Lost Labour
February 23, 2003 4:49 PM   Subscribe

LOST LABOR: Images of Vanished American Workers 1900-1980, a selection of 155 photographs by Raymon Elozua. Many of the images document factories and jobs that no longer exist. Whether it is a photograph of a laborer hauling a three foot block of ice at the York Ice Machinery Corporation, or one of a man carving a half hull model for the New York Shipbuilders Corporation, or others jiggering ceramic plates for the Mayer China Company, hand spraying a wicker baby carriage for the E.A. Whitney Carriage Company, or blocking a rim for the Knox Hat Company, all are examples of lost skill and crafts.
posted by jokeefe (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
kind of ironic if this is to be lamented (or am i misreading the tone?) by many people whose jobs didn't exist at that time.
or is writing xsl less honourable than pushing around a block of ice? imho it's just a harder sell. less photogenic, i guess
posted by andrew cooke at 5:01 PM on February 23, 2003

Great site, for which, thanks...some day unions may make a comeback in this country and then workers may have a decent stake in their lives. In passing: US and S. Africa the only industrialized nations in the world where striking workers can be permanently replaced.And with that threat, few strikes take place. And workers get screwed.
posted by Postroad at 5:03 PM on February 23, 2003

14 minutes between innocuous (and interesting) FPP and first leftist politicization. At least it's not Iraq, I suppose.
posted by trharlan at 5:16 PM on February 23, 2003

Postroad: Are you proposing it would be better if it was illegal to replace a human with a machine that performs the same task?

That would be just fantastic, assuming one of those machine makes money out of good intensions.

Let me know when you invent one.
posted by Leonard at 5:16 PM on February 23, 2003

(xsl-fo is photogenic)
posted by holloway at 5:18 PM on February 23, 2003

trharlan - so wasn't my comment rightist? and sooner? and not worth a reference?
Leonard: Are you proposing that the moon is made of cheese? Or do you just follow some weird internal logic of your own?
i'm in a bad mood.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:22 PM on February 23, 2003

Postroad...those strike laws also are part of the reason why the US has one of the world's lowest unemployment rates. Unions are still rather powerful in many US fields, but with much more labor being highly skilled, union pay doesn't make sense in the modern economy.
posted by Kevs at 5:24 PM on February 23, 2003

(thanks - that led me, curiously, to topic-maps, which look interesting (but may not be photogenic either))
posted by andrew cooke at 5:29 PM on February 23, 2003

This photo is of a worker for Hooker Chemical, held responsible for the notorious Love Canal.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:35 PM on February 23, 2003

OK, folks. Everybody just settle down and no one gets hurt.

I was a bartender for a long time. I used to think (and I still do) that I could always go back to doing that again.

If something were in place, I would vote this a good post. Thanks, jokeefe.
posted by jaronson at 6:31 PM on February 23, 2003

Postroad, perhaps you'll enjoy my favorite collection of child labor photographs. These little guys and gals will be happy to step in and replace striking union workers. They may not be able to read or write it, but they know the meaning of hard work.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:38 PM on February 23, 2003

There are some amazing photos in there. I really like the one on the bottom right of the first page of the heavy machinary ones.(I cant figure out how to link it, otherwise I would.)
posted by philcliff at 9:32 PM on February 23, 2003

I agree philcliff, great photo. And a very nice post, jokeefe.

I think this guy was later found on the street yelling "STELLA! STELLLLA!".
posted by taz at 10:30 PM on February 23, 2003

Thanks postroad, jaronson, and taz. And to think that I was partially trying to redeem myself after blowing a gasket in the infamous organ donation thread from hell... I certainly didn't want this post to inspire any more shouting.
posted by jokeefe at 11:41 PM on February 23, 2003

I really enjoyed this link.

You might also enjoy Lost Labours - black and white photography of the Black Country in central England, one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution.
posted by plep at 11:01 AM on February 24, 2003

Ah yes, the long lost craft of ice hauling. It's a damn shame we had to do away with that one.
posted by botono9 at 7:29 PM on February 24, 2003

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