Labor Day / by Dave Hileman

This is the odd holiday. Most folks simply celebrate the end of summer with hardly a thought to why we even have Labor Day. It became an official holiday in 1894. At that time most people still worked on farms but industrialization was rapidly taking over. Steel making, mining, ship building, cotton mills, iron works, railroads, wheel wrights, and building trades were all physically intensive tasks with long hours, few benefits, fewer rights and significant dangers. The organized labor movements were crucial in improving conditions eventually for workers generally. Now their value is more remembrance than necessity with the laws enacted in the land. But if you want to remember the value of hard work and the striking benefits accrued to us today, look at these small workbenches that were the backbone of innovation and invention. This one like countless others begat - with very hard work and tenacity - the vision of the owners, here the Wright Brothers' first airplane began. Read the book by White: "Wright Brothers." It is an astonishing American story. And enjoy your BBQ.