From Donkey Man to Engineer. How we got from one to another
There is much talk, argument and strife with respect to the United Kingdom breaking the bonds with the European Union (E.U.), but not Europe may I add. There is much wringing of hands about the damage that leaving the EU will inflict upon the UK and its people. In the final call, it comes down to the confidence that the British people have,in themselves, to be able to break free of an organisation that is hell bent on taking control of the levers of power of the 28 nations that currently form the EU. The object of the un-elected commissioners is to lord it over all citizens of the EU. Once each country has lost its sovereignty to the EU there is no way back. The people, that used to be British for example, will not have a say whether or not to stay in the EU or to leave as their rights in that matter, or in any other matter, will have gone.
The United Kingdom was once referred to across the World as “Great Britain” and it was the determination of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his like that had forged Great Britain out of solid rock and went on the forge the “Great Britain” out of solid steel.
The question may be asked “Why is a person that is skilled in writing electronic codes called an “Engineer” ( that is, a “Software Engineer”), whilst a person involved in designing petrochemical plant may describe himself as a “Process Engineer.” What is the connection?” Two descriptions that are, apparently, Worlds apart. As we learn of our World, the word “Engineer” is very often heard and seen in the media and in common discussions. Today, the word “Engineer” is seen hooked up to other words to form different types of Engineer, for example “Software Engineer”, “Civil Engineer”, “Process Engineer”, “Telecoms Engineer” etc.
These are all very high flying people and in the field of Engineering there has grown many types of Engineer with a specific type of Engineer being referred to as a “Discipline”. For example, a company designing a Power station may ask “What Engineering Disciplines are being sought” to which the answer may be ” a piping engineer and a civil engineer” whereas a company designing a mobile phone may be seeking a “Software Engineer”
The origins of the word “Engineer” are from the Latin language to denote “cleverness” but this word had to make the jump from Its Latin “Cleverness” to the English word and usage in the English Language of “Engineer”.
Prior to steam being seen as a source of power the Latin word for “cleverness” was not widely used, however, in the UK , the Latin Language was taught .and was known by those who had shares in “Great Britain”
Before the industrial revolution ,which started circa 1760, the English had caused the construction of inland water ways known as canals. Along these water ways, there grew an armada of canal boats used to transport coal and materials from the coast to inland towns and, also, between towns and back to the coast. The canal boats need to be moved from point to point and, to achieve this, horses were used to pull the canal boat by means of a long rope with one end fastened to the horse and the other end fastened to the canal boat. In time, as the horses towed the canal boats along, a hard path was formed and this then was named a “Tow Path” and the canal boat was renamed a “Barge”. On board the barge was a man (or woman sometimes) who was responsible for the steering of the barge and its general security.
With the invention of the Steam Engine, which would later be used on tracks, eg the Liverpool to Manchester railway, it was soon seen that a “barge” could be fitted with a “Steam Engine” which could deliver far more power that a horse and, therefore, barges could operate with heavier loads and could cut down on the time taken by traditional horse towed barges. It would take time for a Steam powered truck to be developed which would make the canals obsolete.
The first example of an engine fitted to provide motion was of a steam engine fitted to a boat:
1813 Niles’ Weekly Reg. (Addenda section) 5, I have lived to see boats succeed well with those engines.
These engines, having taken the place of the horse, became known as Donkey Engines as as time passed the person who operated the Donkey Engine became known as the “Donkey Engine Man” which, over time, as more than one man was needed to operate and maintain the mechanical items,morphed to “Engineer” and “Donkey Man” as ships were constructed with Steam Engines, the “Engineer” being senior to the “Donkey Man”. At sea, this understanding was carried through until the power systems of ships were constructed to separate the Engine from the Boilers that generated the Steam to drive the engine(s). At that time, the Donkey man becoming a head person over the stokers that shovelled the coal into the fireboxes of the boilers. Accordingly, the Engine Room and Boiler spaces were manned by watch keeping engineers under the supervision of the working boss , the Second Engineer, who reported to the Chief Engineer . Reporting to the Second Engineer was the Head Stoker Man who had a number of boiler operators and cleaning people under his control.
This would be the manning, within the engine room and boiler room of the SS Titanic as that vessel sailed on its first and last Atlantic Crossing. When the word Engineer is used, in what would appear to be two fields of activity so separated, the question may be asked what is the connection between say a “Software Engineer ” and a “Chief Marine Engineer” and we then can go back to the original Latin meaning of the word for engineer (Latin: ingeniator) which is derived from the Latin words ingeniare (“to contrive, devise”) and ingenium (“cleverness”).
From Donkey Man to Engineer. The great strides taken > A BIG ENGINE
From Donkey Man to Engineer. The great strides taken > OPERATION
From Donkey Man to Engineer. The great strides taken > THE BIGGEST ENGINE
From Donkey Man to Engineer. The great strides taken > GREAT BRITAIN ENGINE
For those who may visit the “Great Britain”, the ship was designed with a propeller and sails. Should the sails be deployed the drag by the propeller would significantly impact on ships speed. Accordingly, the propeller could be drawn inside the hull. Work that out!! It is still possible to see horses pulling pleasure barges through the English and Welsh countryside as the canals across the UK have been restored as part of English Heritage
The United Kingdom has survived many crises and the leaving of the EU is the latest. The cause for the UK leaving the EU may be seen, by the younger element in the UK society, as brought on by the UK politicians but the young should bear in mind that the UK, a wholly democratic society, was each asked if they wished to join a Common Market. The UK as a people voted “Yes” to join a Common Market. When the EU Commissioners then asked the UK parliament to join the EU, the people of the UK where not consulted.. After that lack of consultation, it was many years before the true goals of the EU were known to the general public of the UK. The bottom line, the UK was to be folded, like folding dough, into a new label of which we still do not know what the label looks like. However, it would appear to have words such as “Republic”, “Socialist”, “Union”, “Corbyn” and probably “Chained”
I do not believe that Boudica would have allowed Britannia to be handed over to a inebriated citizen of Luxembourg without a serious fight. However, if the young, inexperienced, inarticulate and immature of the UK think differently then who am I to argue. I am just as simple sailor.