A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 1.—Electrical Apparatus Makers and Fitters (not elsewhere enumerated) and Electricians

318.—Other Skilled Workers

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* Term officially obsolete. Classed by the Post Office Engineering Department as a skilled workman (311).

armature assembler, armature builder
assembles wound coils, commutator bars, cores, etc., on central shaft of armature 'by hand; trues them up, and connects ends of coils to commutator bars, using hand tools only, e.g. pliers, screwdriver, spanner, soldering bit, with nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
armourer, armouring machine worker (cables), cable armourer ; wire armouring machine worker
one of a gang of men working under supervision of cable machine driver q.v. on a machine which puts a protective covering of iron or steel wire together with tape or jute, round insulated cables; loads spools of wire or skeins of steel tapes on to machine by means of a hand lift; loads spools of tape or jute on to machine by hand; fixes cable on to receiving drum with strands of wire; coats cable, which as it passes through machine is covered with tar or bitumen (for weatherproofing purposes), with a mixture of chalk and water, by hand with a brush, to prevent cable sticking; guides armoured cable on to drum by hand; joins up any wires broken in process of armouring with a blow flame.
battery maker, electric
see primary battery maker ; cf. accumulator maker (302).
bench hand
general term for any person (e.g. , assembler, fitter) who works at bench, making, or helping . to make, parts of electrical apparatus.
bulb worker (lamps)
(i) see sealer;
(ii) see piecer.
burner-in (lamps)
see sealer.
cable core maker
(i) attends machine which makes up cores for a three-wire or for a multiple cable; loads machine by hand with skeins of paper tape, raw cotton, hemp, or other material, and with stranded copper wire from a drum; fixes copper wire on to receiving drum by hand, and stops or starts machine by means of lever; repairs broken paper, etc., by joining ends together with paste or by tying;
(ii) more usually is a strander (319) q.v. who makes cores for cables by twisting wires together in a stranding machine.
cable machine driver, cable machine minder
a leading hand in charge of a team of from two to four workers, employed on certain machines used in cable making, e.g., armouring, lead sheathing machines; responsible for proper working of machine and sees that it is fed with wire, insulating or sheathing material workers working under him; starts and stops machine by means of hand lever; may carry out minor repairs to machine.
cable sheather
see lead coverer.
cap fixer, capper (electric lamps) ; collarer, stud fixer
inserts leading in wires of lamps through two small holes in cap; fills cap by hand with shellac or plaster of Paris; fits cap on bulb; puts bulb and cap on rack and allows plaster to harden naturally or places them in drying chamber, or sometimes (always with shellac filling) heats with a gas flame or other artificial heat; generally cuts off leading in wires flush with top of cap by hand with knife; sometimes also solders top of each wire, using solder, flux and bit.
cap solderer (electric lamps)
cuts off leading-in wires flush with top of lamp, by hand, with a knife; drops a spot of solder on top of each wire, using solder, flux and hit.
cell maker (primary or undefined)
see primary battery maker.
circuit breaker maker, circuit breaker fitter
(i) assembles repetition parts to form complete circuit breaker, using pliers, screwdrivers, spanner and other hand tools;
(ii) makes brass and copper fittings for circuit breakers, by hand, using hack saw, file, chisels, etc.; fits coils, carbon blocks, etc., and finally adjusts complete articles.
classifier (lamps) ; tabulator
classifies finished lamps according to their (a) efficiency and (b) consumption of current, and assigns them to their proper grades; is often a photometer hand q.v.
see cap fixer.
commutator builder, commutator fitter, commutator hand, commutator maker
builds up copper bars and mica slips on armature shaft of dynamo or motor, then turns on lathe, so as to give perfect surface for hearing of brushes.
commutator part maker
files, mills, or otherwise shapes, copper commutators bars, or cuts mica to required size and thickness, ready to be fitted together by commutator builder q.v.
contact maker
(i) moves and attends automatic stamping machine which cuts and shapes copper contact pieces for use as components in controllers, switches, etc.; feeds machine with copper sheet by hand;
(ii) less often cuts and shapes copper contact pieces by hand, using saw, file, emery wheel, or other abrasive.
controller fitter
assembles and fits together small component parts of controllers (multiple switches, used for admitting current to electric motors, or cutting it off therefrom) or repairs such controllers.
controller man (electric car)
cleans and oils controllers of electric cars in tramway or electric railway depot; examines and reports defects.
controller repairer (electric car)
repairs controllers in an electrical tramway or electric railway repair shop, by replacing worn or damaged parts with new parts.
core assembler, core builder
builds together laminations of soft iron and castings, which are then wound by hand with wire to make cores for use in electrical machinery, e.g., dynamos, motors, transformers.
