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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Industrialization and Expansion (1877-1913) (x)
  • Theme > Work (x)

We found 37 items that match your search

"The Inevitable Result to the American Workingman of Unrestricted Immigration"

This cartoon, published in the weekly humor magazine Judge around 1890, presents a vision of what large numbers of poor immigrants, willing to work for low wages, might do to American workers and their families. 

Tables Show Chinese Labor Distribution and Wage Discrepancies in Late 19th Century San Francisco

This chart shows the numbers of Chinese immigrants employed in various occupations in San Francisco from 1860-1880. Although the data is incomplete, the chart shows that the vast majority of Chinese worked in menial jobs as laundry workers, [...]

The Jungle (Excerpt)

Upton Sinclair's novel about immigrant workers in Chicago's meatpacking plants shocked readers when it was first published in 1906. Sinclair hoped the novel would awaken Americans to the evils of capitalism; the main character Jurgis ends the novel [...]

"Goddess of Liberty, Answer"

This poem refers to the Statue of Liberty, and appears to be a response to Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus." The location mentioned by the author, "Sandy Hook," is on the coast of New Jersey, and signifies the border of the U.S. beyond which [...]

"Living"

John Boyle O'Reilly was an Irish-born poet and novelist who escaped to America from Western Australia, where he had been imprisoned for being a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, or Fenians. One of his later poems, "Living" (1881) connotes [...]

"View of the Ewen Coal Breaker of the Pa. Coal Co."

Young boys were often employed in coal mines in the mining regions of Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Kentucky, and West Virginia, where boys as young as twelve could be legally put to work. Often working in "coal breakers," sorting out slate and other [...]

Child Cotton Pickers Haul Heavy Loads

Child cotton-pickers on a farm in Bells, Texas, documented by Lewis W. Hine, a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Children had long been used as cotton-pickers and other agricultural workers in the South, where the tradition of [...]

"Cotton Picking in Georgia"

In the 1890s, most African Americans labored in the southern cotton economy. Some owned their own farms, but many worked in a system called sharecropping. Landlords provided sharecroppers with land, a cabin, farm tools, and cotton seed; in return, [...]

"Bananas Being Loaded into Waiting Carts"

New York dockworkers unload bananas from a cargo ship into a waiting cart in this early twentieth-century photograph by maritime photographer Edwin Levick. Their work was dangerous—the fatality rate for longshoremen was higher than for any [...]

"The Fish Dealer's Daughter"

As historian John Kuo Wei Tchen notes of this portrait, "the girl's tattered clothing and gloves on both hands clearly indicate that she works hard, probably assisting her father in carrying the wicker shrimp baskets shown behind."  Tchen [...]