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Manpower, Skills Change

Selected Photo Studies by Lewis W. Hine

Chief Photographer, National Research Project, Works Progress Administration

May 1937

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Making Dolls

Making rubber dolls. Muscles are still needed in many industries.


Skilled Hands

This craftsman, who is preparing designs for high quality furniture, has worked with wood for forty years. [Left], his skilled hands are putting the finishing touches on a mahogany chair leg


The machine which in about five hours turns out eighteen copies of the chair leg on which the carver spent fifteen hours. It requires only one man to set it up and guide it. This "multiple carver" is relatively skilled, needing perhaps a year of training for the job

Bottle Blower

Only a small fraction of America's bottles now are made by the hand-blowing process shown on this page. Until blowing machines were introduced successfully into the industry about 1900, the technique of glass-blowing remained much the same as it had been when the Egyptians pictured it on the walls of their tombs several thousand
years ago. A molde and a tube, together with lung power and considerable skill, were the principal prerequisites.

Lower right: The "carrying-in boy" pics up the new-blown, hot bottles and takes them, three at a time, over to the cooling oven or lehr, lower left, where the bottles are allowed to cool off gradually.

Bottle Maker

Bottle Maker

On this page are shown the mechanical devices which replace the lungs, legs and arms pictured opposite. The machine below forms the bottles and shoves them on to a moving belt. The belt carries them to the "snapper-up," left, which lefts them into a mechanically operated lehr. Bottom: Rows of bottles as they are discharged from cooling ovens and conveyed to the packing room.

Bottle Machine
Bottle Machine




Kay Davis, University of Virginia, © 2001-2003