12,5 x 20
America's shipscalers union, formed by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), arose out of the four day, 1934 labor strike up and down the West Coast, which shut down ports from San Diego to Vancouver. A shipscalers tasks were among the most unglamorous, laborious, dirty and dangerous jobs on the docks. They were responsible for scraping barnacles off the undersides of ships in dry dock, painting the exteriors, cleaning soot out of boiler rooms and by some accounts also cleaning up debris from repair work in the holds. For this poster, advertising a union picnic in Lincoln Park, the image is as obscure as the artist. In a decidedly WPA style, the anonymous artist depicts a woman embracing a welding mask, while a man carries a basket of fruit and bottles. If the visual message is unclear the point of the poster is not; a chance for returning soldiers and laborers to get together and work towards further solidarity. An excellent American labor document.