The History of Industrial Development and Toolmaking in US


The Workers of the Nation by Gilson Willets, 1903

Vol. 1

Vol. 2


America is a nation of workers; but the story of their manifold activities has never been set forth until the publication of the present volumes.  Our mines, soil, forests and waterways have been developed to a point that has made them the natural wonders of industry; our manufacturing and business enterprises have amazed commercial nations already alarmed by the rapid expansion of our foreign trade; our professional genius has accomplished the apparently impossible; the American artisan has surpassed those of all other countries by attaining the highest standard of skill; but hitherto the record of these achievements could be obtained only by tiresome search through a great number of government and private reports.

The need, therefore, was for a complete story, in a single work of business, industrial and professional achievement in the United States at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.  In an attempt to fill this gap on our library shelves, the present work was prepared. It is dedicated to the thirty million persons in this country including five million women and half a million children who are engaged in gainful occupations.  For these are the "workers of the nation."

It is hoped that this popular description of the manifold activities which are developing the nation will stimulate interest in the marvelous mechanism of our labor, and foster pride in the success of the American workman, be his capacity industrial or professional.

Moreover, this story of work may help to remove the isolation of the specialist, the technician, and the plodder in routine.  These may now obtain a broader conception of what their fellow workman is doing and come to a higher appreciation of his skill, energy and achievements.  Perhaps there will follow a corresponding abolition of the notion that one's own occupation is all sufficient to promote the welfare of humanity, and the awakening of a desire to co-operate with one's fellow workers in advancing the true interest of the American nation and the world at large.




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