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State of the Union
State of the Union: A Century of American Labor

Confessions of a Union Buster
Confessions of a Union Buster

Lexicon of Labor
Lexicon of Labor: More Than 500 Key Terms, Biography Sketches, and HistoricalInsights Concerning Labor

Norma Rae
Norma Rae


Roger and Me DVD
Roger and Me

The Myles Horton Reader
The Myles
Horton Reader: Education for Social Change

The Haymarket Tragedy
The Haymarket Tragedy

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Flames of Labor Reform

Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

Images of Labor Educational Posters
for the social studies and literature classrooms, homeschoolers, & office decor.

social studies > IMAGES OF LABOR POSTERS | Labor History 2 | 3 | 4 slavery | money

Educational posters from the “IMAGES OF LABOR” series featuring quotes about the struggles of working people from an eclectic group of historic figures: Roberto Acuna, George Baer, Eugene V. Debs, Lucy Parsons, A. Philip Randolph, Nicola Sacco, Carl Sandburg, Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain and a Sit Down Striker.

Labor Day - Worker, Flag, Eagle & Tools, Poster
Labor Day - Worker, Flag, Eagle, & Tools, Poster

Labor Day is a legal holiday observed in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Canal Zone, and the Virgin Islands. The holiday in honor of the working class was initiated in the U.S. in 1882 by the Knights of Labor, and the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The second Labor Day holiday just a year later in 1883 and in 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the date. The Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow their example of a “workingmen’s holiday”. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
< More Holiday Posters >

• “That society is wrong which looks on labor as being any more degrading to women than to men.” ~ Susan B. Anthony
• “All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” ~ Aristotle
• “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man's work for less than a man's pay.”~ Clara Barton
• “If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.” ~ Feodor Dostoyevsky
• “I worked among the very, very poor, the migrant laborers, the Chicanos and the I.W.W's who I saw being shot at by the police. I saw cruelty and hardness, and my impulse was to be a force in other developments in the law.” ~ William O. Douglas
• “Labour is the source of all wealth, the political economists assert. And it really is the source – next to nature, which supplies it with the material that it converts into wealth. But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labour created man himself.” ~ Friedrich Engels, The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man (1876)
• “Work is love made visible.” ~ Khilil Gibran
• “I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.” ~ Benjamin Harrison
• “Every man is dishonest who lives upon the labor of others, no matter if he occupies a throne.” Robert G. Ingersoll
• “Labor is the fabled magician's wand, the philosopher's stone, and the cap of good fortune.” ~ James Weldon Johnson
• “Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” ~ Karl Marx
• “In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.” ~ Karl Marx
• “Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.” ~ Thomas Merton
• “The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.” ~ Blaise Pascal
• “No laborer in the world is expected to work for room, board, and love - except the housewife.” ~ Lettie Cottin Pogrebin
• “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair
“The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greatest part of skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is any where directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.” ~ Adam Smith
“A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more, otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.” ~ Adam Smith
“Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased; and its value, to those who possess it, and who want to exchange it for some new productions, is precisely equal to the quantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or command.” ~ Adam Smith
• “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” ~ Arnold Toynbee
• “Only by strict specialization can the scientific worker become fully conscious, for once and perhaps never again in his lifetime, that he has achieved something that will endure. A really definitive and good accomplishment is today always a specialized act.” ~ Max Weber

* Most of the Images of Labor poster series are no longer available, I haven't located an another source for this poster set. The links will take you to alternative suggestions. - View the History of Labor posters for more images around the study of labor.

Roberto Acuna Images of Labor -Wall Poster
Images of Labor,
Roberto Acuna
Wall Poster

Roberto Acuna

“If I had enough money, I would take busloads of people out to the fields and into the labor camps. Then they'd know how that fine salad got on their table.”
-Roberto Acuna, farm worker (quote from “Working”)

Teachers Guide to Working by Studs Terkel
• more Hispanic/Latino posters

Hard Rock Miners

series image n/a

Anthracite Coal Strike, 1902, Pennsylvania

“They don't suffer; they can't even speak English.”
- George Baer

George Baer, a lawyer, president of the Reading Railroad, and spokesman for the owners in the Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902, became an icon of arrogance by citing social Darwinist moral reasons for refused to negotiate with coal miners.

