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View Full Version : Old machining pictures - for your pleasure



KiddZimaHater
07-10-2010, 07:23 PM
I stumbled across these and thought you guys might enjoy them:
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http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/8957/machineshop1917.png
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http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/4309/machineshop1942.png
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http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/9429/machineshopantiaircraft.png
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http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/9348/machineshop19422.png

KiddZimaHater
07-10-2010, 07:24 PM
Two shots of real-life "Rosie The Riveter's" in action. I dig it.

gda
07-10-2010, 08:06 PM
I love seeing the old shots of people wearing ties and operating machines.

boslab
07-10-2010, 08:50 PM
You know sometimes when you look at these old pictures you just wonder, what happens just before the photo, just after the photo, are they even still alive ? probably not, makes you wonder how thier lives turned out?
I think i'm due my medication now doctor.
Snapshots of a life
mark

Liger Zero
07-10-2010, 09:02 PM
http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/4309/machineshop1942.png

Is that the same lass who was running that giant turret lathe? I remember the picture circulating awhile ago... I might have it in my 'bucket later... Wife is playing a video game and I'm the designated map-maker tonight. ;)'


EDIT: No it is not!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v469/Lizoid/WomanFactory1940s.jpg?t=1278810288

The Artful Bodger
07-10-2010, 09:03 PM
One of my friends told me of her mother turning shells in Derby, England, in WWII, she said the machine 'operators' did nothing other than start and stop the machines as there were experienced machinists responsible for loading the workpieces and making all tool adjustments etc.

I suppose it was a way for one skilled machinist to 'operate' a dozen or so machines at one time but I do hope the operators got to learn and experience at least some of the satisfaction of machining.

Evan
07-10-2010, 10:33 PM
During WWII in Scotland my wife's grandfather was not allowed to enlist as he was a master machinist. He went to work early in the morning and came home late. Others in the community were jealous and mean spirited as he was young and healthy like their sons who were on the front lines. They couldn't understand why he was at home, relatively safe unlike their sons. He was spat on and had to take it as he was absolutely forbidden to even mention where he worked let alone what he did. He never did say to anyone what he worked on even until he died. Because of his skill it was undoubtedly something very secret. My intuition from the conversations we had was that it may have had something to do with bomb sights. He was very good at fine work and always complimented me on my crude efforts from the lathe at my job that I took to show him.

RobbieKnobbie
07-10-2010, 11:03 PM
Slightly off topic, but I love the color and lighting in those color shots... but not as much as I like the smart jacket on the dapper dan running the lathe in the in the first photo!

hornluv
07-10-2010, 11:10 PM
Slightly off topic, but I love the color and lighting in those color shots... but not as much as I like the smart jacket on the dapper dan running the lathe in the in the first photo!

I agree. That is a nice jacket, although it clashes horribly with the pattern on his pants :D

BTW, The second picture showing Ms. Rodriguez at the horizontal mill makes me nervous. She's leaning on the machine with her hand a foot away from a cutter that looks to be spinning pretty fast. Fast enough to eat her hand anyway.

wierdscience
07-10-2010, 11:11 PM
The best part to me is getting to see the machines when they were new.

I wish we had pics like that from back around 1820.

RobbieKnobbie
07-10-2010, 11:28 PM
BTW, The second picture showing Ms. Rodriguez at the horizontal mill makes me nervous. She's leaning on the machine with her hand a foot away from a cutter that looks to be spinning pretty fast. Fast enough to eat her hand anyway.

As I understand it film speeds were pretty slow back then... no 400 or even 100 ISO. So that cutter might be going 50 rpm (exaggeration) and the exposure is so slow that it looks like its spinning more like 1000.

Still, occupational safety laws weren't quite what they are today!

beanbag
07-10-2010, 11:50 PM
What's really weird to me is seeing photos from the 40's in "normal" color, and not black and white or sepia. It's like they were taken yesterday.

gearedloco
07-11-2010, 01:27 AM
As I understand it film speeds were pretty slow back then... no 400 or even 100 ISO. So that cutter might be going 50 rpm (exaggeration) and the exposure is so slow that it looks like its spinning more like 1000.

Still, occupational safety laws weren't quite what they are today!

What hit me was no one is/was wearing eye protection. That I find frightening.

-bill

Evan
07-11-2010, 02:09 AM
What's really weird to me is seeing photos from the 40's in "normal" color, and not black and white or sepia. It's like they were taken yesterday.

Kodachrome slide film was introduced in 1935 and was arguably one of the best colour films ever made. What killed it is the very complex processing requiring something like 26 separate steps in a machine 100 feet long. Last time I checked there were still eight processors left in the world, but that was a few years ago. It's probably gone now. A properly exposed Kodachrome transparency has beautiful deep rich saturated colours without looking unnatural.

