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Rack Maiden: a female working in a Cornish tin mine. She was responsible for dressing ore, which involves separating the valuable minerals so they can be smelted.
Raff Merchant: sold raffia fibres, which are harvested from Raffia palm trees. The fibre could be used in the textile industry, for example making bags. An early use for raffia was the manufacture of rope.
Raffia Man: made and / or sold goods made from raffia.
Raffman: an old type of rag and bone man, who salvaged items from discarded rubbish and sold them to the poor.
Rag Cutter: worked in the paper making industry, responsible for cutting up rags into small pieces. The rags would then be disintegrated and beaten into pulp by other workers.
Rag Gatherer: a dangerous job usually performed by agile children. It involved darting under moving machinery to collect rags and remnants before the machinery swung back at them. Accidents and maiming were common.
Rag Man: an abbreviation of 'Rag and Bone Man'.
Rag and Bone Man: traditionally drove a horse-drawn cart around the city collecting junk. Old rags were used for papermaking. Animal bones could be used to manufacture glue. Other items could be traded.
Rag Picker: sorted through rags to identify suitable rags for use in papermaking.
Rag Sorter: cut off the buttons from old clothing, removed any ribbons and lace, then ripped the seams, then sorted the rags by type.
Rag-stabber: an old slang term for a tailor.
Railroad Porter: a railroad worker employed to assist passengers with luggage etc.
Raker: old term for a street cleaner.
Ratoner: old title for a rat and vermin catcher.
Rattlewatch: slang term for a city Watchman.
Reacher for Drawing: an old occupation in the textile industry, to do with the weaving of silk or cotton. I suspect this old occupation title might actually have been 'Reacher'.
Reaper: don't fear, its just an agricultural worker bringing in the harvest.
Rectifier: repeatedly distilled ethanol to produce rectified spirit. This product could be used for medicinal purposes, or for producing liqueurs or mixed drinks.
Redar: for a fee a Redar would interpret your dreams.
Red Leader: in order to protect metal (e.g. from rust), the Red Leader would paint lead oxide paint onto the metal. The red colouring of the lead oxide gave this old occupation its name.
Redsmith: an alternative name for a Goldsmith.
Reeder: thatched roofs using reeds.
Copyright: Jane Hewitt. This dictionary is authorised for use on www.familyresearcher.co.uk only.
Reedmaker: produced reeds for musical instruments, or more commonly this old occupation definition is a person who produced reeds for the weaving / textile industry.
Reeler: another weaving related occupation, a Reeler operating a winding machine which put yarns onto bobbins.
Reeve: in archaic times, a Reeve was a serf elected to supervise lands for a Lord, ensuring the Lord was not cheated by the serfs. The role evolved into policing crime. The term 'Sheriff' is thought to have evolved from 'Shire Reeve'. The old occupation title 'Reeve' also included Churchwardens.
Reever: another term for a Reeve.
Regarder: old term for a land surveyor. Particularly related to boundaries and woodlands.
Registrar: legally registered births, deaths, marriages etc.
Relict: a survivor or widow.
Relief Stamp Maker: carved details onto hand stamps used to authenticate documents.
This dictionary is my own work, and copyright Jane Hewitt. I sometimes find unauthorised (i.e. stolen) copies of my website content appearing on other people's websites. If you should read a group of identical glossary definitions elsewhere on the web, consider whether such sites are reputable or not.
The opening of the pioneering Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked the beginning of the railways' vital role in changing the face of Britain.
Fire and Steam celebrates the vision and determination of the ambitious Victorian pioneers who developed this revolutionary transport system and the navvies who cut through the land to enable a country-wide network to emerge.
From the early days of steam to electrification, via the railways' magnificent contribution in two world wars, the chequered history of British Rail, and the buoyant future of the train, Fire and Steam examines the social and economical importance of the railway and how it helped to form the Britain of today.