Back in 1963 I had began my first daily Job in the embroidery industry at the age of 16, as a hand die puncher as some called it, or as a emblem cutter, It was two blocks away from my home, and my cousin got me the job starting part-time, A number of my family members were in the same kind of work but for a different employer in a city near by.
The work was done on a butcher block table that was inserted into a wooden frame, and with a thick rubber mat on top, then using a hand die designed for that type of emblem, you would cut it out with a mallet. I remember my first day I began in the afternoon and my cousin showed me how to start, then I was on my own.
I worked until 9 pm that day and was happy I had a job to earn my own money, to buy my own clothes and things, The one thing about the job was, your hands hurt and you got callus on the hand you would hold the mallet in, it took awhile to get used to it.
In those days, baseball emblems were a big thing that were placed on jackets and other items, and there was plenty of work to go around as they made most of the major league team emblems back then like,The New York Yankees, The Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, and many more.
My first week’s pay, was $35.00 and to me it was a lot of money even through I put in about 60 hours, and you got paid by the pieces that you cut out, so you were paid by the dozen at the time, It was two and a half cents for every dozen you cut, so it took me time to get to get to a decent wage per hour, but the more did it, the more I earned.
There were no real set hours where you came in the morning about 6 am to 8 am and you could take a break anytime you felt like, or go to the Pat and Mike’s store on the corner to get coffee, snacks, and bring it back and you would take a slip, and continue with your work.