Evan
07-11-2010, 02:17 AM
She's leaning on the machine with her hand a foot away from a cutter that looks to be spinning pretty fast

It isn't going that fast. I would think that she has her hand on the over arm to feel how the cut is going. It's certainly too noisy in that shop to hear your machine well. She is using a production mill with lever table advance and it is really easy to feed it too fast. I have the same arrangment on both the X and Y axes as well as hand wheels on my horizontal.

Doc Nickel
07-11-2010, 06:54 AM
It isn't going that fast.

-And besides that, she's not cutting anything. :D

These pics have been posted before, both here and over at PM. The consensus is that the girl at the mill and the one with the turret lathe are posed, with no workpieces.

No less cool a photo, of course, but it may well be that the photographer asked her to stand that way and put her hand there.

Doc.

Evan
07-11-2010, 07:07 AM
No less cool a photo, of course, but it may well be that the photographer asked her to stand that way and put her hand there.


Could be. If you have ever worked in a large production shop as I have (CAE in Edmonton and Dominion Bridge) then you will understand that that you can't hear squat from your machines.

Doc Nickel
07-11-2010, 07:51 AM
Could be. If you have ever worked in a large production shop as I have (CAE in Edmonton and Dominion Bridge) then you will understand that that you can't hear squat from your machines.

-The first one I worked in was an aluminum wheel foundry in Texas. The open-hearth furnaces sounded like jets taking off, and besides those, they used air chisels to cut the funnel gates off the castings. "Loud" doesn't even begin to describe it.

Technically speaking, though, I could hear my degating lathe just fine- it used saws rather than single-point tools to cut the rim and hub gates off, the casting itself only turned about 50 RPM. I had no problem hearing when a saw got dull or chunked a carbide tip, but then again, the machine made a high-pitched scream that I'm pretty sure Helen Keller could have heard from two states away. :D

Doc.

brian Rupnow
07-11-2010, 09:06 AM
Somewhere, buried in a box, I have a picture of my mother, who will turn 90 yrs. old this August. She was a young woman working in the Alemite plant in Belleville, Ontario, assembling tail light housings for army trucks for the canadian army, circa 1940 or so.---Brian

lwalker
07-11-2010, 10:10 AM
Hear, hear!

When that Douglas Aircraft pic was first posted I googled "Heald borematic" out of curiosity to see what they go for today. The few pictures I could find were of machines looking like they'd been ridden hard and put away wet. Quite a contrast (but not surprising) from the shiny new state.



The best part to me is getting to see the machines when they were new.

I wish we had pics like that from back around 1820.

deltaenterprizes
07-11-2010, 10:43 AM
The lady in the first set of pics is too clean and clothes look brand new. There are no tools in the pocket and no work piece in the vise also.
The third lady fits the pic!

gnm109
07-11-2010, 01:38 PM
The lady in the first set of pics is too clean and clothes look brand new. There are no tools in the pocket and no work piece in the vise also.
The third lady fits the pic!



That's very observant of you. The reason for that is the photo and many others were made for the war effort in WWII to bolster morale and show how women were contributing.

Regardless of whether they were spontaneous or not, they are great photos.
I don't know whether anyone has mentioned Shorpy yet. Every time some of these photos come up, people point out that the workers are posed.........why, yes, they were.

In any case, the site is a great place to spend some time.

http://www.shorpy.com/world-war-2-photos-wwii?page=1

loose nut
07-11-2010, 04:52 PM
Most people don't give women credit for what they did in the wars.

In WW1 the women that worked in the factories that made TNT and melted it to fill the shell where exposed to chemicals that did terrible things to there health some times lethally and always chronically. The results of this is that they where more likely to suffer serious injuries then the men that where fighting in the war.

Women nurses that had to deal with so many injured soldiers daily suffered mental problem equal to soldiers that had combat fatigue, many never recovered.

A lot of soldiers came home missing hands, arms and legs but don't forget all the people working double shifts at least 6 days a week, in a war factory ,getting tired until they get caught up in a piece of machinery and they go home missing a hand, arm or leg.

The guys at the front couldn't do much unless the people at the rear are sweating and bleeding too.

lazlo
07-11-2010, 10:35 PM
When that Douglas Aircraft pic was first posted I googled "Heald borematic" out of curiosity to see what they go for today.

No kidding! That Heald was a gorgeous machine -- a rare and expensive capital investment for it's day. They look beat to Hell when you see them now, 66 years later.

Tony's got a section on his Clausing page about how it was a big deal when Clausing bought a Borematic.

Evan
07-11-2010, 11:27 PM
Women have contributed in the work force since the beginning of commerce, not just during the wars.

Here is a line shaft shop like no other and equipment just as complex as any in a machine shop.

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/spin.jpg

This is probably the longest SB 9" lathe ever made.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/lsb.jpg

This is probably the rarest. ;)

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics2/sb92.jpg

The Artful Bodger
07-11-2010, 11:41 PM
Women have contributed in the work force since the beginning of commerce....

