Additional Resources: Lessons in Labor History
To assist you in gaining more interest in this chapter, resources are shown below. Most can be accessed on line, and links will be shown. Many resources shown are original, and provide some insights into the lives of workers at the time. NOTE: This section is under construction. Some of the links below may be inactive.
Lesson 1: The Emergence of Modern Industrial America (1890-1920)
- The “Bay View Tragedy” occurred on May 5, 1886, when the State Militia fired upon some 1,500 workers who were marching peacefully during an eight-hour day campaign. Between six to nine of the marchers and onlookers were killed from the shots, making it one of Wisconsin’s most bloody labor disputes. The incident was an important watershed for Wisconsin workers as it helped to spur on later progressive activities. For a news stories about the Tragedy and resources, please click here.
- “The Union Badge: Story of a Workers’ Family” by Jessie Stephen, Milwaukee Leader, May 24, 1930. Click here to view it.
- “Bay View Labor Riot of 1886,” Milwaukee Free Press, July 3, 1910. Click here to view it.
- “The Rolling Mills,” (day by day account of events leading to the Bay View incident. Click here to view it.
- “Woodworkers Strike Turns Violent in Oshkosh, 1898,” Milwaukee Sentinel, June 24, 1892. Click here to view this item.
- Federated Trades Council of Milwaukee Directory, 1892 (Milwaukee, Trade and Labor Association, 1892). Click here to view this item.
- John R. Commons, et. al., History of Labor in the United States New York: Macmillan, 1921), especially Chapters 8-10. A progressive era analysis of recent labor history since Civil War. No link is available for this item.
- “Progressive Era Investigations” and “Progressive Ideas.” Click here to read the text summaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Lesson 2: Raising Public Consciousness: Mobilizing the Media
- Lewis Hine, Child Labor Photos from Lewis Hine Project: Click here.
- “The History Place: Child Labor in America,” Biographical information and photos: www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/
- “Cry of theChildren” (includes movie poster) http://www.thanhouser.org/films/cry.htm
- A Corner in Wheat – D.W.Griffith, 1909 (includes download to video): http://www.archive.org/details/D.W.Griffith-ACornerinWheat1909
- “A Corner on Wheat” (Poster and Text) – (Links to be provided soon)
- John Spargo, “The Bitter Cry of the Children” (excerpt) http://web.viu.ca/davies/H321GildedAge/Spargo.BitterCryofChildren.1906.htm
- John Spargo Image http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/88/Spargo-john-pc1917.jpg/220px-Spargo-john-pc1917.jpg
- Progressive Era Website http://www.westirondequoit.org/ihs/library/prog2.htm
- “The Social Impact of Thanhouser’s The Cry of the Children,” Ned Thanhouser, 2003 http://www.thanhouser.org/films/cry.htm
- The Jungle, Upton Sinclair (may download all or selec ted chapters) http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/140
Lesson Plan 3: “Women’s Issues as a Progressive Cause”
- Women Workers in Deering Twine Mill Cafeteria, ca 1910 (photo) – wisconsinhistory.org (Image ID #47805, McCormick/IH Collection) Click here to view.
- Women War Worker at 4WD, Clintonville, ca 1918 (photo – wisconsinhistory.org (Image ID # 33431, Classified File) Click here to view.
- International Truck Carrying Female Employees, ca 1918 – wisconsinhistory.org (Image ID #6636, McCormick/IH Collection) Click here to view.
- A Guide to Progressivism for Women Voters, 1922, Irma Hochstein, “A Progressive Primer” – Click here to view. (Document #TP209)
- Factory Equipment, Housekeeping, and Supervision: A Handbook for Employers of Women…, Sept. 1920, Industrial Commission of Wisconsin. Click here to view. (state regulations for women workers)
- “Bulletin of the Wisconsin Department of Education,” No. 1, “Laws of Wisconsin Relating to the Emplyment of Women and Children, Industrial Education, andTruancy,” Madison, 1912 – Click here to view.
- “Testimony of Wisconsin Working Women” “Hearings, 1914,” Wisconsin Legislature, Committee on White Slave Traffic and Kindred Subjects (digital identifier #TP396000) – Click here to view. – Includes several pages of testimony (Brown,Douglas, LaCrosse, Sheboygan, Winnebago Counties)
- Marie Obenauer, “Employment of Women in Power Laundries in Milwaukee: A Study of Working Conditions and the Physical Demands of the Various Laundry Occupations,” 1913, Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C., May 15, 1913 – Click here to view.
- ggJustice Brewer, majority opinion of U.S. Supreme Court in Muller v Oregon, 1908 – U.S. LEXIS 1452; 521.Ed 551 – Click here to view.
Lesson Plan 4: Labor as a Political Force: Radical Diversity and the Wisconsin Socialists
- “Berger Long a Dynamo of the Socialists, “ Milwaukee Sentinel, July 17, 1929. Click here.
