Answers Monday Part 2
Response To:
Re: 2nd Question ()

Gary Smyth
>Undertaker was a contractor or builder. One who stipulates or covenants to perform any work for another; a contractor. William Buckland of Gunston Hall, Mt. Airy, and the Hammond-Harwood and Chase-Lloyd homes in Annapolis was one.

A Samson was a heavy duty iron “U” shaped clamp with threads on both ends of its legs.
(think “U” bolt). It had a heavy, sometimes shaped cross bar that fit between and into both its legs and was tightened by turning nuts placed on the threaded portion of the legs—it was used by a wheelwright to pull together the seven fellies (doweled together curved wooden sections) that made up the rim of a wagon wheel. The “U” portion anchored on a nail or peg imbedded on a section of the outer rim of the wheel. The cross piece was fit to an adjacent wood section anchored across a spoke under the rim. When the nuts on the threaded portion were tightened the crossbar applied pressure and the curved sections of a wheel were pulled together.

Whipping the cat was a task performed by a shoemaker. It involved stitching the sole of a shoe to the upper. In those days the upper was turned outwards not under as it is today. An awl made holes in the upper and the sole and TWO waxed threads were placed in the awl holes at the same time and run in opposite directions. This was called whipping the cat and part of the reason for the name of Cat’s Paw brand of shoe repair materials.

In older days the launching of a ship was performed by the oldest sailor present.

Servitor and Gaffer were glassmaker jobs. The Servitor was the person who shaped a consistent bubble in a gob of glass by blowing air through a pipe. It took strong lungs that were gradually wrecked by breathing hot air and fumes generated by molten glass. The Servitor only worked six to nine months a year to protect his health. If it were a bottle, the servitor made the bottom part of the bottle. With the neck attached to the blowpipe. When it was in general form the shape was broken off the blow pipe and reversed so that the bottle was now attached at the base. It was handed to the Gaffer. The Gaffer did little glass blowing. He took the glass from the initial blow from the Servitor and did the final shaping working from a chair with flat arms that were used to roll and rotate the glass. He finished the item by making it consistent in size, solid and level at the base. He also added thickness by a band around the neck top and tapered the inside of the neck to receive a cork.

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