Gateway to the Classics: Home Geography by C. C. Long
Home Geography by  C. C. Long

More about What People Are Doing

I N the city or town we shall find many of the people busy about something else than the occupations we have learned. What do you suppose it is?

If you go about the city, you will see large buildings several stories high, with long rows of windows, and great smoking chimneys. These are mills or factories, full of machines in motion doing their work almost like human beings.

The people who work in them make almost everything that is needed for our use. Wheat is changed into flour; cotton, into thread, fine muslins, and pretty calicoes; leather, into boots and shoes; iron and steel, into plows, stoves, and cutlery; lumber, into wagons, carriages, and all kinds of furniture. Other articles which we must not forget are elegant jewelry, all sorts of ornaments for parlors, and beautiful toys which you admire so much.

It would take a long time to name a small part of the things made in the busy mills and factories; but think of the articles used in your home, and you may be sure they are manufactured articles. You see, manufacturing  gives work to many thousands of persons.


Busy Mills and Factories

What is cutlery? Name some articles of cutlery.

We need many things which we do not produce. Other people need things which they do not produce. How can each obtain what he needs? By exchanging one thing for another. This exchange of goods, or buying and selling them for money, gives rise to another occupation called trade,  or commerce.  So many people spend their time buying and selling grain, vegetables, clothing, boots and shoes, or in sending them to places where they are needed.

On all the large rivers and lakes you may see boats going up and down, carrying goods from one part of the country to another.

Can you think how goods are carried from place to place where there are no rivers? In countries where few people live, goods are often carried in wagons and on the backs of animals.

I wonder how many people have to work to get food and clothing for us. Make a list of all the occupations you can think of. Perhaps you can think of other occupations we have not named. Is dressmaking an occupation? Teaching? Which occupation would you prefer? Why?

If you think, perhaps you can tell why men do different kinds of work. What people do to make a living, depends very much upon the place they live in. For men almost always do that kind of work that pays them best for their labor.

Those who live where the land is rich and level will raise grain to make flour, or cotton and flax to make clothing. Some people among the mountains work in the mines. Some keep cows for their milk and butter, and sheep for their wool; for the hills and many of the mountain sides afford excellent pasture. People who live near the sea will be apt to catch fish along the coast, or engage in trade upon the water.

Employments in the city differ widely from those in the country. Here, as we have learned, most people make their living by working in factories, or as merchants in buying and selling goods which come from all parts of the world.

All people do not live in the same way. Some people have no churches, schools, books, or factories.

What do people who live in this way eat? What do they wear? How do they spend their time?

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