"By hammer and hand all arts do stand" (NY Mercantile Library)
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Tue Jun 13 17:40:40 UTC 2006
The NY Mercantile Library has this motto: "By hammer and hand all arts do
Does Fred have this? He should.
How old is it? Where is it in Early English Books Online?
It's also "by hammer and hand all things must stand" and "by hammer and hand
all arts doth stand" and "by hammer and hand all arts doe stand." (See
below.) Also, sometimes "hammer and hand" is reversed as "hand and hammer."
By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand (Mercantile Library)
“By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand” symbolizes the Mercantile Library.
Its logo features an arm and hammer.
The “by hammer and hand” slogan has been used in New York City trades since
at least the 1700s, and it was used in England before that.
17 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017
info at mercantilelibrary.org
A membership library and literary center made for the public.
The mission of The Mercantile Library of New York is to promote the reading,
writing, study and enjoyment of literature. To accomplish this, the Library
acquires works of fiction and related non-fiction and circulates these works
to its members, provides low-cost work-space to individual writers and
non-profit literary organizations, and produces and presents programs of literary
The Mercantile Library of New York was founded in 1820 by merchants and their
clerks before the advent of public libraries. By the mid-nineteenth century,
it was thriving as one of the foremost cultural institutions in the United
States, with an extraordinary collection of books in the humanities, and a
popular lecture program that featured such renowned speakers as William
Makepeace Thackeray, Frederick Douglass, and Mark Twain. The Library offered classes
on many subjects and was considered a meeting place for social and
The Library currently focuses on collecting and lending fiction, both
literary and popular, presenting literary programs for the general public, and
renting low-cost space to writers and other literary organizations. It has
developed one of the best collections of fiction in the United States and had
benefited from six National Endowment for the Humanities grants for literary
programming in the past ten years.
The Mercantile Library of New York is a not-for-profit institution classified
by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity under the statute 501©
3. Contributions to the Library are tax-deductible to the extent provided by
Mercantile Library (“By hand and hammer all arts do stand”) is at 17 E.
47th St. between Madison & 5th Aves. (212) 755-6710
Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership By hammer and hand all
arts doe stand. Bossuet, Jacques Bénigne, 1627-1704. Exposition of the
doctrine of the Catholique Church in the points of …
www.lib.umich.edu/tcp/eebo/ New_Text/New_Texts_December2003_full.html – 183k
– Cached – Similar pages
They left only because quickening trade made demand on the shore. In a
street called the Side – a real Northumbrian name – is the house in which Lord
Collingwood was born. Only a public-house now, it is remembered for the sake of
Nelson’s friend and a national hero. In Low Friar Street is a building of
the greatest historic interest. It is the Smiths’ Hall, and bears over a door
By hammer and hand
All Artes do stand.
Some mottos are so long that to place them on a ribbon or scroll prompts the
artist to consider alternatives. That of the Worshipful Company of
Blacksmiths of the City of London is By hammer and hand all arts do stand.
Premises were secured near the old city wall of Newcastle, at a spot which
had endured Scottish sieges, the hall of the old Smiths’ Guild. Above the
arched door were the carved stone arms of the Guild, a shield bearing the motto “
By hammer and hand do all things stand”.
1798 New York City Mechanics and Tradesmen Directory
(Mechanics). THE CHARTER AND BYE-LAWS OF THE GENERAL SOCIETY OF MECHANICS AND
TRADESMEN OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK. ALSO – THE RULES OF ORDERS WITH A
CATALOGUE OF MEMBERS NAMES. New York: Printed by Geo: Forman, No. 64, Water-Street,
Between Coenties and the Old Slip, 1798. 8vo, rebound in mottled cloth, paper
title label on spine, book plate (detached of Frieda Lowinson). 24pp.
Two-thirds of spine cover missing. Sporadic foxing to the interior pages. A very
“The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen was founded on 17 November
1785 and was incorporated by the state of New York on 14 March 1792.
