Interview: Julie-Anne Tremblay and Gabriel Laprade
Post-production: Gabriel Laprade
In this video clip, Léopold Hamel sits in front of a white wall explaining the roller system that allowed several machines to operate at the same time.
It wasn’t bad, we called it, mittens on. It wasn’t modern like today. It was done by hand back then. For me, the work I was doing, it was with Mr. Albert Chrétien. Him, his job was heeler, it was called. He’d place it there, with a machine… There was a pedal and I put in the nails, like 6-7 nails to make the heel, and then we’d pitch it. We sent that into the machine. But what do you call it, it didn’t work on electricity. Some folks, they think that all that stuff ran on electricity. Nope. Because it was an thingamabob, let’s use thingamabob, is that the right word? If it ain’t, you’ll take it out! It’s just that there was a big roller at one end of the factory that was up above and it turned. But there was only one spot where there was electricity and it was the part that lifted the arm. The roller went upstairs with the straps… So, how do I say this, if I wanted to nail the heel in place, it hit it for me. So, when I pressed it down, it was the roller that did the work, that made it work. As much as the other machines, the others were (linked to) smaller rollers, larger rollers, but they were all tied to the same large roller that rolled at the top of the factory. But it was pretty amazing because someone actually came up with that idea.