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FCA - Future Craftsmen of America

1936

Sponsors: U.S. Office of Education & American Vocational Association.

Officially - and nationally - the Future Craftsmen of America youth (boys only) group began with a vote at the annual American Vocational Association (AVA) convention in late 1935. A year earlier the AVA had voted in a committee to explore the possibility of offering such a club - we have felt a distinct need for a club organization that would fit particularly well into our industrial education setup, as was quoted in the newspaper.

In Salem, OR an all-boy club called the Future Craftsmen of America was already established as early as 1932. It's not known if they were "invited" to share their name, or compensated. The purpose of their club was similar to the aims of the national program.

For this boy's group the term "Craftsmen" meant industrial trades, not arts & crafts. They intentionally designed the program similar to the successful Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Despite the good intentions of the national group they ran afoul of trade unions, who were not consulted in developing the programs, and according to some reports suffered from poor management. The FCA had only 2 national conventions, then folded.

Local FCA programs continued on without national oversight for several years.

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This is probably the closet image to a logo for the Future Craftsmen of America

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Florence Stevenson of Detroit created the design shown above, but alas, couldn't join the FCA because she was a girl

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This 1938 FCA Pennsylvania Manual clearly hoped to be a beta-manual for the FCA national club.

This 1936 School Life article defines the 3 separate groups that would make up the FCA:

  • Amateur Craftsmen of America

  • Junior Craftsmen of America

  • Apprentice Craftsmen

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What was meant to be the pinnacle of FCA - the Stout Award is nearly impossible to see in the image, but I love the FCA sweaters!

The Future Craftsmen was the official "voice" of the FCA.

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Although the national part of the FCA did not survive beyond its second year, local groups continued on...

An editorial about the end of the national FCA