A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
Go to Home Page


Sub-order 3.—Workers in Other Materials

638.—Other Skilled Workers

Back to List of Occupational Codes

agate slitter
see stone slitter.
amber turner
turns on lathe, and cuts into suitable sizes and forms, amber and imitation amber; turns into beads, and drills for stringing, amber used in jewellery; uses automatic lathe, or, semi-automatic lathe and hand tools, according to individual skill and type of work involved.
amber worker
cuts, drills, and polishes, by hand, or, by machine, amber for use in necklaces, brooches, etc.
bass comber
a bass dresser q.v. who is engaged solely on combing bass; obsolescent.
bass dresser
hackles bass by drawing it across a hackle, composed of several rows of coarsely set steel teeth, which straightens bass and removes tangles; cuts bass into lengths by means of hand knife or by mechanically-driven cutting machine; mixes different grades, finally straightens bass by drawing it across fine-toothed "bass comb," and ties up into bunches with cord; if necessary, dyes bass in boiler or vat of dye before hackling; in some firms does not hackle.
black ornament maker, black ornament worker
a gem cutter q.v. who cuts and grinds jet to make jet ornaments and jewellery.
block printer ; printer (floorcloth &c.)
spreads paint or colour, which has been prepared by colour mixer (152) q.v., on a flat sheet; inks, or colours, wooden blocks by lightly impressing these sheets upon them; impresses blocks so prepared on length of floor cloth (about 4 feet) stretched on a bench, using guides or clamps to ensure accuracy in placing blocks; if necessary, to give additional pressure, uses hand-manipulated screw press.
bowl cake maker ; calender bowl cake maker, mangle bowl cake maker
lays cotton in a circular box and puts it under a power press to form it into ring-shaped cakes, which are afterwards assembled into "bowls" or "rolls."
bowl press man, bowl maker (cotton bowls) ; calender bowl press man
assembles bowl cakes in heavy hydraulic press, and operates press to press cotton cakes together, to drive metal shaft through, and to fix metal ends on to complete bowl, or roller, ready for turning, grinding and buffing.
a diamond polisher q.v., who cuts small facets on stone.
bristle comber
a hair hand q.v. engaged only in combing bristle on coarse hand comb; obsolescent.
bristle dresser
see hair hand.
calender (and mangle) bowl cake maker
see bowl cake maker.
calender (and mangle) bowl press man
see bowl press man.
calender man
see linoleum calender attendant.
charcoal burner ; wood collier
burns timber in a muffle, or closed furnace, which roasts it, to make charcoal, without allowing complete combustion; sometimes works in a wood or plantation when usually timber cut to suitable sizes is specially stacked in form of a cone and overlaid with earth and turf; controls rate of combustion by regulating inlet of air; cf. wood distiller (142).
cleaver (precious stones)
applies blunt steel knife to line previously scratched with diamond or harder stone on precious stone (set in wax), and splits stone by hitting knife with small mallet; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. diamond cleaver.
comber (brush making)
a bass comber or bristle comber q.v.
cork burner
places slabs of cork upon a grid over an open fire, and heats them until rough fibre is removed and cracks sealed; closes pores of burnt cork by throwing cold water thereon; brushes off superfluous cork; stokes fire.
cork coiler
ties up raw cork in bales with hoop iron.
cork docker
shortens pieces of cork either with hand knife or hand operated guillotine; cf. cutter, cork (hand).
cork machinist
see cutter, cork (machine) ; cf. cork machinist (639).
cork notcher
cuts cork into squares and shapes small enough to fit different cutting machines, using hand notching knife fitted with adjustable gauge; is usually also a cork cutter q.v.
cork rounder
see cutter, cork (hand), and cutter, cork (machine).
cork sorter
sorts out cork sheets or finished corks according to size, shape, and quality, relying only on personal judgment.
cork turner
makes articles of cork (or cork composition) by shaping them on a lathe; as for turner (486).
cutter, cameo shell cutter
cuts, carves, and engraves suitable designs in relief (generally head images), as used for mounting in brooches, rings, scarf pins, etc.
