American Mechanic and Home Journal
LCCN: sn93053981, American Mechanic and Home Journal (Norwich, Conn.), 1849-18??
In its first issue, the American Mechanic and Home Journal, published in Norwich, Connecticut, by Ayer & Co., proclaimed itself “Bound to Advocate the Cause of the Working Class.” In the salutatory, “To the Public,” the Journal’s editor committed the newspaper to promoting the “general interests of the mechanic and the laborer,” including the ten-hour system. “We wish to see [the ten-hour workday] established in every factory and workshop throughout the country,” he wrote. The editor went on to say: “The custom of compelling operatives to work thirteen or fourteen hours a day in the confined atmosphere of a factory is injurious to health and morals.” The Journal was skeptical of the major political parties and urged mechanics to support “the independent course in favor of the working classes and the cause of Labor Reform.”
While news and commentary from national and foreign papers was reprinted frequently, educational pieces marked as “original” to the Journal appeared as well. One such piece gave instruction on the cultivation of fruit trees. Another introduced mechanics to basic ideas about chemistry. Advertisements from trades people included those from masons; tin plate, copper, and sheet metal workers; potters; carpenters; and coach makers. Dealers of fish, meat, gravestones, and other everyday goods also placed display ads in the paper. A single issue of the American Mechanic and Home Journal cost 4 cents, and a subscription cost $1.50 a year.