William Palmer of Stoke St Gregory began basket making at the age of eleven years and carried on for nearly seventy-eight years. He worked with his uncle when he started, earning two shillings a week. His earnings gradually increased as his work improved. William received piecework wages, and was paid between tenpence and a shilling for each chair. William worked on his own from 1907 after his uncle emigrated to Canada, buying his own premises in 1915. In 1916 he joined the Army for two years.