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Workers’ Hands

From "The Worker's Hand" by George Rosen, M.D. in Ciba Symposia (July 1942).

As someone who's spent too much time at a keyboard during my life, resulting in bad carpal tunnel syndrome, I can definitely empathize with these hands abused and deformed by work.


A tanner. Creases deeply stained.


Walnut sheller. Stained fingers.


Wood carver. Oval callouses in the center of the palm.


Jeweler. Dislocated distal phalanx of the thumb.


Glass polisher. Shortened, brittle nails.


Metal worker. Penetration of metal particles into the skin.


Worker in a glass factory. Callosities produced by mechanical work.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Jun 18, 2012 | Number of Comments: 14
Category: Jobs and Occupations, Skin and Skin Conditions
More weirdness from the WU archive:
Comments
Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
Having grown up in a river town that sported it's fair share of factories and also served a large number of family farms I can recall rough, calloused hands on the adults. The city wives fared better than their farm bound counterparts but only by degrees.

The one thing that strikes me as odd is that the farmer's hands weren't as rough as the factory workers' hands. Henry did the milking, fence mending, welding, and all the other jobs and chores that needed doing 24/7/365 but he (like most dairy men) had a secret to keeping his calloused hand smooth and supple.

I saw, quite a few decades ago, that some women's magazine found out the secret and one of the strangest beauty tips resulted.

Click here to reveal the secret.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/18/12 at 07:52 AM
Used to work at a pizza place where one of the guys there worked part time as a second job. He would reach in and pull out the pizza pans by hand and set them on the table without some much as a grimace. His full time first job? He worked at the local steel factory. His hands no longer felt heat and were so calloused as to not even burn anymore.
Posted by Baughbe on 06/18/12 at 08:00 AM
@Expat
Having grown up in Vermont and have a girlfriend whose father owned a farm, I quickly realized that if I wanted to see the daughter, I had to help with the chores. So, I knew the answer before clicking.

From age 14 until I graduated from Navy, I worked Saturdays and school vacations in a Lumber mill. I had so much spare wood in my hands I could have built a small house. Stuff was still coming to the surface almost a year after I stopped working there. No, we didn't wear gloves except in the winter (and sometimes when handling sticky pine) because it was too expensive. Leather work gloves would last less than two weeks before they started developing holes.
Posted by Billy on 06/18/12 at 08:07 AM
Mom's mother swore by Bag Balm. OTOH, Dad's mother used Witch Hazel on everything - rash, minor burns, shaving cuts, broken bones...
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 06/18/12 at 10:04 AM
Rememer what Shelock Holmes said about a person's hands...I believe in "The Study in Scarlet"
Posted by p Beal on 06/18/12 at 11:41 AM
Just realized this was a cleverly disguised add for Bag Balm.
Posted by NotComingBack on 06/18/12 at 01:52 PM
Bag Balm is great! It smoothes out those little burrs you get on your hands that snag on fabrics; I sew and that gets really old while handling fabrics. There is also a product that they put on horses' hooves to prevent them from splitting that is great for strengthening brittle fingernails, but I can't remember what it's called. I haven't seen it around in a while.
Posted by ScoutC on 06/18/12 at 04:52 PM
Expat. The singer Shania Twain got some media coverage for her use of Bag Balm for skin care. I grew up on a grain farm with 1 or 2 milk cows at a time. If you didn't want to be kicked while milking, Bag Balm helped.
Posted by BMN on 06/18/12 at 07:18 PM
Bag balm is often used on incontinent patients' bottoms at nursing homes as well. At least where I worked and it is very effective too.
Posted by patty in Ohio, USA on 06/18/12 at 08:10 PM
@NotComingBack: No, really it isn't we just get sidetracked easily.

Did I just waste a flock of pixels? blank stare
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/18/12 at 10:52 PM
Yes, around here we tend... LOOK A SQUIRREL!
Posted by patty in Ohio, USA on 06/18/12 at 11:05 PM
Where?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/18/12 at 11:07 PM
Patty,
with that comment, you HAVE TO see the movie UP (Pixar I think) about the old guy who moves his house with balloons. When they get to South America and see the dogs with translators, you will absolutely laugh your butt off.
Posted by Terry in small town Ontario on 06/19/12 at 09:54 AM
My grandmother told me that callouses and blisters on the hands were a sure sign of someone who can't make a living with his brain.
Posted by tadchem on 10/12/12 at 06:01 PM
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