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American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning
ASHP/CML challenges traditional ways that people learn about the past with its print, visual, and multimedia materials that explore the diverse social and cultural histories of the nation. Our professional development seminars help teachers use the latest scholarship, technology, and active learning methods.

Featured in Herb

"Father Mathew" Teacup from Five Points

Uncovered during an archaeological dig of the former Five Points neighborhood, this teacup depicts the Irish temperance reformer Father Theobold Mathew, who during the late 1830s and 1840s convinced Irish on both sides of the Atlantic to embrace temperance through his Total Abstinence Movement. The teacup was found at the site of a former tenement building at 472 Pearl Street, along with other similar objects from domestic life.

Women Workers Protest the Loss of Jobs at Ford Motor Co.

Women Workers Protest the Loss of Jobs at Ford Motor Co.When World War II ended, Ford Motor Company's Highland Park plant, like industrial manufacturers across the country, laid off thousands of women workers and replaced them with inexperienced men. In Highland Park, women members of the United Auto Workers Local 400 organized active protests against the policy, including this picket by 150 women workers outside of the plant's employment office. Eventually, after the issue became part of contract negotiations with the union, several hundred women workers were recalled to the plant.

Child Cotton Pickers Haul Heavy Loads

Child Cotton Pickers Haul Heavy LoadsChild cotton-pickers on a farm in Bells, Texas, documented by Lewis W. Hine, a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Children had long been used as cotton-pickers and other agricultural workers in the South, where the tradition of sharecropping as well as sheer economic necessity made the practice widespread. In the caption to this photo, Hine notes, "All these children five years, six years, seven years, nine years [of age]... The very young children like to pick, but before long they detest it. Sun is hot, hours long, bags heavy."

Recent Podcast Episodes

Richard Samuel West, historian of cartoons and popular publications and founder of New England's Periodyssey, discusses the range of topics in and formats of political cartoons published during the Civil War and delineates how the medium changed over the course of the conflict.

Alice Fahs, professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, presents a broad range of images that made up the visual landscape of the 1860s and explores how the Civil War did and did not transform the dominant images especially for African Americans and women.

Joshua Brown, Executive Director of the American Social History Project and Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, presents a case study of interpreting a historical event through images.

Georgia Barnhill, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts at the American Antiquarian Society, discusses the methods, meanings, and uses of various types of printed Civil War ephemera, and how they were used to document, memorialize and shape public opinion about the war on the home front.