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.—Furriers, Skinners, Tanners and Leather Dressers

334.—Curriers and Leather Dressers

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see grainer.
see grainer.
applies French chalk as a finish to. flesh side of leather to give a smooth surface.
in fellmongery trims shanks and neck portions of sheepskins free of hair and offal after wool has been removed, and cuts them off as may be necessary.
compo man
shovels sumach (i.e., a tanning substance made from dried mimosa leaf) into boiler; adds water; sometimes also boils it or directs labourers (339) (q.v.) who make sumach; immerses leather in solution to clean and brighten it.
works oil, grease, and other ingredients into leather to render it pliable, and to increase its substance and strength, usually by hand, sometimes passing leather into machine; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., coach harness currier, saddle and harness currier.
currier, drum
see stuffer, drum.
currier, table ; table hand, currier's table hand, table man, currier's tableman
works at a marble, slate or mahogany table, engaged on any one of a number of processes in the preparation of leather, e.g., brushing in dubbin and rubbing it in with a pad, applying French chalk (see chalker), removing surplus grease with a slicking tool (see slicker); may be either in charge of process or a semi-skilled worker under supervision.
in fellmongery puts pelts in tanks or other vessels, containing benzine and having a revolving paddle which moves leather about, to remove grease; sometimes, where mechanical agitators are not used, stirs skins with long handled hook.
dresser, leather dresser, skin dresser
general terms covering workers in many distinct occupations, including oiler (334), or(335), damper (338), stainer (335), printer (335), whitener (q.v.).
dresser, hat leather
dresses leather before it is cut into hat linings; operations as for hand stuffer, but generally speaking simpler.
adjusts cylinder of glazing machine so that it will stroke leather lightly; switches on or off power-drive of machine; passes leather under revolving cylinder, avoiding streaking or bad finish of leather.
grainer, hide grainer ; boarder, bruiser
(i) produces grain artificially by feeding leather, by hand, into rotary or flat bed machine, cylinder or plate of which are marked with the imitation of grain required;
(ii) rubs up existing grain by hand, with wooden tool.
see millman.
hide filler
a currier (q.v.) who loads harness leather with grease, by hand.
leather machine man
general term for operator of any leather dressing machine, especially roller machines, excepting fleshing or unhairing machines.
leather worker
general term for workers engaged in curing and dressing leather.
leather worker, hat
passes hat leather into a brachering machine, which imprints false stitch or imitation sewn work.
millman, oil leather millman ; hammerman, oiler, skin, oiler, stocker, stockman, stocksman
takes inside splits of sheepskins, i.e., split portion of skins on flesh side, puts them in faller stocks machine when they are oiled and kneaded into suppleness by blows from mechanical hammers or stocks falling on them; pours cod oil over skins; controls power drive of machine; cf. millman (331).
oiler, skin oiler
(i) see millman;
(ii) see smearer; cf. oiler (335) or shedman (338) who oils heavy skins.
presser, pressman
folds skins by hand, and puts them in hydraulic press; operates lever, causing press to express grease or water from skins.
(i) passes skins, by hand, between rollers of samming machine, removing excess of water; regulates power-drive of machine;
(ii) removes excess of water from skins by pressing them in hand manipulated press.
setter, setter-out
stretches leather, by hand, with a slicker tool; sometimes also applies grease or water to skins or leather before setting; cf. setting machine operator.
setting machine operator
a setter-out (q.v.) who passes leather between rollers or under bladed cylinders of a machine wherein it is flattened and stretched to its utmost extent.
pins skin on cloth, and passes it through shaving machine, to remove hair in layers to thickness required; usually performed on fur skins, e.g., rabbit, musquash.
sizeman, sizer
puts size on leather by hand dipping, or spreads it on by hand.
(i) removes excess of oil and grease after currying or stuffing, with hand tool called "slicker"; usually done by currier (q.v.);
(ii) smooths hide by hand; smooths or "lays " down flesh side of hide in semi-dry state by hand or machine.
smearer ; oiler, shin viler
applies oil or grease to surface of leather, by hand, to preserve and soften it; usually a table hand (q.v.).
softener, leather; skin softener
see staker.
staker ; leather softener, shin softener
plucks and stretches dressed skins or pelts, or leather after dyeing, on a staking machine, or by hand with special staking knife, to render them soft and pliable, and to cut any fibre on flesh side; cf. staking machine operator.
staking machine operator
a staker (q.v.) who passes leather into machine which grips and drags it, thereby softening leather; controls power-drive of machine.
stocker, stockman, stocksman
see millman.
stuffer, hand
applies grease to leather with brush or by hand, carefully judging probable effects of different degrees of humidity in leather and atmosphere.
stuffer, drum ; drum, currier
supervises drum labourers (339) (q.v.) who fill with hides drums containing stuffing mixture, and remove them when impregnated; keeps drum tumblers supplied with grease, regulates hot air supply to drum tumblers; sometimes mixes ingredients of stuffing mixture.
table hand, table man, currier's table hand, currier's table man
see currier, table.
trussler, trustler
paints dressing of sulphate of lime on flesh side of skin, which is stretched over trestles for purpose, to facilitate subsequent removal of wool.
waxer, waxman
(i) dips fully dried chromed hides in warm wax;
(ii) a sizer (q.v.) who applies black wax size to flesh side of leather for boot uppers.
wheeler, emery wheeler (hides and skins)
a whitener (q.v.) who whitens hides and skins, i.e., pares fine shaving from surface, by pushing hide under revolving wheel, covered with coarse emery paper, of whitening machine; cf. wheeler (pelts) (338).
(i) shaves to fine surface, by hand, flesh side of hides or skins, with slicker, i.e., metal or emery tool, which is passed through hide or skin;
(ii) (machine whitening) see wheeler.

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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.