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Cargo hook

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Cargo hook
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Richard Strauss, Negative #: 2003-19263


This object appears in the following sections:

Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960–1970
Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960–1970 — At Work on the Waterfront

Cargo hook

Freighter Lewis Luckenbach (model)

Cargo hook
Catalog #: 2002.0026.04, Accession #: 2002.0026
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
The long handle of this cargo hook extended the reach of its user, making it especially useful for reaching into tight spots and dragging out boxes.
Physical Description
Artifact. This cargo hook measures 12-3/8" L x 1-1/2" W x 2-1/2" H. It has a long handle and short, curved hook. A Japanese character is stamped onto the bottom of the handle, prompting the the hook's owner to refer to it as a "Japanese hook."
Date Made:
about 1960
Dates Used:
about 1960 - about 1990
San Francisco waterfront
Gift of Herb Mills
Cargo hooks were the indispensable tools of longshoremen working on conventional (non-containerized) freighters. In the course of loading and discharging cargo they needed to grab, lift, and move various types and sizes of bags, boxes, and bales. The hooks extended their reach and helped them lift heavy items. Most longshoremen owned several different types of hooks and altered the handles to suit their grip.

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