|Description:||Hooded melting pot in foundry with ventilation hood not in place nor turned on, 1947. Original caption: “Pacific Car & Foundry Company, Renton, Washington. Fumes from Electric Steel Furnace. When no Ventilation is Used. Fumes Were Particularly Bothersome to Crane Operators. Note the Ventilating Hood Raised to Allow Passage of Crane.” The photograph highlights the exhaust ventilation system of the operation. In the World War II years, personal protective equipment was the main way to protect workers from hazardous dusts and fumes, because engineering controls, such as ventilation systems, were too expensive to implement. After the war, it was more economically feasible for industries to install such exposure controls. The U.S. Public Health Service Industrial Hygiene Division surveyed industries such as this one around the nation after the war, to learn about and to show others improved and inadequate industrial safety and health practices.|
The NIOSH Historic Photo Collection began as the “picture file” of the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), c. 1930-1960. It is a unique collection of mid-20th Century images of American workers and workplaces and documents occupational safety and health research of that era. The collection consists of approximately 1,000 original photographs and schematic drawings.