Look for the Union Label

Union Labels img

Online Exhibit

This collection of over 150 images surveys union labels, their history, and related artifacts. American Union labels evolved from the seals and coats of arms of European craft unions and were a great source of tradition and pride. Beginning as early as 1880, the union label movement became an important economic tool as organized workers looked for ways to support union jobs and to protest unfair working conditions through tactics other than strikes.

For more on the topic of union logos, see the online slide show presentation, Evolution of an Emblem: The Arm and Hammer. Art historian Kim Munson shares her investigation of the origins of the arm & hammer from Greco-Roman myth and its role as an early union label to its current usage as the Socialist Labor Party emblem and as the baking soda trademark.

Assembled by Jeff Rosen and Susan Parker Sherwood
Labor Archives and Research Center
San Francisco State University

Spotlight Exhibit Monday, February 04, 2008