Rank and File

Anna Novak, Packing House Worker

Photo: caption follows

Surrogate image: Pitcairn, Pennsylvania. May 1943. Twins Amy and Mary Rose Lindich, 21, employed at the Pennsylvania railroad as car repairmen helpers, earning $.72 per hour. They reside in Jeanette, Pennsylvania, and carpool with fellow workers. Marjory Collins. Photograph, 1943. (LC-USW3-30027-E).

Anna Novak
Wisconsin, about 30 years ago
Married with two children, boys, ages 10 and 13
8th grade and one and a half years of high school in St. Hedwig's Orphanage
Packing House Worker
Chicago, Illinois
April 25-27, 1939
Betty Burke

Interview Excerpt: "How long have you worked in the stockyards?"

Listen to Anna's response

"I've had eight years of the yards. It's a lot different now, with the union and all. We used to have to buy the foremen presents, you know. On all the holidays, Xmas, Easter, Holy Week, Good Friday, you'd see the men coming to work with hip pockets bulging and take the foremen off in corners, handing over their half pints...Your job wasn't worth much if you didn't observe the holiday "customs." The women had to bring 'em bottles, just the same as the men. You could get along swell if you let the boss slap you on the behind...I'd rather work any place but in the stockyards just for that reason alone."

Transcript #07051009

Choose a different excerpt from this topic:

Anna Novak, Packing House Worker | Jim Cole, Packing House Worker |
Irving Fajans, Department Store Worker

Choose a different topic:

All in a Day's Work: Industrial Lore | Rank and File | Hard Times in the City: Testifying | Making Do: Women and Work

Voices from the Thirties Home Page