- The situation of tinkers became worse after the creation of new borders in 1918. Their trade in Russia was destroyed during the war, when they were mostly jailed as citizens of enemy countries. In addition, private ownership of businesses was eliminated by 1917; tinkers succeeded in saving part of their property in only a few cases. They either had to change their profession or work in Slovakia or Bohemia, where their profession had a lower social status. The first U.S. wire-products shop was established in Philadelphia in 1840. House-to-house trading did not become customary in the U.S., so tinkers instead focused on establishing workshops and shops.
Tinkers' activity abroad affected their lives more than just economically. Their permanent connections with other countries, coupled with years-long residence abroad and learning the local language, not only gave rise to their interest in the local cultures, but also led them and their fellow countrymen-tinkers to organize themselves, developing a cultural and political life, and setting up clubs. Their efforts to improve their economic situation took place in the social environment, in a variety of organized events and clubs.
For example, in 1887 there appeared a notice in the newspaper Na'rodnie noviny titled "Camp of Tinkers," about a club to take care of disabled tinkers. Then on Sunday, May 2, a large number of tinkers gathered in Vienna, on Renegrasse [probably Rainergrasse], to discuss the founding of this club to take care of disabled fellow-tinkers. The meeting was led by Botovay, a tinker from Trenc~i'n county, who stressed the importance of the business and also gave an accurate account of proposals for obtaining resources [dues???]. The idea was accepted unanimously and discussion of a more-detailed administrative plan was left for the following meeting. Soon, 1,123 tinkers were organized in Vienna.(11)
All opinions my own
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