Ponder this for a moment: You’re 13 years old, you live on a struggling farm in the country with your entire family, and your father just told you that he has set up an apprenticeship for you with a printer in Boston. He hopes you can learn the skills necessary to make a better life for yourself than he has been able to provide. You exclaim that Boston is two days travel and that you don’t want to leave the farm! Yours is the plight of many young boys (and a few girls) living in the colonies. You’ll have to move away to a strange city in order to live with your new master, who will teach you his trade. If you study hard and excel at your craft, one day you might be able to open your own printshop and live the life of a successful tradesman!

Jump right in!

Scroll down to learn a little bit more about some of the specialized skills of Colonial trades- and craftsmen!

Tools used in Colonial Williamsburg The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Slideshow: Tools of the Trades The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Merchant Match-Up Game The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Tradespeople of Williamsburg The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Colonial Kids When We Grow Up

Historic Trades Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

History of Apprenticeship Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

Sites Mentioning Multiple Trades

Apothecary The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Apothecary Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Art and Mystery of the Apothecary The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Pasteur & Galt Apothecary Shop The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Apothecary

See also : Daily Life: Medicines/Remedies

Basketmaker The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Basketmaking Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Every part works in harmony The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Basketmaker

Blacksmith

Blacksmith The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Foundry Trade The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Colonial Anvils at Greenwood Ironworks anvilfire Anvil Gallery

Civilization.ca In the Blacksmith’s Workshop

A Day in the Life of an Apprentice Blacksmith : a story anvilfire.com

The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site - Kids Games & Activities - Tool Trouble

Cabinetmaker The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Tools used in Colonial Williamsburg The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Cabinetmaker

Carpenter and Joiner The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Tools used in Colonial Williamsburg The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Civilization.ca In the Joiner’s Workshop

Carpenter

& Joiner

Cooper The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Cooper Trade Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site - Kids Games & Activities - Cooper-ation

Cooper

Gunsmith and Founder The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

James Geddy Foundry The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Gunsmith's Shop The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Gunsmith

& Founder

Mapping Colonial America The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

18th Century Surveying & Cartography Instruments The Department of the Geographer to the Army

Historical Maps Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia Libraries

Map Collection - Colonial America Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia Libraries

Maps in the Classroom The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

New York Public Library Gallery Charting America: Maps from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection and Others

American Geographical Society Digital Map Collection

Primary Source: 'Join, or Die' Snake The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Beyond the Map : The Chartmaker's Craft Virtual Museum Canada

Beyond the Map : Unroll the Chart Virtual Museum Canada

EdGate Lewis and Clark : Cartography

The Massachusetts Historical Society Maps in the 18th Century

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection America Septentrionalis. A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements adjacent thereto. by Henry Popple.

Mapmaker & Maps of the Colonies

Catherine Blaikley - Williamsburg's midwife The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Williamsburg’s Midwife : Podcast Transcript The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Tradesmens’ Ads : Midwife The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Midwife

Milliner The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Millinery Shop The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Milliner

Historic Pottery Reproductions Pottery in Colonial America

Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab Colonial Ceramics

Colonial restrictions on pottery: Clays of the Piedmont Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations

pottery :: Colonial America Britannica Online Encyclopedia

Morgan Jones Pottery

Neck Tales : The Morgan Jones Kiln WVCE Public Radio

Potter

& Colonial Pottery

Printer and Binder The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Welcome to the Print House Historic St. Mary’s City

Liberty’s Kids Printing Press

Printer's Trade Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Bindery Trade Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Early American Newspapering The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Benjamin Franklin, the Printer The Library of Congress

Printer & Binder

Boot and Shoemaker The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Colonial Williamsburg Journal The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Shoemaker : Podcast Transcript The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Civilization.ca In the Shoemaker’s Workshop

Shoemaker

Silversmith The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

James Geddy Foundry The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

James Geddy Jr.: Silversmithing and Retail Business The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Silversmith

Tailor The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Tailor Made for History The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Art of the Cut : Podcast Transcript The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Tailor

Have Fun with History The Town Crier (1 minute video)

Town Crier

Weaver The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Weaver Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Art of Weaving : Podcast Transcript The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Weaving, Spinning, and Dyeing The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Civilization.ca In the Weaver’s Home

Weaver

Wheelwright The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The Wheelwright Trade The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Wheels and Riding Carts The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Working Carts and Wagons The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Carts Slideshow The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Wheelwright

Wigmaker The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Wigs in Colonial Williamsburg The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

An 18th-Century Trades Sampler The Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

Wigs and Hair Colonial Williamsburg Kids

Liberty’s Kids Now & Then . Wigs, Hair, and Shaved Heads

Wigmaker