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Thread: 1936 Chevy assemblyline

  1. #1
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    1936 Chevy assemblyline

    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Unbelievable boredom. Hold the rivieter in place...zap. Next car frame comes up...do it again...and again...and again. And I have read (and heard) that it was one of the noisiest places around. Notice: No safety glasses, No hearing protection, Wonder if they had safety shoes, etc. The good ole' days?

    Did you notice that the men feeling for defects in the body parts were wearing fairly heavy gloves. They must have had a fantastic sense of feel. And I wonder about the guys working in the pit, up over their head, all day, to work on the bottom of the cars. They must have ruined their backs and shoulders at an early age.

    In the long shots where many men were in view at one time: their movements were just as automated as the machinery; reminds me of an old Harold Lloyd movie where he worked in a factory. The machinery got a bit out of synch so it fed nuts (the steel kind) to him every iteration.

    I had forgotten the lap robe bars on the backs of the front seats. Cars of 1936 did not come with heaters. Heaters were an expensive luxury that you had to buy in addition to the automobile itself. I think they cost about $20.oo so most cars did not have them. You had lap robes, one for each member of the family in order to stay warm on a cold night, while sitting on the ice cold leather seats. DAMHIKT! The robes always seemed to be made of wool and they had the subtle finish of 60 grit sandpaper. They always seemed to have a fringe to get into things and make them more difficult to clean.

    Cleanliness was relative in that era. The upper and upper middle class took a bath every Saturday night---whether they needed one or not. Deodorants and perfumes were popular items at that time too.

    I'll bet the entire car cost less than a thousand bucks. I had been a doctor for several years when the last, less than $2,000.oo cars were sold. It was a Datsun, one of the earlier Japanese imports. You could actually buy an air-conditioner for it (they did not come standard). Every hot day you had to go out to your car, get down on your knees and say a prayer or face the mecca and say a prayer; if there was no prayer, there was no cool.

    You never want to get an old goat remembering the late 20's and early 30's.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  3. #3
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    Thanks for posting this! It was actually more sophisticated than I expected for 1936. I'll bet OSHA inspectors drool over things like this.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    Unbelievable boredom. Hold the rivieter in place...zap. Next car frame comes up...do it again...and again...and again. And I have read (and heard) that it was one of the noisiest places around. Notice: No safety glasses, No hearing protection, Wonder if they had safety shoes, etc. The good ole' days?
    So true, I don't believe most people know how hard, boring miserable and downright dangerous most jobs were 50-100 years ago. I'm not that old but had a weird childhood so I have had a taste and boy I agree 100% we sure got it cushy nowadays!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    Cleanliness was relative in that era. The upper and upper middle class took a bath every Saturday night---whether they needed one or not. Deodorants and perfumes were popular items at that time too.
    Heh, when I was a kid we still did all the cooking and heating with wood. When you have to split a dozen blocks and haul the water two buckets at a time 100yds the rate of baths starts to drop off pretty fast. Generally it was at least once a month in the winter. After a while you just don't really notice. We did have a 55g drum painted black and rigged up on a platform for summer showers so those were a bit more frequent (the garden water had enough pressure to fill it - and the main house had cold water, we just didn't have water to the small house my dad built). Didn't work so good in the winter at 35F below though

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    You never want to get an old goat remembering the late 20's and early 30's.
    Untrue, I wish I'd asked my grandpa more about his childhood before he passed. From what I know it wasn't all that pleasant though so probably a good reason he didn't talk about it much. Still I like to hear about stuff, sometimes you learn something.

  5. #5
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    Good watch, thanks Don

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot Don.

    When we look backwards to those days, we tend to think how hard they were, how dangerous was the way they worked and so forth. For instance, walking backwards on a 10" beam while tightening some bolts inside the hood would be reason for suing a company nowadays.

    But what we forget is that at that time there was nothing else, they didn't knew anything better and problably when they remembered the way their fathers or grand fathers worked and under what conditions they would opinate the same we are doing today when we look at them.

    Working 8 hours a day, having saturday and sunday free and paid holidays has not been always like that, but as many things we tend to forget in our accomodated lives of today.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post
    Thanks for posting this! It was actually more sophisticated than I expected for 1936....
    Ditto....far more mechanized than I would have thought.
    Got Wood?

  8. #8
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    another vote for not as advanced as they showed and thanks to don for sharing this link with us,, like others have said the one working there were thinking it was the good times , better than scratchun a living on the farm and having to deal with mother nature causing your crops to die because of drought or disease, or in the woods and having long hard hours to barely get by.. and i applaud the senior on our forum for sharun some real life experiences that we never got to see and may not have heard from our fore fathers..thanks jim and keep on rambling i like to listen to them !!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  9. #9
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    I worked for 30+ years in the auto industry and spent more time than I care to remember doing some of that manual boring labor. I was struck by how similar some of the machinery was to what I worked on, and also surprised by what they had to work with.

    I was also horrified by the dangers present to the workers. Standing next to machines moving in and out with no safety guarding where one small misstep will get you crushed.

    Another thing really struck me. The workers didn't look over worked as compared with some of our so-called modern factories. Their work load looked reasonable. Today, things can be really bad in our factories. A lot of workers suffer repetitive work injuries and work much faster, with more to do. We as a society seem to have gone backwards in this area.

    I worked myself into trades and then engineering to escape the boredom and hard physical labor of my younger years. I have permanent damage to my body from those early years. We got paid well for what we did and I think most workers earn every cent they make doing such work. I am however very disturbed by the recent trend to cut pay to "make the U.S. more competitive on the world market". The work has gotten harder and the pay less.

    Thanks for sharing this Don, very interesting to me.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  10. #10
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    ditto what Larry said. Thanks Don, and thanks Jim B for sharing.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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