All in the family

It used to be that a business was owned by a family and was considered an asset. There was never any question as to what one would be when one grew up.

If the family business was blacksmithing or tailoring, sons grew up leaning blacksmithing or tailoring. The torch was passed at the appropriate time to the sons and then to their sons, generation after generation. Children grew up in the family business and were well prepared to take the reins when the time came.

Some of my relatives grew up in such families. My brother inlaw is a rancher/farmer. He took over the farm from his father who took it over from his father. But times have changed a bit and he had a rough time competing with the commercial food production system. His son will not take over the farm because he is now an agricultural engineer who works for big food.

In the same way, my son will not be a woodworker. He grew up working in my shop and could certainly run the whole thing. But it’s not so easy to maintain such a business when so much inexpensive woodwork is readily available from large commercial sources. Besides, these days, the tradition of the family run business does not have the same panache it once had.

I’ll have some more thoughts on this later in the week.



  • Keith ROwe says:

    Tis sad to see this state of affairs in this country. On the other hand, it was interesting to walk past a butcher shop in Germany a couple years ago and be told that this shop was in its 11th generation of family ownership.

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