Friday, January 18, 2008

Factory #12 Drawman Hood Press

This photo shows the hood press in operation, these worker's were called draw-men.

This press installed in factory #12 during 1958 was located on the main Aisle running along the east wall of the factory. This view is facing east. When Buick City was created it was directly across the aisle from the Robogate welder. This press was as far as I know always used for the inner panel of the hood. When I worked at Chevrolet factory #04 in the hole back in 1974 a man got crushed in this press and the news of coarse spread like a wild fire, "as deaths in the factory always do". When I worked in the paint dept. called factory #11 on the 3rd floor of factory #04 Buick in 1975 a friend of mine Mike Wieble who ran the crib in paint told me what he saw. He said he was a clerk up in #12 when it happened and like a lot of people he wanted to see it for himself. When he got down there they were hosing the machine down and he got sick so he went home for the day. In later years when I worked in #12 the old gentleman who supplied that particular press came out to see me on dock #3 because I unloaded his steel blanks. I only knew him as Brownie. He told me he was the one who supplied that press even back then and that he left for a load of steel getting ready for the press to be fixed and when he returned the press had cycled and all that was left that you would recognize were legs and feet. He said that they had men waiting out at the gondola car along division street for his body parts to exit the underfloor scrap carriers. The reason he would be chopped instead of just crushed was because this was the Inner hood which contains many openings to save weight. He had not placed the safety blocks which would have saved him.

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