My Knick Knacks - Wiktor Kuc

  Extracts from Chordalís Letters by James W. See, 1883  

In many shops half the things are everybody's business and never done; the others are nobody's business and half done.

Law without execution is no law, and in the shop we find empty law adds to illegal work.  Many shops let their system drop during the hard times, and when things are picking up they wonder why their capacity is so limited.

I know one excellent shop which had a tip-top pattern system, in which there was a fixed responsibility for everything, and no dependence placed on the memory of any man.  A stranger could enter the place and receive five minutes instruction which would enable him to find any pattern of any piece of three hundred machines.

Those instructions would be : "Each machine has a short symbol as shown on its drawings, and every piece has a number also shown. Each pattern or piece or scrap is stamped with the symbol and number.  The pattern storeroom contains all patterns not in use or being repaired, and shelves are symbolized to correspond with their symbols.  The pattern storeroom has a sign on the door."

With such instructions, a stranger could be given any drawing and asked for a piece shown thereon.  He could bring it in ten minutes, even if totally unacquainted with the premises, providing the piece was at home. If he didn't find the pattern, he would find a slate telling him to call at foundry, or pattern shop, or at some malleable foundry a hundred miles away.

A simple arrangement this, and it did not cost ten cents a year, and saved many dollars.



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