The havoc created by incompetent laborers had always been prime slapstick material. In this comedy, Chaplin plays a paperhanger's assistant hired to paper a mansion (the imposing home was the Bradbury Mansion at 147 North Hill Street in Los Angeles). The job quickly devolves into anarchy, culminating with a massive explosion.
The opening sequence - which shows Charlie pulling a work cart down a busy street and up a hill with his boss sitting in the cart's driver seat, hitting Charlie with a whip - is striking for its symbolic importance regarding the exploitation and degradation of human laborers. The final moment, with Charlie surfacing from the gooey paste of a paperhanger, is the progeny of the conclusion of the famous Keystone two-reeler Dough and Dynamite (1914).