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.
- In the later 19th century, guns with explosive charges shooting the harpoons took the place of hand tools for catching and killing whales. They were much safer, for they could be shot at a whale from greater distances than a hand lance could be applied. They also penetrated the whale’s skin deeper and were harder for the animal to dislodge.
- Gun harpoons were also far more efficient, for the steam whalers could approach the prey directly and did not need labor-intensive whaleboats and their highly trained crews any longer.
- Designed to be fired from a shoulder gun, this nonexplosive style of harpoon was invented by Oliver Allen of Norwich, Conn. to fasten to whales prior to killing.
- date made
- harpoons replaced hand tools
- late 19th century
- Allen, Oliver
- Allen, Oliver
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- patent number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center