...Proper Attire for Working at the Vertical Mill...
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  1. #1
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    Default ...Proper Attire for Working at the Vertical Mill...


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    Thanks for posting the picture, Lathefan.

    The shop has the floor made of tarred hardwood blocks, set endgrain up to create a better wearing surface. That was a lot easier on a person's feet than standing on concrete, and the idea was not about workers' comfort, but preventing damage to machined parts landed on that floor. The tarred blocks were supposedly waterproof and somewhat impervious to oils- as the puddle on the floor to the RH of the base of the mill shows.

    The mill looks to be piped for "flood coolant", but even with return troughs on the ends of the table, it still looks like plenty of coolant is slopping anyplace but. What has me a bit curious is what kind of machine tool is in the picture. The machine looks a bit odd for a true vertical mill, more on the order of a large jig borer. I wonder if what we are seeing is some sort of specialized heavy drill or borer rather than a vertical mill. The long exposed spindle and lack of a knee as well as the squarish table have me thinking we are seeing more of a drill or jig bore type of machine tool. The job on the machine table is held in a fixture, and the jobs on the floor look to have some deep thru holes in them. I tend to think we are seeing a boring or reaming operation rather than a milling operation in this photo.

    The lady in the photo looks like she might be a WWI era machine tool operator. By WWII, the women machine tool operators were dressed a bit differently, and some wore pants. I doubt this was a staged photo, but more of a candid shot. I cannot make out the name on the frame of the machine tool, but think I see a two-part maker's name ( ---- & ----), possibly followed by "Manchester". I am no judge of what style of clothing women machine tool operators wore in different countries, but from the outward appearances, I'd guess this picture was taken in England. Maybe some of our British and Scottish brethren can shed some light on the machine tool in the photo.

    As far as the speculation as to the dalliances of the woman machine tool operator and her co-workers, I'd have to say that would be highly unlikely. A fellow suggesting or thinking those kinds of thoughts in that era could well expect to get told to watch his mouth, and if he persisted, he'd likely get knocked on his ass and maybe get clobbered with a spanner. I'd like to think that the keeping of the stiff upper lip, chivalry, and being gentlemanly would have prevailed.

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    For some reason I'm enamored of the deep dish on the handwheel front and center. I'd take that look and use it for some sports car wheels...

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    Keeps the (rancid) coolant, oil and chips out of hair and clothes... considering the state I've gotten my shop jeans into a few times lately there are jobs where an outfit like that would be most welcome. Just as long as the frills and festive prints don't get out of hand lol maybe I'll stick with the coveralls

    Probably also an aid to comfort while pounding out a shift in a unheated drafty plant floor in midwinter...

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    The machine operator's clothing is so archaic that I wonder if the picture is from Germany or another area where various forms of regional dress persisted well into the twentieth century. Most of the pictures I've seen from England duringWWI show women elements in long shop coats and rather plain headgear.

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    The machine has Kendall & Gent Manchester cast in the side of the column. I think it’s probably a UK scene.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    ...apparently there's no dress code over at Ebay...

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    Do you think she’s wearing safety glasses? Or safety anything for that matter?

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    Whats the big machine behind with the square spindle?........i think it is WW1,K&G went broke after the war,and afterwards,the machines all had K&G (1921)Ltd moulded into the castings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spruewell View Post
    Do you think she’s wearing safety glasses? Or safety anything for that matter?
    Do you remember the US Machine Tool booths at shows ? they rebuilt old Cincy verticals then put bikini-clad booth babes on the tables for shows. Always had a crowd. A big crowd.

    That was when Anilam dressed all their sales guys up as "wizards" .... and Gene Haas was showing his first attempt. Out of the gate it was better-integrated than Fred, Andy, Dave and Larry. No wonder he did good. Fun days

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    Thanks for posting the picture, Lathefan.