cutter, coral ; coral grinder, madrepore cutler, madrepore grinder
cuts, grinds, and polishes various formations of coral, beads, ornaments, etc., using automatic lathe, or, semi-automatic lathe and hand tools, according to individual skill and type of work involved.
cutter, cork ; cork rounder
(i) (hand) cuts cork wood squares by hand, using knife fitted with adjustable gauge, into required sizes and shapes for bottle corks, etc.; sometimes also does work of cork docker, cork notcher q.v.;
(ii) (machine) cork machinist; cuts bottle corks, etc. out of squares of cork wood in a lathe; presses cutting tool against revolving cork until cork is cut to gauge set by foreman; starts and stops lathe by hand lever; is usually also a cork notcher q.v.
cutter, diamond
fixes diamond received from cleaver, or sawyer, in revolving chuck, and, by means of diamond set in handle, roughs out conical surfaces ready for facetting by diamond polisher q.v.; see also brilliandeer, and squarer.
cutter, gem cutter, precious stone cutter ; gem grinder, grinder lapidary
forms gem of precious stone to required shape either by cleaving (see cleaver), by cutting or by rubbing on edge of copper or lead "laps," i.e., discs, with constant application of lubricant and abrasive to stone and disc, by hand; turns handle or works treadle to drive disc; presses stone against disc in cutting, etc., or, if small, first cements it in a pencil-like support; polishes stone similarly, using rotten stone instead of abrasive; sometimes specially named according to gem cut, e.g., amethyst cutter, cairngorm cutter, carbuncle cutter, cat's eye cutter, jasper cutter, jet cutter, malachite cutter, onyx cutter, opal cutter, oriental stone cutter, pebble cutter, ruby cutter, sapphire cutter, serpentine cutter, spar and fluor spar cutter, topaz cutter, turquoise cutter; sometimes does work of stone slitter q.v.
cutter madropore
see cutter coral.
cutter, quill pen
as for tooth-pick maker (quill); obsolescent.
cutter, serpentine
see serpentine worker.
designer and transferer, designer (floorcloth)
designs and draws out on paper patterns for linoleum and oil cloth; paints patterns to scale or to exact size, in colours suitable for floorcloth or linoleum production; also does work of transferrer q.v.
diamond cleaner
cleans finished stone in warm diluted nitric and sulphuric acid; washes stone in water, then in spirit, and dries with polishing cloth.
diamond die driller ; diamond wire driller
taps holes in diamond dies used for drawing small gauge wires; sets in holder, with spelter, drilling, or tapping, diamond, and secures in machine over diamond to be drilled; starts and stops machine by levers, and feeds point of tapping diamond with oil and diamond paste.
diamond mill cleaner ; schyf (skive) cleaner or polisher
renovates worn surface of east iron discs on which diamonds are polished by applying series of sandstone rubbers, coarse at first, then fine.
diamond polisher, diamond dresser ; dresser
puts facets (usually 58) on diamond, received from diamond cutter, q.v., by resting it upon rapidly revolving cast iron disc on which is placed cutting medium of diamond dust made into paste with olive oil; in some cases forms only first 18 facets, remainder being added by finisher q.v.
diamond sawyer ; sawyer
places diamond in chuck, and saws along lines, marked out by works manager, by means of a rapidly revolving disc of phosphor bronze to which a cutting edge of diamond dust and olive oil is applied.
diamond sorter
sorts or grades diamonds of equal quality into sizes, weighing on delicate balance.
diamond wire driller
see diamond die driller.
die reamerer, die polisher-out
a diamond die driller q.v. who, using a drilling diamond tool, re-cuts and enlarges, i.e., reamers, worn diamonds dies to dies of larger size.
drafter (horse hair)
(i) horse hair drafter, horser; washes horse or goat hair (as distinct from bristle, see hair hand) with soap in hot solution of soda and water; dries hair in hot air chamber, and throws hair over a hackle, drawing hair through the coarse steel teeth to straighten it, levels root ends of hair, and places these in carding machine composed of fine steel teeth; grades hair into lengths, starting with longest hair, by dragging hairs of equal length from the machine; bunches the various lengths and ties up with cord;
(ii) see fibre drafter;
(iii) see also drawer (633).
