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Small cargo hook

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Small cargo hook
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Richard Strauss, Negative #: 2003-19264


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

Cargo hook

Longshoremen working in the hold of a ship

Freighter Lewis Luckenbach (model)

Cargo hook
Catalog #: 2002.0026.06, Accession #: 2002.0026
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
Longshoreman Herb Mills used this small cargo hook for lifting burlap bags of coffee.
Physical Description
Artifact. The dimensions of this cargo hook are 3-1/4 L x 2-7/8"W (handle) x 1-1/2" H (hook). Its wooden handle has been whittled to fit comfortably in the palm. The small, sharp iron hook fits through the entire diameter of the handle and is attached with a metal washer. One side of the handle is slightly rounded at an angle for a comfortable thumb grip.
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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