The Woman's Part

The Woman's Part

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Excerpt: the side of a house. She bounded down with the ease of an antelope. Another ladder, and yet another. The inspectress seemed to have forgotten their steep incline and I was left, a helpless landlubber, cautiously descending step by step. When I joined her in the engine-room she was already deep in conversation with one of her staff. And then I noticed the secret aid to her agility. All the women aboard ship were dressed in trouser suits. The suits, of blue drill for the supervisors, and of a similar material in brown for the labourers, were made with a short tunic, and the trousers were buckled securely at the ankle. A tight-fitting cap to match completed Pg 35 the smart workmanlike costume which permits of perfect freedom of movement in confined places. Without such a costume it would be hardly possible for women to work on board. The women workers on this particular battleship were engaged in renewing electric wires and fittings, a job which requires a good deal of care and accuracy. On the lower deck, they were fitting up new cables and were perched in high places, here 'sweating in' a distribution box, there marking off the position for the wires. Others were drilling holes, others again were 'tapping', or making a thread in the holes. In the engine-room the women were busy stripping worn-out electric wiring and were working by the light of tall candles, as merry as a party preparing a Christmas tree. Everywhere the women were working in pairs, an arrangement found especially advisable on board. Behind a small iron door we found one couple working on a fire-control in a nook where the entrance of a single visitor caused bad overcrowding. 'These are my mice', said the inspectress; 'they always get away into the cupboard-jobs, and very well they work there too. But we have to maintain a strict discipline on board, far stricter than anything known in the factories.' No talking, I was informed, more

Product details

  • Paperback | 28 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 68g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 123672691X
  • 9781236726919