A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 3.—Makers of Tobacco, Cigars, Cigarettes, Snuff

468.—Skilled Workers

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beater-up, tobacco beater-up
see moulder, tobacco (hand) ; cf. tobacco beater-up (469).
blender, leaf
unpacks tobacco leaf from bales in which it was imported, and examines contents, to ensure that contents are of type or quality specified; sometimes steams leaf, to restore it after pressure of packing, by placing it in steam cupboard, turning on steam, and removing it after specified time; spreads leaf on trays, and picks out any leaves that are defective or unsuitable for desired blend; weighs out exact quantities of each kind of leaf, according to a formula, mixes them together with his hands, and puts blend in baskets; sprinkles water containing acetic acid (as a preservative) on tobacco, in blending, with a rose spray attached to a hose, or with a brush or switch.
bunch maker, cheroot
a bunch maker (cigar) q.v. employed in manufacture of cigars open at both ends.
bunch maker (cigar)
forms core, or bunch, of cigars; places in hand pieces of filler tobacco (broken or inferior leaf), so arranged as to produce, roughly, desired shape and size of cigar, and puts this tobacco on a binder or bunch wrapper of better and stronger leaf and rolls up the fillers into a bunch and passes to roller q.v.; frequently uses a small machine, see cigar machinist.
bundler ; cigar packer, cigar sorter, sorter
grades finished cigars, picking out those of similar colour, and lays them in boxes, either loose, or tied in bundles; sometimes also places them in a drying room of even temperature to condition them before sale.
cake and plug maker ; plug maker, tobacco press filler
makes plug, bar, cake and other hard tobacco by steaming, and partially drying, loose leaf to conditions in treating it with flavouring agents if required, moulding in metal frames, and pressing it in hydraulic or screw presses, first wrapping it in an outer cover of whole leaf when making certain kinds of plug.
cavendish maker
scatters tobacco leaf on floor of bench; makes up a solution of sugar, of prescribed strength, and sprays leaf therewith, leaving leaf in heap until it has reached required condition; then puts it in a box, sometimes first pressing it in a hydraulic press.
cheroot maker
makes cheroots, i.e. cigars open at both ends; bunches inside leaf, and covers it with single wrapper leaf; operations as for cigar maker with exception of shaping.
cigarette machine attendant, cigarette machine operator ; cigarette maker (machine)
keeps hopper of cigarette machine replenished with tobacco; places bobbin of cigarette paper, and also another of cork (for cork tips), if necessary, in machine; fills gum receptacle; engages pulley to start machine, which automatically draws tobacco through machine and wraps it in paper in continuous "tube" form, cork, etc., tips being stuck on at intervals; tube of wrapped tobacco is cut at intervals by machine; pulls away cigarettes in event of machine becoming jammed; sometimes also sharpens blade of cutting apparatus by running a hone along it from time to time.
cigarette maker
(i) (hand push worker) push worker; rolls tobacco in small piece of parchment, inserts end of parchment in end of paper sheath or "spill," and pushes tobacco from one to the other with a pencil-shaped stick; cuts off tobacco, protruding at each end, with scissors; tips cigarette with cork or gold, if necessary;
(ii) (hand, roller) places cigarette paper on small piece of parchment, arranges tobacco on paper, rolls the cigarette and gums down edge of paper;
(iii) (machine), see cigarette machine attendant.
cigar examiner
see cigar passer.
cigar finisher
see roller.
cigar machinist
a bunch maker (cigar) q.v. using a small machine.
cigar maker (hand)
makes cigars throughout; rolls a core, or bunch, of filler, i.e. broken leaf, to form required size and shape of cigar; envelopes core in an inner cover, i.e. binder, or bunch wrapper, and an outer cover i.e. wrapper, made of best leaf; wraps and sticks down outer cover round binder spirally from thick end to point with gum tragacanth and passes to bundler q.v.
cigar maker (moulded)
as for cigar maker (hand) except that he also shapes cigar in a mould, see moulder, cigar.
cigar packer
see bundler.
cigar passer ; cigar examiner
examines finished cigars, rejecting faulty ones; weighs samples to ascertain that right amount of leaf is used for one cigar.
corder, roll;
see spinner (roll and cake).
cutter, tobacco; flake cutter
sets guillotine knife of cutting machine to cut leaf coarse or fine, as desired; replaces blunted by sharp knife every few minutes; arranges tobacco leaf lengthwise, and places a quantity in cutting machine, where it is gripped and passed under guillotine; engages driving pulley to start machine; sometimes works part-time as stover q.v.
feeder, dryer's
drying machine feeder, stoving machine feeder; feeds drying or stoving machine with leaf which has been cut by tobacco cutter q.v.; starts machine by moving a switch or lever; regulates steam or gas heating, and regulates special devices on machine, e.g. valve governing fine spray (fog) which restores moisture to tobacco, if rendered too dry in heating.
flat worker, cigarette flat worker
a cigarette maker (hand push worker) q.v. or a cigarette maker (hand roller) q.v. who makes oval cigarettes.
leaf damper
see liquorer, tobacco.
leaf opener
