1. Workers in Wisconsin History: Commemorating the Contributions and Acknowledging the Struggles of Working People Toward Making Wisconsin a Great State, A Labor History Sesquicentennial Project of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Labor Education and Training Center, Inc. Germanson, Kenneth A., editor. Milwaukee, Wis.: Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Labor Education and Training Center, Inc.; [1999]. 24 p. Notes: “This booklet highlights presentations made at six events which were held throughout the state as part of the ‘Workers in Wisconsin History’ Project during 1998–Wisconsin’s Sesquicentennial Year. The contents … include excerpts from speeches, writings or other presentations made at the events.”–inside front cover.CONTENTS: “The Bay View Tragedy of May 5, 1886: A Look at Milwaukee’s 8-Hour March, Killings from the Workers’ Point of View” / by Howard Zinn, p. 3-5. — “The Great Oshkosh Woodworkers Strike of 1898: Women Played Heroic Role in Citywide Struggle that had National Significance” / by Virginia Crane, p. 6-8. — “The 1940s and the Union Movement in Wisconsin: Wartime Saw Unions Grow in Numbers, Enter into New Areas, Like Politics” / by Darryl Holter, p. 9-12. — “Labor in the Upper Wisconsin River Valley: From Paternalism to Cooperation, Workers,Companies Built Prosperity” / by James Lorence, p. 13-15. — “Labor in Stevens Point, 1880-1998: From $1 a Day for 12 Hours, Unions Made a Difference in Area” / by George Rogers, p. 16-20. — “Superior’s Labor History Hall of Fame: A Century of Labor’s Struggles Told in the Stories of Five Leaders” / by Joel Sipress, p. 21-23.Another edition: Also available on the web at URL http://my.execpc.com/~blake/table.htm.
  2. Baxandall, Lee, editor. “Furs, Logs and Human Lives: The Great Oshkosh Woodworkers Strike of 1898.” Green Mountain Quarterly. 1976 May; (3):1-107. Notes: In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on May 16, 1898 the workers in the door, sash and blind factories, represented by the Amalgamated Woodworkers Union (AWU), went out on strike primarily for union recognition and against the “starvation wages” paid in the Oshkosh mills, wages much lower than the woodworker pay scale nationally. During an altercation at a plant gate on June 23, one striker was killed, clubbed in the head by a scab. Women played an important role in supporting the striking workers. Although Oshkosh strike benefits of $3 a week were suspended in mid-June due to AWU woodworkers in Chicago beginning a strike also, the Oshkosh strike was maintained until August when the Oshkosh woodworkers returned to work with hardly any gain, due to harassing lawsuits filed by the mill owners against the key leaders of the strike. The famed defense lawyer Clarence Darrow, himself the son of a woodworker and having assisted AWU previously, represented the Oshkosh union leaders in a dramatic trial which successfully turned the mill owners’ claims of conspiracy on the part of the workers to combine to withhold their labor to that of the mill owners having conspired “against humanity and the natural wish for freedom and equality” (p. 31). For the complete text of Darrow’s eloquent summation, see p. 35-92. Also, around the time of the trial’s conclusion, state officials determined that two company practices of the mill owners were in violation of then current state law–a call for the abolition of those practices had been among the four original strike demands of the Oshkosh workers. Baxandall’s concluding chapter, “Aftermath–From Powerlessness to Worker Ownership” (p. 93-107), discusses the changing circumstances of employees at the Paine Lumber Company (one of the key mills involved in the 1898 strike) up to the time at which this work was published (1976).
  1. Crane, Virginia Glenn. The Oshkosh Woodworkers’ Strike of 1898: A Wisconsin Community in Crisis. [Oshkosh, Wis.]: [V. Crane]; 1998. 569 p. Notes: “The Oshkosh woodworkers’ strike of 1898 was a dramatic clash of labor and capital. It threw the city into the greatest crisis of its history. This is the story of that strike and of that community a century ago as it tried to come to grips with forces beyond its control.”–back cover.At the end of the 1900s, the industry of Oshkosh was dominated by seven woodworking companies, which specialized in making doors, window sashes and window blinds. On May 16, 1898, the employees of these factories went out on strike primarily for recognition of their union, the Amalgamated Woodworkers Union (AWU), and against the “starvation wages” paid in the Oshkosh mills, wages much lower than the woodworker pay scale nationally. Four AWU locals were involved: Local 29 (the first woodworkers’ local in Oshkosh); Local 49; Local 57 (formed by splitting the German-speaking woodworkers off from Local 29); and, Local 63 (which represented woodworkers on the west side of Oshkosh, including those at the Paine Lumber Company). The strike lasted for fourteen dramatic weeks and was capped with an equally dramatic legal battle in which the union’s leading organizer, Thomas Kidd, was defended by famed defense lawyer, Clarence Darrow (himself the son of a woodworker). Women family members of the strikers played an important role in strike activities, especially in thwarting scabs and strikebreakers.This book is distributed directly by the author; contact her either by telephone at 920/231-1810 or at the following address: Virginia Crane/1506 County Road I/Oshkosh, WI 54901.
  2. “The Very Pictures of Anarchy”: Women in the Oshkosh Woodworkers’ Strike of 1898 . Wisconsin Magazine of History. 2001 Spring; 84(3):44-59. Notes: In this article taken from her book, The Oshkosh Woodworkers’ Strike of 1898: A Wisconsin Community in Crisis, the author focuses on the instrumental role women played in strike activities, especially in thwarting scabs and strikebreakers.
  3. Goc, Michael J. Land Rich Enough: An Illustrated History of Oshkosh and Winnebago County. Samuel, Susan E., author, “Partners in Progress” [Chapter Six, p.107-123]. Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications ; produced in cooperation with the Winnebago County Historical and Archaeological Society; 1988. 127 p. Notes: This well-illustrated and handsome volume covers the history of the city of Oshkosh and Winnebago County, Wisconsin, from their earliest settlements until the mid-1980s. The workers and industries of the area are described throughout the book and the seminal 1898 strike of the city’s woodworkers is given fair attention here with a five-page account.
  4. Lepore, Jill. “Objection: Clarence Darrow’s Unfinished Work”. The New Yorker. 2011 May 23; 87(14):40-42, 44-45. Notes: Upon the flimsy pretext of reviewing two newly-published biographies of Clarence Darrow, the article’s author recounts the development of the important Oshkosh woodworkers’ strike of 1898 and how Darrow came to defend the strike leaders in a court case brought against the Amalgamated Woodworkers Union, the union representing the striking workers.The two new books _not_ really reviewed here are: Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast by Andrew E. Kersten; Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned by John A. Farrell.
  5. Schneider, John D. Out in the Darkness: The Story of the Great Oshkosh Woodworkers’ Strike of 1898 . [Oshkosh, Wis.]: s.n.; [1998]. 86 p. Notes: A play “based on the work of Virginia Crane, Lee Baxandahl, and Inky Yungwirth”–cover; premiere performance on May 1-3, 1998 by the Oshkosh (Wisconsin) Community Players at the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; see WLHS Newsletter (Winter 1998-99) for excerpts of a review written by James I. Metz, Oshkosh historian and retired editorial page editor of the Oshkosh Northwestern; a copy of the play is available from the Winnefox Library System (see OCLC #42758729).