Membership was limited to craftsmen who were at least twenty-one years of age. The
by-laws also required that a candidate be proposed by two members who could
attest to his “industry, honesty, and sobriety” and be approved by two-thirds of
the membership. There was an initiation fee of five dollars, and monthly dues
were twelve and a half cents. The address used at the initiation ceremony
urged that new members “let sobriety, industry, integrity, and uprightness of
heart continue to be the ornaments of your name.”
The aims and organization of the General Society were typical of the craft
benefit societies that flourished during this period. These groups combined the
functions of a private charity with the camaraderie of a fraternal lodge.
Normally craftsmen in a particular trade would band together and pay dues into
a common fund. Members or ther dependents would then be entitled to
assistance in times of economic distress. Before the days of insurance companies,
pensions, and government relief, craft benefit societies were an important source
of aid during the recurring depressions of the early nineteenth century.
Although the society was permitted to loan money to members and nonmembers, its “
leading motive” was to “relieve the distressed of its members that may fall
in want by sickness, or other misfortunes.” Four “overseers of the indigent”
were elected annually to appropriate aid to destitute members or the widows
and orphans of deceased members. In an apparent reference to these
appropriations, the initiation address required that new members of the society “on
its private transactions be as silent as the grave.”
The General Society during this early period celebrated the mutuality and
centrality of the craft community. Besides its charitable activities, the
society played a prominent part in the festivities that marked patriotic holidays,
carrying banners emblazoned with its slogan ‘by hammer and hand all arts do
stand.’ Members considered the craft system of production to be the
embodiment of republicanism. Although republicanism is inherently difficult to define
outside of a specific historical context, its central tenets were moderation,
simplicity, reciprocity, and civic virtue. The ideal citizen conducted his
affairs with due regard for the public weal and guarded the republic against
the corrupting influences of the greed and luxury associated with
commercialism. The craftsman’s workshop, in which the master was a fellow worker as well
as an employer and was bound to his workers by reciprocal obligations, was a
microcosm of the ideal polity. Members of the society during these early
years so conflated the values of the craft community and the virtues of the
republic that, in the words of Sean Wilentz, “as far as they were concerned,
republicanism and the system of ‘the Trade’ were so analogous as to be
indistinguishable from each other.” (Glynn, Tom. Books for a Reformed Republic: The
Apprentices’ Library of New York City 1820-1865. Libraries and Culture, Vol. 34,
No. 4, Fall 1999.) (3213)
“By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand.” The artisan’s symbol adorns an
announcement in New York’s General Trades’ Union newspaper, The Union, calling
for a demonstration to support union tailors convicted of conspiracy in 1836.
The Process of Forging Metal
The hammering of metal—by hand and with mechanical hammers—has been
practiced for over two thousand years. The Old Testament phrase “By hammer and hand
all arts do stand” is believed to be a reference to the importance of
blacksmithing in making tools for the other trades. For hundreds of years every
town, village, and neighborhood supported a local “smithie” that supplied and
repaired various necessities ranging from wagons and plows to elegant
architectural ironwork for palaces and cathedrals. Although these local smithing shops
are rare today, their one-time predominance in our world lingers
linguistically in such expressions as “strike while the iron is hot” and “too many
irons in the fire.”
Worcester Tech! Our Alma Mater! Proud are we to sing thy fame.
Vision, Faith, at last triumphant! Honor, glory to thy name!
John Boynton’s sons are scattered now on mountain, plain and shore.
Ten thousand men from Worcester Tech have roamed the planet o’er.
“By hammer and hand, all arts must stand” on this foundation sure
Their works shall be his monument, his dream shall rest secure.
The crown and hammer is the symbol of the Hammerman’s Guild. The motto was “
By Hammer and Hand, All arts do stand” and its membership embraced all
crafts which used a hammer on metal.
18 October 1851, The Albion, pg. 495:
The hammer and civilization go together, and
By Hammer and hand
All arts do stand!
18 April 1999, New York Times, pg. NJ18:
Gustav Stickley was a furniture maker, a businessman, a publisher and one of
the leading forces of the American Arts and Crafts movement. A favorite
maxim of his—“By hammer and hand do all things stand,” from a blacksmith’s song—
epitomizes his approach to his life’s work.
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