GREAT BRITAIN: The Silent Treatment

For one entire year, Ron Hewitt had worked in a silent world. From the moment he stepped into the cabin of his crane, no one talked to him; all around, the 300 men he worked with in the foundry of the Staveley Iron and Chemical Co. chatted and joshed with each other, but to Hewitt they spoke not a word, not even hello. It was almost as though his working day were spent in solitary confinement.

Every day he climbed into his little cage 20 feet above the foundry floor, to guide his...

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