The Sheffield File-Cutters

J. C. Hall
1857 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh; Physician to the Sheffield Pubic Dispensary, etc. IT is my intention to pursue the same course with the Alecutters as with the Sheffield grinders, and to consider only the disease which arises in consequence of the peculiar occupation of cutting files. A file goes through several processes before it is completed. It is first forged, then ground, then cut, and, lastly, it is hardened. My present remarks will be eonfined to the disease which is the
more » ... ease which is the result of cutting files, and which is known as the filecutters' disease. Files vary in size and in weight Some files a only an inch long; others are at the least forty inches. Excluding from our present consideration the " ' file-grinders' and" file-hardeners"' I find from retums kinily saupplied to me by Mr. John Warren, the intelligent secretary of the file trade, that at present about two thousand eight hundred men, women, boys, and girls, are engaged in Sheffield in the manufacture of files: and of these, two thousand are employed in cutting files. Boys frequently commence their trade at nine and ten years of age. During the process of cutting, the file is placed upon a bed of lead, which rests upon an anvil. The quantity of lead consumed varies with the size of the file. In cutting " rasps", the workman will use about three quarters of a pound of lead in a week; in cutting the large three-square files, more than a pound will be used in the saae period. The lead may be collected from the be on which the files are cut in considerable quantities; it is then in the form of a very fine black powder. The files are cut with a small chisel; and the hammers which are employed will vary in weight from one ounce to eight or nine pounds. A. NATURE AND SYMPTOMS OF THE FILE-CUTTERS' DISEASE.
doi:10.1136/bmj.s4-1.19.385 fatcat:5pixpztgdvdczdacapy32lyroq