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Man of Steel: 1938

Man of Steel: 1938

        A Shorpy salute to the nation's workers on Labor Day 2020 --

July 1938. "Steel worker at rolling mill. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." Medium format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

On Shorpy:
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Labor Day

I am now a Shorpy member for more than 12½ years. And, thanks to Shorpy, I learned a lot about what happens and happened in the U.S.A. But, until now, I did not know that in the U.S. Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September, and not on May 1, the International Workers' Day. While May 1 even was chosen to be International Workers' Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago! But if I understand things correctly, it was exactly that connection with the Haymarket affair that made the Democratic (!) President (Grover Cleveland) support the September Labor Day, because of the risks related to the May Day as a holiday.

As noted,

this work takes a steady hand. As one old shop guy said to me years ago: "You can see every heartbeat in the cut."

It takes a pair of steady hands.

The cut that this young workman is making is much more difficult than it looks. To make a cut through a thick plate as shown and not have the finished result look like a giant hacksaw takes a steady hand, the correct tip on the torch and plenty of practice. If he made the cut that is visible under his hoses he is damn good.

Thank you Shorpy for the salute.

Rob Ellie, Fifty years working for the man

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