Tanning from Diderot's Encyclopedia 1769

Tanning Diderot 1769From the Encyclopedia of Sciences, Arts and Trades, Diderot and D’Alembert

And you thought you had a tough job.

Detail: workshop, work bench, hides, tanning, tanners, windows, open fire, grill, mules (shoes)

6 thoughts on “Tanning from Diderot's Encyclopedia 1769”

  • Reblogged this on Paleotool's Weblog and commented:
    Another great image from Jon Townsend. Hide tanning in 1769

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  • I know nothing about tanning...why are they dressed as they are...or "Undressed"?

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    • They are smoking the hide. I am sure a very hot and smelly job.

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      • Interesting...I cannot recall (not that I am expert for sure!!) ever seeing trades dressed. Yes, hot and smelly (that I knew)...but if you;re dealing in acids, dyes etc (which I assume they were) it would seem you wanted to protect your own hide!!!!! With more than a turban and a diaper!!!!!!

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  • should have said "dressed in that fashion." Need more coffee!

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  • Pam W, tanners were, in fact, known for having tanned (dark and leathery) hides themselves. In Hamlet (Act 5, Scene 1), the gravedigger tells Hamlet that a tanner's body takes especially long to decompose because "his hide is so tanned with his trade that he will keep out water a great while."

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