Do It Yourself (DIY) is a common term used by practice-based communities. However, people all around the world check DIY to create things without pro aid.
Thinking of DIY should hit your mind with different home improvement recipes/designs. But the actual extent goes far beyond modern-day crafting skills.
The history coincides with ancient Greek as well as Roman timeline as the origin. And the impressive tale should keep you occupied to reveal the generations.
Prehistoric Facts from Ancient Structures
Almost anything from ancient times should get categorized as DIY. There were no machine-made tools or commercial production in any way. However, archaeologists failed to reach an agreement to justify everything as DIY.
Italian researchers unearthed a 6th century BC structure in southern Italy. The temple to feature Greek specs is believed to have been made by DIY instructions. And it remains the earliest well-set example of DIY craftsmanship to this date.
Not many facts corroborated the later centuries regarding DIY skills. There were multiple claims from different locations without specific conclusions. But the practice revived in the 1800s with mechanical improvements.
19th Century DIY – Help Yourself Projects
Long before the explosion of the DIY movement, people had an interest in production works. And the particular aim coincides with practices to suffice indoor environments. Books with necessary details, equipment & even pictures were published to answer the quest.
Mechanick Exercises by Joseph Moxon is indeed the very first book on at-home practical projects. It described different processes from available resources. And the ideas included blacksmith, cast metal, engravings, wood joinery, drawing, printing & mapping.
By the 19th century, many other books were published to contain project details. And several books aimed at housewives for aiding. Handbook of Turning by Mary Gascoigne was published in 1842 to encourage country women to participate.
Meantime, a strong moral incentive of helping yourself prevailed in 19th-century society. Self Help; With Illustrations of Character and Conduct by Samuel Smiles was published in 1859. And it was a bestseller to encourage human learning as a pleasure.
The idea of educating oneself despite having institutional learning became readily popular. And the philosophy of performing projects at home literally boomed in later decades. Helping yourself was more like a basic necessity for many to deal with poverty.
North American Movement in Early 1900s
Several American magazines utilized the idea of DIY craftsmanship for business purposes. Popular Mechanics was set in 1902 and included many practical skills on the topic. However, early projects to suffice specific categories were somewhat more mechanical.
Mechanix Illustrated was founded in 1928 to reveal multiple techniques, tools & materials. Primary ideas were focused on rural people having an interest in small businesses. The magazines helped many industries to be born from early stables, studs & stalls.
Crafts During the 1930s Great Depression
The infamous stock market crash in October 1929 initiated the Great Depression. It’s unquestionably the worst financial crisis people have encountered in recent memory. The economic devastation centering the western countries held for an entire decade.
Absolute hardship hits every aspect of life, even affecting the wealthy ones dearly. Mid-class as well as poor people started to live on their own using DIY strategies. And the action eventually revived the practice, extended the possibilities & encouraged the ideas.
DIY immediately turned into a guiding principle for many struggling families. Being unable to afford essential everyday items, enthusiasts decided to go for DIYs. People made literally everything to save the expense – clothes, foods & even supplies.
Almost everything was valuable to keep crafting different items using the same product. Creativity starts to dominate the minds with possibilities of recycling as well as reusing. ‘Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without’ – depicts the thinking of desperation.
Homeowners in the rural areas started to grow their vegetables, fruits & other plants. Skillful males and females took an active part in crafting usable fabrics, pottery, furniture. The timeline remains extremely wide with different measures across the globe.
Nonetheless, the crisis left a significant influence in the first world countries. People on every level learned many good lessons to overcome future hardship by themselves. In fact, there are many online articles on the issue from specific perspectives.
The 1950s & 1960s Explosion on DIY Jobs
However, DIY revival during the Great Depression was primarily focused on family survival. It was actually World War II to boost the popularity of self-projects. Government also took a direct part in encouraging tasks during the cold war.
Scarcity of metal throughout Europe during the war forced people to craft necessary things. It was even difficult to manage everything in the post-war society. That’s exactly where DIY implementations became permanent in the hearts of enthusiasts.
