Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. And, of course, Mr. By Priscilla Frank Warning: This article contains some serious nudity and is probably not appropriate for work.
These men are at the top of the blast furnace. Notice the two handcarts in the picture that the men used to load items into the furnace. Working 9 to 9 A very different workplace The workplace that new immigrants entered when they came to the U. For that matter, the world of work was changing so rapidly in the s and early s that it was different from what anyone had known before!
In fact, the huge changes in how people and nations made a living how and how this work was done, were the major PULL factor see the Push and Pull thread attracting immigrants to the United States. Still, few who came in the great immigration wave of through were quite prepared for what they found.
Most from eastern and southern Europe had been peasant farmers and herders whose lives ebbed and flowed with the passing of the seasons. Craftsmen and merchants owned their own businesses, living and working under the same roof. Community life revolved around church and synagogue and the calendar around religious holidays.
Without question, they worked hard, but celebrating a multitude of saints' feast days and other holidays, broke the monotony. Working from sunup to sundown was grueling during spring planting and fall harvest, but the work eased with the dying of light in the winter.
Culture shock for new immigrants Imagine the culture shock these folks had as immigrants!
Their new jobs were ruled by the company time clock, not the sun and seasons. Every day, not just long summer days, was 12 hours long; every week was 6 days long. Half the time, those 12 hours were nighttime hours, because mills and mines worked round the clock. Workers labored the day shift for two weeks, then the night shift for two weeks, with a hour shift between.
Workers had no "vacation" except lay-offs without pay when business was bad.
There were few holidays and no paid holidays. But they still didn't make enough money to pay their rent and buy food for their families. The work was dangerous, too -- especially for "greenhorns," as newcomers were called.
Explosive gasses and cave-ins made miners' families dread the disaster whistle.
Steelworkers had to avoid cranes moving hunks of hot steel weighing tons or be crushed. Molten steel could splash and burn.
Most horribly, when workers fell into a furnace, no body was left for a funeral! Out of respect, the whole load of iron or steel was buried right at the mill site. Workers hurt on the job didn't receive disability, though Cambria Iron and Steel Company did build a company hospital to treat injured employees.Eight-hour days became rallying cries in the latter half of the 19th century, as workers in the building trades and similar industries marched together for better conditions.
Ten years earlier, the Seattle Chapter of the Knights may have thought they had permanently cleared out all Chinese workers, including laundrymen. During the century, the average annual number of workers (operators and contractors combined) in the mining industry has declined to approximately ,, and deaths have dropped approximately fold, from to 89; injury fatality rates have decreased approximately fold, to .
During the early s, an additional job opportunity arose for women -- factory work. Most Ohio men had no desire to work in factories under the direction of another man. They preferred to be their own bosses, whether as farmers, storekeepers, blacksmiths, or as some other type of businessmen.
For that matter, the world of work was changing so rapidly in the s and early s that it was different from what anyone had known before! In fact, the huge changes in how people (and nations) made a living how and how this work was done, were the major PULL factor (see the Push and Pull thread) attracting immigrants to the United States.
In the early s, labor unions petitioned for child labor laws, women’s workplace rights, better working conditions, fewer weekly work hours and higher pay, but it wasn’t until that the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed by President Franklin D.