Laborer, 1890s

"Me and the misses moved to Michigan after the Civil War. I've been workin' as a laborer ever since -- makin' my way, building roads, cuttin' down trees, hauling bricks for new buildings. If the work's out there, I can do it. But I never know what I'm going to make from day to day. Just depends on the job."

-Isaac Brown, Black male, age 47

Photo captions: Road construction, circa 1895 (Library of Congress collections); Advertising and bag from the Kalamazoo Laundry Company (KVM collections); Undergrounf bricklaying, circa 1890s (unidentified source). 

To find more historic photographs and artifacts related to African Americans history in Kalamazoo, visit KVM's searchable collections database.

A Job for Everyone
  1. Grocer, 1890s
  2. Dressmaker, 1890s
  3. Seamstress, 1890s
  4. Laborer, 1890s
  5. Carriage Builder, 1890s
  6. Cigar Roller, 1890s
  7. Launderer, 1900
  8. Corset Company Forelady, 1900
  9. Card Sorter, 1900
  10. Paper Mill, 1900
  11. Carriage Painter, 1900
  12. Foundry Worker, 1900
  13. Type Setter, 1910s
  14. Teacher, 1910s
  15. Elevator Operator, 1910s
  16. Metal Caster, 1910s
  17. Barber, 1910s
  18. Stationery Packer, 1910s
  19. Seamstress, 1910s
  20. Family Cook, 1920s
  21. Errand Girl, 1920s
  22. Janitor, 1920s
  23. Paper Beaterman, 1920s
  24. Hotel Bell Boy, 1920s