Eugene V. Debs Images of Labor -Wall Poster
Images of Labor
Eugene V. Debs
Wall Poster

Eugene V. Debs
b. 11-5-1855; Terre Haute, IN
d. 10-20-1926; PA

“Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.” - Eugene V. Debs

Debs was one of the founders of the International Labor Union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and a five-time Socialist Party of America candidate for U. S. President. He was arrested under the Espionage Act of 1917 for protesting World War I and was sentenced to prison. President Warren B. Harding commuted his sentence to time served in 1921.

The Pullman Strike, 1894
Walls and Bars by Eugene V. Debs

Lucy Parsons
(source Wikipedia)

Lucy Eldine Gonzalez Parsons
b. c. 1853; Texas
d. 3-7-1942; Chicago, IL (house fire)

“We are the slaves of slaves.
We are exploited more ruthlessly than men.”
- Lucy Parsons

Lucy Parsons, radical American labor organizer and anarchist, is remembered as a powerful orator and author. In 1871 she married former Confederate soldier Albert Parsons; they were forced from Texas to Chicago by intolerant reactions to their interracial marriage. Albert was hanged for his supposed envolvement in the Haymarket Riot.

Lucy Parsons at Amazon
Native American posters
Hispanic Latino History posters
Peace Education posters

A. Philip Randolph, Photographic Print
A. Philip Randolph, Photographic Print

series image n/a

A. Philip Randolph
b. 4-15-1899; Florida
d. 5-16-1979

“The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement traditionally has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.”
-A. Philip Randolph

• more A. Philip Randolph posters
Black History posters

Sacco & Vanzetti, Poster
Sacco & Vanzetti,

series poster n/a

Nicola Sacco
b. 4-22-1891; Italy
d. 8-23-1927; MA

Bartolomeo Vanzetti
b. 6-11-1888; Italy
d. 8-23-1927; MA
“It is true, indeed, that they can execute the body, but they cannot execute the idea which is bound to live.”
- Nicola Sacco

Italian born laborers and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed after being convicted of a robbery and murder they likely had no part in. The court allowed the anti-immigrant prejudice to override the rules of the justice system- “This man, (Vanzetti) although he may not have actually committed the crime attributed to him, is nevertheless culpable, because he is the enemy of our existing institutions.” - jury statement of Webster Thayer, judge.

Sacco and Vanzetti: Rebel Lives
Sacco and Vanzetti: DVD 2007
Immigrants posters

 Carl Sandburg, Photographic Print
Carl Sandburg, Photographic Print

series image n/a

Carl Sandburg
b. 1-6-1878; Galesburg, IL
d. 7-22-1967; Flat Rock, NC

You never come back.
I say goodbye when I see you going in the doors,
The hopeless open doors that call and wait
And take you then for - how many cents a day?
How many cents for the sleepy eyes and fingers?
- Carl Sandburg “Mill Doors”

Carl Sandburg was an American poet, historian, novelist, journalist, balladeer, biographer, and folklorist interest in the socialist community. Sandburg wrote Rootabaga Stories for his daughters because he felt children needed American fairytales.

Sojourner Truth, Poster
Sojourner Truth, Poster

Sojourner Truth
b. c. 1797; NY
d. 11-26-1883; Battle Creek, MI

“Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted. And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well - And ain’t I a woman?” ~ Sojourner Truth

• more Sojourner Truth posters
Black History posters

Mark Twain, portrait by Frank Szasz

Mark Twain
b. 11-30-1835; Florida, MO
d. 4-23-1910, Redding, CT

“Who are the oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth, the valuable personages, the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat.” - Mark Twain

Lech Walesa: The Road to Democracy (Great Lives)
Lech Walesa:
The Road to Democracy
(Great Lives)

Lech Walesa
b. 9-29-1943; Popowo, Poland

Lech Walesa organized the first independent trade union, Solidarity, in the former Soviet bloc, and served as the first president of Poland (1990-1995). He was awarded th 1983 Nobel Peace Prize.

“Each of us individually does not count much. But together we are the strength of the millions who constitute Solidarity.”

Diego Rivera: Mechanization, Giclee Print
Diego Rivera: Mechanization, 1932,
Giclee Print

A Sit-Down Striker

“Those machines had kept going as long as we could remember. When we finally pulled the switch and there was some quiet, I finally remembered something... that I was a human being, that I could stop those machines, that I was better than those machines anytime.”
- Sit-down Striker, Akron Rubberworkers 1936

Careers and Jobs posters

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