- “Speech at Banquet Tribute to Dan Hoan Idealism,” Milwaukee Leader, n.d. 1935. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1103
- Socialist Party Poster – “Stop Next War Now” ca 1920 http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullimage.asp?id=23612
- “Socialism and the War” – Poster, 1917 (publicizing speech by former Milwaukee Mayor, Emil Seidel Image ID 26096 http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullimage.asp?=26096
- The Bede Seidel Debate on the Question “Is Socialism Desirable for the United States?, ca 1913 Chataqua Debate Series. Click here.
- James J. Lorence, “Dynamite for the Brain: The Growth and Decline of Socialism in Central and Lakeshore Wisconsin, 1910-1920,” Wisconsin Magazine of History(Includes Photo, 1920) Click here.
- “Organized Labor and Socialism: Two Views,” from Holter, Workers and Unions in Wisconsin. (Link to be created soon).
- Election Poster, ca 1918 (Link to be created from Elmer Beck, Sewer Socialists)
- An Alternative Radicalism (Three images to be linked from Joyce Kornbluh, Rebel Voices (Chicago: Charles Kerr, 1988). Images originally appeared in Industrial Worker, 6/30/17; 2/13/13; 3/27/13
- “Socialism,” John Spargo (may download) http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/22733
Lesson Plan 5: Wisconsin Progressives and the Future: the “Laboratory of Democracy”
- John R. Commons, Myself (1934). Students may search for his comments on La Follette and the Progressives with reference to the origins of workman’s compensation. Click here.
- The story of Workers’ Compensation and the role played by Wisconsin. Click here to see 10-minute video.
- Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, “Independence: The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s First 150 Years,” 1958 (Links to be provided soon)
- “Political Cartoons of La Follette and the Progressive Era.” “Mr. La Follette’s Strongest Card”, ca 1911, John T. McCutcheon, Chicago Daily Tribune, December 29, 1911. “Forward,” Wisconsin State Journal, 1904, in Albert O. Barton, La Follette’s Winning of Wisconsin(1894-1904). “For Any Old Trust,” McWhorter, ca 1906
- “Timeline History: Wisconsin Industrial Commission.” Click here to view.
- Robert M. La Follette, La Follette’s Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experience, 1912.
- Charles McCarthy, The Wisconsin Idea, 1912 (Note especially Chapter VI – “Labor, Health, and Public Welfare.
- “Big Ideas” Episode in Wisconsin Stories series (Wisconsin Public Television)
- Selected pages from La Follette Speech, “The Danger Threatening Representative Government,” 1897 (on corporate power’s influence).
- “Looking Back 25 Years, State Points to a Great Glory that Grew from a Bitter Battle,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 3, 1936. Link to be provided.
Lesson 6: The Impact of World War II at Home: Catalyst for Social and Economic Change
- “Wisconsin in World War II,” WISCONSIN BLUE BOOK, 1962, pp. 189-198. This is a comprehensive, but concise, summary of how the workers and citizens of the State of Wisconsin handled the “home front” during World War II. To view Click Here .
- Graph: “Membership of Wisconsin Federation of Labor and WisconsinState Industrial Union Council, 1940-1956, and the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, 1958-1982,” from Robert Ozanne, THE LABOR MOVEMENT IN WISCONSIN: A HISTORY (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1984) p. 63. This graph shows the growth of labor unions in the state from 1940 to 1982 .
- Document: “We of Allis-Chalmers,” ca 1942-1945. From the Wisconsin Historical Society “Turning Points” site, this is an eight page document, partly text and partly visual images, dealing with women workers’ war work. Click here to view .
- “Joe Ellis to Dear Friend, June 3, 1943, with “Program, Interracial Committee of Urban League and CIO,“ (Milwaukee), June 8, 1943; “ Program, V Mass Meeting,” June 13, 1945, All in Milwaukee Industrial Union Council Papers, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Historical Society Area Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Boxes 3 and 4. Here is a hard copy image of these documents.
- ”Nellie Wilson: A Black Woman Meets the Union,” These remarks made at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Labor History Society in 1989 were reprinted in Darryl Holter’s book, WORKERS AND UNIONS IN WISCONSIN: A LABOR HISTORY ANTHOLOGY (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1999), pp. 184-185. Here is a hard copy of those remarks .
- “Harold Christoffel to Phillip Murray,” June 9, 1944, Milwaukee Industrial Union Council Papers, Box 4, in which the union council proposes that CIO encourage the War Labor Board to take an effective
- anti-strike measure in the interest of maintaining maximum production. See copy of these remarks .
- “Harold Christoffel to Wm. B. Uihlein,” Sept. 28, 1942, Milwaukee Industrial Union Council Papers, Box 3, in which the union council MIUC supports Milwaukee Community War Chest and war relief. See copy of these remarks
- Wisconsin Historical Images website, “World War, 1939-1945 – War Work” This is an excellent website containing over 200 good images of war work in progress, most of it in Wisconsin, including “Rosie at Heils” in Milwaukee, glider aircraft production at Consolidated Paper Products in Wisconsin Rapids, workers at Ray-O-Vac Battery in Madison, as well as many others. Click here to search these images. Enter “World War II” into search.