damper fuse setter
makes fuses in which wire is surrounded by asbestos, oil, or other damping (non-conducting) agents.
electric sign fixer
fixes electric advertising signs and connects them to cables in position.
electric sign maker
builds up component parts of wood, glass, brass, sheet steel, etc., to form electric advertising signs.
exhauster (electric lamps) ; pumper
places lamps, to bottom of each of which has been fused a glass tube (sealing off tube), in gas-heated furnaces; connects tubes by means of rubber or of thick glass tubes to an automatic vacuum pump; closes furnace door; removes lamps when they have been exhausted and sealed (exhausting and sealing being automatic) and places in trays.
filament former, filament shaper
controls, by means of levers, machine which forms filament (filament passing into it automatically from filament drawing machine, operated by filament maker q.v. ), and cuts it to size with automatic guillotine as it leaves machine.
filament maker
(i) (carbon filaments) puts carbon mixed with paste in bowl of automatic machine; moves lever to start and stop machine, which draws this mixture into a filament, which then, passes automatically to filament former q.v.;
(ii) (tungsten filaments) feeds machine with tungsten wire from a spool; sets machine in motion, causing wire to pass through a gas-heated furnace where it is beaten by small hammers to extreme fineness and drawn through a diamond dye; if filament breaks, usually winds filament on to spool again by hand;
(iii) (tungsten filaments) general term to cover all workers on tungsten filament machines, including filament former, filament mounter, filament winder.
filament mounter
(i) fits formed filament on its supports in a lamp bulb by hand, using fine tweezers and electric welding machine;
(ii) attends machine which mounts filament on lamp stud automatically; feeds machine by hand with stem and tungsten and operates machine by means of levers; removes mounted stud by hand to rack.
filament solderer
see sealer.
filament winder
starts and stops, bv means of levers, machine which winds cable filament on a spool; feeds machine with filament.
flash light bulb maker ; glow lamp maker
feeds automatic machine with small bulbs, filaments and caps; moves levers, setting in motion machine which mounts, exhausts, seals and delivers bulb completed.
gauger (lamps)
weighs a measured length of filament to be used in making electric lamps on a delicate balance and so calculates gauge from mathematical tables.
generator maker
makes small electric generators by hand, i.e., builds armatures from stamped parts, and sometimes also winds coils though this is more usually done by coil wi rider (393) q.v.
glow lamp maker
see flash light bulb maker.
grid maker ; supporter, support maker, wire fastener, icire former, wire worker
makes, from wire, a gridlike formation for fitting into electric light bulbs as supports for filaments or grids for use in thermionic valves.
impregnating pump driver (cables)
places cables, which are fitted on drums, in impregnating tanks or ovens, with help of band lifts, hoists, etc.; secures door of tank or oven; keeps up supply of oil to tank or oven by means of levers controlling pump, watching gauges showing supply and pressure of oil.
lamp fitter
an electrical fitter or trician [sic] (306) q.v. who instals lamp holders, using hammer, chisel, screwdriver, pliers, and other hand tools.
lead coverer, lead sheather (cables) ; cable sheather
a cable machine driver q.v. in charge of a gang of two or more men on a machine which covers chide with lead by means of dies and a plunger; starts and stops machine by means of levers; supervises feeding of machine with cable from drum and, with molten lead which runs into machine through a trough from a furnace close at hand, and winding of covered cable on. receiving drum.
motor assembler
an electrical fitter (306) q.v. who assembles component parts by hand to form complete motor, using spanner, pliers, screwdriver and other hand tools.
motor fitter
an electrical fitter (306) q.v. engaged in making, adjusting, erecting, or repairing electrical motors.
paste mixer
(i) weighs out (dry) on a scale and mixes (generally wet) in a mortar, by hand, lead compounds used by pasters (302) q.v. in pasting accumulator plates;
(ii) weighs out ingredients of paste and shovels them into a mixing machine, which he operates with levers.
photometer hand, photometer operator
measures, with photometer, candle power of electric lamps.
piecer ; bull) worker (lamps), setter-up, stemmer, tubulator
places electric lamp bulbs and small glass stems in an automatic stemming machine, in which gas jets play on bulbs and stems, and stems are fused on to bottom of bulbs, to facilitate process of exhausting bulbs; starts and stops machine by means of levers; removes stemmed bulbs from machine to tray.
pillar fitter
assembles and erects in position in street a complete pillar, which is fitted with switchgear and fuses, in connection with electric tramway and lighting services and fire alarm systems.
