The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73581   Message #1277114
Posted By: GUEST,Mingulay
21-Sep-04 - 05:21 AM
Thread Name: Origins: When/where did 'Peg and Awl' turn up?
Subject: RE: Origins: When/where did'Peg and Awl' turn up?
I don't know the song but am 99% sure it is all American as it took some time for the machinery to appear in English factories. Indeed many English factories were still using outworkers and other casual labour until well into the 20th century. My paternal grandfather was an outsole nailer around the time of WW1 and worked from home for local factories as did hundreds of others, indeed the habits of the independant worker lingered into the 20's as the first job my father had saw him going round on cobblers Monday getting the workers back into the factory from the pubs.

Incidentally, an awl can be used to make holes for a thread or a (wooden) peg, which is what the song refers to. Before the advent of machine made nails soles were what is known as "clumped on" using rough hand made nails, or, more commonly, wooden pegs. Before moulded rubber and plastics were common footwear for hazardous areas was pegged - no nails no sparks.

Great subject, great thread. Thank you Sharyn.