The thirteen photographs in this slideshow depict farm laborers, factory employees, and other Wisconsin workers from the 1890s to the 1970s. Looking at these images, we wonder: what was on the minds of these now-anonymous men and women as they posed for the photographer? Were they proud of their work, their uniforms, their employers? Were they pleased to have a break or anxious to get back to the task at hand?
This summer, Recollection Wisconsin has teamed up with Wisconsin Life on WPR to collect stories and photos of work in Wisconsin. Have you worked in a large corporate factory or a small local industry? Does your job require a uniform or specialized tools or equipment? We invite you to share your own experiences of your working life.
The images in this slideshow come from the following digital collections. Follow the links to browse and search the full collections.
- Big Streets in a Little City: Downtown Street Scenes in Kiel, 1860-1980, Kiel Public Library. Part of the State of Wisconsin Collection from University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
- Brodhead Historical Society On-Line Archive.
- Great Lakes Maritime History Project. Part of the State of Wisconsin Collection from UWDC.
- Kenosha’s Lost Industries: Photographs and Corporate Materials, 1850s-1990s, Kenosha Public Library and Kenosha County Historical Society. Part of the State of Wisconsin Collection from UWDC.
- Langlade County Historical Society.
- Menasha Local History Collection, Menasha Public Library. Part of the State of Wisconsin Collection from UWDC.
- Milwaukee Historic Photos, Milwaukee Public Library.
- New Berlin Historical Society.
- Taylor Brothers Photographs, Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Part of the State of Wisconsin Collection from UWDC.
- Waukesha County History 1870-1920, Waukesha Public Library and Waukesha County Historical Society. Part of the State of Wisconsin Collection from UWDC.
- Wetherby Cranberry Library Digital Archives.