With the beginning of the 20th century the working man became an important topic of photography.
Especially in the years after the First World War, before and during the Great Depression and, of course, throughout World War II, photographs of working people were used for propaganda.
Working People Propaganda
Inspired by the fictional Rosie the Riveter, millions of American women worked in factories, taking over jobs previously done by men. Songs (“Rosie the Riveter” by Redd Evans, 1942), films and photographs contributed toward the movement’s success.
A great example is an image of the young, still unknown Marilyn Monroe, working at the Radioplane plant in 1945.
The probably most famous photograph of “working men” was taken a few years earlier and is titled “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”. The image of eleven men eating lunch on a girder, 840 feet above the streets of New York City needs no further description. Pop-cultural variations often include movie stars such as James Dean or fictional TV icons like the Simpsons.
Since 2003 Charles C. Ebbet is credited as the photographer though, according to Wikipedia, Corbis has changed the status to “unknown” again.
With this historical side note we come back to our weekly challenge. If you still don’t have a clue what it is about, let’s repeat for the record:
Take a picture of people at work.