The Way We Worked is a small collection of images from the U.S. National Archives. The collection is designed to show the way that work evolved over the 130 year span from 1857 to 1987. The collection is divided into five parts; How We Worked, What We Wore to Work, Where We Worked, Dangerous and Unhealthy Work, and Conflict at Work. There is a short silent film of people at work in various occupations to introduce the galleries.
Applications for Education
The Way We Worked could be a good resource to use as part of lesson on the history labor and labor rights in the United States. Put some of the images into a slideshow to spark discussion and inquiry about the types of jobs blue collar workers have done over the years. Have students go through the galleries on their own and identify jobs that no longer exist. Then ask them to identify jobs that exist today that might not exist fifty years from now.
The Way We Worked images are public domain images that could be used by students as part of multimedia project like those found in the National Archives' Digital Vaults.