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Labor Collection

"Labor: The Backbone of Progress and Equality" In the intricate tapestry of history

Background imageLabor Collection: Blowing glass in a British factory, 1800s

Blowing glass in a British factory, 1800s
Workers in a crown-glass factory, Great Britain, early 1800s. Hand-colored engraving of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: CAPITALIST PYRAMID, 1911. American Socialist poster

CAPITALIST PYRAMID, 1911. American Socialist poster

Background imageLabor Collection: Labour clears the way. Labour Party poster of 1910 challenging the House of Lords rejection of

Labour clears the way. Labour Party poster of 1910 challenging the House of Lords rejection of the Peoples Budget
ENGLAND: LABOUR POSTER. Labour clears the way. Labour Party poster of 1910 challenging the House of Lords rejection of the Peoples Budget

Background imageLabor Collection: Coal mine in England, 1850s

Coal mine in England, 1850s
Removing coal in the Bradley mine, Staffordshire, England, 1850s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Medieval goldsmith at work

Medieval goldsmith at work
Workshop of Etienne Delaulne, a goldsmith in Paris, 1500s. Hand-colored woodcut reproduction of a 16th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Orange grove in California

Orange grove in California
California orange grove, 1890s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Glass factory workers in Britain, 1800s

Glass factory workers in Britain, 1800s
Manufacturing glass at a flint-glass factory, Great Britain, 1800s. Hand-colored engraving of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Logging in Wisconsin, 1800s

Logging in Wisconsin, 1800s
Hauling logs with a horse-drawn sledge in northern Wisconsin, 1880s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: The fourth state, work by Giuseppe Pelliza da Volpedo

The fourth state, work by Giuseppe Pelliza da Volpedo

Background imageLabor Collection: Steel Workers Organizing Comittee. Painting for a poster (never printed), late 1930s, by Ben Shahn

Steel Workers Organizing Comittee. Painting for a poster (never printed), late 1930s, by Ben Shahn
SHAHN: STEEL UNION POSTER. Steel Workers Organizing Comittee. Painting for a poster (never printed), late 1930s, by Ben Shahn

Background imageLabor Collection: Organize? With 1, 250, 000 Workers Backing Us, Of Course We Will Organize

Organize? With 1, 250, 000 Workers Backing Us, Of Course We Will Organize
LABOR: POSTER, 1930s. Organize? With 1, 250, 000 Workers Backing Us, Of Course We Will Organize. Original oil on canvas for a poster, late 1930s, by Ben Shahn

Background imageLabor Collection: Riverboats at Shreveport, Louisiana, 1870s

Riverboats at Shreveport, Louisiana, 1870s
Stevedores loading barrels at the Red River levee at Shreveport, Louisiana, 1870s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Apprentice carpenter

Apprentice carpenter
Young carpenters apprentice planing a block of wood, 1800s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Bakers at their trade in the late Middle Ages

Bakers at their trade in the late Middle Ages
Bakers of York, showing their guild ordinances, England, 1590s. Hand-colored 19th-century woodcut reproduction of an earlier illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: MOLLY MAGUIRES, 1874. Holding a clandestine meeting during a strike in the Pennsylvania coal fields

MOLLY MAGUIRES, 1874. Holding a clandestine meeting during a strike in the Pennsylvania coal fields. Wood engraving from an American newspaper of 1874

Background imageLabor Collection: RAFF CICCONE SENATE

RAFF CICCONE SENATE
Labor Senator for Victoria Raff Ciccone holds his baby while in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Background imageLabor Collection: RAFF CICCONE SENATE

RAFF CICCONE SENATE
Labor Senator for Victoria Raff Ciccone holds his baby while in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Background imageLabor Collection: RAFF CICCONE SENATE

RAFF CICCONE SENATE
Labor Senator for Victoria Raff Ciccone holds his baby while in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Background imageLabor Collection: RAFF CICCONE SENATE

RAFF CICCONE SENATE
Labor Senator for Victoria Raff Ciccone holds his baby while in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Background imageLabor Collection: RAFF CICCONE SENATE

RAFF CICCONE SENATE
Labor Senator for Victoria Raff Ciccone holds his baby while in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Background imageLabor Collection: The Beach at Posillipo by J. C. Dahl, 1821

The Beach at Posillipo by J. C. Dahl, 1821
Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857). Danish painter. The Beach at Posillipo, 1821. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Copenhagen. Denmark

Background imageLabor Collection: MISSISSIPPI: LABOR, 1940. Cotton picking in the vicinity of Clarksdale, Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI: LABOR, 1940. Cotton picking in the vicinity of Clarksdale, Mississippi. Photograph by Marion Post Wolcott, November 1940

Background imageLabor Collection: Chinese immigrants working on the transcontinental railroad

Chinese immigrants working on the transcontinental railroad
Chinese laborers constructing the Central Pacific Railroad, 1860s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Typesetter at work, 1800s

Typesetter at work, 1800s
Setting type by hand in a print-shop. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Building the railroad to Bismarck, North Dakota, 1870s

Building the railroad to Bismarck, North Dakota, 1870s
Laying railroad track in winter across the Missouri River at Bismarck, North Dakota, 1879. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Trade union. Manifest published by the World Congress in London

Trade union. Manifest published by the World Congress in London
Trade union. Emerged from the development of the Industrial Revolution in the late nineteenth century in Great Britain. Manifest published by the World Congress in London. 1896

Background imageLabor Collection: Workers cheering the first train over the mountains from California

Workers cheering the first train over the mountains from California
Snowsheds protecting a transcontinental railroad train in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: BUSN2P-00001

