“By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand”
The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, an organization founded in 1785 by the master craftsmen of the city, has the motto “By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand” The sculpture of the blacksmith’s Hammer and Hand was chosen to honor the men who made the tools for all the city’s artisans.
This sculpture was created for the Mechanics Bank of New York—founded by the General Society—sometime between 1810 and 1850. It was transferred in 1923 to its current location in the lobby of the General Society at 20 W. 44th Street. The sculptor is unknown.
Members of the General Society meet in their library, circa 1878
The Library Committee of the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen in 1878 included these master craftsmen: John Tucker, mason; Albert Bogert, carpenter; William Burras, locksmith; Richard Poillion, shipwright; John H. Waydell, cooper; Charles Andruss, mason; Andrew D. Bloodgood, bookbinder; Hervey Calkin, coppersmith; George Lithgow, mason; Daniel Earle, upholsterer; and John Voorhis, stairbuilder.