Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Engineer's Ring and Winning a Prize


Stainless Steel Engineer's ringH
This week, on the street, I met a man whom I worked with for many years. On my last assignment with "Mr X"  I had the pleasure of working alongside thirty engineers for a year.  Many were exceptionally gifted.
 Several had Double  Master degrees and still graduated from University in their early 20's.  One was a member of the Young Presidents' Organization.
One tip I picked up which I employ to this day is the "Engineer's Notebook".  A lined hard-covered black journal which goes to meetings and all items of importance and some not so important are entered.  Despite computer notepads, several used the hard covered journal. (this book has been a valuable  reference)

All  Engineers proudly wore a stainless ring on their pinkie finger.

The history of the ring for Canadian Engineers I found fascinating.


The Ring may be made from either wrought iron  or stainless steel. The rings are given in ceremonies held at individual universities.   Toronto  have completely stopped conferring rings made of iron and have switched to stainless steel rings.
Many believe,  that the rings are made from the steel of a beam from the first Quebec Bridge which collapsed during construction in 1907. Seventy-five construction workers died in the collapse which was attributed to poor planning and design by the overseeing engineers.

The Iron Ring is worn on the little finger (pinky)of the working (dominant) hand; this would be the left hand for a left handed person. There, the facets act as a sharp reminder of one's obligation while the engineer works, because it could drag on the writing surface while the engineer is drawing or writing. This is particularly true of recently obligated engineers, whose rings bear sharp, unworn, facets. Protocol dictates that the rings should be returned by retired engineers or by the families of deceased engineers. Some camps offer previously obligated or "experienced" rings, but they are now rare due to medical and practical complications.
The Ring itself is small and understated, designed as a constant reminder, rather than a piece of jewelry. The Rings were originally hammered manually with a rough outer surface. The modern machined ring design is unique, a reminder of the manual process. Twelve half-circle facets are carved into the top and bottom of the outer surface, with the two halves offset by one facet radius.

This week I received, a winning gift of perfume by Annick Goutal called Gardenia Passion.
A big warm thank you to Vicki Archer.  A most generous give away and I shall using it sparingly and treasure it.  I have been following her blog French Essence for many years.


Have you won an gifts from bloggers?


52 comments:

  1. Helen, Congratulations. I love the heady smell of gardenias. I so enjoyed the history of the "engineers' ring". Have a wonderful week. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      The gardenia is such an elegant flower (in my opinion)
      Thank you for commenting and wishing you a week full of joy

      Helen xx

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  2. Fascinating story of the ring!
    I love Annick Goutal's perfumes--they are my favorites!

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    1. Hello Jen
      Glad you enjoyed the story.

      I had been unfamiliar with Annnick Goutal's beautiful line of perfumes. I think I shall be spoiled for life

      Helen xx

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  3. Hi Helen,
    Thank you for this charming story about the engineer's ring. I like that notebook story very much. We are encouraged where I work to use the Franklin planner but I don't find it user friendly for my purposes. I use the old hardbound black and white notebooks to record everything surrounding my days at work, even phone calls. Works well for me. And congratulations on your winning the perfume. I posted about perfume today. I have never used Annick Goutal but I love gardenia!

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    1. Hi Sanda
      It sounds like the notebook you use is exactly what the Engineer's Book is. A simple black book with lined pages.No fancy headings or complications. Some even sketch on it too
      I am using the perfume sparingly. I will be over to your post on perfumes shortly.
      Helen x

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  4. Such interesting info about the ring, Helen, and the notebooks remind me of the Moleskine sketchbooks, which I always find so useful. Oh...and congrats on the prize :)!

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    1. Hello Elizabeth Rose
      The notebook is not unlike the Moleskine. It is lined and no heading or complications. Some put a sticker on the spine of retired books with dates which makes it easy to retrieve when needed.
      Helen xx

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  5. Your notebooks look like the Moleskine notebooks. I have been using them for many years - I find them very stylish and useful. The story about the engineers' rings is wonderful and fascinating. Enjoy your perfume - it is nice to win a prize. I have never won one myself. Christa

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    1. You are right Christa, the book is like a Moleskine just a bit larger perhaps 8.5" x 11"

      I was thrilled to win my prize. My 3rd. I can hardly believe my luck

      Helen xx

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  6. Thank you Helen... it was such a great pleasure... 'Gardenia Passion' is a long time favourite of mine... xv

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    1. Hello Vicki

      I am having a special week away and have taken my perfume along. I will be the envy of my friends.
      Thank you again for such a generous and useful present.

