Primer but sometimes school books can be very helpful.

Every Day Occupations ©1891

Here's an example:

To the ordinary potters are due the brown pans of the kitchen, our cheap tea and dinner sets, better sets of white and gold — often in several hundred pieces — and ornamental dishes of all shapes, designs, and prices. To the intelligence which directs their making must be added the genius of designers who decide the patterns, and of first-rate artists who paint the articles. So much valued is the very best ware, that royal porcelain factories were supported at Sevres near Paris, and at Dresden in Germany, whose productions were fit presents for royalty.
Costly candelabra, flower-stands, enriched with colors and gold, burned in to last for ages, figures for ornament, reduced copies of sculpture and vases, in spotless Parian of every form of beauty, are found in rich homes of taste. The poorest, too, share in the benefits from the potter's art. It has long banished the old pewter platters and wooden trenchers of our forefathers, and given us instead an abundance of cheap, clean, bright and beautiful earthenware, which, if easily broken, is as easily replaced. Worcester is the seat of English trade in the finest china or porcelain, though a great part of the raw material is brought from afar. The great bulk of our earthenware is made in New Jersey.

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