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Shepherd Wheel Coursework

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Introduction

How useful was Shepherd Wheel in telling us about the working conditions for a grinder in the 19th Century? (15 marks) (750-900words) By Sarah Birchall Shepherd Wheel was a grinding workshop, set in the 1800s. Shepherd Wheel can tell us about grinding workshops and their conditions, but we also need to use other sources and our own knowledge. This workshop does not tell us everything, but can tell us about environment, layout and atmosphere. From other sources and our own knowledge we can find out about health, safety and the atmosphere of work. I think Shepherd Wheel is a typical grinding workshop. To back up my theory, I can use Source A, a photo of the inside of a grinding workshop. It looks very similar to Shepherd Wheel comparing the layout and the environment. Also I can tell about health conditions, not from Shepherd Wheel itself but from this picture. This is because it shows that Shepherd Wheel was a typical grinding workshop and can tell us a lot about other workshop layouts and environments just from this single building. Shepherd Wheel can tell use some tings about grinding working conditions from the building itself. ...read more.

Middle

I know that the air was very dusty from the grindstones when in motion. Also when dry grinding was in place, there was an additional effect from dust and also form motes. Motes were red hot particles of metal which flew off the grindstones. They were a constant nuisance to the grinders' eyes and unless special equipment was used, they could have lead to serious eye injury and even loss of sight. Another condition that faced the grinders was that of their grindstones. I know from Shepherd Wheel that grindstones broke as evidence of one in pieces on the floor By Sarah Birchall outside. I also know that these hazards lead to loss of life due to a newspaper article in the building. From the sources, such as Source C I can tell that grinders had to run the risk of a grindstone breaking with consequent injury and sometimes loss of life. From my own knowledge I know that it was dangerous because grindstone could explode. This is because the force of the stone breaking when they were in motion could have been fatal and could kill more than one grinder. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the sources, such as Source A, I cannot see any safety equipment such as a fan, or any safety clothing on the grinders, such as goggles or protective clothing. From my own knowledge I know that safety equipment was used but it was not accepted easily. Goggles were invented to protect the workers from motes, but they were a nuisance and were not used. A fan was also invented but it was also classed as an annoyance and slowed the workers down thus cutting down their pay, so that as well was not accepted. To conclude I will state the main disadvantages and the advantages of using Shepherd Wheel s a source of information. The advantages were I could tell most about hazards with physical evidence. I could also tell about the environment being cold and damp. I could tell about the layout of the place being cramped and untidy. However, the disadvantage of Shepherd Wheel was that I could not tell about the health of the workers which explained the short life expectancy. I could also not tell about the environment being dusty and hazardous. On the whole, the best information came By Sarah Birchall from the sources and my own knowledge. However, Shepherd Wheel was a reliable source when it came to physical evidence. 1 ...read more.

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