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Cargo hook for general use

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Cargo hook for general use
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Richard Strauss, Negative #: 2003-19261


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 — Negotiating Change

Cargo hook

Freighter Lewis Luckenbach (model)

Cargo hook
Catalog #: 2002.0026.05, Accession #: 2002.0026
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This cargo hook, made by a Latino-American blacksmith named Ortega in San Pedro, CA, was Herb Mills' favorite for lifting various types of bulk cargo. Its handle is well worn.
Physical Description
Artifact. This cargo hook has a dark wood handle and a forged iron hook with the name "ORTEGA" stamped in its side. The overall dimensions are 10 3/4” L x 4 1/2””W (handle) x 4” H (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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