      Helen xx

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  7. What a fascinating story about the engineers ring. Sounded more like a burden than a pleasure. Many congratulatins on winning, what a fabulous gift. Lesley x

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    1. Hello Lesley

      The ring brings to light the responsibility of the Engineer and they must not take it lightly. I loved the precision engineers employ in meetings, I hope to post on that one day soon

      Hope your week is very special

      Helen xx

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  8. What an interesting story, congratulations on your win

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    1. Thank you for reading my blog and glad you found it of interest.

      I am thrilled with my win and shall wear it with joy
      Helenxx

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  9. Well, yes, I have, in fact, Helen... and from the same person who sent you the Annick Goutal fragrance, Vicky Archer. Last Christmas, I won several delightful tea candle holders. They will be a favorite item in my house for years to come. Félicitations, Helen. You will indeed treasure that lovely fragrance, and even more so because it came from a longtime blogger friend. Bonne semaine. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Hello Veronique

      I must say it truly brightened my day when I received such a large and beautiful bottle of perfume. (I had expected perhaps a sample size). I shall treasure it. I am delighted you also won the beautiful candle holders. We are both very fortunate and Vicki at French Essence is most generous.

      Helen xx

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  10. Helen,

    Great bits and pieces of the history of the engineers notebook and the ring...love history, personally, and this was very fasinating. Congrats on winning part of the great giveaway by Vicki Archer. Love Gardenia's Passion...you are lucky indeed.

    I have had the pleasure of winning four times last year from four blogs I follow. I am a lucky gal also...lol

    Self sticking shelf paper...Simplified Bee (Cristin)
    Champange flutes.... Classic Casual Home (Marry Ann)
    Two Beutiful Pillow Covers...Annchovie (Ann)
    Two of Vicki Archer's lastest Books...Art by Karena (Karena)

    Bloggers are the most generous with their time, talents and gift giveaways and bless us in more ways than one. Even when there is no giveaway the gift of thoughts written from one mind to many is a gift that once you are well read you are never the same person...it's an aha moment.

    Bette

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    1. Hello Bette
      Congratulations on such a haul of winnings. How fortunate and all the gifts are so useful and beautiful. I love how you sum it all up when you say

      "Even when there is no giveaway the gift of thoughts written from one mind to many is a gift that once you are well read you are never the same person...it's an aha moment"

      Hope your wek is full of joy
      Helen xx

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  11. I loved what Bette wrote. So true, just like this fascinating story. My goodness, it is true, the responsibility an engineer holds is a strong one. A constant reminder is perhaps in order.

    And as for the perfume, I left you a reply chez moi but I will add that when Vicki and I had our fun day out in Arles, her perfume was just mind-bogglingly beautiful!

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    1. Hi Heather

      I always love to hear when bloggers meet. It is so special and one feels familiar with them. I get just as excited to read that you and Vicki met and I wonder how the day went. So much to talk about!!!

      Yes, engineers have a big responsibility and it can not be taken lightly.

      Helen xx

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  12. Really interesting history regarding the Engineer's ring, and the philosophy behind it.
    I have not won a gift, but received a gift - a rare pygmy hippopotamus set in amber from my blogging friend Mark. I value it very much, and especially because he made and created it for me. The little hippo now sits happily at the foot of my blog.

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    1. Hello Rosemary
      What a delightful gift of the hippo from Mark. Items like this are to be treasured.

      It ring and the history brings home the responsibility engineers must take in designing their bridges and structures.

      I love the precision of an engineer. They differ in many ways from my artistic personality and I believe we all learned from each other.

      Hope your week is very special

      Helenx

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  13. That's very interesting, Helen. In these days of wearing one's heart on one's sleeve, it's good to see a profession wearing its sense of responsibility on its collective little finger: an admirable ethos.