*pole fitter
fits cross-arms and insulators in position on poles for telegraphs or telephones or for power transmission, by hand, using brace and bit, spanners, bolts, nuts, screwdriver, saw, etc.
primary battery maker, primary cell maker ; cell maker, electric battery maker
puts together component parts of electric primary cells and, when necessary, groups them to form a battery.
pumper (electric lamps)
see exhauster.
pump man (railways)
keeps electrical drainage pumps on permanent way of a railway in good running order, i.e., repacks glands with asbestos, tightens bearings and makes any general adjustments with spanner, screwdriver, etc.; cleans with engine waste and fills oil cups.
repairer (lamps)
(i) renovates old lamp bulbs by opening them by means of blow pipe and gas flame which melts glass near cap; renews filament, exhausts air, and seals them up again;
(ii) repairs any portion of a lamp during process of manufacture, e.g., if wire supports are not properly fixed in position owing to defect in machine, melts stem with gas jet, and places wire in position in soft glass of stem with tweezers.
rotor maker
makes "rotors," i.e. revolving parts of alternating current electric generating machines; work similar to that of armature assembler q.v.
sample maker (cables')
cuts cables into convenient short lengths for use as samples, with hand or machine saw; polishes them at ends with file and emery cloth, to show perfect section; then "whips" ends by binding with twine or wire and lacquers entire sample by hand with brush; sometimes mounts samples in paper weights, etc., by hand.
sealer, sealer-in (lamps) ; bulb worker, burner-in, filament solderer
moves levers to start and stop sealing machine; feeds machine with bulbs and with studs on which filament has been mounted; watches machine to ensure that it properly inserts stud in bulb and seals it on to bulb by action of gas flames; removes bulbs from machine to tray when studs have been fused in.
places lamp bulbs in which filaments have been fitted (see sealer) and a sealing-off tube (already fixed to bottom of lamp) in a machine, where a vacuum is created in lamps by a system of pumps; moves levers causing lamps to revolve slowly inside machine, while gas flames fuse sealing-off tube; as each sealed lamp comes round, lifts it off machine with a pair of tweezers, and places it on a tray.
sealer-on (lamps)
seals glass tube on to exhaust stem of bulb by means of blow flame; term and method now obsolete.
(i) (lamps), see piecer;
(ii) sets up and adjusts automatic or semi-automatic machines used in an electrical works, using gauges and micrometer; usually a skilled turner (200) or (224) q.v.; more rarely an electrical fitter (306) q.v.
shunt maker
(i) builds up, by hand, using screwdriver, pliers, drills, soldering hit and other hand tools, shunts or strip metal pieces between terminals for use with ammeters, etc.;
(ii) winds small coils of high resistance wire by means of small automatic machine to make shunt for use in voltmeters.
stamper (lamps)
stamps on lamp bulb, after completion, trade mark of maker, candle power, and voltage, using stamp or stencil and a pad dipped in acid.
stator maker
as for armature assembler.
see piecer.
stud fixer
see cap fixer.
supporter, support maker
see grid maker.
surface contact equipment repairer ; third rail repairer
renews, replaces, and repairs wires, springs, contact pieces, etc., on surface-contact electric railway or tramway system.
switchboard fitter, switchboard maker. switchboard assembler, switchboard constructor, switchboard erector, switchboard hand, switchboard mounter (electric power)
marks out for drilling, erects framing (usually of iron or steel), and attaches slate or marble slab thereto; connects switches, fuses, circuit breakers, and instruments in front, and other connections at back; often done by electrical fitter (306) q.v.
switch fitter, switchgear fitter, switch hand
assembles component parts to make complete switch, using screwdriver, pliers, hammer and other hand tools.
tabulator (lamps)
see classifier.
third rail repairer
see surface contact equipment repairer.
transformer assembler, transformer builder, transformer fitter, transformer hand, transformer maker, transformer mounter
fits coils over core in a transformer and secures them in position with clamps and iron angle plates; places in position laminations of iron, castings, and insulation, and builds them tip to form complete transformers, using pliers, screwdriver, spanner, etc.; puts in terminal gears and makes necessary connections; sometimes also fits whole into iron tank used as receptacle for oil, as transformer commonly runs in oil.
trimmer, lamp trimmer (electric arc lamps)
cleans arc lamps and replaces burnt-out carbons.
see piecer.
welder (lamps) ; wire jointer
welds two wires together in a gas flame or by process known as spot welding or arc welding; holds wires in fingers and manipulates with tweezers.
wire armouring machine worker
see armourer (cables).
wire fastener, wire former
see grid maker.
wire jointer
see welder (lamps) ; cf. wire jointer (311).
wire worker (lamps)
see grid maker.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.