drawer-off ; pusher-off
cuts cork lengths to required thickness either on circular saw or with hand knife fitted with adjustable gauge.
see diamond polisher.
dresser (brushmaking)
general term sometimes applied to bass dresser, fibre drafter, hair hand q.v. and also drafter q.v.
engine comb hand, bristle engine comb hand
a hair sorter q.v. engaged only on machine combing; regulates and feeds comb which brings together root ends of bristles and takes out rough ends; obsolescent.
examiner (brush)
examines visually completed brushes for defects in material used. or in workmanship, before boxing.
fancy finisher
shapes wooden stock of fancy brushes with file, knife, or sandpaper; glues back to brush after it has been drawn, and finishes edges.
fancy trimmer
cuts ends of bristles in tooth brushes, with scissors, to give a serrated or other shaped finish.
feather scraper
scrapes pith from ribs of feathers, in order to render them more pliable, by (i) drawing each feather between two small revolving scrapers, worked by a treadle machine;
(ii) scraping ribs of feathers by hand, with a piece of glass.
feather worker
general term for any worker engaged in laying-up department, including layer-up, knotter, wirer and paperer, sewer, machinist q.v.; also as stretcher down q.v. or in otherwise working feathers for any purpose; cf. feather worker (632).
fibre drafter, fibre dresser ; drafter (horse hair)
sorts fibre and throws out badly coloured strands; straightens and cleans fibre by drawing it over a hackle (coarse one end, leaving ragged ends toothed comb); levels fibre at other end, and places levelled ends in carding machine composed of several rows of fine steel teeth; from varying lengths of loose ends, draws off equal lengths of fibre, and ties them into bundles with cord; if necessary, dyes fibre in a boiler or dye vat before hackling.
finisher (brooms and brushes)
shapes brush back with bandsaw, spokeshave, and draw-knife; sandpapers and finishes generally, glues it, and sometimes also screws, to brush; places backed brush in vice to secure glueing.
finishing machine hand
a finisher (brooms and brushes) q.v. operating shaving and sandpapering machines only.
float maker (fishing)
(i) male, cuts and pieces together cork or wood fishing line floats, using hand cutting and smoothing tools; sometimes drills floats, hand or machine drill, and inserts quill;
(ii) female, removes fronds from feathers, trims to shape and paints, using knife and paint brush, to make quill fishing line floats.
grainer, table baize grainer
attends table baize graining machine assisted by back tenter (639) q.v.; places roll of baize, received from machine troweller (639) q.v., in position in graining machine; feeds baize to graining rollers, delivery roller, etc.; operates machine by hand levers.
grinder, cameo
grinds and finishes, on a lathe, engraved reliefs, after cutting by cameo cutter q.v. and fits them into standard sized gauge, by means of hand tools for subsequent fitting into jewellery; obsolescent.
grinder, coral
see cutter, coral.
grinder, madrepore
see cutter, coral.
grinder, gem grinder
see cutter, gem ; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. cairngorm grinder, carbuncle grinder, cat's eye grinder, jasper grinder, jet grinder, malachite grinder, onyx grinder, pebble grinder.
hair hand, hair dresser, hair mixer, hair sorter ; bristle dresser
dresses bristle, i.e., hog hair, badger hair, or whale whiskers (as distinct from hair, see drafter); combs and cleans bristle by dragging it across a coarse comb; grades bristle, places it in layers, and mixes grades by again drawing bunches, each containing different layers, across vertical toothed comb; passes bristle over a sieve to separate root ends from top ends, and sorts it into lengths by selecting longest lengths and removing them from bunch between thumb and knife; sorts out various thicknesses of bristle by dragging bristles over an engine comb, spaces between teeth of which vary; ties up root end of engined bristles; may also wash and stone bristles, cf. washer (639).
hand troweller ; trawler, troweller, trowler
spreads mixture of boiled oil and colour, by hand, with trowel and stiff brush over surface of cloth, canvas, or hessian, in manufacture of floor cloth, oilcloth, table baize, or leather cloth; see also machine troweller (639).
