Printed price books, recording piece rate agreements between masters and journeymen in the cabinet making trade, have been overlooked in historical accounts of early nineteenth-century industrial relations. Art historians have used the price books to document the development of furniture styles but have not recognised the labour militancy which gave rise to their publication. This article charts the wage negotiations revealed in the Edinburgh price books within the context of a changing legislative environment. The manner in which strikes were organised is revealed in evidence submitted to the parliamentary select committee on combinations and the voice of the journeymen is heard in letters sent to the newspapers. The uncertainties of the period are revealed in the different opinions of employers, workers, and journalists.
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