Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/177

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his official position. He thrusts the necks of the incased bottles into the glory-holes, and then one by one withdraws them from their aureole and forms the necks. This he does by means of a convenient implement known under the generic name of tool. It consists of a central stopper, kept moist with oil, which is thrust into the mouth of the bottle, thus determining its gauge; and of two outside arms of iron, which, by the rotation of the case, the tool remaining stationary, form the smooth ring commonly adorning the necks of glass bottles. The gaffer, like the blower, is a quick workman, and does the finishing for both blowers belonging to his shop. He does not leave his chair, the glass being brought to him and carried away again by the little boys who have been noticed as darting about in such a lively fashion.

The bottle is now finished, so far as its form is concerned, but, like the window-pane under similar circumstances, it would have scant value if sent out into the world in its present condition. It would be too brittle, on account of its sudden cooling, and must therefore first be annealed. This operation is simply one of gradual cooling, and is carried out in ovens or in annealing leers.

PSM V36 D177 Gaffer at work showing his craft.jpg
Fig. 6.—A View of the Gaffer at Work, showing his Tool and Manner of holding the Bottle when forming its Neck.

The oven is a roomy chamber of brick-work, in which a wood fire is permitted to burn for a couple of hours in the early part of the day. It is opened when the blowers begin work, and during the remainder of the day it is gradually filled with bottles as the different gaffers finish them. At night it is closed and permitted to remain so for three days. At the end of that time the oven has become quite cold, and the bottles are thoroughly annealed.