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Cargo hook

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Cargo hook
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Richard Strauss, Negative #: 2003-19265


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 #: 2002.0026.03, Accession #: 2002.0026
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This hook was useful for lifting burlap bags filled with coffee, sugar, grain, or rice.
Physical Description
Artifact. This small, silver-painted metal tool measures 4-5/8” L x 3-1/2” W (handle) x 1-1/2” D. It consists of a rounded handle and a shaft that ends in a disk embedded with five short points.
Date Made:
about 1960
Dates Used:
about 1960 - about 1990
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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