When the author produced "The Boy Craftsman," "Handicraft for Handy Boys," "The Handy Boy," and "Home-made Toys for Girls and Boys," he presented his latest developments in handicraft. These books have been recognized generally as the most up-to-date publications of their kind. Boys' handicraft, however, has felt war's influence as has everything else. Wireless telegraphy, that most popular of boys' hobbies, has been shelved for the duration of the war, because of Government restrictions, and other activities have suffered on account of the scarcity as well as the cost of materials. But new fields of endeavor have been created. Aircraft, sea-craft, undersea-craft, and land-craft are being reproduced in miniature; in fact, there is no phase of modern warfare which boys are not investigating. With universal military service for young men established in this Country, and strong prospects of its becoming a permanent institution, junior war mechanics is a hobby likely to be perpetuated.
Because of boys' interest in these new lines of handicraft, the author has been persuaded to bring quit "Carpentry and Mechanics for Boys." * In this volume will be found plans for toy battleships, a submarine, airplanes, miinature toy artillery, a machine-gun, drill-guns, periscopes, etc.ln addition to the war mechanics, Part I presents workshop ideas, including plans for household conveniences, furniture, and novelties. Part II presents plans for mechanical toys, and Part III plans for backyard and camp.
Gardening has received an impetus never before known, as the result of the food situation created by the war, so a number of chapters have been devoted to plans for making garden accessories. Birdhouse building in which there is an ever increasing interest, is treated in six chapters.
A boy's earning capacity never has been so great as at the present-time, nor has it been of so great importance. Many practical suggestions for earning money will be found in this new book of handicraft.
All ideas in "Carpentry and Mechanics for Boys" have been carried out successfully by boys, a test which the author requires of material used in his handicraft books. Much of the material has appeared in the author's handicraft department of "The American Boy," other material has been published in "St. Nicholas," "The Ladies' Home Journal," "Woman's Home Companion," "Suburban Life," in newspapers, and in Sunday school weeklies.
Following the plan of his former volumes, the author has utilized for the construction of work described in "Carpentry and Mechanics for Boys" such materials as can be picked up at home, or procured for little or nothing. The value of encouraging boys to reduce the cost of their work to a minimum is three-fold. Of first importance, it teaches the boy to conserve material. Of second importance, it teaches him to be self reliant, to keep his material costs within his earning capacity. His handicraft activities do not become an endless drain upon father's pocket-book. Of third importance, it teaches him resourcefulness, which will be valuable to him in business life. Whether he becomes builder, manufacturer, engineer, architect, mechanic, or a follower of any one of hundreds of occupations, his success will depend largely upon how well he can utilize material, upon how much he can produce with the least expense.
Providing the boy with books thai: show, how to make things he is interested in, is undoubtedly the solution of the problem of training him to be industrious. Following the suggestions presented, he becomes handy with tools, learns to convert raw materials into finished products, gets the knack of combining brain work with hand work, develops initiative.
It is gratifying to the author to hear of his readers' success after they have entered business life, and it interests him to note the large percentage of readers who follow an occupation which served as a school-day hobby. At the present writing, thousands of grown "boy craftsmen" are in the service of the Government, helping win the great war overseas. The author regrets that a list of the names of these lads is unavailable, and that it is thus impossible to fly a service flag with a star thereon for each reader serving with the colors. And to the lads who have laid down their lives in the just cause for which they have fought, he wishes that he might do fitting honor. The author is always glad to hear from his readers, and will place upon his mailing-list the names of those who make the request, that they may receive information from time to time relating to handicraft activities.
A. N. H
Elmhurst, Illinois, May 31, 1918.