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The Way We Worked

Young Women Delivering Ice, 1918. National Archives, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs
Young women delivering ice, 1918. National Archives, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs.


The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich photographic collections, covering more than 150 years to tell this compelling story. Why, where, and how do we work? What value does work have to individuals and communities? What does our work tell others about us?

The Way We Worked is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and is adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Historic New England is partnering with SITES for their Museum on Main Street initiative to host this exhibition across New England. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. The Way We Worked is available in this region for six-week bookings beginning September 2012 through June 2014. Each hosting institution will have the opportunity to add objects from their collection to the exhibition, making this an especially local experience.

More information on renting The Way We Worked.

View images from The Way We Worked.

Watch a news story on The Way We Worked in Lebanon, NH, which follows a retired worker from the H.W. Carter and Sons Factory.

The Way We Worked Exhibition Dates and Locations:


February 3 May 5, 2013
Museum L-A
, Lewiston, Maine

June 29 – August 11, 2013
The Vermont Granite Museum
, Barre, Vermont

August 24 October 6, 2013
Buttonwoods Museum/Haverhill Historical Society
, Haverhill, Massachusetts

October 12 December 1, 2013
Lynn Museum and Historical Society
, Lynn, Massachusetts

December 7, 2013 January 19, 2014
New Haven Free Public Library
, New Haven, Connecticut 

January 25 March 9, 2014
Warner Theater
, Torrington, Connecticut

March 15 April 27, 2014
Hartford State Capitol Building
, Hartford, Connecticut

April 27 – May 3, 2014
The Museum of Work and Culture
, Woonsocket, Rhode Island

June 21 August 3, 2014
Mattatuck Museum
, Waterbury, Connecticut

August 9 September 14, 2014
Nathan Hale Homestead
, Coventry, Connecticut

September 20 November 2, 2014
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
, Stamford, Connecticut

November 8 December 21, 2014
Groton Public Library
, Groton, Connecticut







New Hampshire Humanities Council      NH Humanities

Museum On Main Street


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The Way We Worked