    The shop has the floor made of tarred hardwood blocks, set endgrain up to create a better wearing surface. That was a lot easier on a person's feet than standing on concrete, and the idea was not about workers' comfort, but preventing damage to machined parts landed on that floor. The tarred blocks were supposedly waterproof and somewhat impervious to oils- as the puddle on the floor to the RH of the base of the mill shows.

    The mill looks to be piped for "flood coolant", but even with return troughs on the ends of the table, it still looks like plenty of coolant is slopping anyplace but. What has me a bit curious is what kind of machine tool is in the picture. The machine looks a bit odd for a true vertical mill, more on the order of a large jig borer. I wonder if what we are seeing is some sort of specialized heavy drill or borer rather than a vertical mill. The long exposed spindle and lack of a knee as well as the squarish table have me thinking we are seeing more of a drill or jig bore type of machine tool. The job on the machine table is held in a fixture, and the jobs on the floor look to have some deep thru holes in them. I tend to think we are seeing a boring or reaming operation rather than a milling operation in this photo.

    The lady in the photo looks like she might be a WWI era machine tool operator. By WWII, the women machine tool operators were dressed a bit differently, and some wore pants. I doubt this was a staged photo, but more of a candid shot. I cannot make out the name on the frame of the machine tool, but think I see a two-part maker's name ( ---- & ----), possibly followed by "Manchester". I am no judge of what style of clothing women machine tool operators wore in different countries, but from the outward appearances, I'd guess this picture was taken in England. Maybe some of our British and Scottish brethren can shed some light on the machine tool in the photo.

    As far as the speculation as to the dalliances of the woman machine tool operator and her co-workers, I'd have to say that would be highly unlikely. A fellow suggesting or thinking those kinds of thoughts in that era could well expect to get told to watch his mouth, and if he persisted, he'd likely get knocked on his ass and maybe get clobbered with a spanner. I'd like to think that the keeping of the stiff upper lip, chivalry, and being gentlemanly would have prevailed.
    " Kendall & Gent " of Gorton in Manchester specialised in knee less milling machines as well as large and very large Plano-mills. The also had a side line in tangential threading machines. Another company that fell foul of the disaster that was " Staveley Industries " who closed them down in the late 1960's or early 1970's. A pal of mine worked on finishing off their last orders when the work was transferred to " Asquith's " in Halifax.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    The shop has the floor made of tarred hardwood blocks, set endgrain up to create a better wearing surface.
    My high school's shops had these type of floors. They were fine until rain leaked through the roof. The wood would swell up where the water puddled, and form big humps in the floor; sometimes a foot high and eight feet across.

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    Quite a few years ago my father and I did a walkthrough of an old railyard in Hagerstown MD before it got bulldozed for the usual thing. All the iron was long gone but we did find a couple old shops with the end-grain block floors mountained up where the rain was dripping in. The buildings were so far gone that the floor was more mountain than flat, and mossy everywhere. That was the blissful time before the godforsaken phones, so sadly no pics of it...

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    That's a huge mill...damn

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    Finally - a great and proper description of the planet's more recent plague

    godforsaken phones

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    If used properly they can be powerful tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Finally - a great and proper description of the planet's more recent plague
    ...I have a new flip phone...I've had it several months...used it once so far...

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    ...posted by Joe Michaels...

    ..."As far as the speculation as to the dalliances of the woman machine tool operator and her co-workers, I'd have to say that would be highly unlikely. A fellow suggesting or thinking those kinds of thoughts in that era could well expect to get told to watch his mouth, and if he persisted, he'd likely get knocked on his ass and maybe get clobbered with a spanner. I'd like to think that the keeping of the stiff upper lip, chivalry, and being gentlemanly would have prevailed"...

    .................................................. .................

    ...my wife's late Grandmother (she passed away in 2007 at 102 years old)...was...during WWII...employed in a large brand name meat plant in Omaha as a meat cutter filling a spot vacated by a man serving overseas...

    ...a guy made a pass at her...and she showed him the keen edge on her rather large meat cleaver...

    ...she told him she would apply it to various parts of him if he tried it again...

