Chair-plaiting demonstration Saturday

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By The Staff

CANNELTON - A chair plaiter will give demonstrations at the Perry County Museum during Saturday's Cannelton Festival. Demonstrations begin at 11 a.m. and will continue to 4 p.m.

At the turn of the century, chair plaiters, also known as chair caners, worked for local furniture companies. Most of these workers were women and children who caned the chairs at home for very low wages. An expert caner could finish 12 chairs a day for the pay of 6 cents per chair. The factories would then require the workers to pay hauling charges of 10 cents a dozen on chairs to and from the factories.

In the early 1900s, several Tell City residents tried to organize labor unions for these workers but were unsuccessful. Photographs taken around 1907 show these workers with the many chairs they plaited for the local companies. These photographs and other information about these workers are on display at the Perry County Museum in Cannelton.

The museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The public is invited to visit.