Once products had been cast or stamped (and sometimes plated), they would often need to be polished. This was done in the Polishing Shop. Polishing machines were essentially large spinning wheels, with a ‘polishing mop’ attached to the rim.
The polishing machines were originally driven by gas engines, but by the 1930s they used individual electric motors. Anthony Allen, the son of Arthur Allen (Newman Brothers’ travelling salesman between 1903 and 1939), recalls the ladies who worked in the Polishing Shop;
“they were completely enshrouded; they usually had rather large bosoms, so that they had something to lean on the wheel.”