    ...he didn't...

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    Lathefan:

    Your wife's grandmother sounds like quite a lady, and she put that guy in his place without having to run to Human Resources or invoke corporate procedures- as would be the case today. Your wife's grandmother did the best thing: she answered the guy in a way he was sure to understand, and she kept the problem contained "on the shop floor". I am sure she gained a lot of respect, if she did not have it already. Along the way, I learned that regardless of what corporate procedures and mission statements and the political-correctness-police may say, and as fearful as the thought of a face-to-face confrontation may be, keeping things "on the shop floor" and facing up to a troublemaker or bully is often the best approach. As soon as a person having a problem with another person "on the shop floor" goes running to HR or to the supervisor or similar, the problem usually does not go away. It usually gets far worse. A good foreman and a good union shop steward will contain the problem on the shop floor and make sure it goes no further, usually leaning on the troublemaker in ways that HR can't. Seen it more than a few times.

    My own grandmother (my mother's mother) also made it to 102 years of age. She was born in some backwater village in what was then Russia and would now be near Chernobyl. My grandmother came to the USA in 1917 to meet her husband who had come ahead. She had to take a circuitous route to avoid WWI, so could not sail for America from the usual ports. Instead, my grandmother, with an infant son and her worldly posessions, made her way via railroad to Vladivostok, then took a ship to Yokahama, Japan. On the train to Vladivostok, Czarist troops started to rough up my grandmother and debated playing catch with her small son and landing him on a bayonet. My grandmother set them straight to the point that at every station stop, the soldiers would take my grandmother's teapot (known in Russian as a "chainik" up to the locomotive and bring her back hot water drawn from the boiler for tea.

    Arriving in Japan, things did not get any easier. Due to a runaway currency inflation in Japan, vouchers for Yen which had been purchased earlier to buy passage to the USA were suddenly worthless. My grandmother was stranded in Yokahama. She was wandering the streets near the docks, carrying her infant son, a featherbed, and a few other belongings. A Japanese grocer stuck his head out of his shop and hollered to my grandmother in Russian. He had been a commisary supplier to a Czarist garrison prior to the Russo Japanese war. The grocer had my grandmother and her son move into the grocery store and rented a Singer sewing machine. My grandmother had been trained as a seamstress, so the grocer lined up plenty of work, which included altering kimonos, and making western-styled business suits for Japanese businessmen. After 6 weeks, she had earned enough for steerage passage to the USA. My grandmother and her son sailed for the USA on a ship called "the Siberia Maru". It was a rough crossing, but they landed at San Francisco. My grandmother entered the USA and members of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society got her and her son aboard a train with connections to East St. Louis, Illinois to meet her husband. My mom was born in East St. Louis in 1918 and made it to 100 years of age.

    My grandmother was a small woman on her best day, and she took no shit from anyone. At some point, after they had lost the farm during the Depression, my mother's family had re-settled in Brooklyn. Mom said one summer when she was in high school, my grandmother- working as a union seamtress in some sweatshop- got my mother a summer job there. According to Mom, her mother would pack a mason jar full of something like sliced cucumbers in sour cream for their lunch and carry it in her handbag. As Mom and my grandmother each told the story, they were riding home from the sweatshop aboard a packed subway train full of sweaty people. Some guy saw the opportunity to start groping my mother, then a girl of about 16. Mom said she was paralyzed and revulsed to the point she could not get a word out. Her face and body language told enough. My grandmother let out a yell in Yiddish: "Er werft die Hande" (he's throwing his hands around) followed by her winding up with her handbag and letting the groper have it over the head. Mom said the mason jar in that handbag knocked the groper silly and he went to the floor of the subway car. My grandmother than yelled in her limited English: "Bestid- Leave mine daughter alone !" Bestid being the Yiddish accented prononciation of "bastard". At that point, plenty of other women who were also coming home from the sweatshops took up the cry. Italian and Jewish immigrant women proceeded to kick the shit out of the guy who had groped my mother. Mom said those women were kicking and stomping the guy and spitting on him and he was unable to get off the floor of the subway car. When the train reached the next station, the guy managed to make it out the doors, but was kicked, smacked with heavy handbags and spat upon as he made his exit.

