Thursday, March 10, 2011


This page of union emblems is from a 1900 issue of the Piano, Organ and Musical Instrument Workers’ Official Journal. I came upon it by accident, so it’s hard to know if it would have caught my eye in the same way, had unions not been so in the news these days.

The union label originated in 1869 when the Carpenter’s Eight-Hour League in San Francisco used a stamp to identify products from mills employing men on the eight-hour day. Other, non-unionized mills, operated with a 10-hour workday.

The individual union labels below, are from The New York State Archives, and from the Labor Archives and Research Center of San Francisco State University. For more about the history of union labels, and the “hand-in-hand” symbol of the AFL-CIO, check out the site of art historian, Kim Munson.

Cigar Dealers Association of America

Associated Master Barbers of America

Greater New York Watchmakers Association

Suspender Maker's Benevolent Union

United Photographic Employees Local Industrial Union

Hebrew Butcher Workmen Union No. 1 of New York

International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers

Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers

American Brotherhood of Cement Workers

Professional and Technical Engineers, International Chemical Workers Union

International Printing Pressmen and Assistants Union of America

Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers

Typographical Union

International Brotherhood of Bookbinders

Laundry and Dry Cleaning International Union

International Jewelry Workers Union
International Glove Workers of America

Piano, Organ and Musical Instrument Workers International Union of America

Carriage and Wagon Workers International Union

Coopers International Union

Farmers and Market Gardners Union

United Brewery Workmen

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