in my family history research I have found a relative who was a copper roller polisher for most of the nineeenth century, What was he doing and why?Both his sons in 1881 were listed as " Machine engraver(SMM)" what does this mean?
A Copper-Roller Polisher would have worked in the textile businesses where etched copper-rollers were used to print patterns onto rolls of cloth. The polisher would have used a polishing lathe to polished copper rollers by removing scratches and etched on patterns. He basically would clean and polish the copper-rollers so that they could be reused. A Machine engraver would have operated the machine that engraved patterns on the cleaned copper surface. He basically would have made the design that was to be printed onto the material. Alternatively – they could have worked in the newspaper business doing about the same thing, only printing on paper.
Look on Page 96 about halfway down the page...here's an excerpt: The flow of the molten glass over the metallic table appears like a lava flood issuing from a volcano. The plate, as the copper roller passes over it, exhibits a great variety of rich hues; and the gradual disappearance of these as the metal cools is one of the most beautiful optical effects that can be produced. This operation requires the aid of about twenty workmen, each of whom has his particular duty assigned him.