Self-helped tasks turned into common chores in every home & business project. American artists established a protest against mass industrial production with the DIY movement. It even protested mass culture during the 1950s from many aspects.
Even the geopolitical tension of the cold war pushed people to think of protective measures. Nuclear fallout shelter, emergency financial backup concerned the ideas. The largest contribution checked community assistance between one another.
Widespread adoption of media triggered absolute popularity from the 1960s. Barry Bucknell’s TV Series on DIY methods attracted over 5 million viewers. And he eventually started to receive 40,000 letters every week on different crafting recipes.
His straightforward strategy helped many women suffering from economic hardship. Strict rationing during the war as well as post-war time halted normal lifestyle. And the media revealed many effective, simple, practical ways to support themselves.
It also encouraged the publishing of newspaper articles alongside special magazines. You can consider magazines like Practical Householder or Do It Yourself. The pages featured exclusive DIY methods, along with advertisements from local enthusiasts.
DIY Movements in Vintage or Retro Ages
More magazines started to get published on DIY across the USA. However, the revival of printed books during the time actually secured the enthusiastic practice. It’s indeed the time when people focused on home improvements or decoration.
Many interested parties eager to reduce the construction cost relied on the methods. In fact, college students, as well as recent graduates, paid grave attention to the topic. It defined self-modified building techniques to meet one’s absolute satisfaction.
Direct influence of passionate youngsters enriched the dictionary with modern terms. Some projects also incorporated social, environmental & professional concerns. Stewart Brand, a young American visionary wrote a catalog to change the approach forever.
Not to mention, the DIY industry managed to grow exponentially in the 1980s with VCRs. And the enthusiastic instructors immediately grasped the potential of marketing ideas. People started to spend the weekend on improvement projects in the house.
Likewise, more publishers kept contributing to DIY methods with ongoing evolution. Lots of materials were changing in terms of availability, price, usage & practicality. And people continued to depend on news, magazines, or letters throughout the 1990s.
Later Influence of Internet & Social Media
The Internet started to occupy the life of people in the 1990s across western countries. However, the availability literally boomed with the 21st-century change. Electricity becomes a fundamental necessity for all kinds of people to initiate globalization.
Universal adoption of mobiles set the demand for the internet incredibly high in the world. Reduction of price with further speed pushed the popularity of DIY projects real good. But it’s actually the social media that managed to set the demand at its peak.
Absolute connectivity to remote people, instructors, enthusiasts held acceptance & ideas. There are many websites, blogs, videos & even forums to satisfy your DIY-related quest. Anyone should find several alternatives to one project with a few clicks.
Ever-increasing demand continues to enrich the available online resources every second. YouTube alone contains thousands of video demonstrations regarding DIY projects. There are several dedicated websites to let you know the tricks of craftsmanship.
Explore the complete history of Local Handyman Home with elaborate details. You can also check the videos on Absolute History, DW Euromaxx, Science Museum.
Prevalence in Fashion, Art, Design Community
Following the hardship of the Great Depression & WWII, the timeline actually concerned passion more than necessity. And the availability of the internet & video simply lets everyone share relevant ideas.
The tradition of do-it-yourself has remained prevalent in certain communities since the 1970s. Fashion community puts emphasis on clothing, makeup, beauty care, jewelry, hairstyles, etc.
Meanwhile, communities to check art, craft & design focus on colors, patterns & mashups. Modern-day home improvement, renovation, or remedial measures primarily fall under the category.
Terms like hacktivist or craftivist actually refer to the DIY enthusiastic works in a different form. They are somewhat recent to denote a particular segment of DIY in terms of difficulty/investment.
You can learn more about DIY culture in Permanent Culture Now’s article.
It’s impossible to think of saving your budget on commercial products without DIY. The practice managed to become an inevitable part of life from the 20th century only. But the theoretical uses to meet specific demands continued from time immemorial.