Plan For An Interesting Limberjack


Rollicking Rufus Will Dance Amusing Jigs - a variant design of the traditional limberjack

Rollicking Rufus is a limberjack operated a little differently than most of his limberjack pals. Most often the dancer is impaled on the end of a stick. How charming. Said impaled dancer is suspended over one end of a flexible paddle, the other end being held firmly in place by player’s posterior. By tapping the paddle the feet of the impaled dancer are struck causing wild and rhythmic gesticulation. A good time is had by all.

Rollicking Rufus is suspended from a flexible wire above a springboard. According to the article, “…this little manikin will cut amusing capers when the supporting wire is agitated.” Clearly agitating the supporting wire agitates Rollicking Rufus, but we all must suffer for our art.

Article found in “The young craftsman; descriptions of over 450 easy craft projects reprinted from past issues of Popular mechanics magazine, What-to-make,and other publications (1943)” courtesy of the always-wonderful Internet Archive.

You Too Can Make Dozens Of Dollars Making Musical Instruments!


I found this chart in “The Home Library Of Useful Knowledge” circa 1891.

Average Yearly Wages Of The Artisan Classes Circa 1892

The chart lists the average income of various trades in ascending order.

Musical instrument makers are listed at the very bottom of the chart.

In 1891 (according to the chart) 6,575 people were making musical instruments in the United States.

The average annual wage for making musical instruments in 1891 was $692.

In 1891 musical instrument makers were the highest paid artisans in the United States!

Musical instrument makers are no longer the highest paid artisans in the United States but at least the average annual wage has remained stable for 120 years.