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The Human Factor Introduction In the 1930s Harvard Business School colleagues Donald Davenport and Frank Ayres contacted leading businesses and requested photographs for classroom instruction—images Davenport hoped would “reveal the courage, industry and intelligence required of the American working man.” They amassed more than 2,100 photographs, from strangely beautiful views of men operating Midvale Steel’s 9,000-ton hydraulic press to women assembling tiny, delicate parts of Philco radios. Now students, and America’s aspiring corporate managers, had visual data to study “the human factor,” the interaction of worker and machine. But the pictures were more than documentary records.

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Though it is a relatively recent field of study, women's history is inscribed across all of the Harvard Library holdings gathered since 1638. By examining those holdings afresh and querying them in a new and feminist light, the curators of Women Working have aggregated thousands of items that illuminate women's history. The result is a unique, virtual collection, comprising over 650,000 individual pages from more than 3,100 books and trade catalogs, 900 archives and manuscript items, and 1,400 photographs. Women Working, 1800–1930 is a digital exploration of women's impact on the economic life of the United States between 1800 and the Great Depression.

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Kheel Center Labor Photos We do our best to verify database contents, but sometimes conflicting information is available. If you would like to suggest a correction or add new information about images in our database please contact Barb Morley at kheel_center@cornell.edu and include the photo identification number (e.g. 5780pb32f14a) along with your recommendations. If you would like to donate images or other material documenting organized labor or employment relations, please contact us at 607-255-3183 or kheel_center@cornell.edu    10 November, 2011   

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This collection is part of the Glasgow Digital Library and is maintained by the Centre for Digital Library Research at the University of Strathclyde . The resource was developed as part of the Resources for Learning project funded by the New Opportunities Fund digitisation programme. Further resources and 70,000 objects can be found on the RLS site .

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Among the riches of the historical photograph collections of the University of Idaho Library is an oversize portfolio of eighty original Carleton E. Watkins photographs. Long considered lost, these photographs of the interior of the Anaconda Mines in Butte, Montana, were taken in 1890. They show early hard-rock mining techniques, equipment, and men deep underground.

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