attaches rolls of linoleum and oilcloth to rollers on galleries which are situated near roofs of "stoves (large buildings heated to 100°-150°F.), where they are left for several days to dry and harden.
hanger (leather cloth)
arranges wee leather cloth, in lengths of about 150 yards, after' it has been coated or backed, for drying in hot room, taking care that wet surfaces do not touch.
horse hair drafter, horser
see drafter (horse hair).
inlayer of marble
a gem cutter, q.v. who also cuts and cements marble-like jasper to form inlays, vases, boxes, etc.
jet ornament maker, jet worker
a gem cutter q.v. who cuts and grinds jet for black or jet ornaments and jewellery.
knot picking machinist, knot picking machine hand
operates hand machine which selects quantities of material (bristle, hair, etc.) required for any size "knots," in broom and brush trade.
knots additional lengths of fronds to each, side of feather and snips off loose ends close to knot with scissors, or cuts off part of fronds from one feather and unites them with those of another feather to make artificial combinations of black and white, or variegated feathers; sometimes cuts off outside half of fronds on two feathers and transposes cut fronds by knotting; may slit feather down centre of rib and sew it on to half of another feather similarly slit.
kreuz worker
see squarer.
see cutter, gem.
layer-up, feather layer-up (feather boas)
receives parts of feathers, which have been cut up by forewoman (631) q.v.; scrapes pith from ribs with a piece of glass, as for feather scraper; makes diagonal cuts in ribs, so that cut in rib of one feather fits into corresponding cut in rib of another feather, reversed; fits pieces together and sews round and through join with needle and thread; sometimes also does work of knotter q.v. or does wiring and papering, sewing or machining.
life belt maker (cork), life buoy maker (cork)
(i) fixes together and shapes cork slabs to make life belts, and covers them with case of canvas; sews them into place with palm and needle;
(ii) cuts blocks of cork and inserts them in series of canvas pockets in belt; may sew into place with palm and needle where this is not done by machinist (419).
linoleum calender attendant, linoleum calenderer ; calender man, roller floor hand
attends calender machine which spreads cork composition upon hessian; regulates composition thickness by adjusting roller levers or screws; regulates roller temperature by steam cocks; ensures that composition passes correctly through machine.
machinist, feather
receives rack of feathers from stretcher down q.v. and passes it under double needles of treadle sewing machine, which sews round ribs of feathers; keeps feathers in position during sewing and takes care that lengths of feather are sewn evenly together; passes feathers to boa twister q.v.
mangle bowl cake maker
see bowl cake maker.
carves out with hand engraving tools design of medallion in wax or other soft substance, from which subsequently plaster impression for metal cask is taken; is sometimes also a designer.
models and prepares any plaster work, papier mache, or other modelling required in film studio; in engineering works makes models from which iron patterns are made; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. stucco modeller.
oiled table cover printer
a printer q.v. engaged in printing oiled table covers, or table baize.
pearl stringer
measures for size and matches for colour by eye pearls of a necklace or pendant; strings in proper sequence, graduates with gauge, and weighs on delicate balance, and fits clasp, by hand.
piassava worker
term sometimes applied to any worker in bass, e.g. bass dresser, bass pan hand q.v.; piassava is a form of bass.
plaster cast maker
makes plaster casts, for use in repetition plaster casting, by running plaster-of-Paris into a case or mould containing a model of object to be cast.
plaster image maker
see plasterer (shop hand) ; cf. plaster image maker (574).
plasterer (shop hand), plaster modeller, plaster model maker ; plaster image maker
makes models and effigies in plaster of Paris by hand, using fine moulding tools; when necessary, repetition work is carried out by working upon models obtained from casts.
polisher, gem polisher
polishes, with fine powders, rouge, etc., on revolving copper disc, finished gems before, and sometimes after, setting.
printer (machine or hand—floorcloth, etc.)
