The Human Machinery of War

Photograph: Two Men Using Grinders and Wearing Goggles

Original Title/Caption: “Industrial safety. Accident prevention. A safe grinding job. Both operator and helper are protected by proper goggles and the exhaust hood over the grinding wheel carrying away the greater part of the ground-off particles. Each man is very careful to sterilize goggles that have been worn by other workers.”

 

Description: In this black and white photograph, two men work at grinders.  Both men wear safety goggles.  The man in the foreground grinds a metal pipe, and the grinder is partially covered by a hood. This photograph was taken in June 1942 by Howard Liberman.

 

Source: Liberman, Howard, photographer.  “Industrial safety. Accident prevention. A safe grinding job. Both operator and helper are protected by proper goggles and the exhaust hood over the grinding wheel carrying away the greater part of the ground-off particles. Each man is very careful to sterilize goggles that have been worn by other workers.”  Photograph, 1942.  From Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Call number LC-USE6- D-005560.  http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b03952/ (accessed March 20, 2007).

 

Historical discussion: While the connections between production on the home front and America’s military success in the war and between accidents and lost manpower and damaged equipment and materials were very real, carelessness on the part of workers was by no means the only cause of wartime industrial accidents.