"...Friends, look around you and see how many young people prefer to follow vocations where they can be pseudo-genteel at starvation wages rather than throw their energy into [mechanical] shop work."
Who do you suppose wrote that, Mike Rowe, perhaps? And not too long ago?
Nope; it's small-shop machinist/supervisor W. Osbone in 1902,
having just encountered a magazine article praising the Art & Crafts
handmade esthetic. While a very much in favor of fine hand work, he
points out, "Take away the mechanics, and the advancement caused by the
low costs made possible by the very machinery here so slightingly
spoken of, and the world's progress is stopped, and we are at best in a
state of semi-civilization."
This is one of his articles for American Machinist Magazine,
mostly a collection of interesting real-world machine-shop incidents
from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries; for all the that he and his
men are installing and repairing steam engines, oil pumps and the like,
it's remarkably similar to my work -- and co-workers -- as an
electronics technician. Reprinted as "Echoes From The Oil Country,"
Vols 1 through at least 5, you can buy them (at a deep discount) from
Your Old Time Bookstore, but act with alacrity: they're liquidating
3 months ago