Sunday, March 07, 2010

Obsolete professions - el lector - reader to cigar rollers

Boing Boing points to a post about obsolete professions and highlights one called the lector, a person who read newspapers to cigar rollers. When we were in Key West on vacation on October of 2007 we went to the The Key West Museum of Art & History in the Custom House where we saw a painted wood carving called "Old Island Days No. 99 - A Fabulous Industry" which depicted cigar rollers being read to by el lector.

From the artwork description:
Old Island Days No. 99 - A Fabulous Industry

This painting shows a section of the Edwardo Gato Cigar Factory where hundreds of cigar makers created elaborate cigars sold around the world. Pedro Sanchez, the artist's father is the read, el lector, standing on a platform called, la tribuna. He entertained and educated the workers by reading newspapers in the morning and famous novels in the afternoon. Each worker paid Pedro Sanchez 25 cents per week.

I also appreciated the detail in the signs on the wall describing the first flight from key West to Cuba...

and the admonishment to be silent during the reading.

1 comment:

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