BUSN2P-00001
Book and magazine printing press at Harper & Bros. New York City, early 1900s. Printed halftone of a photograph

Background imageLabor Collection: AGRI2A-00088

AGRI2A-00088
Native field hands picking coffee in Brazil 1800s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Putting in seed on a bonanza farm, 1800s

Putting in seed on a bonanza farm, 1800s
Seeding grain on a bonanza farm, North Dakota, early 1890s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Jacquard loom, 1880s

Jacquard loom, 1880s
Woman worker using a mechanized Jacquard loom, 1880s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illlustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Three women chippers working in a shipbuilding shipyard

Three women chippers working in a shipbuilding shipyard, 1942

Background imageLabor Collection: Ceramic artist working in her workshop with a potters wheel, turning a vase, Geisenhausen

Ceramic artist working in her workshop with a potters wheel, turning a vase, Geisenhausen, Bavaria, Germany, Europe

Background imageLabor Collection: A Woman Vacuuming

A Woman Vacuuming
New York, New York: 1929. Marie Bard, 22, who is the model for the 1930 Red Cross poster and US postage stamp illustrated by artist Lawrence Wilbur

Background imageLabor Collection: Das Kapital, also called Capital (1867)

Das Kapital, also called Capital (1867)
Karl Marx (1818-1883). German philosopher, political theorist, and socialist revolutionary. Das Kapital, also called Capital (1867). A Critique of Political Economy (1867)

Background imageLabor Collection: The Wood Cutter (oil on board)

The Wood Cutter (oil on board)
CH378341 The Wood Cutter (oil on board) by Landseer, Edwin (1802-73); 50x61 cm; Private Collection; Photo eChristies Images; English, out of copyright

Background imageLabor Collection: Workshop handmade candles. 18th century. Engraving

Workshop handmade candles. 18th century. Engraving in Encyclopedie by Diderot et d Alembert. Engraving

Background imageLabor Collection: Poster for the Industrial Workers of the World from an American labor newspaper of 1917

Poster for the Industrial Workers of the World from an American labor newspaper of 1917
IWW POSTER, 1917. Poster for the Industrial Workers of the World from an American labor newspaper of 1917

Background imageLabor Collection: BUSN2A-00095

BUSN2A-00095
Loggers with an ordinary haul on an ox-drawn sledge, Minnesota, 1890s. Hand-colored halftone of a 19th-century photograph

Background imageLabor Collection: GATL2A-00027

GATL2A-00027
Jamaicans bringing their produce to market, circa 1890. Hand-colored halftone illustration of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: AGRI2A-00064

AGRI2A-00064
Picking apples, a farm scene near Prides Bridge, Maine, 1800s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Garden irrigation in the 1500s

Garden irrigation in the 1500s
Garden water pumped through beds via intersecting channels, formal bed design of 1571. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageLabor Collection: Man ploughing with gas mask, September 1939

Man ploughing with gas mask, September 1939
Man photographed as he ploughs his field in Surrey. The Sphere notes his gas mask which he hangs from the handle of his plough. Date: 1939

Background imageLabor Collection: Un Patron or The lesson of the Apprentice, 1888 (oil on canvas)

Un Patron or The lesson of the Apprentice, 1888 (oil on canvas)
3106536 Un Patron or The lesson of the Apprentice, 1888 (oil on canvas) by Buland, Jean Eugene (1851-1927); 102 x 82 cm; National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden; French, out of copyright

Background imageLabor Collection: World War II poster of a female factory worker building a rocket

World War II poster of a female factory worker building a rocket
Vintage World War II poster of a female factory worker building a rocket. It declares, Women in the war, We Can t Win Without Them

Background imageLabor Collection: A woman assembles part of the cowling of a B-25 bomber motor. circa 1942

A woman assembles part of the cowling of a B-25 bomber motor. circa 1942
A woman assembles part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber in the engine department of North Americas Inglewood, California plant. circa October 1942



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"Labor: The Backbone of Progress and Equality" In the intricate tapestry of history, labor stands as a powerful force that has shaped societies and challenged oppressive systems. From the depths of coal mines in 1850s England to the glass factories of Britain in the 1800s, workers have tirelessly toiled, often under harsh conditions, fueling industrial revolutions. The capitalist pyramid loomed large over America in 1911, but it was met with resistance. American Socialist posters boldly called for solidarity among workers, reminding them that their collective strength could dismantle this unjust hierarchy. Similarly, the Labour Party poster from 1910 defiantly confronted the House of Lords' rejection of the Peoples Budget – a testament to how they are challenge entrenched power structures. Through organizing and unity, change becomes possible. Ben Shahn's original oil painting from the late 1930s depicts this sentiment vividly; with an astounding backing of 1, 250, 000 workers behind them, there is no doubt that they will organize for justice. Labor encompasses various trades throughout history; from medieval goldsmiths crafting intricate masterpieces to apprentice carpenters honing their skills through dedication and hard work. Each profession contributes its unique value to society's progress. However, we must also acknowledge darker chapters where labor was exploited mercilessly. The image of black slaves on sugar plantations serves as a stark reminder of humanity's capacity for cruelty and oppression. Yet amidst these struggles emerges hope and resilience. Giuseppe Pelliza da Volpedo's artwork titled "The Fourth State" captures both despair and determination as workers demand fair treatment and social equality. Steel Workers Organizing Committee by Ben Shahn encapsulates another pivotal moment in labor history during the late 1930s when steelworkers fought against exploitation within their industry. This powerful painting symbolizes their unwavering resolve to improve working conditions for themselves and future generations. As we reflect upon these historical snapshots, we recognize that labor is not just a means to an end.