Being a student of history as an avocation, I find eerie but familiar parallels with the past in todays labor relations in this professional-market segment.
I don't see it :/
Even if we disregard your erroneous Eli Whitney reference, and guess correctly you were talking about Samuel Colt, the parallel doesn't hold.
Gunsmiths were very rare, much much rarer than blacksmith/whitesmith/goldsmith and they catered to the rich. What Samuel Colt did was open-up new markets, he didn't diminish or devalue gunsmiths -- the rich still kept buying their lavish custom guns, lavish custom guns which Samuel Colt wasn't selling because he made money by selling to armies in bulk