Coopers works to create casks for things like tobacco, flour and gunpowder, to store liquids and ship items. Coopers usually worked on plantations, but some also worked on merchant and military vessels. The tools necessary to create casks typically went from generation to generation.
Coopering helped in promoting imports and exports with different countries. By the time Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, this profession is something that many people were very established in. Some of the men in this line of work would build casks from scratch and others worked to repair the ones that had some damage.