A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 2.—Printers, Bookbinders, and Photographers

530.—Machine Assistants

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brake hand, brakesman
see controller hand.
controller hand ; brake hand, brakesman, printer's striker, striker hand
is first hand on a rotary newspaper printing machine, after machine minder q.v.; strikes a lever or operates switches to start or stop machine; adjusts brake on paper reel to keep constant the tension of paper as it unrolls, see tension hand; in minder's absence, is fully capable of running machine.
cropper boy, cropper lad
(i) see feeder platen;
(ii) an assistant to platen machine minder (529) q.v.
feeder, machine feeder ; layer-on, machine layer-on, stroker-in
places in position by gauges, sheets of paper to be automatically drawn into printing machine; sometimes specially designated according to machine, e.g., lithographic machine feeder.
feeder, lithographic machine ; tin printing machine feeder
puts blank tin sheets in tin printing machine and takes them out after impression has been made.
feeder, machine ruler ; machine ruler layer-on, machine riding assistant, putter-in (ruling), ruler's feeder, ruling machine feeder
passes sheets to be ruled into machine ruler; watches to see ink reservoirs remain filled and that ruling is properly done; assists generally machine ruler (533) q.v.
feeder, platen ; cropper boy, cropper lad, platen layer-on, jointer's machinist
a feeder q.v. who lays unprinted sheets on platen of printing machine, with one hand, and takes out printed sheet with the other.
feeder, ruling machine; ruler's feeder
see feeder, machine ruler.
feeder, tin printing machine
see feeder, lithographic machine.
flyer, machine flyer
see taker-off.
fly hand (newspapers)
takes off folded papers in quantities at delivery end of newspaper printing machine; helps brake hand q.v. to join paper in cases of breakages.
layer-on, machine layer-on
see feeder.
layer-on, machine ruler
see feeder, machine ruler.
layer-on, platen
see feeder, platen.
machine assistant, machine attendant, machine hand, machine operator ; printer's assistant, operative printer's assistant, printer's machinist, printer's operative, printer's operator
oils machines, cleans rollers, often acts as feeder, taker-off q.v., etc.; sometimes specifically designated according to machine, e.g., lithographic machine assistant.
machine boy, machine lad
as for machine assistant.
machine ruling assistant
see feeder, machine ruler.
machinist, printer's
(i) see feeder, platen;
(ii) see machine assistant.
paper welter
joins up paper when it breaks in machines continuously fed with paper roll; work frequently done by brake hand q.v.
plate hand
a machine assistant q.v. minding a small machine in which a plate, printing multiple reproductions of a single design or lay-out, is used, e.g., for labels.
a feeder q.v. who attends to "press points" or "register points" in printing machine; when sheet of paper is fed into gauges for first-side printing, these joints pierce it; and, when second side is printed, pointer lays sheet so that holes fall exactly on corresponding points, thus obtaining "register"; cf. pointer (549).
printer's assistant, operative printer's assistant, printer's operative, printer's operator
see machine assistant.
printer's striker
see controller hand.
putter-in (ruling)
see feeder, machine ruler.
reel hand ; spindle r
a machine assistant q.v. who fits reels of paper into a rotary printing machine; in some cases puts spindle through reels; affixes brake by hand; adjusts distance of reel from brake with standard wooden stick and by tightening nuts on spindle; operates by lever electric hoist which raises reel into position on printing machine; work sometimes done by controller hand q.v.
applies ink rollers to forme, by hand, for pressman (548) q.v.; work usually done by apprentices.
spindler (printing works)
see reel hand.
striker hand
see controller hand.
see feeder.
taker-off, machine taker-off ; flyer, machine flyer
takes sheets from printing machine (either platen or cylinder) where not automatically delivered by machine; sometimes specifically designated by name of machine, e.g., lithographic machine taker-off.
tension hand
controls tension of paper as it unwinds from reels on rotary printing machines; stops machine when it breaks and takes paper end by hand through rollers before machine is restarted.
damps sheets before printing, either by use of fine spray or by pressing in power press with interleaved absorbent paper which has been previously wetted.

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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.