Page images
PDF
EPUB

FINDINGS ABOUT THE TRADE.

PAINTING.

1. Process: Smoothing and cleaning new surfaces with sandpaper and duster;

removing old finishes by burning and scraping, or with paint or varnish solvents. Where the surface is to be painted a priming coat is laid on, all imperfections in the surface filled with putty, and the final coats laid on, each being rubbed down. Where the surface is to be stained and varnished, the stain is applied, the pores of the wood filled, and the several coats of varnish flowed on and rubbed down. Other processes performed by the painter are graining, lettering, stenciling, gold lettering

on glass, and calcimining. 2. Product or specialties: Inside and outside painting and decorating; sign,

wagon, carriage, automobile, coach, implement, and furniture painting. 3. Importance of trade (number employed): Approximately 600. 4. Conditions of employment: (a) That involve physical or nervous strain : Close, long-continued ap

plication to fine work, such as coach painting, lettering, striping,

and interior decorating. (b) That stimulate intelligence and interest: Inside painting and deco

rating, sign painting, lettering, and high-class finishing. (c) That narrow or restrict mental development: Rough outside work or

constant exterior painting. (d) That are in other respects important as affecting the welfare of

workers (i. e., liability to accident, occupational diseases) : Danger from imperfect scaffold rigging; danger of lead poisoning from uncleanly habits and dry methods of sandpapering; chronic eases are caused by the use of some quick-drying flat paints in

poorly ventilated spaces. 5. Wages :

Apprentices

(a) Beginning wage, $3 to $4 per week.
(b) Second-year wage, $5 per week.
(c) Third-year wage, $6 to $7 per week.

(d) Fourth-year wage, $7 to $9 per week.
Journeymen-

(e) Minimum wage, $1.50 per day.
(f) Maximum wage, $3 to $5 per day.

(g) Union scale, $3 per day. 6. Hours of labor, regular per day; per week; on Saturday: 8 to 9 hours per

day; 48 to 54 hours per week; 8 to 9 hours on Saturday. 7. Seasonal activity :

(a) Busy season: March to December, inclusive.
(b) Slack season: January and February.
(c) Fluctuation in employment: Regulated somewhat by building activi-

ties, but men work on the average about 10 months in the year. 8. Extent to which the trade is organized : About one-tenth. 9. Entrance age: 16 to 18 years. 10. Years required to learn the trade: Four years. 11. Age of maximum productivity: 22 to 55 years. 12. Is the supply of labor adequate to meet the demand? (Cause of deficiency,

if any): Supply adequate for present demand for medium-grade workers, but the supply of high-class workmen is not sufficient to meet the demand.

13. Is the demand for labor increasing or decreasing? Increasing, especially

for efficient skilled workers. 14. What is the source of supply? Boys from the lower grammar grades and

casual labor.

FINDINGS ABOUT EDUCATION FOR THE TRADE.

15. What does the worker need to properly equip him for the trade?

(a) General education: At least a complete grammar-school education. (b) Trade and technical education : Instruction as to proper rigging of

scaffolds; how to keep brushes clean; proper method of spreading colors; neatness in application of colors, especially on inside decorating and lettering; theory and history of the trade; color harmony and design; chemistry of colors and color mixing; mechanical and architectural drawing; sketching; estimating; hy

giene of the trade. (c) Manipulative skill: Dexterity in handling brushes in fine decorating

and lettering. (d) Other requirements; qualities essential; such as accuracy, etc. :

Artistic sense in decorative work; accurate color sense in matching colors; special adaptability; initiative; accuracy; patience;

endurance; keenness of sight. 16. What the industry gives

(a) Conditions of apprenticeship: Apprenticeship period of four years. (b) Provision made in shops for systematic instruction of apprentices :

None. (c) Trade and technical knowledge: Only enough trade knowledge to

equip worker for immediate productivity. (d) Manipulative skill: Dexterity in handling brush. (e) Extent to which trade can be learned in the shop: The trade knowl

edge required to make the labor productive can be acquired in practice, but very little of the technical knowledge or of the hy

giene of the occupation can be so gained. (f) Provision made in shops for systematic instruction of journeymen :

None. (g) Line of promotion : Apprentice, journeyman, foreman, contractor,

employer. 17. Common deficiencies of workers: Deficiency in general education, technical

knowledge, and knowledge of hygiene of the trade. 18. I. What the school ought to give the worker before entering the shop:

Complete grammar-school education; prevocational courses in free

hand drawing; courses in color harmony and design. II. What the school ought to give the worker after entering the shop(a) Trade and technical knowledge: Specialized courses covering

specific trade and technical requirements of painting. (b) Manipulative skill: The school should provide opportunity for

acquiring manipulative skill in special lines of work, such as

lettering. III. Nature of part-time courses needed : Hygiene of the trade; chemistry

of trade; color harmony; design; reading of blue prints; mechani

cal, architectural, and free-hand drawing; estimating. IV. Nature of evening-school courses needed: Same as III for apprentices.

