September 7, 2015

In Celebration of Labor Day

written by Rosa Morgan

For most of us, Labor Day is simply a reminder that summer is over, or we use it as an excuse to go shopping. I think we should give pause to remember the workforce that makes this country's daily operations possible. It's also intriguing to reflect upon the Victorian workers who seem to no longer exist or at least in much smaller quantities. Should we ask ourselves what future jobs will become extinct?

The Blacksmith; who shod our horses for our carriage. 

Mill workers, especially those under four feet tall, whose nimble fingers could more easily manipulate the dangerous moving parts.

We all relied upon our chimney sweeps who kept our stoves and fireplaces in top working order. 

How did we ever arrive at the right floor without the Elevator Operator pushing our buttons.

Our food would have spoiled had it not been
for the men delivering a block to our icebox.

Trains would have derailed without this worker swinging his lantern in the dead of night.

A spit shine gave us that extra lift to our step.

Traveling salesmen peddling their health giving elixirs, saved us a trip to the apothecary.

And thank heavens for the barber or dentist, who made house-calls.

1 comment:

  1. I used to operate an old-fashioned freight elevator for getting around an old factory building - you could enter one side on one floor - and exit on the opposite side on another floor, chains and wooden slats enclosed the elevator car on two sides - the control was a rheostat lever that could start and stop the ascent, or descent - you timed the speed and shut off the control to glide the car to the desired floor - if you were not smooth with the rheostat the car would jerk and bounce...and sail past the floor — you would make some adjustments to align the car with the floor, then, presto! Open the door and remember to close the door after you egress, so others could ‘call’ the elevator to another floor...
    Edgewater Eveready Battery Plant, Cleveland, Ohio (1984)