Craftsmen at Work

Craftsmen at Work was a British television series which first aired in 1938 on the BBC. Hosted by S.P.B. Mais, the series presented short 10-minute demonstrations of people at work, including whisket[i] making,[1] tattooing,[2] and cricket bat making.[3]

Two additional episodes -- with different hosts -- aired in 1946, one on how to make a mink coat[4] and another on lithography.[5]

The series is lost, as it aired live and methods to record live television did not exist until late 1947, and were used very rarely by the BBC until the mid-1950s. However, a still photograph exists of the series, showing a camera aimed at a man tattooing a woman sitting on a chair.[6] The set seen is very basic, consisting of a chair, a small table and a plain background, though an uncomplicated set may have been preferable in the days of small TV screens.

The basic idea of the series was revived in the post-war era programme Made by Hand.


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