Memory Lane: ‘Primitive Pete’

Technology and Building Sites

Once upon a time, all over the country, kids in shop class were shown cartoons featuring “Primitive Pete”–a Disney product, believe it or not. A Disney product that didn’t deliver a sexual message to children. But I digress.

Pete got off to a good start by inventing the hammer, but it wasn’t long before he was misusing every tool on the workbench. The cartoons were do’s and don’ts–as in “Don’t do what Primitive Pete just did!” Like using a screwdriver to check for amperage. Using a wrench for a hammer. Pete never ran out of bad ideas.

When I was a boy, everybody’s father had a workbench and a toolbox, either in the cellar or the garage, and we grew up knowing how to use most tools because we’d seen them being used. Girls, too. My grandpa had six daughters, and they all learned to do basic household repairs and other jobs. My sister can do those things, too.

So we didn’t really need Primitive Pete, but it was always fun to watch him butcher simple tasks.


3 comments on “Memory Lane: ‘Primitive Pete’

  1. I had two aunts who both did carpentry- one built their home, the other did remodeling and it blew my mind. I couldn’t even learn to sew, though my expert grandmother could not only sew, but repair her own sewing machine. Me, all I ever did was read, read, and more.

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