Airtime shirt, 1990s


This unfinished Airtime brand boys shirt was in production when authorities raided the the infamous El Monte, California sweatshop in 1995. It is part of a larger Smithsonian collection of artifacts documenting apparel industry sweatshops, focusing on the El Monte operation.

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: 1990 - 1995

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, El Monte, 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: 1996.0292.08Catalog Number: 1996.0292.08Accession Number: 1996.0292

Object Name: shirtAirtime brand shirt

Physical Description: fabric (overall material)Measurements: overall: 30 1/2 in x 18 1/2 in; 77.47 cm x 46.99 cmoverall: 30 1/2 in x 18 1/2 in; 77.47 cm x 46.99 cm


Record Id: nmah_1431901

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