11 artifacts in this set
The type of lanterns these men hold let us know that they work for a railroad. These workers brought along their lunchboxes for the photograph as well! With industrialization, more people worked at jobs that took them away from home all day.
These young women worked in a textile mill, tending power looms. By 1870, increasingly efficient looms had reduced the number of textile workers--who performed more work for lower wages.
These three young men posed for their tintype with the tools of their disparate trades--typesetter, butcher, and blacksmith. Perhaps they were brothers or friends. The blacksmith had the most challenging "visual aid" to bring to the studio-- a 200-pound anvil on a wood block!
Some women made a living using a traditionally-feminine skill--sewing. These women are shown working on hats and clothing. Could they be professional seamstresses and milliners? Or talented friends?
Letter carriers--along with police officers and firefighters--enjoyed semi-professional status by serving on public payrolls. Many of these occupations had not existed a generation earlier, yet they became increasingly numerous and necessary to urban life in the later 19th century.
In an age when most transportation still depended on horses, farriers and blacksmiths had to keep these equine "engines" well shod. This occupational tintype is less common--taken outdoors rather than in a studio. It wouldn’t have been practical to pose the entire scene indoors!