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    1. Hello Mise

      You say it so beautifully. I became very fond of that little ring and what it represented and it is also quite an interesting design.
      Helenx

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  14. Helen, this is really a fascinating story about the rings.
    Thank you so much for sharing it here!
    Congratulations to you on winning the perfume. The name sounds heavenly.
    I 've won a couple of spots in online classes from other bloggers.
    Both classes were great.
    I wish you a beautiful week ahead my friend.
    xo.

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    1. Hi Lisa

      What a wonderful prize to win. We can all learn from classes.
      Glad you enjoyed the story of the Engineer's ring.
      I am treasuring my perfume. It reminds me of France.

      Helen xx

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  15. How very interesting about the rings! I too prefer writing in a book as opposed to modern technology, those books are perfect...and I have been a very lucky winner with Vicki Archer...she is most generous in so many ways ~ Congratulations to you!
    Have a wonderful week,
    Nathalie

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    1. Hello Natalie
      You know the great feeling of receiving a gift from Vicki Arher and like you said it is most generous. I expected a little sample and was so surprised to find an actual full sized bottle. The books I love too. I find it handy and always available and I can sketch in it too.

      Thanks for the good wishes which I return to you

      Helen xx

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  16. Hello Helen:
    What a fascinating account of the engineer's ring. This was all completely new to us, even though one of us is a Mechanical Engineer by degree!! We rather like the idea that the ring would serve not as a decoration or a thing of beauty but a reminder of the obligations and responsibilities of the job. So many of our lives are in the hands of engineers every day as we go about our normal business, so a timely reminder to them to keep their minds on the task in hand seems a very good idea indeed!!

    Gardenia Passion sounds the perfect name for a perfume. What a marvellous prize!

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    1. Hello Jane an Lance

      Your skills and degrees continue to impress me greatly and it does not surprise me to read of a degree in Mechanical Engineering is also held by you. Engineering is a huge responsibility.

      I love gardenia's. Will this grow in an English garden? So many questions.

      Wishing you a week full of joy
      Helen xxx

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  17. How interesting. I've never heard about the engineer's ring. I'm surrounded by engineers in my family but never heard of this tradition. And yes, I have been fortunate to win gifts from blog friends but not perfume. What a special gift and something you will enjoy!

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    1. Hello Diane

      My gift is just beautiful and I will treasure it and wear it on special occasions. You will now have a story to tell about Canadian engineers at your next family re-union.
      Have a very special week
      Helenx

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  18. Dear Helen,

    I am experiencing problems when posting, as Google are asking me to pay a monthly fee, for the pleasure of posting images! I have my next post all ready to, go, but I have had to delete it three or so times, as they will only let me post one or two images! I will have to find a way out of it, as I don't want to just post recipes... I love my photography!

    Anyway! I have a comment I wrote a couple of days ago and saved it. Here it is, dear Helen:

    "Hi Helen!

    Last Christmas I received a gift from Christa, from Emilie's Daughter blog. It came in a beautiful big white box, and obviously wrapped with lots of care and love, as you would expect from a wonderful lady.

    It contained a very pretty lantern, with a red candle in it, a pretty gingham bow, on the outside, and a little wreath. Christa also put a little advent card, in the box, a white feltpen, of the kind used to write on mirrors and... a pine cone!

    I loved everything, even the box, but that little pine cone, from the Swiss Alps was so special to me, as it came from a place I really love.

    I have been to Manhattan countless time, stood in the shade of The Chrysler building and the Empire State, but... you know what? Only the beauty of the Alps moves me to tears, as they are a miracle of nature. Nothing made by man, will ever rival the beauty of the Alps. They majestic, but they don't symbolize wealth and are not made of cement. They are part of nature... of the beautiful world we live in...

    That pine cone was on my mantlepiece throughout the holidays and has been placed in one of my "Christmas boxes."

    Every Christmas it will come out and I will think about a truly wondeful lady who I would love to have as a friend!

    Thank you for another inspiring post, Helen, though I think I would stick with my diamond American wedding band and ring!

    CIAO!

    ANNA

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    1. Hello Anna

      I am sorry to hear that Google is starting to become greedy and changing the rules in the middle of the game, so to speak.

      I love Christa's blog and she is a gem. It is so wonderful to read of your love for the gift she sent to you and all it symbolizes. You are gracious and grateful Miss Anna. I have flown over the Alps and agree they are spectacular and leave me speechless.

