"The Bull of the Woods" - Machinist Cartoons
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  1. #1
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    I love my wife......
    She bought me the entire 6 volume set of "The Bull of the Woods" cartoons.
    Great machining humor, and an excellent window into the past. (1930's era machine shop)
    If you're interested, check out LeeValley tools.com .....They sell the books.

  2. #2
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    Pazuzu,
    I bought the whole 6 volumes too not long ago, thanks to a tip from someone on this forum. When I ordered them, the guy at Lee Valley just about fell over, he didn't know about volumes 4-6 himself, and here is a guy from NZ ordering them! Practical Machinist has all the inside information...

    I have enjoyed them, there is more too them than I expected, sometimes quite a comment delivered.
    Overall pretty cynical, but even handed - sees the story from the company and the floor points of view. One minute laughing at one, then the other.

    Here are couple that caught my eye...




  3. #3
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    My son gave me Volumes 1-3 for Christmas ... now I want 4-6! Hilarious

  4. #4
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    Never even knew it was a comic strip. Our local Mazak dealer gives us big calendar every year with these guys on it. Never even realized it was machine specific, since all the comics on it are just poking fun at management, thats probably intentional.

  5. #5
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    The owner of one of the shops I worked at banned the "Bull" calender because he felt it made too much fun of management...

    OMcG

  6. #6
    Rustystud Guest

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    I find it interesting a set of volumes about machining called "Bull of the Woods". When this term originated pre industrial age in the lumber camps of the south.
    Rustystud

  7. #7
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    The local newspaper always had a Bull Of The Woods cartoon once a week back in the 60s. I didn't know the books were available untill someone posted it a while back. I bought the first three volumes and looking forward to the next three volumes.

  8. #8
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    Guys,
    J.R. Williams also did "out our way". This was about the cowboy life. His western cartoons are every bit as good as the machine shop ones. Ed

  9. #9
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    I enjoy the books but did not know there are 6 volumes in the set. The ironic part is I used to run a machine shop for a laboratory for many years.

    J.R. Williams (no relation to the creator of the series))

  10. #10
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    Rustystud-
    You're right. The "Bull of the Woods" was a term used by Lumberjacks.
    J.R. Williams called his Boss "The Bull of the Woods" because he resembled the "Bull..." while walking around the shop amongst the many belts that used to drive the machinery.

  11. #11
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    I grew up in the city of Danbury, Connecticut which had one newspaper, The Danbury News Times. On the cartoon page was a one block cartoon. This was either "Major Hoople","Out Our Way" or "Bull of the Woods". The "Bull" was popular locally because the subject matter came out of the Bullard Machine Tool Company in Bridgeport,where many Danburians commuted to work in the machine trade.

    It Seems that J.R.Williams worked at Bullard's a few years before moving on to other endeavors and that provided his grounding in his drawings of the machine environment, as well as the characters involved in his humor.

    Pazuzu71, a big thanks for bringing this to my attention. I'll certainly check this out.

  12. #12
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    Here are some of my favorites












    [ 01-03-2006, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: adammil1 ]

  13. Likes daleroe liked this post
  14. #13
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    Here is the publishers note that appears in the books:

    "James Robert Williams was born in Nova Scotia in 1888 and his family moved to Detroit before he started school. At age 15 he quit school to apprentice as a machinist, moving to Arkansas and then Oklahoma where he spent six years drifting around the territory working as a cowboy on different ranches before spending three years in the U.S. Cavalry. After he married, he took a full-time job with a crane company in Ohio. He started cartooning professionally in 1922 with the daily cartoon "Out Our Way", drawing heavily on his experiences in the military, in machine shops and on ranches. At the peak of his career "Out Our Way" was carried by some 700 newspapers. He bought his own ranch in 1930 and continued drawing until his death in 1957. His lifetime production was in excess of 10,000 cartoons." Leonard G. Lee, Publisher.

    It seems like the plant is manufacturing cranes, they appear occasionaly. The odd "Cincinnati" appears. I think JR Williams appears once or twice - the guy spending all his time sketching cartoons.

    Further note: I see Lee Valley also publish some of his other cartoons
    "Classic Cowboy Cartoons" (4 volumes)
    "U.S. Cavalry Cartoons"
    "Out Our Way" (sampler 20s, 30s, 40s)

    [ 01-03-2006, 12:15 AM: Message edited by: Peter S ]

  15. #14
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    Thanks for posting this. I used to see them hung up in the shop when I first started working in the 60's. I/we always enjoyed them and somethimes there would be a name handwritten over a character to poke fun at someone.

    And yes, the cartoon accurately portrayed life in a shop.-Jerald


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