Archie Donald

1999/134 Archie Donald interviewed in his own home by DrHeather Holmes on 19 August 1999

000 Giant railway set in Ronnie Nelson's house. Ronnie had no interest in business.
024 Senior management. Ronnie Nelson, Mr Leckie, Mr Morrison and Mr Cairns. Their personal offices. Nelson offices in London, New York, Melbourne and Sydney.
052 No high pressure jobs. No seasonal change, steady.
075 Bible was a prestigious job with a lot of work involved in it.
085 Liked to do plates which involved a bit of skill. Jobs undertaken on plates. The plate store would have all the books Nelsons made.

114 Filing in the plate store. Man who looked after the plate store. Chinese boxwood illustrations. Illustrations done with electrotype.

160 Changes in foundry undertaken due to fire. No change in Nelsons over the years. Black leading machine that was there in 1912 was still there in 1960. Rotary presses made in Germany. Bindery was quite progressive for its time.

195 All employees were tradesmen. Lithographers were more highly regarded. Lithographic stones. Men stealing plates to sell the lead for beer money. Went to find them and they were gone.

242 Plates didn't deteriorate. No new innovations. Captive market in Africa for school books

264 Work repetitive. Any job would get monotonous. There was variety in work especially for apprentices. More interested in going out at night

282 Left Nelsons to make more money in Manchester. Had to move away to make more money.

301 Electrotype and stereotype becoming redundant. Development in technology.

316 In newspapers it was much more automated.

325 Hours of work. 40 hour week and overtime. No shift work. People that have been interviewed.

358 People proud to have a trade. People beginning to awake to the idea of opportunity through education.

373 Contact with other firms at college. Pillans and Wilson, R and R Clark. Nelson probably had more stereotypers than anywhere else.

400 Stereotyping dept had his own chapel. Union in Manchester. Willy Tait representative at Nelsons. Meetings held in India Buildings on Victoria Street. All union stuff done through the local branch. Not much difference in wages between the firms.

438 No formal structure to meetings. Held in own time. Member of the National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers. Subscriptions collected by Willy Tait.

468 Wages paid in a tin. Everyone had a tin with its number on it. Paid Friday afternoon.

490 No bonuses, were paid for your time. In newspaper industry were paid for the size of the paper. Grave of gentleman who invented stereotyping. More involved in unions in Manchester.

532 Union by committee. Apprentices coming into an industry which was on the decline.

545 Aware that the industry was on the decline. New technology coming in. Trade union resistance to new technology.

567 Jokes in firm. Most apprentices were just out of school. Moving things on pneumatic trolleys.

601 Roller table moved plates and chases. No particular heavy work or lifting

625 Names of other people to possibly interview. Alec Fields: a former stereotyper who became a headmaster.

676 No slack periods, always work to do. Description of plating brass. Names of people to contact.

738 END

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