sometimes specifically designated, e.g., floorcloth printer, linoleum printer;
(i) operates, by belt levers, switch, etc., a rotary machine which prints patterns on oilcloth or linoleum by means of engraved or cut rollers fed with various oil colours; places rollers in correct sequence in machine, fills colour troughs, guides linoleum end through various colour rollers and on to final winding-on roller;
(ii) attends flat type linoleum, etc., printing machine, as for (i);
(iii) see block printer;
(iv) turns hand wheel, causing rollers to revolve in troughs of paint in small hand machine for printing cheap oilcloth; guides end of floorcloth to rollers and maintains paint supply in troughs.
see drawer-off.
purifier, feather
weighs out feathers, and empties them into three or four machines which he attends; controls valves which admit steam among feathers to sterilise them; removes feathers when process is complete; records weight of feathers passing through machines.
inspects linoleum after inlaying and cuts and inserts missing pieces; anneals whole lino in steam heated press and feeds to mechanically driven drum for winding into rolls.
roller floor hand
see linoleum calender attendant.
see diamond sawyer.
schyf (shive) cleaner, polisher
see diamond mill cleaner.
serpentine worker ; serpentine cutter
cuts serpentine (hard rock found in Cornwall) into paper weights, napkin rings, and other fancy articles.
see versteller.
sewer, feather
(i) sews together a number of feathers of various colours and sizes, selected and grouped by forewoman (631) q.v., to form sprays;
(ii) sews feather boas, after twisting and curling, on to a fabric support, by sewing down rib of boa with running stitch; places a number of boas side by side on fabric; places a lining of felt or similar material against fabric support, and puts a further layer of fabric on that to form a back; sews edges of hack over lining to first layer of fabric on which boas are stitched; sews down lining by stitching it to hack.
sorter (brush making)
may be either a bass dresser, a hair band or fibre dresser q.v.; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. bass sorter, hair sorter.
spar and fluor spar ornament maker, ornament turner
as for cutter, gem.
squarer ; kreuz worker
a diamond polisher q.v. who cuts large facets on the stone.
stone slitter ; agate slitter
slits stones or agates by pressing them against revolving thin steel tip which he feeds constantly with rough diamond dust and oil and drives by treadle; cf. cutter, gem.
stretcher-down (feathers)
prepares parts of feathers for machinist q.v. by pressing ribs between pins lengthwise along a long rack, and spreading and stretching fronds between pins on either side; arranges feather pieces so that-, where necessary, ends should overlap.
table baize painter
as for hand troweller.
toothpick maker (quill)
cuts and points toothpicks from quill barrels, using hand knife; dresses and points quill toothpicks, by band-operated guillotine; obsolescent.
transferrer (linoleum, &c.)
places patterns, prepared by designer and transferer or by designer, on either flat block or roller, usually wooden, and traces pattern thereon with special knife, for use of block cutter (608) q.v.
trawler (table baize)
see hand troweller.
trimmer (brooms and brushes), bristle trimmer
trims by hand with shears or scissors, irregularities in length of bristles, etc., in brush stocks after filling.
trimming machine hand
a trimmer q.v. who feeds and operates a bristle trimming machine.
troweller, trowler
see hand troweller.
versteller ; setter-up
sets or embeds diamond in solder, contained in a holder, with corner which has to be ground off to form facet exposed ready for polisher or finisher q.v.
wax doll maker
casts bust of doll by pouring molten wax into two moulds each representing one half of bust; when casts are cool, joins them together by melting and sealing edges; when joints are set, scrapes off mould marks and roughnesses with sharp knife.
wax figure cleaner
cleans up wax models used for dress display purposes by washing them with very hot water, soda and soap; retouches complexion, etc., with colour as necessary.
wax modeller, wax figure maker
makes wax models with modelling tools and scrapers or by casting in moulds; colours them to give them a more life-like appearance.
wirer and paperer (feathers)
(i) pierces bottom of rib of feather with an awl; passes wire through bole and turns ends down on each side, parallel with and continuing line of rib; coils or binds fabric binding over rib and winds it on wire to form support or continuation of rib;
(ii) twists wire round end of rib and binds as descibed [sic], above.
wood collier
see charcoal burner.

Back to List of Occupational Codes

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.