Laborers standing outside the Employment Bureau, 1908

Laborers standing outside the Employment Bureau, 1908

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Laborers standing outside the Employment Bureau in the Minneapolis neighborhood that became known as the Gateway District, 1908. Shown in the window are postings for work as a “steam driller” for $2.50 a day near the city, and a posting for a bridge carpenter position in Missoula. Day laborers came by rail from all over the Midwest to Minneapolis’s “Bridge Square” to find work and blow off steam in saloons. Named for its proximity to the series of bridges over the Mississippi on the current site of Hennepin Avenue, the area was derided as early as the 1880s as a gathering spot for working-class and unemployed men, prostitutes, and others deemed “unsavory.”

© Minnesota Historical Society

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Photograph Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul

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