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12-09-2011, 04:37 PM   #1
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A good old fashioned unregulated Christmass:

A good old fashioned unregulated Christmass:

The Aliquippa steel foundry of the Jones and Laughlin Company seen from across the Ohio River in Baden, Pennsylvania
Creator(s): Delano, Jack, photographer
Date Created/Published: 1941 Dec
Medium: 1 negative : nitrate ; 35 mm.


Last edited by wildman; 12-28-2011 at 01:09 PM.
12-11-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
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Okay, I give up. What's the Christmas connection; old fashioned, modern, regulated, or unregulated?
12-11-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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They are obviously working as the furnaces ore glowing. Out of the past 20 years, I have worked Christmas night or Christmas eve for more than half of them. My wife is a nurse, she works also.
12-11-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
They are obviously working as the furnaces ore glowing. Out of the past 20 years, I have worked Christmas night or Christmas eve for more than half of them. My wife is a nurse, she works also.
And why wouldn't they be working? Check the date. December 1941, war had been declared just a few weeks before and the US had been supplying Britain's war needs for the previous two years.


Last edited by boriscleto; 12-11-2011 at 01:59 PM.
12-11-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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I've worked more holidays than I can tell you. I don't really regret it either. Holidays are ultimately just dates on a calendar and you can always have "Christmas" or whatever around work if need be. It's not that hard. Been there done that. At worst I missed a dinner and had to eat it later. Or my family had to open packages after I came home home or before I left. Actually I rather liked working holidays. Time and a half means usually means more to me than staying at home and watching football. My family they're annoying when they're all together anyway.
12-11-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
They are obviously working as the furnaces ore glowing. Out of the past 20 years, I have worked Christmas night or Christmas eve for more than half of them. My wife is a nurse, she works also.
Yes, they are. Very few people take the entire month of December off. I don't see any reference to Christmas other than the thread title. The body of the post just says "19941 Dec"
12-12-2011, 03:13 PM   #7
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Photographers have always been mistreated by their employers: sent to cover dangerous and/or uncomfortable situations, in all sorts of weather, and on all major holidays. This is documentary evidence of that - the poor guy probably caught a cold from having to shoot in the dark, and on Christmas too!
12-12-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Photographers have always been mistreated by their employers: sent to cover dangerous and/or uncomfortable situations, in all sorts of weather, and on all major holidays. This is documentary evidence of that - the poor guy probably caught a cold from having to shoot in the dark, and on Christmas too!
And again, I just have to ask: What indication is there that it was taken on Christmas?

12-13-2011, 06:58 AM   #9
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When were the regulations passed that EVERYTHING shuts down on Christmas? I see that the house in the foreground has lights on too, that means someone at the power company is still working. If someone caught some food poisoning from the dinner, they would be SOL because the ambulance cannot drive itself and all of the paramedics have the day off. If someone in the house drove them to the ER, they would also be equally out of luck because all the nurses and doctors were busy at home.

Why would regulations in a country where we have separation of church and state close down all of these things for a christian holiday? Do you have any pictures of factories working during Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu holy days? Those probably wouldn't even be noteworthy. Maybe it would be noteworthy if you could find a screen shot of an online camera store accepting and processing orders on a Jewish holiday.
12-13-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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having worked through many christmas' i'll avoid the political and just comment

That is a really nice shot captures the era
12-13-2011, 08:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
Do you have any pictures of factories working during Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu holy days?
I haven't seen a picture in this thread that depicts working on Christmas, either.



That was taken in December of 1941 as well. That doesn't make it a Christmas picture.
12-13-2011, 08:50 AM   #12
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I repair refrigeration equipment on trucks and trailers. The period between Thanksgiving and New Years are very busy for food companies and everything is rolling. I'm busy. Everybody expects to find fresh food everyday in their local store and eating establishment. For that to happen, a lot of people worked all night in the warehouse picking the orders, loading the trucks, and driving them to deliver. Mechanics are in the shop doing any repairs and someone is fueling them and checking fluids and tires before they go out. Even on holidays. After 40 years, I now have been getting a few off. Our family has always adjusted our holiday schedules around work. For many years we ate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner early and went to work afterwards.

Don't feel too sorry for me. I make enough working a holiday to buy a new Limited.
12-15-2011, 05:56 AM   #13
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OK an explanation:

First of all I just made up the title, It didn't occur to me that anyone
would take it literally. When I used the term "unregulated" I was
thinking of all the pollution spewing out from the mill - something,
thankfully, with tighter regulation we wouldn't put up with anymore and
the photo was taken just a few days before Christmas. No dark sinister
political intent.

Family legend Backstory -

Sometime during the week before Christmas December 1941. My mother had
taken me to visit her brother in Baden PA. I was 4 years old at the time.

It was late in the evening when this guy knocked on the door. It was a
photographer from the government in Washington - a big deal to my
Uncle's working class family. He had selected, during the daylight hours,
the dead end street next to my Uncle's property to get a clear shot of
the steel works across the river at night. However at night, when my
Uncle came home from work, he used the dead end to park his pickup and
it was in the way for a good clear shot across the river. So the
photographer asked to have it moved and to also shut off the backyard
light which was always otherwise on. They were happy to accommodate but
my Aunt was put off when she found out he did not intend to include
their house in the shot so the photographer promised to back up the
street far enough to also include the house.

Anyway a couple of months later they received this photo I posted with a
note thanking them for the suggestion to include the house because it
turned out to be the best of the series. This photo is still proudly
held by my Mother's side of the family. My Mother tells me that, at the
time, I was quietly asleep in the upstairs front bedroom with a night
light on. That would be the upstairs window on the left in the photo. I
have no memory of that night myself.

The photographer was from the FSA (Farm Security Administration) a New
Deal Depression era program. You can read about it here:

Farm Security Administration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This photo and most others taken by the FSA are now held by the Library
of Congress and can be downloaded by anyone.

BTW the LOC says it was taken in Jan of 1941 but the family says it was
Dec of 1941. They say they are sure because all the talk on the news at
the time the photo was taken was about the declaration of war between
the US, Japan and Germany.

And that, as they say, "is the rest of the story".
12-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #14
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That's a really cool story.
12-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #15
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Thank's for the update and the history. It is a fine photo and precious piece of family history as well as local town history also. I hope you are keeping your print well protected.
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