The tools, rules, and relationships of the workplace illustrate some of the enduring collaborations and conflicts in the everyday life of the nation. The Museum has more than 5,000 traditional American tools, chests, and simple machines for working wood, stone, metal, and leather. Materials on welding, riveting, and iron and steel construction tell a more industrial version of the story. Computers, industrial robots, and other artifacts represent work in the Information Age.
But work is more than just tools. The collections include a factory gate, the motion-study photographs of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, and more than 3,000 work incentive posters. The rise of the factory system is measured, in part, by time clocks in the collections. More than 9,000 items bring in the story of labor unions, strikes, and demonstrations over trade and economic issues.
"Work - Overview" showing 1 items.
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- Metal containers such as these were commonly used in the late 19th and early 20th by Chinese immigrants in the laundry business. A water and starch mix were sprinkled onto clothes for ironing.
- Chinese immigration to the United States was driven by the need for cheap labor during the mining and railroad boom of the 1850s. Chinese soon moved into other industries such as agriculture and laundry services.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- ca 1900
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center