As has been remarked, payment is not high. It used to be by piecework, but since some large engineering firms started their own tracing offices and engaged girls at weekly wages, payment by piecework went out of favour. Now wages of 8s. to 10s. a week represent the minimum in London. In a good office they rise to 30s., 35s., or £2 a week when the worker is fully competent to supervise a room. Much depends on the firm, and the degree to which it can suffer being cut down in prices. For instance, in Glasgow intricate locomotive tracing is done for 8d.
an hour, which in London would be done for Is. 3d. an hour, and the girls who do it are paid only 8s., 10s., or 12s. a week.
It may be suggested to a girl who thinks of learning tracing that photographs will soon do away with the need for tracing, and she had better relinquish the idea. It is true that now photographic prints render the numbers of cloth tracings unnecessary, but still there must be someone to make the original tracing, which is to act as a negative from which the prints are made.
A New Opening
Any knowledge of photography will explain how an engineer who formerly might want one dozen cloth tracings of a drawing now has the tracing made, and a dozen photographic prints are taken from it.
This diminution of tracings and increase of photographic prints naturally suggest to the enterprising worker the addition of a photographic branch to the tracing office. A knowledge of photography is already an advantage to anyone starting an office, and will be essential in the future.
A certain process is now used which is much appreciated, because it prevents shrinkage of the print, a fact which does not matter in the photograph of a view or a portrait, but in the scale of an architect's plan is a serious matter.
The process is appropriately known as the "True to Scale" process. The photographic print does not go through baths at all, therefore there is no shrinkage. A blue (or ferro-prussiate) print is taken by an electric copier from the tracing. From this print, which now acts as a negative, copies are taken by an apparatus similar in principle to the old hectograph, either on opaque linen, or on thick paper, or thin paper.
The Demand for Quick Workers
In a way, this is reversion to a mechanical process, but it serves the purpose of producing a print true to scale. Blue prints, however, are largely used for engineering plans; and ferro-gallics, which give a black line on a white ground, are also widely used, though the introduction of true-scale prints has affected the demand for this older process.
For the benefit of the intending owner of a tracing office it may be stated that Is. an hour is the usual charge for work in London, Is. 3d. an hour for particularly intricate work, or special estimates may be given. It is evident, then, how desirable it is to have assistants who are not only good at their work, but very quick as well.
The locality selected for the office must depend on the customers expected to patronise it. In London, Westminster, being the engineering centre, attracts tracing offices to that district.
By A. B. Barnard, LL.A.
The Type of Woman Required - Her Qualifications - The Duties of a Stewardess - Salaries and Tips - The Various Grades of Stewardesses - Why a Tactful Woman is Necessary - How to Obtain a Post - Some Hints
A post as stewardess on board a first-class liner, with its fine saloons and luxurious appointments, is one that is much sought after, but not easily secured.
The rough type of woman who twenty years ago attempted to minimise the discomforts of a voyage for women and children passengers, or neglected them, as the case might be, stands little chance of an appointment with a high-class steamship company, which is very particular about the selection of a suitable woman.
The qualifications of a stewardess and the duties that fall to her lot vary somewhat, according to the status of the company, but in this article the work of a stewardess on a first-class liner is alone considered.
This sine qua non, it is perfectly easy to understand. So many women and children are constantly voyaging backwards and forwards to the East, to the Antipodes, to South Africa and to South America, as well as to Canada and the States, that it is essential a trained nurse should be on board. A child may develop a rash, which the trained nurse diagnoses as measles or chicken-pox, and so can take steps to prevent contagion spreading.
Births often take place during a voyage. Many women passengers become really ill in rough weather and need skilled attention. The visit of the ship's doctor is of little help unless he has the assistance of a qualified nurse. Besides, passengers step on board with more assurance if they know a nurse is there to come to aid them in an emergency.
Nor, in making this stipulation concerning a hospital training, is the fact lost to view that a trained nurse is methodical, neat, capable, and usually a woman of common sense, fit to take responsibility, and, to quote the words of one man who engages stewardesses, "knowing elementary things."
As a qualified nurse with her three years' training behind her, she cannot, of course, be very young. On some lines a stewardess is appointed between the ages of twenty-three and thirty, but at least two first-class companies consider thirty to thirty-five the most suitable age; indeed, some women enter on the work at thirty-seven or even thirty-eight.