Thursday, May 10, 2012

Women at Work

I've made this point before and I'm making it again; the theory that women were not a large part of the work force before the sixties is wrong.  Women of the upper middle classes and above rarely worked, but women of lower classes have always been part of the working world.  They were farm hands, servants, and as shown on this stereo view, factory hands.

Printed on the back, "20-(22070)  INSPECTING PAPER, HOLYOKE, MASS.

Paper making machines are large affairs.  Sometimes they weigh as much as 400 tons each.  But they handle each sheet as carefully as if they had a fine sense of touch.  These machines take the stock, press it into paper, and cut it into the desired size of sheet.

You see here a battery of paper machines performing the last act in paper manufacture.  The finger bars, mad of flat strips of wood, receive the cut paper, and turn the sheets out on a receiving table.  At this table stands an inspector.  She is an expert in her work.  Each sheet of paper undergoes her careful scrutiny.  If it is  defective in anyway the sheet is thrown out; for nothing but first-class material is produced in this factory.  Sometimes a sheet will have a flaw in coloring, or in texture: or it may have been torn slightly in it's many handlings.  The sheets that are approved are stacked up, and are ready for further folding or cutting if needs be.

You will observe certain things in this factory that are necessary both for the health of the workers and for the work.  The place is  well lighted by side windows.  The inspectors do not have to face a bright glare.  Nor do they have to work under artificial light.  They are seated so do not tire so quickly at their exacting work.  The machines have iron guards to reduce danger of accidents.  All this is very much in contrast with the factory of several years ago, when employees were looked upon merely as a part of the machinery.

Of what things is paper made?  Name some of the processes in paper making?  How does our supply of paper depend on forests?  Account for the shortage of paper during the Great European War.  From what is pulp made?

Copyright by The Keystone View Company."

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