    Year later, a neighbor lady on our block got in my grandmother's face over some beef her son had going with my younger brother. The neighbor lady was given to dramatic outbursts and throwing around psychiatric terms, and was running true to form that day. She ranted and waved her arms and carried on, and my grandmother looked her in the eye and said: "Vot mein daughter has in her old shoe, you should hope to have in your head." This was followed by some colorful Yiddish curses, wishing the woman to be dead and buried in a polite and roundabout way.

    At about 4'-10" tall, with limited English on her best days, my grandmother could square off a dame who, being a lawyer's wife, thought she had some status, and was given to shrieking and spouting psychiatric nonsense. She put that women down, shut her up, and got on with walking to our house. I saw my grandmother rise to a few similar occasions, unafraid of policemen threatening summonses, a crazy neighbor or two, and much else. I also saw my grandmother study to become a US citizen and recite all that she had to learn. My grandmother, who came to America in steerage got to fly to Israel to see long-lost relatives on a jet aircraft. She came from a village with mud streets, wood-fired cookstoves and heat, where kerosene lamps were a luxury to living in a place with steam heat, hot and cold running water, electric light and television. She had lived through times I think I might have not handled as well. A guy groping her daughter was nothing compared to a Pogrom or Czarist soldiers wanting to toss her infant son onto a bayonet. My grandmother was a tough little woman, and she knew in America, she could spit in anyone's eye who gave her any shit and not have to worry about a pogrom resulting or the Czar's secret police catching up with her. Braining some groper with a mason jar was nothing special to my grandmother. Another story was how she killed a snake with a shovel when they were on the farm. In those days, hay was loaded into the hayloft using hayforks to lift it off the wagons and pull it into the hayloft. When the forks opened in the loft, occasionally a snake would drop out and wriggle on the loft floor or on the hay being piled into the loft. My grandfather kept a hammer-double shotgun on the loft floor as occasionally, there'd be a rattler. One such snake made it off the loft floor, dropped to the ground below and made its way towards the farmhouse. Mom was a small girl playing on the steps. My grandmother saw the snake approaching, and did not bother to determine whether it was harmless or otherwise. She picked up a shovel and took its head off. No shrieking about a snake or trying to warn my mother, by the time Mom knew about the snake, it was dead and decapitated.

    Women of those past generations had to be tough. There was no Equal Rights Act, and none of this "Me too" stuff. Mom was a very smart woman and she was actually told by a boss that, had she been a man, she'd have been up for quite a nice promotion. This was during WWII, and Mom was working as a statistician in the Office of War Information. Instead, some guy who was a political favorite got the job, and Mom said she had to carry his load for the same pay she'd been getting all along. Mom was just as tough, as I can attest to.

    I think the women of the past generations were tough of necessity, since there were no mandatory policies about sexual harassment or equal opportunities in the work place for them. The women of those past generations were some of the strongest people, for sure. Nowadays, if a worker made a threat with a meat cleaver, even if there was a sexual innuendo that precipitated it, there would be hell to pay. Fact finding meetings, endless rounds of meetings and hearings, and everyone on the shop floor being dragged into mandatory training, more corporate policies... and possibly both parties to the matter being fired- one for the sexual harassment, the other for making a violent threat with a weapon. At the same time, women have opportunities to advance in the workplace that my mother's generation and my grandmother's generation never had. Still, the way your wife's grandmother handled the matter was absolutely great. She stood up to a bully, took direct action and made it clear the guy would leave on a stretcher, wind up singing soprano if he survived, or leave in a morgue wagon. Her action sent a clear message to any other would be studs on the shop floors, and probably helped a lot of the other women there by discouraging any similar behavior. Gotta love and respect a woman who stands up and takes direct action !


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