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This Day In Norwood History-January 4

HARD TIMES IN 1837.

Tyler Thayer of Norwood Tells of Time When Flour Was $18 a Barrel.

Tyler Thayer

05 Jan 1895, Sat The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Newspapers.com

NORWOOD, Jan 4—Tyler Thayer is one of Norwood’s wealthy men. He is a retired builder, who began the world without a dollar, and who has fought his own battle all the way through.

He says that when he was 16 years old he was apprenticed to a carpenter in his native town of Medfield for five years on the condition that at the end of that period he was to have $1000 cash and his tools.

Soon after entering upon this apprenticeship, he loaned his employer $100, which he had saved as a boy. Just at the end of his apprenticeship, his employer failed, and Mr. Thayer lost his loan, his $100, and the tools so that at 21 years of age he didn’t have a single cent.

He went to work as a Journeyman for “five shillings” a day and his board. At this time he set out to save $1000 in five years. He put aside everything that was paid to him for his day’s work and worked evenings for the money he needed to spend and at the end of five years* he had $1500 instead of $1000.

He has a vivid recollection of the dull times that followed the financial panic of 1837. He says that there have never been any such hard times since.

There was no money, no employment, and, among other things, flour was $18 a barrel. The laboring people could not buy woolen cloth for their clothes and that the mills turned out a cotton imitation for pantaloons, which was known as “hard times.”

He believes that it is very much easier for a man who wants to get rich and rise out of the ranks of labor than it ever was before.

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