Fay & Scott shop scenes circa 1909
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  1. #1
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    Default Fay & Scott shop scenes circa 1909

    As a preview, here is a series of shop scenes of Fay & Scott taken (most of them) in 1909 by an unknown photographer, showing many of the departments. I'll be releasing these in pdf form soon once I have a final ordering, but these are neat enough that I figured many would be interested- lots of detail. There is another album of photographs from the estate of the shop Superintendent which contains some duplicates but many others not shown here, I'll be working that next.

    Regards,

    Greg

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    Last edited by Greg Menke; 06-19-2012 at 03:26 PM.

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    Last edited by Greg Menke; 06-19-2012 at 03:48 PM.

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    Last edited by Greg Menke; 06-19-2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    Last edited by Greg Menke; 06-24-2012 at 08:50 PM.

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    Great work there Greg,
    Thanks for making the effort to do the research and scanning and for showing us the great pictures.
    Also thanks to the folks at the historical society who saved the material from destruction in the first place .
    I look forward to seeing what ever else you are able to show us.
    Regards,
    Jim

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    Thanks Jim, theres a bunch more. The Historical Society did a great job on the usual shoestring, F&S is one of many collections of theirs. They have a nice building, all their collections are well-preserved though not a lot of indexing has been done. They've saved a lot of stuff from all over and are keen to share it.

    Regards,

    Greg

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    The one photo taken in the foundry with the fluorescent ceiling lights was taken comparatively late as fluorescent lighting wasn't developed for commercial use until the 1940's.

    Tom

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    I think the photo captioned " Blacksmith shop " is miss labeled. There doesn't seem to be a forge or forging pictured in the shot and many of the parts such as bearing shells are cast iron not forgings.

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    Thanks Greg for these pictures. Very nice to see this many photos of the same place in operation. Jake

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    The captions are as-found, not sure I like how they are presented in these shots. Some of them were hand penciled on the backs, others had recent post-it notes, the shop Super shot had a typewritten legend glued to the matte- all of varying vintages & (presumably) authority. The post-it names were added later by interviews of F&S employees, the other F&S works pics have these too. I didn't want to add my interpretations, OTOH the pdf will have a "preface" page detailing this stuff to help out.

    The shot with fluorescent lights is obviously newer- these are all misc photos of the shop that I pulled together for this sequence, so they will be a bit mixed. I'm thinking I will sort the photos topically in the pdf though. I have another sequence showing the building and a few shots of the entire crew which is similarly mixed. There is also a short series of 1950's shop photos which shows a little of how the facility changed on the inside over the years. Aside from some albums all these photos came in from different sources over the years so there is no provenance and I found them to be generally mixed among other material.

    In these pics, you'll find a fellow in several of them with a snazzy handlebar mustache, he is Mr. Norman Fay who started F&S along with Mr. Walter Scott. The Scott side was bought out (I think I have a paragraph in one of the ephemera docs about this) and Mr Fay passed the operation to his son Winthrop Fay around WW1. "Wint" passed it on to a son-in-law (last name Pough (sp)- I think there is a photo of him too), who passed it to his son. Later White Consolidated bought them and ownership passed out of the Fay hands.

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    Thanks for posting.

    In the 3rd photo, I assume that the items on the rack on the RH wall are special stops which fit in the holes to locate components on the planer tables?

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    Very nice photographs: there's a book in there.

    No need to worry about mixed captions, that only adds to the interest.

    Re the wall items in third photo I thought at first these were tee-handled wrenches, perhaps I'm wrong--they look a little light for table items. How many planers do you see in that photograph?

    Thanks, as a interested party (and a F & S lathe owner for over thirty years--and it was in my family's possession for about another 30 at least before that) I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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    Former owner of a Fay & Scott Woodworker's lathe. It had 2" missing off of the bottom of one leg - which for I made a new pad and then brazed it onto the bottom: with bondo and grinding it made a very nice repair thought I. The rest of the lathe cleaned up well and was sold to someone at the annual Dublin, NH Gas & Steam Engine show. We both got a deal from it.

    I wonder if the Fay of Fay and Scott are related to the central Massachusetts Fays and (now) the French River Hydroelectric group. Norman D. (Dan) Fay was the dad and my good friend (and a mentor in steam engineering as well as machine tools.)

    I look at the pix and I also wonder how much we've lost in the hundred years or so. These people seem busy, happy (mostly - they're at work after all), and relatively secure in their livelihood. This last aspect not at all like today. I work for a major worldwide engineering firm, one of the larger ones, and even with the breadth and depth of talent and ability here - there is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee of work beyond even the most current job. With the social safety-nets available today - and perhaps because of them - companies have NO compunction to keep anyone on for even a moment beyond their ability to make the company, or themselves, money.

    Gosh. ALL that "stuff" on shelves. No issue at all with taxable inventory. Or static capital expense.

    I could live VERY easily back in those days. Maybe not with a full set of teeth though. And the appendix operation AND the two hernias AND the gall bladder removal would have been a challenge. AND the heart attack might have brought me up to a short, but regretful ending.

