Just the sight of this would make the OSHA people twitch like flounders out of water these days
Thanks for bringing this one back up. I have it saved somewhere on my computer, always thought it was a fascinating picture. I bet you it was very loud in there too. OSHA defiantly would have a coronary just opening the door to that place.
I wonder if they ever had any of those belt let go and how many got hurt whilst it flapped about?
I guess when you bought a crankshaft from Ford, you paid for the investment. When you buy one from SCAT you are paying for the crank...... Why don't they still build Model Ts then they would be one tenth the price.
This makes me think of something an old machinest told me years ago. The term "going on line" today is mostly thought of as a plant or business starting up, or the electric power houses I used to work in "going on line" meant putting power to the grid after a shut down. He said its meaning to him was starting the main "line shaft" Like the one down the center of the picture. He said there was a "lineman" who was the one to start the main line shaft after it was shut down for repairs. He also said that some of the machine shops could be a 1/2 mile long or more from one end to the other. When the "Lineman" was getting ready to throw the handle and start the main line shaft. He would holler out loud "going on line" There were people in the building designated to "echo" the words "going on line" all the way to the other end of the building. And then "echo" it all the way back to the "Lineman" He would then throw the handle. He said you better have your hands clear before it made it back to the "lineman" He told me that to be the truth and how it was back then. I have no reason to not believe him. and it does make sense to do it that way ... Times were different, for sure. Be safe and have fun ... Donnie Brown ...
I guess that is why you don't stand in line with the belt. You keep your hands and fingers to yourself also.There was an old time machine shop with overhead belts still in operation in West Union,Ill when I was a lot younger. It sold and I don't know if it is still going or not.
I guess the crankshaft department guy's who used hand gestures when they spoke were the first to bite it.
OSHA would not have said a word, as long as they got the pay-off ! They're only out for Revenue Enhancement !!
Martin, When the belt breaks it loses power and for the most part just lays there. I have several machine that use a belt for power. Same as with my bans saws. When the blade breaks it just stops turning. But I never stand in line with anything when it is starting up, Grinders scare me the most as the wheel can come apart and fly with great power. Scott
Quite an interesting photo. The machines on each side face opposite directions. In order for them to turn the same direction the secondary shaft on the right is supplied by belts with one twist to reverse direction.
Think of the huge torque on the main line shaft. I bet they had to use a massive shaft at the powered end (or middle) stepping down to smaller shafts as you get farther from the power... to conserve material and energy.
(Message edited by thorlick on February 01, 2016)
I think that the old factories were powered by waterwheels or windmills. They had one source of power and many belts and pulleys to operate the equipment. Later One electric motor operated many machines. It was only some time later that individual motors were used. Maybe either the concept had not been developed or the electric motors were so expensive that one power source was used.
I'll bet the guy whose job it was to keep all the bearings oiled and greased had a busy job.
Surely there was a way to isolate or disconnect one of the machining stations from the main line shafting to make repairs.
I can only imagine what it was like to put up and use a ladder to make repairs among all those humming belts!
Norm - I don't know about windmills, but in between waterwheels and the electric motor, there was a whole "era" whereby most factories had what was referred to a "the powerhouse" which contained a stationary steam engine and a powerhouse "engineer" to run it. Some of those old steam "mill engines" were a fascinating, and usually beautifully built piece of machinery. I think those steam boilers and stationary mill engines were a very large part of what is known as "the industrial revolution", and by the way,....I believe it actually started in England. There was about a century-long (maybe longer) era in England whereby some of the larger cities like Birmingham were actually choking on coal smoke air pollution from huge smoke stacks belching out black coal smoke. On a trip to England that my son and I took a couple years ago, we saw old buildings several hundred years old (still standing and occupied) that are still black from many years of that black coal smoke. Then, as you said Norm, then came the electric motor and gradually, the black atmosphere got better and better, never to this day to reach anything even close to the degree of air pollution situation that existed during the early industrial revolution. Interesting history,......harold
John - We were typing at the same time,....but that oiling, greasing and repairing you speak of was what "millwrights" did! (....not sure I spelled that correctly,....?)
Back in about 1979, I was allowed to watch the McCloud Lumber Mill Corliss running & given a tour of the place by the night Engineer. Now, the McCloud mill was a large mill and had two Corliss engines. The larger one was no longer in use, but still in place; that side of the mill having been converted to electric motors back in the 1906s. The Steam side of the mill ran not only the mill, but exhaust steam was used to run the drying kilns, and generate electricty--enough to run the electric side of the mill and sell surplus to the the electric company (earlier, it was used to light the town, a company town, one of the last ones out here, it also provided steam heat to the supervisors' homes and maybe others).I was there about the last month of operations, the entire mill being shut down; end of an era. The engineer proudly told me that the steam side of the mill had fewer breakdowns than the electric side, and if the economy had been better, they were considering rebuilding the old engine & going back to steam on that side too.
The engine is now on display in the town, although it was originally promised to the Smithsonian.
PS, I forgot to mention, most of the steam was generated by burning the sawdust and bark, etc.
The nose or front of the crankshaft appears to be a bit long,the excess was probably cut off when all the other machining was completed.
Jay, the pictures you find always astound me. This one? Outstanding! Thank you.
