The Cordwainer
       
     
The War Tuba
       
     
The Elevator Operator
       
     
The Log Driver
       
     
The River Rat
       
     
The Ice Cutter
       
     
The Iceman
       
     
The Postman
       
     
The Knocker Upper
       
     
The Reinsman
       
     
The Lamplighter
       
     
The Lector
       
     
The Lector II
       
     
The Pinsetter
       
     
The Pinsetter II
       
     
The Sign Painter
       
     
The Switchboard Operator
       
     
The Switchboard Operator II
       
     
The Cordwainer
       
     
The Cordwainer

12x24 inches
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Shoes were made from new leather by The Cordwainer (cobblers were only allowed to use old leather), who pieced together leather and rubber to craft footwear. The McKay stitching machine in the adjacent room began the shift towards automation in this bustling industry.

SOLD

The War Tuba
       
     
The War Tuba

18x24 inches
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

During WWI, airplane warfare began to play a major role in the fighting and the defenses against aerial attacks were in their infancy. The War Tuba was an acoustic device used to listen for the loud engines of approaching planes in order to prepare for the impending assault from the sky. This predated radar, which is symbolized by the radar dish near the building in the background

NOT FOR SALE

The Elevator Operator
       
     
The Elevator Operator

24x48 inches
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Whirring up and down, guiding guests to their proper floors, the Elevator Operator was an engineer and an entertainer wrapped into one neat package. Before the button system was invented (as reflected in the mirror, an Elevator Operator was needed to steer the elevator car to the proper floor safely.

SOLD

The Log Driver
       
     
The Log Driver

48x24 inches
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Large floats of logs used to fill the waters of the Mississippi and other rivers, as loggers had to get the plentiful lumber to port. The Log Driver "rode" the float down the river, dislodging log jams with his pike and gracefully dancing on the floating logs. It was a dangerous job that required strength, balance and poise.

SOLD

The River Rat
       
     
The River Rat

10x20 inches  |  2015
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

The River Rat rode massive floats of logs down river, escorting them to the mill and making sure they didn't jammed up by maneuvering them with his long pike.

SOLD

The Ice Cutter
       
     
The Ice Cutter

24x48 inches  |  2011
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Before refrigeration gained widespread usage, ice had to be cut from frozen lakes and stored in ice houses to keep perishables from spoiling in the summer heat. The Ice Cutter would cut large blocks of ice with long, jagged saws and then haul the blocks to the ice house where they would be insulated with straw. An ice machine, which replaced the need to harvest ice, sits near the ice house.

SOLD

The Iceman
       
     
The Iceman

10x20 inches  |  2015
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

The Iceman delivered massive blocks of ice to homes and businesses to keep food in their ice boxes from perishing. This entire industry was completely replaced once refrigeration was invented.

SOLD

The Postman
       
     
The Postman

48x24 inches  |  2014
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Long before we were able to instantly zap messages across the world in seconds using a computer that fits in your pocket, The Postman carried our correspondence across the West by horse. The Pony Express could get a letter from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA in as little as ten days. One of the landmarks they passed by was Devil's Gate (near Casper, WY), which I have set as a background to The Postman's ride. The innovation that made The Postman obsolete was the telegraph, symbolized by the wired pole on the right of the painting.

SOLD

The Knocker Upper
       
     
The Knocker Upper

24x48 inches  |  2014
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

During the Industrial Revolution, many workers in Britain and Ireland hired a Knocker Upper to rouse them from their slumber to go to work in factories. Most Knocker Uppers used a long pole to tap on second floor windows, but one inventive lass, Mary Smith, utilized a pea-shooter to wake her clients. A mechanical alarm clock, the invention that replaced the Knocker Upper, is illuminated in the candlelit window.

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The Reinsman
       
     
The Reinsman

16x40 inches  |  2015
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

A stagecoach used to be the best bet when one wanted to traverse this great country of ours and The Reinsman was the man to make it happen. With his shotgun messenger at his side, The Reinsman would command a team of two-six horses ferrying passengers and packages alike across the West. Stagecoaches were eventually replaced by the locomotive, pictured in the distance on the right.

SOLD

The Lamplighter
       
     
The Lamplighter

24x48 inches  |  2011
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Before the widespread use of electricity, streets of most towns and cities were lit by gas lamps. These lamps had to be lit as dusk turned to dark and extinguished as the day's light filled the morning sky. The Lamplighter was responsible for these tasks and typically employed either a long pole, ladder or tall customized bicycle, which is the way I would have done it.

SOLD

The Lector
       
     
The Lector

48x24 inches  |  2011
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Workers in cigar-rolling factories used to pool their wages and hire a Lector to help pass the time. The Lector would read the news, novels and short stories with liveliness to help break the monotony of rolling cigars. The infamous Monte Cristo Cigars are named so because the workers at that factory's favorite story was the Count of Monte Cristo.

SOLD

The Lector II
       
     
The Lector II

10x20 inches  |  2015
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

Reading to cigar rollers to keep their minds occupied, The Lector was a staple of the factory life, breathing humor, stories and song into the daily life of these workers.

SOLD

The Pinsetter
       
     
The Pinsetter

48x24 inches  |  2011
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

The Pinsetter's day was filled with watching (and avoiding) exploding pins and then setting them back up only to dodge them once again, while also rolling back the bowling balls. The Pinsetter went by the wayside once Brunswick and other companies invented the mechanical pinsetter, as depicted in this painting.

SOLD

The Pinsetter II
       
     
The Pinsetter II

20x10 inches  |  2015
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

The Sign Painter
       
     
The Sign Painter

48x24 inches  |  2013
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

In the wild prairies of the Midwest, the Sign Painter steadies his hand as he paints the lettering to yet another Wall Drug billboard. A meandering bison, one of the last of the huge herds that once roamed these vast grasslands, looks on in bewilderment. Nowadays, billboards are simply printed out and pasted on (as symbolized by the printer depicted on the bottom right), with the artistic skill of these talented artisans becoming redundant.

SOLD

The Switchboard Operator
       
     
The Switchboard Operator

24x48 inches  |  2012
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

It is wonder that every single telephone conversation used to begin with a Switchboard Operator manually connecting the two parties. Women typically held these positions and manned a section of the enormous labyrinth of connections that was the switchboard. Once the rotary dial was invented, the Switchboard Operator's importance fell by the wayside.

SOLD

The Switchboard Operator II
       
     
The Switchboard Operator II

10x20 inches  |  2015
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper on canvas

The Switchboard Operator was solely responsible for connecting every single telephone conversation manually until the invention of the rotary dial.

SOLD