removes tobacco from bales, and prepares leaves for damping by untwisting leaf which is bound round each hand or bundle of leaves, and opening out or separating the leaves in the bundle.
leaf wetter
see liquorer, tobacco.
liquorer, tobacco ; leaf damper, leaf wetter
(i) takes leaves from bales in which they are imported; spreads them out; sprays them with water from a hand syringe, or places them in liquoring machine, turns on spray, and removes them when liquoring process is complete; stands them in trays to become supple enough for handling;
(ii) receives leaves from leaf blender q.v., and sprays them with hand syringe, or immerses them in a tank to make them pliable for stripping; sometimes also does work of stripper q.v.; in smaller workshops, work is usually done by leaf blender q.v.
moulder, cigar
makes moulded cigars by gathering leaves to form a bunch, see bunch maker, and placing it in shaped recesses in press blocks; puts in hand press, until set, removing (if necessary) during process and rearranging in press blocks to avoid ridges; then covers with wrapper leaves, see roller.
moulder, tobacco (hand) ; beater-up, tobacco beater-up
places mould of desired shape in hand press, and inserts tobacco therein, to prepare it for being put up in small packages; usually completes moulding process in a hydraulic press, cf. press hand.
panner, tobacco panner
see stover.
plug maker
see cake and plug maker.
press hand
attends a number of hydraulic or (rarely) hand screw presses; receives rolls of plug from cake and plug maker q.v., and packs them in layers between metal plates of presses; then switches on hydraulic power, or applies pressure by turning hand screw; removes from press when tobacco reaches certain colour; scoops nicotine, etc., pressed from tobacco, from receptacle at bottom of press.
push worker
(i) see cigarette maker (hand, push worker);
(ii) (less usual) works at certain simple types of cigarette-making machines, operated by pulley or treadle, pushing in tobacco, which is met by paper and rolled with it into cigarettes; cf. cigarette machine operator.
roller, cigar roller ; cigar finisher
cuts wrapper of cigar from leaves, rolls it round bunch, made by bunch maker q.v., and finishes point by sticking with gum tragacanth.
roll maker-off ; roll turner-off, tobacco turner-off, turner-off
selects leaf, and twists it, by hand, into a rough rope of sufficient thickness to yield roll of desired size after passing through machine; switches on power-drive of roll-making machine, and passes rough rope of tobacco into it; is assisted by an apprentice or other worker, who feeds machine with wrapper leaf, with which roll is covered as it passes through machine; often also does work of spinner (roll or cake) q.v.
snuff grinder
grinds up, in a disintegrating machine, fermented leaves, stalks and "smalls" of tobacco plant, to make snuff; sifts and regrinds; passes back to snuff maker q.v. for further fermentation; sometimes fixes or toasts material on gas-heated table before grinding.
snuff maker
places leaves, stalks and "smalls" of tobacco in wooden bin; adds water and salt solution, amount being limited by law; watches fermentation (which lasts for several weeks), turning mass occasionally, until temperature exceeds 130° F.; then passes tobacco on to snuff grinder q.v.
sorter, cigar sorter
see bundler.
sorter, leaf
(in cigar making) sorts tobacco leaf according to colour, and (for cigar wrapper leaf) according to size.
spinner (roll and cake) ; cake corder, roll corder
operates spinning machine used for (making tobacco into a larger and more compressed roll, e.g. for Irish plug; winds rolls made by roll maker-off q.v., on to a spool, and passes ends between rollers of spinning machine; also feeds rollers with a hemp cord from a bobbin on machine as machine winds or coil? hemp cord round roll of tobacco, inserts leather plugs into coil to compress mass and make it harder; leaves cord round coil until tobacco becomes sufficiently dark; starts and stops machine by pulling a lever; often also does work of maker-off q.v.
spinner's assistant
prepares leaves for spinner q.v. by cutting and bunching, and hands them to him for use.
stover, tobacco stover ; panner, tobacco dryer, tobacco panner
places machine-cut, stripped leaf upon a gas-heated pan, to separate cut fibres, and aids separation and conditioning by teasing out tobacco; when operation is complete, places leaf on canvas beneath which current of air passes to cool it; sifts dust, etc., from tobacco after cooling.
stripper, leaf stripper
takes leaf, after liquoring, makes an incision and removes mid rib or stalk from tobacco leaf without abrasion of surface, usually by hand, but sometimes by placing leaves in position over slots of a machine, and setting machine in motion by pressing a treadle or engaging a driving pulley; often also does work of tobacco liquorer q.v.
table worker
general term covering any person who works up tobacco or shapes cigars or cigarettes, working at a table, including bunch maker, bundler, cigar maker, cigar finisher, cigar roller, cigarette maker, cutter-off q.v.
tobacco dryer
see stover.
tobacco press filler
see cake and plug maker.
turner-off, roll turner-off, tobacco turner-off
see roll maker-off.
whiff maker
(i) makes small cheroots or "whiffs"; operations as for cheroot maker except that work is less exact;
(ii) as for cigarette maker (hand, roller) except that leaf is substituted for paper for outer cover.

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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.