Turning

Subject:
50s-60s economy
Response To:
I have plenty of work ()

Dick Coers
I was raised outside a little farm town, Emden, IL. An incredible percentage of the farmers, and the 500 town residents, were German immigrants. My Great Grandparents immigrated there in 1885. Every commercial need was still provided in the 1950s-60s. I was born in 1952. In that tiny town there were 3 car dealerships, lumberyard with cabinet shop, 2 feed stores, grain elevator, 2 restaurants, 2 taverns, grocery store, hatchery, TV repair shop, hardware store, ladies dress store, bank, 2 gas stations, and even still cold storage to handle our frozen meat when you did some major butchering. When my Dad built a new house in 1960 he just went to the lumberyard. They stick built everything, from the house to the bathroom vanities. He didn't even get a second estimate. Today Emden has 2 taverns, bank, one person lumberyard with no cabinet shop (the owner and sole employee is in his late 80's and it's known in town that if the alleyway door is open he is there. Door closed, don't bother stopping.), feed store, car repair shop, and elevator. Everything else is abandoned. So it's my opinion the loyalty of the residents (all started when they left families and friends to escape poverty and war and bonded together in a new world) is what would make a custom furniture shop survive in those earlier decades compared to today. It's what my Dad learned from the 2 previous generations, and that's the way the community survived. That thought process is basically dead.
I agree, I can get rid of all the bowls and hollow forms I want if I give them away. Ask more than $50 and they won't even look me in the eye.

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