According to my dictionary, one meaning of "macchina" is printing press. "Il gionale va in macchina alle due del mattino" (The paper goes to press at 2 a.m.). It can also mean "machinery in general", as well as engine or apparatus. "Macchina a vapore" is "steam engine". Maybe he oversaw factory machinery or printing presses, or as has been suggested, he was a railroad engineer.
Many thanks everyone for your help
I'll put it down as 'chief engineer' and that would cover all areas of work he may have been in.
Re the 'Sing.' - Signor I just wondered why out of all the records only he had been given this before his name. Wondered if he had been someone who had been of some importance since he was a property owner.
The Dirattore di Machine wasnt the one who had Sign. in front of his name it was the one who was the property owner so it seems he must have had an important position in the community.
Thanks again for your help