The experience of working within these industrializing workplaces pushed craftsmen to unite. Most of the crafts had a set of traditions that the masters and men respected. As early as the 1830s, journeymen had formed societies to carry on those traditions and support each other through sickness and unemployment. These unions were strengthened by the need to stand up to their bosses.
Hamilton carpenters threw down their tools in 1831 to protest the violation of craft traditions. The city’s stonecutters formed their first union in 1845, and the printers followed a year later. The Journeyman Tailors’ Protective Society was founded in 1854 to combat that “evil monster,” the steam-powered sewing machine. Many more unions appeared over the next 20 years.