Cargo hook with Japanese character

Description
Hand-held cargo hooks were the indispensable tools of longshoremen working on conventional (non-containerized) freighters. In the course of loading and discharging cargo they needed to grab, lift, and move various types and sizes of bags, boxes, and bales. The hooks, held firmly in a gloved hand, extended their reach and helped them lift heavy items. Most longshoremen owned several different types of hooks for moving different materials—from burlap sacks to wooden boxes—and altered the handles to suit their grip.
The 12-inch-long, straight handle and small, curved blade on the end of this cargo hook was especially useful for reaching into tight spots and dragging out boxes. A Japanese character is stamped into the bottom of the handle, prompting the hook's owner to refer to it as a "Japanese hook." Donor Herb Mills used this hook during his career as a longshoreman in San Francisco. Mills was a member of Local 10 of the ILWU—the International Longshore and Warehouse Union—from 1963 to 1992.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1960
used date
ca 1960-1990
Associated Place
United States: California, San Francisco
Measurements
overall: 13 3/8 in x 2 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 33.9725 cm x 6.35 cm x 3.81 cm
ID Number
2002.0026.04
accession number
2002.0026
catalog number
2002.0026.04
Credit Line
Gift of Herb Mills
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Work
America on the Move
Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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