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The stokci'!i on board one of the groat ocean steameis work four hours a,t a stretch, in a temperature ranging from 120deg. to 180deg. The quarters are close, "and they must take care that while feeding one furnace their arms are not burned on the one behind them. Ventilation is furnished.through a shaft reaching down' to the middle, of their quarters. Each stoker tends four furnaces, &pend : ing perhaps two or three minutes'at each, then dashes to the air pipe tp take his turn at cooling off, and waits for anqtiier call to his furnace. When the watch is over tlie men go perspiring through long cold passages to the forer castle, where they turn in for eight hours. One man, 28 years old, who was interviewed by a reporter, had been employed at the furnaces since he was 14 years old.

He weighed 1801b, and, was ruddy an 4 seemingly happy. He confessed the work was terribly hard; but" came hardest to those who did not follow it regularly. ' But if we get plently to eat,' lip i^aul, ' .and take care of ourselves^ we are all right. .Here's a mate of mine, nearly 70 years old wlio has been a stoker all his life, and cm do as good work as I can. Stokers never have the consumptiqn., and I rarely catch cold. The' grog has fjeen knocked off on the English and American lines, because the men got drunk too often and the grog die] them much harm. When I used to take my grog, I'd work like a lion while the effect" lasted. I?d throw in my coals like a giant, and not mind the heat a bit, but when it worked off, as ifc did in a very few minutes, I was that weak that a child could upset mo. Take a man dead drunk before the fires and the heat wpuld sober him'off in half-an-hour or give him stroke of apop] ▼

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Bibliographic details

STOKERS' AT SEA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2434, 6 June 1890

Word Count

STOKERS' AT SEA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2434, 6 June 1890

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