The Specialist - by Charles Sale

the specialist

The Specialist is a classic book on a very specific area of shed building.

The subject of this book, is a character known as Lem Putt, a specialist in the simpler forms of sanitary engineering.

In Lem's words: "I'm a carpenter by trade. At one time I could build a house, barn, church or chicken coop. But I seen the need of a specialist in my line, so I studied her. I got her; she’s mine. Gentlemen, you are face to face with the champion Privy builder of Sangamon county."

And there we go, for over 30 pages we benefit from the direct experience of Lem as he explains how he developed his specific branch of knowledge and why the world needs a Specialist in Privy building.

The whole book is marvellous stuff with answers to Privy building questions you have always wanted answers to such as: Should a privy door open inwards or outwards? Which is better a gable or mono pitch roof? What is the best shape of ventilator in your privy door?

I should point out that Charles Sale, the author of this book, had no direct experience of shed or privy building as far as I know. He was a successful Vaudeville comedian in the early 1930s. This book was published to establish his copyright over the content of his very successful comic after dinner speaking routine, as others were copying his act. The book was a huge success too, running through many printings. The copy I have is the 37th impression printed in June 1954 and over 450,000 copies were in print at that time, I believe that today it is over 1,000,000.

The Specialist is a great small book that adds a bit of good humour to any shed building enterprise.

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