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Showing 61-72 of 72 Entries

Quarries and Mines

Elevated view of a deep basin in the area of the Certified Concrete quarry facility. Buildings and equipment appear in the basin and the area above the pit at the image's center and right. Two people stand on a road stretching down toward the pit's bottom. A body of water appears next to the road in the right foreground.
The mineral resources of southeast Wisconsin are derived primarily from the Silurian and Devonian bedrock, which dates back to more than 350 million years ago, and various glacial deposits, which were emplaced about 13,000 to 15,000 years ago as glaciers retreated from the Midwest. Silurian Dolostone is the dominant quarried rock, coming from the near… Read More

Regal Ware Worldwide

Grayscale elevated view of dozens of Regal Ware employees posing for this photograph inside the Kewaskum factory. People stand and sit on the floor and chairs appear here and there, filling the space. Many make eye contact with the camera lens. The steel ceiling structure is visible.
A privately owned producer of aluminum and stainless steel cookware, Regal Ware Worldwide is headquartered in Washington County. The company employs about 300 workers at its corporate and manufacturing facilities in Kewaskum and West Bend. In 2014, over half of Regal Ware’s sales of its American-made products were in foreign markets. Founded by James O.… Read More

Rexnord Corporation

Elevated shot of Zurn Industries building against the blue sky on a sunny day during winter. The three-story modern building features rows of glass windows and predominantly black-colored exterior walls. Next to the structure, in the image's foreground, is a parking lot filled with cars. A street stretches down on the left, with cars parking on both sides. Snow covers the road verges and the area in the background. Other buildings appear in the far background.
The Rexnord Corporation came about due to a merger in 1970 and over time has become a major supplier of power transmission machinery and water management systems. During the last four decades this company has undergone numerous ownership changes but has maintained its profitability by actively diversifying its product lines and cultivating a strong international… Read More

Robert “Bob” Schilling

Grayscale headshot of Robert Schilling from the chest up in a notched lapel suit and tie.
Robert Schilling (1843-1922) was a significant labor leader and reformist politician in Milwaukee in the late nineteenth century. Born in Osterburg, Saxony, Schilling migrated with his family to St. Louis in 1846. He began work as a cooper at thirteen, and, fluent in both German and English, quickly became a prominent leader of the Coopers’… Read More

Schlitz Brewing Company

A painted postcard showcases an aerial view of the Schlitz Brewing Company plant and the surrounding area. All buildings face slightly to the left. The factory's chimneys billow black smoke to the right. Horse-drawn carriages and other vehicles traverse the streets around the area in the foreground.
The Schlitz Brewing Company (1849-1982) was one of Milwaukee’s industrial brewing giants. Marketed as “the beer that made Milwaukee famous,” Schlitz was an important innovator in the national brewing industry and the largest brewery in the United States for a significant part of the twentieth century. The Schlitz Brewing Company originated in August Krug’s pioneer… Read More


Grayscale long shot of dozens of picketers in warm clothing standing in front of a car outside of Allis-Chalmers factory entrance gate. Chain link fences stand on the image's left and right behind the picketers. This photo shows the back of their bodies. A flag with its pole is visible among the crowd. A group in the image's center stretches their arms forward as if pushing the car out. Several people stand across the street watching the incident. Behind them is a building's exterior wall. Another car appears across the street.
The U.S. Department of Labor defines a labor strike as “a temporary stoppage of work by a group of workers (not necessarily union members) to express a grievance or enforce a demand.” The prevalence of strike action has waxed and waned over the course of Milwaukee and the nation’s history, as particular industries have grown… Read More

The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company (TMER&L)

A sepia-colored elevated view of an electric streetcar heading down Holton Street during winter. The trolley rolls toward an intersection. Overhead wires can be seen from above. Leafless trees line the road verges on both street sides. People walk the sidewalk on the right. Dwellings and piles of snow are visible. The road and track lines below look wet.
TMER&L Co. was the first electric streetcar company in the city of Milwaukee. It commenced service in 1890 under the name “The Milwaukee Street Railway,” a business incorporated in New Jersey and owned by the North American Company of New Jersey (an umbrella entity with other municipal streetcar holdings). In that year, North American’s owner,… Read More


Two identical grayscale portraits of Prince Henry tipping his hat in a horse-drawn carriage. His face and front body are visible. The coachman and the horse face to the left. Several people in uniforms appear near the carriage wheels on the right. An American flag-patterned curtain is attached to the building behind the Prince. The photos are set side by side, flanked with texts. The text beneath the portrait on the right reads, "Prince Henry entering his carriage at the station, salutes the people of Milwaukee, Wis., U.S.A. Copyright 1902 by Underwood & Underwood."
Milwaukee has hosted many visitors for organizational meetings, major conventions, and personal or business travel throughout its history. The city’s tourism industry grew along with the city, as an array of businesses, organizations, and civic leaders worked both independently and together to attract, accommodate, and ultimately profit from these guests. Milwaukee’s earliest visitors were often… Read More

William George Bruce

Medium shot of William George Bruce in grayscale tone sitting in a notched lapel suit. Bruce's hands rest on a table, holding a pair of glasses while his eyes look confidently into the camera lens.
William George Bruce (1856-1949), a publisher and civic activist from a largely German North Side ward, was born to Augustus F. and Apollonia (Becker) Bruce on March 17, 1856. Bruce’s paternal grandfather had moved to Milwaukee from New York in 1842, four years before cityhood. A hip ailment left young William an invalid at the… Read More


Sepia-colored photo of Allis-Chalmers factory's interior displaying the employees assembling WC model tractors along the image's center. A row of other types of equipment appears on the left and right sides. Streel structure is visible on the ceiling. Texts beneath the image, at the bottom center, read, "View of WC assembly line" and "July 19, 1945."
“Milwaukee is a workingman’s city,” wrote Frank Flower in his massive 1881 History of Milwaukee. Flower described a community of tradesmen, machinists, and laborers where a typical worker could enjoy, even on wages of a dollar or two a day, “good air, good water, cheap living, and a chance to found a home of his… Read More

Workers’ Movements

Grayscale image of a line of Edwards Motor Company's male workers in suits walking from right back to left front on a sidewalk on Wisconsin Avenue. Two workers carry strike signs. One sign reads, "Edwards was Dictator of the Automobile Business." The other one says, "Unfair to Labor." A building's exterior wall and its marquee's underside are visible in the background. Words visible on the marquee read "139 regular employ...Ready to serve Y." A man in the right foreground appears to walk to the right.
Throughout most of its history, the Milwaukee area has been characterized for its manufacturing and blue collar heritage that molded much of its character. The industrialization that began after the Civil War required the muscles and brains of thousands of working people; to fill the demands of production. Budding entrepreneurs encouraged workers to come to… Read More


Grayscale long shot of a group of men working to lay streetcar tracks along N. 8th Street. They work on the tracks that stretch from the background to the right foreground. Other tracks span to the left foreground. Heavy equipment can be seen in the street side on the center back. Tall trees grow on either side of the street. A building is seen in the far right in the background.
A “workforce,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, encompasses the “People engaged in or available for work, either in a country or region or in a particular company or industry; workers or employees collectively.” For the purposes of this article, therefore, we consider the kinds of work people in the Milwaukee area have done for… Read More