All That Our Hands Have Done
A Pictorial History of Hamilton Workers

Heron, Craig; Hoffmitz, Shea; Roberts, Wayne; Storey, Robert
Publisher:  Mosaic Press, Oakville, Canada
Year Published:  1981  
Pages:  182pp   Price:  $14.95   ISBN:  0-88962-121-7
Library of Congress Number:  HD8110.H352A55   Dewey:  305.5'6'0971352
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6159

The story of working people in Hamilton's steel industry.

Abstract:  All that Our Hands Have Done is the story of working people in Hamilton's steel industry since 1870, the centre of the labour movement in Canada. The book consists of a collection of rare photographs and archives gathered by the office of Labour Studies at McMaster University from individuals, private collections of major industries and labour movement archives. This work of social and economic history links the history of union organizations to the history of work, while connecting industrial change to the daily working lives of people within Hamilton.

The book opens with an anonymous poem written in September 1911 from which the authors borrow their book title. Thus, the central theme of claiming ownership over one's fruits of labour sets the tone for the historical narrative. The authors hope to give readers an increased appreciation about workers' contributions in enhancing the quality of life, standard of living, democratic institutions and the ideals of democracy and freedom, which are central to Canadian society. In addition to focusing on the lives of men and women labourers, the book also includes in-depth discussions about mass production processes, working conditions, community development and activities of leisure pursued by members of the labour community in Hamilton.

[Abstract by Amanpreet Dhami]



Table of Contents

Part I: Life and Labour
1. Craftsmen - The Power to Work and Think
2. Labourers - Ninety Cents a Day
3. Mass Production - Modern Times
4. Women Workers - Bring Your Sisters
5. Recreation - The Times We Used to Have

Part II: A Union Town
6. The Making of a Union Town

Subject Headings


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