Iconic Photos Of Workers From A Deep Mine To Atop A Skyscraper

A coal miner waiting to get into the communal shower at the end of his shift, taken in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 1958

vintage work life
Photo by Max Scheler

A hired reader reads to cigar makers hard at work in a cigar factory, Cuba, 1900–1910

vintage work life

Woman ironing in laundry, US, 1930: A smiling woman cheerfully irons clothing with a flat iron in a laundry

vintage work life

Workers installing a Greek Revival architectural column on the Civil Courts building in St. Louis, Missouri, 1928

vintage work life
Photo by W.C. Runder

A canal being drained and cleaned in Venice, Italy, 1956

vintage work life
Photo by Bill Perlmutter

Power house mechanic working on the steam pump, one of his “work portraits”, shows a working-class American in an industrial setting, 1920

vintage work life
Photo by Lewis Hine

Belgian coal miners riding up on an elevator after a day of work, 1920s

vintage work life

Iron Workers pose for a photo atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center, 1973

vintage work life

Painters atop the Woolworth Building in New York City, 1926

vintage work life

Draftsmen at Albert Kahn’s office in Michigan, 1942. This is what office life looked like before the invention of AutoCAD and other drafting software

Photo by Federico Bucci

Map makers before the invention of AutoCAD or GIS software, 1950s

Architects in 1980s

A ‘Knocker-up’ in London (1929). Before alarm clocks, people were paid to wake clients up for work by knocking on their doors and windows with a stick

Pin boys work the bowling alleys in New York City, 1910

The village’s haircutter giving a bowl cut. Brittany, France, 1921

A New York construction worker walks along a girder high above the city streets, circa 1950

Photo by Ben McCall

Rat-catchers were employed in Europe to control rat populations. Keeping the rat population under control was practiced in Europe to prevent the spread of diseases to man, most notoriously the Black Plague and to prevent damage to food supplies. Today this job no longer exists