We look back 100 years to 1914 when The Builder magazine was … Looking back 50 years to 1864

1914 article

Military ideas of the status of an architect

In April 1914, this magazine (still called The Builder then) carried a column entitled Fifty Years Ago. Great idea. It was a look back at what The Builder was publishing way back then.

The 3 April 1914 edition carried a piece from the 2 April 1864 edition about the War Office calling for “a few young men of good character” to serve in her Majesty’s Royal Engineers. Carpenters, bricklayers, blacksmiths are all needed. It is suggested that the young men “should be able to read and write”. Men of other trades are required “only in limited numbers” such as clerks, draughtsmen, architects, collar-makers, tailors, etc.

These trades are offered a bounty of £2 and a free kit. “Here is encouragement to the rising young men of the architectural profession,” reads the 1864 edition, with no little irony. “Only a limited number is required, so ‘be in time!’… What the architect’s kit is to consist of we are not informed.

We hope, however, there will be no mistake as to allotting their “kits” among the “trades” or the tailor may get a T-square, while the architect may receive a pair of shears and a goose.

No bad premium, by the way, this last would be for men who go in for those swindles facetiously called ‘competitions’.” Such ‘swindles’ remained rampant in 1914.