These Vintage Factory Images Prove The Assembly Line Isn’t Just A Man’s Job


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I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of manual labor. Breaking a sweat or repetitive actions aren't exactly my cup of tea when it comes to earning a living. That being said, I have immense respect for those of you that clock in on the daily at a warehouse or factory.

Factory jobs have undergone quite the overhaul in the last century or so. As more and more roles are outsourced and human employees are replaced by machines, it's nice to take a look back at what used to be. Check out these 15 images from inside factories in the 19th and 20th centuries. You might just think twice before complaining about having to work in a stuffy office or man the grill at a fast-food establishment!

1. Workers take a break for a photo at an Indonesian tea warehouse, circa 1860.

Workers take a break for a photo at an Indonesian tea warehouse, circa 1860.

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2. These men are hard at work on building a ship in this London engineering workshop.

These men are hard at work on building a ship in this London engineering workshop.

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3. Workers use a steam crane to lower this breech-loading gun into place.

Workers use a steam crane to lower this breech-loading gun into place.

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4. Child workers are supervised by an adult while working in a spinning factory.

Child workers are supervised by an adult while working in a spinning factory.

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5. These lucky ladies had a hand in finishing the production of The Beatles' album "Rubber Soul."

These lucky ladies had a hand in finishing the production of The Beatles' album "Rubber Soul."

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6. Women wear strange paper hats at this sewing factory.

Women wear strange paper hats at this sewing factory.

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7. Child labor laws weren't always a thing. This young boy is in the middle of mule spinning at a cotton mill in Manchester, England.

Child labor laws weren't always a thing. This young boy is in the middle of mule spinning at a cotton mill in Manchester, England.

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8. These young women produce hand grenades at a Moscow munitions plant.

These young women produce hand grenades at a Moscow munitions plant.

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9. A smile goes the extra mile for these factory workers in 1941.

A smile goes the extra mile for these factory workers in 1941.

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10. This predominately female staff ensures the quality of these munition shells at one of England's largest shell factories back in the 1900s, located in Nottinghamshire.

This predominately female staff ensures the quality of these munition shells at one of England's largest shell factories back in the 1900s, located in Nottinghamshire.

Wikimedia Commons

11. These women are assembling control units for tanks and aircraft in one U.S. factory during the height of WWII.

These women are assembling control units for tanks and aircraft in one U.S. factory during the height of WWII.

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12. This unconventional assembly line at the Ford Motor Company in Michigan is producing a Model T, but if you ask me, it look's more like a trapeze.

This unconventional assembly line at the Ford Motor Company in Michigan is producing a Model T, but if you ask me, it look's more like a trapeze.

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13. One munitions worker takes to welding as a way to aid the war efforts during World War I.

One munitions worker takes to welding as a way to aid the war efforts during World War I.

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14. These factory workers are polishing the nose cones of U.S. aircraft circa 1943.

These factory workers are polishing the nose cones of U.S. aircraft circa 1943.

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15. This little boy sure loves his job carrying around pasta at this Italian pasta factory.

This little boy sure loves his job carrying around pasta at this Italian pasta factory.

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As much fun as some of these workers look like they had, I think I'll stick to sitting behind a computer all day!

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