I was so happy about the number of people who checked out my Spoon last week on Vintage Thingie Thursday! Thank you all for looking and for all your wonderful comments.
This week I chose some of the tools of my trade; which is designing concrete formwork systems for commercial buildings.
The first picture is of a shadow box I made. For those who do not know me, I am a shadow box fanatic – I think they are a great way to display memorabilia. This one features a vintage matchbook I found in my grandfather’s things that says, “Be a Civil Engineer: Train at Home.” I backed it with reproduction blue line paper (from my local scrapbook store) and added a draftsman’s triangle. In the background, you will see a couple of my vintage books. The Foreman’s Handbook was printed in 1943 and is a First Edition, Fourth Impression. It features chapters such as “Special Problems in Supervising Women” which offers insightful gems like:
In the matter of unsafe clothing, the foreman will immediately run into the tangled problem of womanly vanity; he would do best to sidestep it if he can…It is perhaps too much to expect most women to wear the ugly “safety shoe,” but the supervisor can insist upon stout, low-heeled oxfords and place a ban on all open-work shoes…Most of the reluctance toward wearing proper clothing will vanish if management will provide attractive lockers and rest rooms where the women can change comfortably into their street clothes; if they can do that they will not care greatly how unfeminine they look while working in the shop.
I will spare you the advice on how to deal with women who are going through menopause or who are otherwise hormonal and hysterical.
The other 2 books you see are The Steel Square, Volume II, published in 1918 (copyright 1903) and Audels Answers on Blue Print Reading, published in 1960 (copyright 1941). Both of those books make for pretty dry reading for nerds and non-nerds alike.
My other treasures are even more personal to me. One is a slide rule, circa early 1970’s that belonged to my dad and the other is my dad’s Bruening drafting set, also circa early 1970’s that he gave to me when I went to engineering school (or “ran off from home and got married” as he puts it every single day when I see him). In the background is the original Post Versalog II Slide Rule Instructions that came with the slide rule. It was published in 1970 and is not very exciting at all; though I do love the cover art. The other 2 books are Foremanship I and Foremanship IV, both were published in 1921. There is actually quite a lot of insight into human nature in these books. However, I feel obliged to include an excerpt from the “Ways of Handling Men” chapter:
One time I had to handle a gang of toughs on a shovel job, who took kindness for weakness, and I was obliged to thrash the leader before we could be friends. I had a hard time doing it, too. During the war, one of my friends had been put in charge of a gange of Chinese laborers from Shanghai – wharf rats, with no moral instincts, the poorest specimens of humanity. He was congratulated for having the best-disciplined gang in that section, but he informed me that he had three fights before he managed to whip his gang into shape. On the other hand, I once saw an old army sergeant, who had been used to drilling recruits from the coal mines, try to handle a bunch of rookies from a college. He had to quit.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I might be slightly lacking in people skills. But even I am more subtle than to thrash my co-workers!
Thank you for looking at my treasures this week! For more cool vintage thingies, head on over to http://anapronaday.blogspot.com.