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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/419

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415
ART IN INDUSTRY.

were few, and only the ruling classes were privileged to possess them. The laboring masses were busily engaged in obtaining the bare necessities of life; no thought of comfort, art or education entered into their lives. The craftsman did unite art and industry; but the modern conception of democracy did not exist. On the other hand, the modern workman is only a link in a great industrial chain. He repeats, in a monotonous routine, certain simple movements; no realizing sense of the true social value or significance of the work which he performs ever comes to him. Long hours and routine work crush the individuality and ambition out of him.

The specialized worker necessarily has narrow views of life; his ability to enjoy is limited. The opportunity and privileges of both working and leisure hours are only partially utilized. It has been said that for a man of twenty, pleasure is business; of thirty, business is business; and of forty, business is pleasure. It might further be maintained that there is little pleasure outside of business for the ordinary man of forty or fifty. Business, the grind of daily life, has engrossed the entire energies of the man. Enjoyment in life means enjoyment of leisure and of work. The unskilled laborer, I fear, enjoys neither—why? His work is monotonous and wearing, the surroundings of home and workshop are not inspiring, and he has received no training which will aid him in finding and utilizing the few opportunities for rational enjoyment which come to him.

The present arts and crafts movement is a protest against and a reaction from the minute division of labor now employed in manufacture, and the stripping of the artistic features from industry. Articles are made to sell more particularly than to serve a useful and important service. Profit, not service, is now the watchword of industry. Art in the crafts would emphasize service. The arts and crafts movement aims to give dignity to the worker, and to teach that all should be workers. The man of leisure is a drone and a parasite. Each individual has some particular work for which he is best adapted; and society needs his services. Only when all are workers and each striving to do his best work does society approach an ideal condition.

The arts and crafts movement needs educated producers and consumers. The task is a double one; the workers must be trained to produce good work, and the taste of all consumers must be educated so that they will demand good articles. Shorter hours and the right use of leisure will give an impetus to the demand for better qualities of goods; and thus variety and handicraftsmanship will to some extent replace interchangeability and machine production. All civilized men demand the necessities of life—food, clothing and shelter—of a character not greatly dissimilar; these common requirements lend themselves readily to machine production. Industrial operations in which machinery is the chief factor are directed toward producing the