Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

Archive for the category “1820-1829”

August 11, 1828

Photo29375The Mechanics’ Union of Trade Associations – a central labor organization in Philadelphia that was formed after building trades workers lost a strike for the ten hour day – organizes the Working Men’s Party, determined to promote “the interests and enlightenment of the working classes.”

February 4, 1825


The Ohio House and Senate approve the construction of the Ohio canal system. The first canal constructed was the Miami and Erie Canal. Irish immigrants, convicts, and local farmers used picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows to relocate the dirt and clay, working from dawn to dusk for 30 cents a day. Construction of the 249-mile long canal between Toledo and Cincinnati took 20 years.

October 26, 1825

ImageBegun in 1817, the Erie Canal – linking Lake Erie on the west to the Hudson River on the east – is completed.  The canal was dug from Albany to Buffalo, 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide.  Local laborers and Irish immigrants were primarily employed to build the canal, paid 80 cents per day for 10-12 hours of work; estimates are that over 1,000 workers died during the construction.

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