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  • Writer's pictureMax Diamond

History of the Handyman

What is a "handyman," and where or what was the term arrived from? Not many people know that the origin of the handyman stems back hundreds of years to peddlers. The term "handyman" often refers to a person skilled at a wide range of repairs typically found around the home. The tasks may include interior and exterior maintenance work, repair work, trade skills, "fix-up tasks," or "odd jobs." The handyman may also be responsible for light electric jobs such as changing a fixture or light plumbing tasks, including fixing a leaky toilet.

Peddlers, or traveling vendors of goods, would tour villages, small towns, and the countryside in hopes of selling their products. They usually traveled on foot and carried their wares or used an animal- or person-drawn cart or wagon to transport their goods. Peddlers date back to 1225, but the era of the peddler peaked in the United States decades before the American Civil War.

Peddlers often needed extra cash to get from place to place, and by offering their services for odd jobs, they could increase their income when they could not sell their goods at the next stop.

Whether a homeowner had a loose screen that needed repairing or a business owner had boards that needed to be nailed down, the peddler developed the broad skill set necessary to complete these tasks. Over time, the term changed to "handyman," indicating that the man was, in fact, handy to have around the home or property. For handymen, no job was too little or too small. As time went by, a handyman had names like jack-of-all-trades, laborer, fixer, man-of-all-work, locksmith, odd-job man, helper, plumber, hired man, servant, and electrician. It is not uncommon to find an electrician who knows how to fix leaking faucets or a plumber who can change light fixtures in the present day and age. Many people who need multiple jobs completed around their home search specifically for skilled laborers who can meet all projects in one visit, time permitting.


Lots of great songs were written about a Handyman. One of my favoriates was Del Shannon, but I think the one that won the hearts of many was Jimmy Jones, here you can make that decision.



Hope you enjoyed that little bit of History, and if you need that Jack-of-all-Trades, Handyman Service give as a call at 479 333-1685. Remember one call today can fix it all.

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