Turn Tickets: Insight into the Business of Glass Making - Part II

by Tarzan Deel
Issue No. 267 - July 1995

Last month, we began to share with the membership the storehouse of information contained in the Turn Tickets, the record of a typical four hour shift at the Cambridge Glass factory. These Turn Cards shed interesting light on the production process and indicate just how fragile the product was. The failure rate was surprisingly high to those of us examining these records forty years later.

Last month we reviewed the items on the card up to the description of the personnel used on the shift ending with the Handler. All of the personnel's rates are subtotaled on most turn cards, giving you a sense for the overhead involved in the production aspect on making Cambridge Glass.

Shop Count: This is the production count prior to any items being scrapped.

Selectors: This is the count of the items after they have been graded for errors/production irregularities.

The next area of the Turn Ticket is used to count the various reasons for rejecting the items produced. The quality control was very high. I will not review all of these, in depth; however, I'll try to cover the less obvious. If there is an area we don't cover, where you have insight, please send us a letter and we'll cover it in a future issue of the Crystal Ball.

Rings: This problem can occur when the glass is too soft when being handled and tongs may leave ring marks when the glass is being handled.

Crizzled: No Clue.

Stones: This occurs when impurities are picked up by the gatherer in the glass. Sand which may not be pure will have stones/pebbles in it and this is transferred in the glass making process to the item.

Rocky: Uneven balance of the item when settling.

Water cracked or cracked: This is the cracking that occurs during the cooling process.

Cupped in: This may refer to an item not holding its shape.

Iron scale: I believe this may come from the mold when it gets hot, but, I'm checking others for some clarification.

Seedy: Refers to air bubbles?

Marver chilled: Have no clue. Can a reader help us with this?

A summary of the turn is listed at the bottom of the front page of the turn ticket. This summary has the initials of the selector (the person grading the work) and the cut-off (I believe this is the supervisor).

Trays: No Clue.

Loss: The number of items scrapped during the turn.

Good: The number of acceptable items produced, may include repaired items.

Seconds: Number of second grade items produced.

Rocky: Never seen this section used on any of the turn cards we've recovered.

The back of the turn ticket shows the "boy labor". This has nothing to do with age. Generally, these were helper/unskilled labor which was necessary as Union rules prevented skilled labor from doing certain tasks.

Card No. 9779: This card [shown at end of article] shows a number of things - who was involved and what were their pay rates. It was a 278 11" Optic Vase with a foot (3¼ in.). It was produced with lime glass which was apparently cheaper glass. Check out the math ... 176 pieces, 13 scrapped = 153 good pieces?

What really happened is that 10 items were scrapped on the production line and 13 more were scrapped for the reasons shown on the turn card. There is no explanation for the first 10. They were probably damaged being removed from the mold or some other production problem.

Another important observation is the 85 scratched were sent to be repaired. They still counted as good production items. This means if you see an item which looks like a good repair job, it may have been done at the Cambridge factory and sold as a first quality item.

Makes you look at possibly repaired items a little differently when you know about this. In fact, all factories do this kind of reprocessing to keep scrap counts low.

Turn ticket
Turn ticket