Advanced special trade courses for journeymen.

DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSES.

Descriptive analyses of occupations, a description of each of the occupations within a trade group, or a description of the operations in productive processes is then prepared, which explains these processes and should include the physical, hygienic, and economic conditions of the work, the requirements upon the workers, and the kind of schooling required.

TYPE ANALYSES FROM THE RICHMOND SURVEY.

PAINTING

Processes. The painter performs a variety of operations, some of which are only indirectly or remotely related to the work of laying on coats of oil paint, varnish, water color, stain, or kalsomine. These operations may be characterized briefly as follows: Preparation of wood, plaster, and metal surfaces to receive the finishing coats; removal of old finishes; preparation and mixing of spirit or oil vehicles, and lead, zinc, and color pigments; rubbing down coats; and in certain classes of work, graining, laying gold leaf, gilding, lettering, free-hand drawing, stenciling, rigging scaffolds, and setting glass with putty or moldings in windows, doors, and skylights constructed of wood, metal or stone. These processes, which must be performed under a variety of conditionsin the paint shop, in manufacturing plants of miscellaneous character, or on the outside or inside of dwellings or other buildings—can best be considered with reference to each of the several classes of work which the all-round painter must be prepared to undertake.

House painting.-House painters may be divided into two classes, namely, brush hands, who do only rough outside work, and whose only trade qualification is ability to cover extensive surfaces; and skilled artisans, who understand the mixing of paints and can do any sort of inside or outside work.

The first step in house painting, as in other painting, is preparation of the surface to be covered. In new work this consists in cleaning and smoothing the surface with sandpaper and duster. In old work the first step is removal of old finishing coats of paint or varnish, which is commonly done by burning with a Bunsen burner and scraping, or by applying paint or nish solvents and scraping. Surfaces from which old finishes have been removed must then be sandpapered until perfectly smooth. When the wood has been laid bare, smoothed, and cleaned it is ready for the priming coat of white lead, ocher, or other pigments mixed with linseed oil to the proper consistency. The color is selected for the priming coat with reference to the color of the coats that are to follow.

The priming coat is worked well into cracks and nail holes to protect these broken surfaces and is allowed to dry, after which cracks and holes are filled with putty, which adheres well to the paint. Two or more coats of the required color are now applied, the number and composition of the final coats depending upon the class of work.

A detailed description of several processes undertaken in various fields of painting follows the general description of house painting. These processes are known to the trade as staining, filling, varnishing, kalsomining, sign painting, gold lettering on glass, and graining. These are in turn followed by a description of the specific problem in painting, that of railroad car painting. While it is recognized that this particular description may not fit conditions in other communities, it is given emphasis here for the purpose of showing the necessity of detailed description of processes if the industry is to be properly studied for the purpose of finding out what types of vocational education are needed in connection with a given industry:

Railroad car painting.In Richmond railway car painting constitutes a branch of the trade of sufficient importance to warrant separate treatment.

Car painting is classified under two distinct heads, i, e., passenger car and freight car painting. Passenger car painting is a very high grade of work, requiring much experience and skill in all the processes of painting, varnishing, and finishing, while freight car work can be done by any ordinary painter, since no special skill is required for this work of painting of freight car bodies and trucks.

Passenger-car painting may be subdivided as follows: Exterior painting of new cars, interior finishing, and refinishing of old cars.

New cars when brought into the shop are first rubbed down with coarse and then with fine sandpaper. After this is done the wood filler is applied, the filler being a pigment mixed with oil and turpentine to the consistency of a thick cream.

After the coat of filler come three coats of body color, each one being rubbed down with pumice stone and water. The exterior decorations, such as lettering and striping, are then applied and the entire car revarnished.

In interior finishing the new interior woodwork is rubbed down with sandpaper and a coat of clear shellac applied. This forms a foundation for the three coats of varnish which follow, The interior varnish coats are each smoothed by rubbing with pulverized pumice stone and water.

