By These Hands

By These Hands

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From a foundry in which the very fires of hell seem to blast to an air-conditioned computer control room in which the workers appear casual and comfortable, David Parker's lens captures what Peter Rachleff calls 'a performance, a ritual, an exercise centuries old' -- men and women at work on factory floors. These photos, taken in 20 plants in all parts of Minnesota, explore the common bonds of industrial labour. Whether it's the Ford plant in St Paul, the Potlatch paper mill in Cloquet, or the Toro engine manufacturer in Windom, Parker seeks to honour 'the collective genius of the American worker'. Excerpts from interviews with the workers reveal their opinions on such diverse topics as health care and child care, union activity, immigrant labour, and the effects of globalisation. Their words and these photos document industrial labourers and the factories in which they work, revealing how workers interact with each other and their environment and how the culture of labour is reflected in the jobs women and men do.An appendix provides a history and description of each workplace, detailing the magnitude of production and the constant ingenuity required to manufacture even the most common products. This book is a tribute to the women and men who process the foods we eat, manufacture the cars we drive, and produce the goods that make our lives comfortable.Today Smith Foundry is a leading producer of cast-iron parts for a wide variety of customers including 3M, Toro, Tennant, ... by mounting five lawn mowers behind a Toro tractor to mow the fairways at the Minikahda Country Club in Minneapolis.

Title:By These Hands
Author:David Lewis Parker, Carroll T. Hartwell
Publisher:Minnesota Historical Society Press - 2002


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