Historic Markers Across Alabama

Birth of Trades Program

Marker ID:  
Location: Lewis Adams Street, Tuskegee Institute, AL
County: Macon
Coordinates: N 32° 25.627    W 085° 42.165
  32.42711666    -85.70275
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Birth of Trades Program
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

We shall prosper . . . as we learn to dignify and glorify labor and put brains and skills into the common occupations of life.
—Booker T. Washington

Tuskegee Institute's vocational training program began in this building in 1890 when Lewis Adams, former slave, moved his tinsmith shop here from the town of Tuskegee. Adams taught students how to make kitchen utensils and roofing materials.

Soon students were making bricks, nails, furniture plows and other products. Adams remained in charge of the trades program until he died in 1903. Today this is the oldest building on the campus and the home of the Tuskegee University Band.

[Photo Captions]
{Main Photo}: Lewis Adams, second from right, teaches students how to make weathervanes and household items in the tinsmith shop.

{Top Right}: Students practice their shoemaking skills.

National Park Service, Department of the Interior.


More information:
NPS - Tuskegee University
Wikipedia - Booker T. Washington
Wikipedia - George Washington Carver

End of Birth of Trades Program