A Framed & Glazed Great Western Railway Locomotive Carriage & Wagon Department Poster on the use of Eye Protectors c.1922


Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1922
Height: 20.3 inches
Width: 15 inches
Framed: 21.5 X 16.25 inches
Condition: B-

In typically bold font, the standard issue sized GWR headed poster reading ‘Locomotion, Carriage and Wagon Dept… Notice… Eye Protectors’, with explanatory text beneath warning of the ‘necessity for wearing eye protectors which are provided wherever there is danger from drillings, chippings etc.. entering the eye, whether from an operation being performed by a man himself or someone else, or from some other cause near him’, signed off by C.B Collett in the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office, Swindon, 27th November 1922. This year was Collett’s first year in the role.

Condition is fair to good; there is some creasing where the poster has been folded prior to being framed, and there are later pencil markings, but the poster is in decent order considering it wasn’t meant to survive.

The provision of goggles, screens, and masks was left to the discretion of the individual employer but at the time many ‘progressive firms’ desiring to obtain a maximum efficiency from their employees and to prevent loss of working hours, made an effort in providing the workmen with efficient and suitable safety devices. The Great Western Railway, amongst others, reported a great diminution of eye injuries as a result of their efforts. Charles Benjamin Collett (10 September 1871 - 5 April 1952) was chief mechanical engineer of the Great Western Railway from the time this poster was issued in 1922, through to 1941. He designed (amongst others) the GWR's 4-6-0 Castle and King Class express passenger locomotives.

A nice collectable piece of railway ephemera at a time when health and safety was shall we say, a bit more reliant on common sense.