The World of Work: History of Work in Minnesota



In his “Freedom’s Plow”, the African-American poet, Langston Hughes, vividly combined ideas of the citizen as producer with the unfinished quest for freedom.

Free hands, and slave hands

Indentured hands, adventurous hands

White hands and black hands

Held the plow handles

Ax handles, hammer handles

Launched the boats and whipped the horses

That fed and housed and moved America

Thus together through labor

All these hands made America.

Work and Workers

Stave Silo

Filling a stave silo, ca. 1910.

Minnesota Historical Society

Office Scene

1930’s office, location unknown

Photo by Lee Brothers,
Minnesota Historical Society

Building retaining walls

Mississippi River Barge Terminal.
Building retaining walls,
St. Paul, August 20, 1936.

Minnesota Historical Society


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