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> Issue 37 > Page 19 - Women in the Steel Plant, Part Two Rose Grant Young, Crane Operator

Page 19 - Women in the Steel Plant, Part Two Rose Grant Young, Crane Operator

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/8/1 (306 reads)

A view inside the rail mill where Rose Grant Young worked as crane operator. The crane can be seen near the top of the photo, from one wall across to the other. It runs along tracks, one along each wall. The crane hook is at the right side; the crane operator sat in a booth behind that crane. Across the centre of the photo are the housings containing the rollers. A red hot rail is passing through rollers on one of the sev? eral passes toward forming a rail. (Would being a crane operator be consid? ered a dangerous job?) Not in most areas. The only place that I figure would be, would be the rail mill and the open hearth. Both of those. The open hearth has great big pots full of hot lead, and they have to tip that into casts and form blocks. Now, that was a dangerous job. (How was it dangerous in the rail mill?) Well, you were working so close to the men. Especial? ly when they were changing rolls to make different sizes--the rolls that steel would have to go through to form rails. When they came up, they were just a square block, about 10 by 10. They they would pass through these, and they'd get smaller. There'd be about three sets. Now, the crane wasn't that far up above the housings The housings are solid. So the men stood on top of them, and there was an opening that they could go in, to see that the ends of the rolls fitted. So when that turned, as the steel came through the pass, it'd start changing shape. It passed through, and it got skinnier and longer. Then they'd turn, and they'd come through-- begin to take shape. They'd get narrow in the centre. You know the way a rail is formed. It's long like that, and then it gets narrow, and then it's flat on the top again. So that would start coming through-- it would take another shape. Then it would go back and take another shape. Well, by this time, see, your rail is formed. Now, this is yellow heat. It still had to be hot or they couldn't shape the rails. (So you're moving overhead....) While all this is going on. Now, I had to lift the rolls, and put the rolls in between those two housings. Those men were all working there. This is why I say it was dangerous. You had to be so careful. And you only had a certain period of time to change the rolls--about 4 hours, it took me, to change the rolls. Well, perhaps Ma3mard and Roy could do it in 3%; it would take me almost 4 hours to change that, a com- (19)
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