Farm and Factory

Nelson, Daniel.  Farm and Factory: Workers in the Midwest 1880-1990.  Bloomington, Indiana; University of Indiana Press, 1995.

Farm and Factory by Daniel Nelson is a history of the work that was done in the Midwest from the 1880s to 1990 (as the title suggests).  Nelson’s definition of the Midwest is Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa; not including the Plain states and Missouri, which show up in some “Midwests”.   Ohio is well represented.  The book is full of tidbits about Ohio laborers, referring to the major industrial cities to Ohio from Shawnee and Mingo Junction.

Beyond Ohio, Farm and Factory does a wonderful job tying the situation of miners in Northern Minnesota with meatpacking workers in East St. Louis with rubber workers in Akron.  (Nelson, who was a professor at the University of Akron at the time of publication, has written specifically about the Rubber Industry and labor unions in Akron, which Farm and Factory discusses thoroughly.) Continue reading