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Local 10 longshoremen Herb Mills (left) and Peter H. Brown working in the hold of a ship, 1960s.

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Local 10 longshoremen Herb Mills (left) and Peter H. Brown working in the hold of a ship, 1960s.
Herbert A. Mills

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Making the Exhibition
Container Back Story — Maritime Labor

Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960–1970
Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960–1970 — Negotiating Change

RELATED OBJECTS
Longshoremen's Time Book


Cargo hook


Longshoreman's work shirt


Longshoreman's cap


Longshoreman's Hardhat


Longshoremen working in the hold of a ship
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
The photo shows Local 10 longshoremen Herb Mills (left) and Peter H. Brown working in the hold of a ship in the 1960s. Mills is gesturing to someone on deck, possibly indicating to another longshoreman that a slingload of cargo is ready to lift. His shirt is the traditional "hickory" blue-and-white-striped work shirt favored by West Coast longshoremen. The lack of protective head gear suggests the photo was taken before hardhats were required in the early 1970s.
Physical Description
Photograph
Details
Date Made:
about 1965
Dates Used:
about 1965 - about 1965
Locations:
California
Note:
San Francisco waterfront
Credit:
Gift of Herb Mills
History
Conventional (non-containerized) longshore work involved gangs of men working together to load or discharge various types of cargo. Each ship represented a new set of challenges and longshoremen took pride in their ability to figure out how best to deal with different cargos and different space requirements. Men working in the holds and those working topsides had to communicate with each other and they developed both verbal and non-verbal signals for getting the job done safely.

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