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Carpentry and Joinery Tools

The history of joinery and carpentry at St Dunstan's.

The history of joinery and carpentry class at St Dunstan's.

 

Unlike basketry and mat-making, carpentry or joinery was not a traditional blind man's trade. So when it was introduced at St Dunstan's, now Blind Veterans UK, it was because someone did it, was good at it and others followed suit.

That someone in this case, Ernest Hope Atkinson, was not a St Dunstaner but a man who had lost his sight at the turn of the century and was a skilled carpenter. Sir Arthur Pearson brought him along to do some carpentry at St Dunstan's Lodge and was so impressed by Hope's skills that he decided to add joinery to the list of teachable trades.

Hope became a chief instructor on the principle that the most suitable leaders of the blind are the blind. Those he taught mostly used the normal carpenter's tools although some were specially adapted, for example rules were marked by notches and used laths to guide sewing.

Whilst the aim was not to teach the blind veterans to be a complete all round joiners, many were able to make saleable items such as photo frames, tea trays, corner cupboards and occasional tables. 

 

Carpentry 1918