While most of us think of Labor Day as a day we get off work, in truth it is in a day to celebrate fair labor laws in the United States. The lingering spirit of early workers fighting for their personal American Dream is as inspirational now as ever.

American Spirit

Early 20th Century Lifestyle Photography for Labor Day

1913 Rochester Garment Workers Strike

In 1894, Labor Day was established by President Grover Cleveland. It was meant as an olive branch in times of unrest between American workers and the robber-baron era of early corporations.

More than a century later, the relationship between large companies and the working class is just as rife with tension as it was then. Indeed, many now may find artistic inspiration in depictions of these early workers’ rights activists, making them prime choices for historical, patriotic lifestyle photography pieces that still hold resonance.

Fight for Your Rights

In times like today, we can look back on the strikers and protestors of the early Labor Movement—many who were injured, maimed or blacklisted—and remember that fighting for the rights of workers is a long-running American tradition.

From the dangerous and grueling workplace conditions they endured to the outright violent clashes with police labor rights and pro-union protestors survived in events like the Haymarket Riot and the Lattimer Massacre, workers’ rights have been a hard-won battle. For over 100 years, Americans have fought with enduring passion and tenacity for safe work conditions, fair pay and the dignity of honest work.

Lifestyle Photography: Patriotic Prints

This passion has been captured on film and recreated on canvas as a truly inspiring muse. Today, the spirit of the American worker can add a touch of patriotism to an art collection. The early movement coincided with photography coming into its own. As cities built up around manufacturing jobs, urban photography found its own beginnings. These black and white captured images of young cities on the brink are a classy way to bring history into a collection.

Preserve this American spirit in a professionally printed graphic. Whether urban photography or images from the tumultuous days of early strikes, Labor Day’s roots offer rich opportunities for decorative art. Start your project today by uploading your favorite Labor Day image!

Updated August 2020