Machine shop

JWFilips

Well-Known Member
#1
I am wondering if the guys here dress so well when working on their machines?
1917. "C.W. Hecox, instructor in machine shop, D.C. public schools. Supervising manufacture of practice shells for Navy at McKinley training school." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. | Thanks to Shorpy .com
02829a.jpg
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
#3
People wore suits almost everywhere, it seems, in the 1880s through the 1920s or so -
at least from the photos I have seen.

Bill
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
#5
Excellent point, 462. And I used an apron, too, in 8th grade shop.

I wear a shop apron most of the time when reloading, too.

Bill
 

smokeywolf

Well-Known Member
#8
While somewhere, I have a pic or two of circa 1930s or '40s Metro Goldwyn Mayer machinists wearing white dress shirts, ties and shop aprons leaning over lathes, that pic is almost certainly staged. Notice the wildly eccentric chucking of the workpiece and the toolbit position.
 

KeithB

Resident Half Fast Machinist
#9
Actually Smokey I think the piece in the lathe is held in a four jaw chuck and supported by a steady rest. I believe its a perspective thing.
 

Bret4207

Well-Known Member
#10
Might be staged, but reading the old books and articles I get the impression that the period between 1880-ish/1950-ish people certainly dressed differently. I recall one book where a man moving from the city to a farm in rural NJ (Ten Acres Enough) commented on the freeedom of being able to work in shirtsleeves, eg- no vest and jacket. Or look at the pics from most anywhere else, people wore suit and tie to baseball games, parks, to the circus or carnival. You also see pics of the lower classes of workers on assembly lines w/o coats and ties, but I imagine there was a status symbol to it all. Any picture of a more or less spontaneous scene always shows lots of hats and suits in that era. And post Depression you had to get into a greasy factory type setting or shipyard to see dungarees. But even then the shots of the workers coming and going often showed them changed back into better clothes. A lot of the old British Pathe Films from pre-to post WW2 show farm labor in a tie, hat and vest. Different times I guess.

I can still remember when ladies dressed and wore white gloves and hats to go grocery shopping and I'm 58.
 

Jeff H

Active Member
#11
.............................Different times I guess..............and I'm 58.
Ties - first thing I noticed and they just flat out creep me out, and not just in the shop. I just can't bring myself to wrap something around my neck and tie a knot in it.

Validation of my "irrational fear" came from a really big, really ugly, bull-shaped Command Sergeant Major, on my first day at my first permanent duty station. He snatched a kid up out of his chair by the tie and dangled him before the rest of us newbies as he explained why you don't wear class A's out on the town.

My most serious concern was that if he'd have grabbed MY tie, he'd have gotten a handful of clip-on and I'd be in trouble for being "out of uniform." On the contrary. He ordered each of us to go straight to the PX and get a clip-on so we did not present a would-be assailant a weapon to use against us.

I can do without ties but not hats. I don't get why people don't wear hats - useful hats. When I see old photos, that's one of the first things I notice. Oh, and those gents at the lathe with their ties probably had hats too but had the sense not to wear them indoors. That was seriously disrespectful when I was a kid. The concept of "class," and especially class distinction rubs me the wrong way, but extending some minimum level of general respect and consideration with those you're sharing air with is another thing. You just don't see much of it any more.
 

JSH

Active Member
#13
I knew several farmers I worked for that would never go to town in bib overalls. Always wash up a bit and change clothes with some kind of jacket.
When I was still working in ag, one guy would show up to get seed or fertilizer,pay bill etc. he always had dress pants and a jacket and hat on.
 

Jeff H

Active Member
#14
EDIT: This was in reply to JW and the time machine. I took too long and the other Jeff slipped a post in on me.:oops:

Maybe they DID, saw what they were in for, and turned around and went BACK!:D

Seriously though, there's a lot good about "today" and it's not all bad. If it were not for the Internet and computers, we would have much less opportunity to wax nostalgic with like-fellows about the 'good ol' days."

Even some of the social implications, like "girls" in technology and trades is a big leap forward. Not everything was especially great "back the" either, so my comments are somewhat tongue-in-cheek," and sometimes more quizzical musing, because I certainly don't have it all figured out myself.

I'm only 58 too, so I'm one of the yoiung protege's among the many mentors here. I did grow up about a hundred years out of time though because we were "backwards" and lived without many modern considered necessities today. I miss a lot of it, but not all. I do like my indoor toilet.
 
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JWFilips

Well-Known Member
#15
Well the ladies did their part in the machine shops back then also: Another from shorpy.com

October 1942. "Rita Rodriguez. Production of B-24 bombers and C-87 transports at Consolidated Aircraft, Fort Worth, Texas." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information.
1942.jpg

July 1942. "Production. Machine guns of various calibers. Agnes Mahan, bench lathe operator at a large Eastern firearms plant, makes oil drills for .50- caliber machine gun barrels. Colt's Patent Firearms Mfg. Co., Hartford, Connecticut." Photo by Andreas Feininger for the Office of War Information.

SHORPY-8b07464a.jpg
 
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Pistolero

Well-Known Member
#17
Hmm. The woman on the horizontal mill pic says "Kodachrome transparency" yet it is black
and white. Kodachrome was very high quality, vivid color transparency film. Odd.
She does have her long hair in a net, a good safety move, but the lack of eye protection
is pretty scary to me.

Bill
 

462

Active Member
#18
Back in the '50s an uncle lost the vision in one eye, when working for Boeing, when a metal shaving entered it from the side of his glasses.