- “Women Safe at Work at Allis-Chalmers,” (Milwaukee: Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co., 1942). This is a 25 page pamphlet (Pamphlet 54-1558). Click here.
- Rose Kaminski – Transcript of interview, covering her wartime work experience at Rex Chain Belt and Harnischfeger Corporation in Milwaukee.Click here for interview text.
- “Wisconsin Stories” – “The Series: The Home Front.” From Wisconsin Public Television website, “The Program/Transcripts.” These transcripts show the social and economic impact of the war though multiple recollections, all brief, including comments from Manitowoc, Badger Ordinance Works at Baraboo, Milwaukee, and elsewhere in the state. Click here for transcripts of Home Front series.
- Video film: “Who Paid the Dues” – full video or selection from it on late 1930s and early 1940s, incorporating the 1941 Allis Chalmers strike footage. This video was created by the Milwaukee Public Library in the early 1980s, and may be accessed at several libraries throughout the state.
Lesson No. 7: Visual Representations of Democratic Warfare
- “Government Information Manual for the Motion Picture Industry,” 1942, National Archives, Record Group 208, Records of the OWI, Series 285 . Click here.
- Lowell Mellett to Studio Heads,” Dec. 9, 1942. Click here.
- “Library of Congress, Recorded Sound Section – Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division,” Radio Records. Click here.
- “Powers of Persuasion,” (Select Posters). Click here.
- “Answers to Questions Women Ask about War Work,” National Archives, Records of War Manpower Commission, Record Group 211. Click here.
- Photo – “Here’s Our Answer, President Roosevelt, Stevens Point Journal, June 19, 1942. (To be linked in future)
- “Wisconsin Stories: Home Front,” Wisconsin Public Radio (includes transcripts and video clips). Click here.
Lesson No. 8: “The Changing Face of the Workforce I: Women in Wartime Labor Force”
- “We of Allis Chalmers,” ca 1942-1945. Click here to see an 8 page document, partly visual images and partly text, on Allis-Chalmers, including women war workers.
- “Women Safe at Work at Allis-Chalmers,” Milwaukee Allis-Chalmers Co., 1942 – 45. Click here to see 8-page pamphlet(pamphlet 54-1558)
- “Stories and Images from the Manitowoc Home Front, 1939-1947,” (Collection of Images) Click here to see photos.
- “Women Metal Fabricators” in Fort Atkinson, MilwaukeeJournal (Image). Click here for images.
- “Nellie Wilson: A Black Woman Meets the Union, ”from Holter, Workers and Unions in Wisconsin. Click here.
- “Wisconsin Historical Images” – “World War, 1939-1945 – War Work<” URL – Many photos available showing Wisconsin at work during the war effort, including many of women workers. Many good images of war work in progress, including “Rosie at Heils”; aircraft (glider production) in Wisconsin Rapids (Consolidated Paper); Ray-O-Vac Battery in Madison; etc. Click here to check it out.
- “Wisconsin Stories,: The Series”: The Home Front,” Wisconsin Public Television. The program transcript is available online. It contains multiple recollections, including Manitowoc, Badger Ordinance in Baraboo, Milwaukee, etc. Click here.
Lesson Plan No. 9 – “The Changing Face of the Work Force, II: The Minority Struggle in Wisconsin”
- “African-American Participants in Milwaukee Labor Day Parade,” 1945 (Image). Click here.
- Various original documents involving workers and racial relations, including Joe Ellis to Friend June 3, 1943; Interracial Committee, April 8, 1943; “Mass Meeting,” June 3, 1943; “Program,” June 3, 1943. View original materials here.
- “Nellie Wilson: A Black Woman Meets the Union,” in Holter book, “Workers and Unions in Wisconsin.” View by clicking here.
- “The Need in Milwaukee County for Extending Employment of Negroes,” Jan. 29, 1946. Click here.
- “Milwaukee’s Negro Community, ca March 1946. Click here.
- “Wisconsin Black Historical Society,” website
- “Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle,” California Newsreel Website. Also go to National Railroad Museum website.
- “Goin’ to Chicago,” (Click here)
- “Up South,” American Social History Project Website
- “America Goes to War: The Home Front,” Episode 9 – “Mood Indigo, Blacks and Whites” (Allmovie website description)
Lesson Plan No. 10: “Students Create Their Own History”
- “What is Oral History?” Click here.
- Studs Terkel, “Conversations with America,” Chicago History Museum
- “Studs Terkel: “Hard Times’ and Other Histories,” National Public Radio
- “WPA Life Histories from Wisconsin,” Federal Writers Project – Library of Congress. Click here.
- Like Our Sisters Before Us: Women of Wisconsin Labor, Jamakaya. Click here.
- “Wisconsin Labor Oral History Project,” Wisconsin Historical Society. Click here.