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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

Men of Steel: 1938

Men of Steel: 1938

July 1938. Veteran steelworkers in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration.

 

SWOC

Note the S.W.O.C. label on the window with "Lodge 1211." Below you can see writing on the window about "PM" and "attend." The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, precursor to the United Steelworkers of America, was formed by the CIO in 1936. It organized at Jones & Laughlin Steel in Aliquippa as an "industrial union" unlike the AFL which was a trade union. Aliquippa was one of the handful of steel towns where union organizers risked their lives by merely entering the city limits.

On the night of May 12, 1937, 25,000 workers went on strike at Jones and Laughlin. It turned out to be one of the shortest strikes in the history of the steel unions. Within 36 hours J&L capitulated and agreed to a union. The 1937 strike was the benchmark by which the United Steelworkers of America would be measured.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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