Lost Labor, Images of Vanished American Workers
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Raymon Elozua

York Ice Machinery Corp.

And today...59 million tons of ice are produced yearly... produced under strict sanitary conditions and at costs which make its benefits available to all.

York Ice Machinery Corporation
Cold Magic
self-published / York, PA

      LOST LABOR: Images of Vanished American Workers 1900-1980 is a selection of 155 photographs excerpted from a collection of more than 1100 company histories, pamphlets, and technical brochures documenting America's business and corporate industrial history This collection has been assembled over the last 20 years and many of the titles are rare and difficult to find. Since the images document factories, machinery, and jobs that no longer exist, LOST LABOR provides an unusual visual and historical record of work in 20th century America. The term "lost labor" can derive from the effects of mechanization, computer automation, technological advances, or through the consequences of corporate takeovers, downsizing and globalization. In many cases, these meanings can and do overlap.
      Many of the images document factories and jobs that no longer exist. Whether it is a photograph of a laborer hauling a three foot block of ice at the York Ice Machinery Corporation, or one of a man carving a half hull model for the New York Shipbuilders Corporation, or others jiggering ceramic plates for the Mayer China Company, hand spraying a wicker baby carriage for the E.A. Whitney Carriage Company, or blocking a rim for the Knox Hat Company, all are examples of lost skill and crafts. These images are not intended to evoke feelings of nostalgia, or the desire to return to a simpler era when "real work" was done with sweat and muscle but rather to honor the role of labor, a reminder of the individuals who helped to build industrial America.
These representative images selected from various business histories in the collection are presented solely for educational and historical purposes only. Many of the images have fallen into the public domain due to their age. If the owner of a currently copyrighted photo objects to the "fair use" of an image on this web site please notify us at contact Lost Labor