Picture of author.

George Sturt (1863–1927)

Autor(a) de The Wheelwright's Shop

12 Works 175 Membros 4 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: George Sturt

Obras por George Sturt


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Sturt, George
Nome legal
Sturt, George
Outros nomes
Bourne, George
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
England, UK
Local de nascimento
Farnham, Surrey, England, UK
Locais de residência
Farnham, Surrey, England, UK



Not that interesting in terms of the craft.
Treebeard_404 | 2 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
Something reminded me that I had read an edition of this book in the 1970s, with a cover that looked like the one I've chosen.
What I mostly recall is Sturt's description of the economics of 19th century crafters. Each wheel made or repaired was a special order, paid for at a price agreed on by buyer and maker at the time of ordering or delivery, without much accounting or record keeping.
The crafting, the complexity, the many parts of wheels that could hold up for months and years and bear heavy loads for long distances on poor roads, this was interesting too, but the way of life of a craftsman of the time was fascinating.… (mais)
mykl-s | 2 outras críticas | Mar 18, 2023 |
Rather like Thomas Hardy, George Sturt was the educated son of a country craftsman, growing up with one foot in late-Victorian intellectual life and the other in the last relics of the pre-industrial culture of southern England. He was working as a grammar-school teacher in the mid-1890s when his father fell ill and he unexpectedly had to take over the running of the family business. This book is his classic account of how the traditional wheelwright gets from a felled tree to a completed farm-wagon or cart, described with the unique insight of someone who knew the business intimately at a time when everything was still done with hand tools, but is able to step far enough back to give a clear explanation to outsiders of why things were done in that particular way.
One thing he makes very clear is his view that the farm-wagon - probably the most complex and sophisticated wooden machine in common use, if you exclude ships - was not an arbitrary, aesthetic form, but the result of a long process of evolution and purposeful refinement. The complicated curves and tapers were all there for good reasons, the size of the wheels was determined by nature of the terrain the wagon had to travel over, even the orientation of the planks on the floor was determined by the need to unload using shovels.
What is also very striking is the timescale the business worked on. Materials had to be bought about ten years ahead of the time they were likely to be needed: the wood had to be seasoned slowly for the wagon to have the necessary strength and longevity. Farmers would order new wagons in spring and pay for them at Christmas; a new wagon would be expected to last at least the lifetime of its purchaser (but might come in for repairs after 20 or 30 years); the shop kept patterns for wagons that had been adapted to suit the slightly different conditions of all the local farms, even though it was unlikely that any given pattern would be used more than once or twice a century. When you put that business model together with dangerous tools, cold, dark and dirty workshops, hard, repetitive but precise work, and the need for skills that take many years to learn, it isn't hard to work out why you don't see many wheelwright’s shops around nowadays.

Incidentally: the ebook/print-on-demand edition with the brown cover is not the full text, but a reprint of a 1930s Cambridge abridged edition for young readers. CUP obviously had pretty robust ideas about how much technicality young readers could cope with, but all the same it's probably not what you were looking for.
… (mais)
thorold | 2 outras críticas | Apr 4, 2013 |
pbth1957 | Nov 19, 2021 |

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