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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Jackhammer Time: 1942

Jackhammer Time: 1942

August 1942. "Fort Loudoun Dam -- Tennessee Valley Authority drillers." Photo by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Wake up

This picture has been up for three days and nobody has chimed in with the model or date of manufacture of these jack hammers. Somebody must be snoozing.

Dam Good Work

Drove across the finished product every day for years. They did good work!

Ear protection?

You could bet they were saying "WHAT" a lot a few years after!

Prime candidates

for vibration white finger, otherwise known as hand-arm vibration syndrome or dead finger

Grinders consumption

This reminds me of a problem early knife makers encountered. It was called grinders consumption. It was caused by grinding steel and exotic handle materials such as abolone shell and many others. They never wore protective mask so for a lot of these men it meant early death. They did not provide mask for these early workers to wear which resulted in inhaling all these particles directly into their lungs. Where it stayed and never came out. Sadly, I am certain these TVA workers encounters similar situations over the years because of breathing rock dust and a residue called silica. When you buy a grinder stone nowadays there is usually a warning on the stone that says something about silica content.

It would be a horrible way to die. We just did not know these things in the early years.

Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill

Every morning at seven o'clock
There's twenty tarriers a workin at the rock
The boss comes along and he says, "Keep still
And come down heavy on the cast iron drill."

Can you hear me now?

Are nine pneumatic jack hammers louder than one? Probably not. Ten minutes near just one without ear plugs and you are blissfully deaf. What noise?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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