Juki industrial sewing machine

Description:

This Juki industrial sewing machine was used in a suburban El Monte, California sweatshop. Law enforcement officers seized the sewing machine during a well-publicized 1995 sweatshop raid and is part of a larger Smithsonian collection of artifacts documenting apparel industry sweatshops, focusing on the El Monte operation. The El Monte sweatshop, like the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911 earlier, took on an iconic role as government and activists used media coverage to galvanize the American public into action.

On August 2, 1995, police officers raided a fenced seven-unit apartment complex in El Monte, California. They arrested eight operators of a clandestine garment sweatshop and freed 72 workers who were being forced to sew garments in virtual captivity. Smuggled from Thailand into the United States, the laborers’ plight brought a national spotlight to domestic sweatshop production and resulted in increased enforcement by federal and state labor agencies. The publicity of the El Monte raid also put added pressure on the apparel industry to reform its labor and business practices domestically and internationally.

Date Made: 1974 - 1995

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Government, Politics, and Reform, El Monte, Cultures & Communities, Work, Sweatshops, Many Voices, One Nation

Exhibition: Many Voices, One Nation

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: State of California. Department of Industrial Relations. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0292.29aAccession Number: 1996.0292Catalog Number: 1996.0292.29a

Object Name: Sewing Machine WorkstationJuki straight stitch sewing machine workstation

Measurements: overall: 59 in x 48 in x 20 in; 149.86 cm x 121.92 cm x 50.8 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-b6c3-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1214477

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