Boston, Dec. 7, on Tuesday the first of this Instant [i.e., this very month] in the Evening, Thirty-two Principal Barbers of this Place, assembled at the Golden Ball [tavern], with a Trumpeter attending them, to debate some important Articles relating to their occupations; where it was propos’d, that they should raise their shaving from 8 to 10 s[hillings] per Quarter, and that they should advance [i.e., go up] 5 s, on the Price of making common Wiggs and 10 s on their Tye ones.(Printer James's ungrateful apprentice and younger brother Benjamin had skipped town for Philadelphia the previous year.)
Half a century later, teenager Ebenezer Fox became apprentice to a barber and wigmaker, an employment he recalled in his Revolutionary Adventures, published in 1838. (Author picture above.) After the British military left the province in 1776, he recalled:
my brother and myself were sent into Boston to choose our trades and seek our employers. James found a situation in the bakery of Mr. Edward Tuckerman in the south part of the town, as an apprentice upon probation; and I found employment in the shop of Mr. John Bosson, a barber and manufacturer of wigs, upon the same conditions.It was for such moments that The Complete Letter-Writer included a model epistle "From a young Apprentice to his Father, to let him know how he likes his Place, and goes on." Fox remembered his workload like this:
After we had been in these situations long enough for all parties to be satisfied, we were bound by my father in regular form as apprentices.
My principal employment was in the preparation of hair for the purposes of wigs, crape-cushions, &c.; being occasionally allowed to scrape the face of some transient customer, who might be reasonably expected never to call again for a repetition of the operation.Back in August I quoted Fox's description of how he came to leave Bosson's barber-shop two years later.