The first process in refinishing old cars is the removal of all old paint by heating it with the flames from a Bunsen burner, gasoline being mostly used for this purpose. This having been done, the entire car is rescraped, scrubbed down with water, and sandpapered. · Wood filler is not applied to old work, as the pores of the wood are already filled. Each body coat is rubbed down with pumice and water and the decorations and varnish applied, as in the case of new cars.

It requires about six days to paint a car completely, much of this time being, of course, consumed in allowing the several coats of paint and varnish to dry.

All window and door glass is put in in the car shop, although this work does not come directly under the supervision of the foreman of the paint shop and is not done by the car painters.

With the introduction of steel cars by railway companies a new method of applying paint has been found. This method consists of spraying paint upon the surface with a spraying machine. At the present writing this method has not been introduced in Richmond, all of the paint being applied by hand.

The steel-car painting done in Richmond is all repainting and refinishing. The car is given five or six coats of a body color, each coat being rubbed down with pumice and then decorated and varnished.

Freight car and truck painting requires no special comment, as this is the most common form of painting done in the car shop and does not differ from other rough painting.

Product or specialties. The work of the painter in Richmond is not mate rially different from that done by painters in other communities, although railway car painting may be designed as a line of work employing a considerable number of men. In general the work of the trade embraces inside and outside painting of buildings; decorating; sign painting; painting of wagons, carriages, automobiles, steam and street railway coaches; painting of bridges, tanks and structural ironwork, of agricultural implements, and of furniture.

Importance of the trade.-According to the Federal census of 1910 there were in Richmond in that year 543 painters, glaziers, and varnishers, of whom 447 were employed in the building trades and 96 in factories. Of the painters in the buildings trades, 421 were white and 26 were colored. The number of painters in the city at the present time is estimated to be approximately 600.

Conditions of employment.-The work of the painter is not generally such as involves any peculiar physical or nervous strain beyond that involved in any sort of manual labor. Moreover, the work of the all-round well-trained painter is sufficiently varied to stimulate interest, much of it requiring the exercise of high-grade skill and of artistic sense. In some Richmond shops, however, the work is to a very considerable extent specialized, one man doing the rough work of burning and scraping off old finish, sandpapering and putting on body coats, another filling, staining, and varnishing, and another striping and lettering. In house painting, also, one set of men may be employed entirely on rough work. For the relatively unskilled men who are kept on the rough work there is comparatively little in the occupation that is stimulative, although there is in some cases a chance of promotion to the finer work of inside painting and decorating, sign painting, lettering, and finishing. In some classes of work there is danger of accident from imperfect construction or rigging of scaffolds.

Hygiene of the occupation.-The condition of employment which most seriously involves the welfare of the painter is that which exposes him to the danger of poisoning. It has been scientifically demonstrated that many of the materials with which the painter works are poisonous, and it is true that many of the processes are such that it is difficult, especially under certain conditions, to avoid infection. There are, however, certain simple precautions by which much of the danger can be avoided. A brief summary of the findings of scientific investigations and of the present survey as regards the hygiene of the trade follows. In general it may be said that the returns on the schedules of the survey, and the information gathered in personal conferences with painters, are entirely consistent with the findings of scientific research as regards the injurious effects which follow the use of certain materials, and which result from carelessness or improper procedure in various lines of work."

Either or both the pigment and the vehicle of paint may be poisonous and either or both may be perfectly harmless. The higher-priced paint usually contains white lead, linseed oil, and turpentine. Both the white lead and the turpentine are poisonous. The pigment in cheap paint may be something perfectly harmless, as chalk or barytes, while the vehicle may contain so great a percentage of petroleuin compounds that it is extremely poisonous, especially when used on inside work in inclosures poorly ventilated.

The pigments which cause poisoning are the lead salts, white lead, or basic carbonate of lead, sublimed white lead or basic lead sulphate, chrome yellow or yellow chromate, chrome green (a mixture of chrome yellow with Prussian blue), red lead, and orange mineral. Lead carbonate and lead sulphate are used in the higher-priced paints, usually separately, but sometimes together,

1 As regards the nature and physiological effects of paint and varnish poisons the following text is largely summarized from Bulletin No. 120, U. 8. Dept of Labor, by A. J. Carlson and A. Woeful.

28259—16—8

« PreviousContinue »