    Joe in NH

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    I was able to chat with a couple old F&S hands at the local American Legion, one career machinist the other a machinist & heat treat guy, both worked at F&S from the late 30's on. I asked them about morale and injury, both guys emphasized that it was a happy shop and injury rates were low. They mentioned that had trouble keeping some hands who having been apprenticed at F&S never had any trouble finding jobs elsewhere. Both guys went thru their apprenticeship there, the first I spoke with worked 30+ years there, first as a machinist on all the machines in turn, then an "Expediter", then a "Router". The latter two jobs involved moving production runs thru the shop and planning jobs, respectively. Both guys said they'd corner the last known living F&S foundryman to get some more details about that side of the operation. The F&S foundry closed approx 1970 because of cost of operations, projected cost of upgrade and "promises" of castings from Italy which became very expensive and slow to arrive- this was after White owned the operation. Both guys suggested that F&S lost a lot of its capacity & capability when the foundry was shut down- a lesson there for us all I think.

    The modern siding on the building dates from the White era, where it was added w/ insulation to help manage the building over winter- I imagine modern production techniques demanded a better internal climate.

    F&S did not have their own railroad siding. Although a cupola is shown I believe their primary foundry used a blast furnace which could pour well over a ton of cast iron. Coke arrived by train, unloaded north of the facility and trucked to the F&S building. Some of the building photos show some of the foundry equipment from the outside. In the late 30's+ nearly all freight in and out of the building came by truck, only one machine they built was large enough to be shipped by rail. The foundry only worked cast iron, everything else was by stock. The employees were permitted to do little side projects (fry pans, doorstops) as part of the workflow, but only in cast iron. I have photos of several of these momentos- some were made for Oddfellows fundraisers etc.

    A item which I suspect I will regret not reproducing was an employee log from 1917-1918 containing notes from most days he worked. I decided not to because its <long>, and it was suggested his family (decendents) might not desire to have his personal details published in this way. If there is a lot of demand for it I'm sure something can be worked out.

    One amusing story- Rick (my contact at the Historical Society) mentioned that a lady he knew worked in the office at F&S and she really disliked going out to the foundry because it and it's denizens were so filthy. Apparently the crew were entertained by the rats that would tunnel into the building thru the piles of moulding sand so they could pop out at lunchtime to beg/steal food from the foundrymen. As dirty and horrible as foundry work is I can well imagine the workers getting a kick out of something as mundane as rats tunneling thru the sand...

    F&S was definitely not a job-for-life place, the workforce grew and shrank according to the work. The crew in 1916 was huge (I have photos and scans of those pictures), but during the depression it had shrunk to maybe a dozen. The late 30's saw a huge increase in personnel, but the operation held together throughout.

    Looking through these pics I kept thinking of the Bull Of The Woods cartoons, and how they might relate. Mr Fay was clearly a Bull, Mr Gould the shop super (generally post 1910 I believe) looks a little dapper in these shots to be one. My two guys above said in their time at F&S all machinists cleaned and serviced their own machines, no sweepers or stock movers for them.

    Regards,

    Greg

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    I’ve been looking again at these excellent photos.

    One thing that strikes me is the very sparse provision of craneage. Even when there are lifting beams, they seem to be fixed, so shifting things like heavy lathe beds (battering rams?) must have been interesting.

    In the 4th photo of post #1 there’s an odd four wheeled thing in the foreground. I wonder if this was for moving heavy loads around?

    Typically, artificial lighting is very limited, even when light bulbs were available. I was amused by the Pattern Shop photo in post #4 where those clever artists in wood have contrived an adjustable lamp holder. With that sort of wattage, you would want the light bulb as close as possible!

    Finally, I note that there have just been a handful of observations on this interesting batch of US shop photos. My own dismay has been well-aired about the reluctance of members to discuss pictures that seem ripe for discussion. Can the Antique section any longer be regarded as a forum? If people just sit back and hope for others to keep posting pictures like these, they may be disappointed.
    Last edited by Asquith; 06-23-2012 at 09:35 AM.

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    I've already mentioned how much I like these photographs (and that it seems to me a 'successful' book could be developed of them).

    I don't know what that four wheeled thing is but can guess it was some specialized moving truck. I can see no overhead lifting devices in that photograph (though in many of them photographs you can, though they are most often lightweight and placed just above where they are needed, and not that easily moved). You can see four pieces of 3 or 4 inch diameter pipe in that photo; perhaps the lathe beds were moved that way.

    I suspect there would be more attentive commentary, as many wish, if only one or two photographs were submitted at each time. That doesn't mean we can't look in more detail, just that it's more difficult to begin.

    These are very nice and I look forward to seeing and dsicussing more.

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    Asquith, please don't confuse lack of discussion with apathy. Your posts are some of the highlights of this forum. I just don't have anything constructive to add, so I just enjoy the post and stay quiet. Just out of curiosity I went back to your last 5 pages of posts, started by you, and counted the views. You have been read 449,857 times. That's pushing a half a million veiws. That includes "Galloways rolling mill engines" which has been viewed 160,999 times by itself. You have 18 pages of posts, I only counted the most recent 5,(I do have a life).
    So keep your posts coming, we're reading them and adding to them when we can.

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    Many thanks, Maynah.

    I want to emphasise that my concern is not with the amount of attention a thread gets, but rather the discussion it generates. I'm trying not to focus on my threads, hence my reason for taking this thread of Greg's as a case in point.

    There’s no reason why people should chip in for the sake of it, but what I’m thinking of is those golden days when someone would post an old photo and then observant sleuths would get to work, and we’d all learn something.

    Here’s an example:-

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...-lathe-113259/

    I recently ‘went private’. I was lent some stunning old machine shop photos and showed them to some friends, who picked out fascinating details that I’d missed, leading to a very interesting discussion. I couldn’t satisfactorily reproduce an example here to an adequate resolution, but even if I did, I’m not sure it would take us anywhere.


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