improvements spurred economic growth and transformed the United States from an agricultural country in 1850 to an industrial powerhouse by 1900 -- a story that is well- known and well-documented.
But what about the "working stiffs" who made this transformation possible: The coal and iron miners who produced
the raw materials that fueled economic growth? The construction workers who built the railroads, bridges, mills and manufactories? The electrical linemen who traveled wherever the industry beckoned to erect utility poles, string "hot" power lines, and electrify the country? How did they experience this era of remarkable growth? What did industrialization mean to the men, women and children who built America? And how did they respond to social and economic changes that altered their everyday lives -- sometimes for better and sometimes for worse?
"What Did Labor Want?" doesn't have all the answers -- but it does offer a range of primary sources that opens a window on working-class life and the reasons why labor organized. To learn more, return to what's inside
and begin investigating.