Rice bowl, 1990s

Rice bowl, 1990s

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This plastic rice bowl belonged to Jumnien Torusmee, who worked at a sweatshop in El Monte, California. This bowl was found in the 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. Torusmee was one of 72 workers recruited from Thailand who were promised good pay and good working conditions. After paying $5,000 to be smuggled into the United States with fraudulent documents, the workers were paid $1.60 an hour with seventeen-hour workdays in horrifying conditions. In addition, the workers were forced to buy their food and products from the company store at inflated prices , including rice bowls like this one.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
1990 - 1999
1980 - 1999
place made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
white (overall color)
pink/multi (overall color)
overall: 2 1/2 in x 7 5/8 in; 6.35 cm x 19.3675 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Jumnienien Tornsmee
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Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
American Enterprise
El Monte
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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