Dont you know Evan they INVENTED commerce!:D

Evan
07-12-2010, 03:42 AM
I thought they invented POLITICS...:D

gnm109
07-12-2010, 10:52 AM
While I'm sure that womn worked at machining jobs in WWI and also in other than military production in between the wars, they certainly made up a major portion of the work force here (and probably in Britain, Canada and Australia) during WWII. All the men were out fighting in the trenches.

My Dad was a sales rep during the war for a company that made decals for aircraft insignia. The production was so great that they didn't have time to paint them. Decals filled the need for fast work.

In the 1970's, I worked for a time at the old North American Aviation plant at LAX when I was with Rockwell B-1 as a technical writer. By June 1942, a bomber was coming out of the doors of that plant every 45 minutes. I'm pretty sure that some of the Shorpy photos were taken there.

Women flight crews (WAF's) were ferrying them to locations from which they were deployed. Women served very honorably in those times.


.

Twmaster
07-13-2010, 12:20 AM
I just love old photo threads like these. I've seen many of these photos in the thread on PM. Still nice to see.

As mentioned, if you folks want to lose an hour or two go visit the Shorpy site. It's an amazing time warp.

I really like the photo of the gal at the big turret lathe. There's another photo around of a gal holding a big ass micrometer on a big lathe turning something that looks like a barrel for an artillery piece.

I have a bunch of old photos saved I've found on the 'Net saved to a CD-ROM. If I can find them I'll put them up.

Evan
07-13-2010, 01:18 AM
Suppose you were poking around in the old South Bend plant and found a room in the warehouse that had been forgotten. Inside was this..

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/9inchers.jpg

Hendy shapers

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/hendy.jpg

Another Rosie the Riveter picture

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/rr2.jpg

Peter S
07-13-2010, 09:51 PM
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/9429/machineshopantiaircraft.png

This photo is quite interesting - it seems to me they are machining a taper on this barrel, so the heavy, long, bar in the foreground is the slideway controlling the taper turning? All of the tools look to be controlled by this bar. Looks to be individual adjustment for each crosslide.

I wonder how the steadies work. If they are travelling, they need to be moving in the opposite direction to the tooling to accomodate the taper - perhaps their own slideway out the back?

Edit: I reckon the steadies are fixed, note there are at least three rollers per steady, they surely couldn't all be made to follow a taper.


Then there are the handwheels on vertical shafts which seem to have right-angle drives (three of them, not very solidly mounted) to something else which looks like a light piece of tooling (but no coolant).

Where the operator is working there seem to be three, maybe four coolant pipes all directed at the same area, maybe be is doing something else up there, e.g. plunging in a series of tools - we need a drawing of the barrel!

Any other curious turners out there? :)

Twmaster
07-14-2010, 02:08 AM
Here are a few photos I found on the web over the years....

http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/3109115.jpg

http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/4237n097.jpg

http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/53273002.jpg

http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/8e11048u.jpg

More next post...

Twmaster
07-14-2010, 02:09 AM
And the rest...

http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/ID4662_1_Women_milling.jpg

http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/women4.jpg

I really like this photo:
http://www.twmaster.com/lathe/pics/WarnerSwasey_5-A_turret_lathe.jpg

BillC
07-14-2010, 10:45 AM
Did you see the size of the motor on the lathe in the first picture, probably a 1/2 or 3/4 hp? its amazing how far we have come in technology.

oil mac
07-14-2010, 03:23 PM
During the last war, my dad worked in a Lanarkshire machine shop, operating a big Archdale radial drill, Due to injuries from the first war, he would not have been fit for military duty, One of his duties was setting up supervising & also sharpening drills for three girls working 1&1/4" capacity 20"Pollard flat belt vertical drilling machines

Time moved on in the late 1950/s when i worked in Hillington Industrial estate, the engineering firm of Kelvin Bottomly & Baird, (later Kelvin Hughes) still had girl operators on capstan lathes This firm was not alone in the estate to employ girl machine operators
In the great explosive factory at Gretna, in the first war, the biggest in the world, hundreds, maybe even thousands of girls were employed making gun cotton, & explosive for filling shells, the effects on their health was appalling, apparently they turned yellow They called this explosive when being made "The Devils Porridge"

Evan
07-14-2010, 03:43 PM
Handling nitrates will give you astoundingly painful headaches too.

Here are a few images not found on the net. They are from the book "Modern Shop Practise", printed in about 1906 to 1929.

Here is J. Q. Nerdly earning maybe 20 cents per hour. As a point of reference, Ford was the first to pay $5 per day to industrial workers.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/machine1.jpg

These are images of the heavy iron of the time make parts for locomotives.

The first is a slabbing mill shaving down some connecting rod castings.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/machine2.jpg

This one is a heavy horizontal profiling a steam chest support frame. It uses multiple interlocking insert cutters.
Note the measuring instruments in the foreground for scale.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/machine3.jpg

john hawkins
07-14-2010, 04:50 PM
I have one of thoes and would like to find more tooling for it. Box tools,chucks
automatic dies,&C. If any one knows where I could get any of the above I would thank.