      I shall likewise treasure my gift of this beautiful perfume from Vicki Archer. I shall use it sparingly and will be transported to France each time the scent wafts through the air.

      Wishing you a spectacular week.

      Helenxx

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  19. Helen what an interesting story about the ring!! I had no idea! You really did win a wonderful gift!! I have won a few great books, so fun to be the lucky number! Happy Wednesday,
    Kathysue

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    1. Hello Kathysue

      I have your beautiful gift of the spices Kathy. I have retained the box and the spice containers. It is a beautiful reminder of a surprise gift.
      You then know of the joy of receiving a gift and no doubt your treasure your books.
      Wishing you a great week.

      Helen xx

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  20. Very interesting post Helen,
    Each country having their own different traditions.
    happy wednesday
    val

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    1. Hello Val

      Yes indeed traditions vary with each country. I learned a lot working with these engineers and I still use their formula in conducting meetings. It is logical and works.
      All must be logical with engineers and my artist brain was often challenged.

      Hope your week is awesome

      Helen x

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  21. Missed you dear Helen...can one become that busy?!!! I love carrying a little notebook in my purse, in fact, I always have, just about that size because it works better for me than anything else. And love the story behind the ring...I have won blog prizes, indeed from lovely Vicki Archer I received several antique French post cards. I love them. Wishing you a delightful weekend! xx

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    1. Hello Mona
      Life sometimes gets in our way of commenting and visiting our favourite blogs. I love yours and those cats have captured my heart
      Glad to hear you are the recipient of gifts from Vicki. She is so generous.

      To a great week

      Helen xx

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  22. How interesting!
    I have received more than I can remember from especially one blogger friend, and cards; nice cards from others.
    I also noticed the similarity of the notebook featured to the Moleskine one I have in my bag. I also carry a bottle of perfume along, very little else in fact.
    Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Hi Mette

      Yes the book I featured is a moleskine. The engineers book is black 8.5 x 11" and is ruled.

      Exciting to win cards, which are always useful.

      Hope your week is joyful and that the animals are all in good health
      Helenxx

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  23. We are both fortunate recipients of Vicki's generosity!
    She sent me a wonderful Diptique candle.
    Such a sweet lady.

    Loved the story about the rings!

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    1. Hello Pamela

      What a beautiful gift - I liken the scent to Vicki and remember her each time I spray it.
      Hope you week is very special

      Helen xx

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  24. What a fabulous story, Helen. I love the idea of the ring as a constant reminder to do things well. We need more of this spirit in the world and a whole lot less of do as little as you can to get by.
    Also, the little books are a wonderful idea. I have nearly stopped using paper except for movie projects... then there are books for each and I love them. Once there used to be presentation books filled with magazine tear sheets... now it's all on the computer!!!

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    1. I thank you for your comment and yes indeed engineering and the responsibility surrounding it is monumental.
      Yes the computer is wonderful for most work- many of the engineers also sketched and drew diagrams and the book was very useful for this purpose.
      Thank you for sharing how your use books for your movie projects.

      Wishing you a week of joy
      Helenxx

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  25. What a lovely way to use the resources available, but with a HISTORY TO THEM! HELLO HELEN! My goodness, your win from Vicki is indeed generous. She is such a warm and lovely woman. I won some BEAUTIFUL star earrings from her last year and I so treasure them. They are small little individual stars that dangle so sweetly.

    THANK YOU for coming to my Paris link party of which Vicki is also a participant. I do hope you get a chance to "relive" your Paris honeymoon 30 years ago (me too, I have been married 30 years!) and see all the fabulous posts. Vicki and some others are changing their posts daily which I think is a great idea.

    Be well my dear and enjoy your day! Anita

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    1. Dearest Anita

      Thanks for stopping by - I was stunned to see a full sized bottle of perfume from Vicki. I had expected and would have been grateful for a sample. Your earings sound very special.
      I am looking forward to reading all the Paris posts.

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  26. Oh, I'd completely forgotten about engineers' rings. Perhaps I didn't realize they were special because I grew up in Canada. A friend of mine wore her husband's as her wedding ring . . .

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  27. Hello Miss Cavendish and a warm welcome to my blog.
    I am sure the engineer's ring looked great on your friend's hand.
    It is an interesting design
    Wishing you a week of joy

    Helenxx

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