In that mass of belts, I find 3 local clutch levers (I think). How about you guys? :-)
These people KNEW the dangers of the belts. You foul up, you lose.
Nowadays, we REMIND them (people) ruthlessly. I'm talking ONE belt. And we pray.
C. H. Wendel mentions belts in the Otto section of the Gas Engine Encyclopedia. Interesting. Something like injuries were not that common.
Hmmmm, I'd LOVE to hear that shop while "on line". Nice laminated (tapered) and glued leather belts. Whirr.
Oil always available to the bearings on the shafts due to slight immersion, a nice wick or a small chain rolling on the shaft, bringing oil up to the shaft from the sump. Provisions in the bearing housing assembly to prevent oil loss/drips.
Mmmmm! Warms my cockles!
What the heck are cockles?
Duey, don't forget, the apple wood bearing blocks (apple wood tends to be self-lubricating) The McCloud mill belt system wasn't this clustered, but it did go everywhere. The engine flywheel/pulley was about 12' diameter, as I recall.
You know, I'd bet those workers were taught NOT to stick their hands/body parts into the moving machinery! I know I was, and I listened! Dave
Duey C,It has been my experance that the belts of the time were not glued but laced with Clipper Lacing! If you were a farmer you might have used Alligater which you simply hammered.Bud Retired Millwright!
Also interesting is that there are no people in the shop, and no swarf, dust or dirt anywhere. These machines are grinders, maybe Ford hit on a grinding process which is absolutely clean.
Did they stop, clean up and make everything nice at every shift change? If so, the floor was swept before this shipment of crankshafts arrived.
Also interesting is the spare or unused belt hanging in the left foreground... out of use or maybe a spare ready to be slid over and into service when needed.
This looks like the shop my dad had. I grew up playing with lathes, punch presses and all kinds of grinders and manglers. You learned pretty quick to keep your hands away from the belts. they had guards but the guards were removed so frequently that they never got put back on.
The main problem was to keep your cuttings to chips if possible. long lathe shavings get caught in the belt and can cut you to shreds.
Somewhere I have a picture my dad took of me working on his big lathe when I was 10 years old.
I wonder where it got to....
Terry raises an interesting question. Suppose a belt half way down the shop fails. How the heck do you get the new replacement belt past all the other belts to the location it's needed? I imagine it would be a process of removing the belts that are in the way, working the replacement belt to the proper location, then putting all the other belts back on their pulleys. OR, perhaps each belt has a splice that allows it to be parted for ease of installation???
One more time,you can see the Clipper lacing/splice in the picture! With both Clipper and alligator you remove the pin! Cat Gut for Clipper,and steel for Alligator! The Belt Man was a millwright and he had a bench table work station in the center where he could be found in a hurry! He had belting,lacing,a cutter for the belting,a Clipper lacing machine,usually belt dressing,flat steel plate,a two foot square,and on and on!I can't tell you who lubed/oiled at Ford,but at GM we had oilers with small tanks and hand pumps on steel wheels The Belt Man/Men usually had extra's laced and ready as seen in the picture! Bud retired millwright and yes i have cut old line shafts out of the Chevy Plant i started in almost 50 years ago!
If you look real close you'll see down at the end, One model T engine is running all this equipment. Go Ford.
Color me blind as a bat.
I see two lacings right there in front of me.....
A couple years back our car club visited a rural shop that was run by the Amish. They were making steel roof panels and similar product. It had the overhead shaft and belt system driving the various equipment sans electric motors. Driving the shaft was a Briggs and Stratton gas engine. Go figure.
If I had to work there, I'd be as nervous as a cat at the old folks home, in a room full of rocking chairs.
When I visited the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts they has pictures of the overhead pulley system looking just like this. They had "catwalks" over the system that young boys would crawl around on to lube the bearings. They called these guys "grease monkeys". That would seem to be where the term came from.
I posted that photo here about 11 months ago:
The image is property of the Henry Ford Museum, used under license.
We have some Mennonite cabinet factories close to here that run a long shaft from a diesel engine with belts to operate their machinery.
There was a business in Boston (Boston Clutch) that was the go-to place for any odd-ball, performance, or antique vehicle clutch. If they couldn't make it for you, you didn't need it. Their machine shop in the mid-to-late 60's looked just like Jay's photo, but on a bit smaller scale.
My uncle's machine shop in the 40's-50's and for some of the 60's was all overhead shafts and wheels with the slapping belts. At the end of each day he took an inspection crew around the shop and all belts were inspected and all shafts, wheels and bearings were inspected and lubed. Sometimes it took quite a while.
Earlier, I posted about the McCloud lumber mill running with a Corliss main engine, and it now being on display in town. Well, I ran accross some "lost" pictures, and one of them was of the displayed engine back in 1991. I don't know if it still looks this good.
I like the fact people can get right up to it and see it,but me think's it needs a roof over it?Thank's for the picture!Bud in Wheeler,Mi
This photo is also in Floyd Clymer's restoration handbook, page 25.
Considering that it was originally scheduled to go to the Smithsonian, this display is a travesty. It should have a roof and windows around it; it was never meant to be outside subject to rain, snow, and everything else. I guess it's good that it wasn't cut up for scrap. I don't know what happened to the other engine, it was in place when I visited the mill, sitting in situ covered in dust. This one is about half the size of the other engine.