Work

Minnesota State Capitol, Stone worker, poss. Nils Nelson, ca. April 4, 1904
1904/4/4 Capitol rotunda close-up, stonemason, probably Nils Nelson
Image courtesy of Thomas Blanck and Associates. Used with permission.

WORK is broken down into the following categories:

Building Techniques and Equipment  A number of photographs of the various types of equipment, including hand tools, are displayed here, along with images of the workers working on the construction site. A 1904 interview with William Butler conducted by the St. Paul Globe provides insights into how the statehouse was built and innovations used in the construction process. William, the general manager of the site for the Butler Brothers construction company,  details the stages in the Capitol construction in an excellent summary of how the structure was built. 

Construction Stages: Sequential Photographs  This section contains a portion of a collection of Capitol construction photographs belonging to Saint Paul architect Thomas Blanck; These images come from an album, produced for the Capitol Commission, consisting of images of the Capitol site shot sequentially from 1896, before construction began, to completion of most of the building in 1905.   

Offsite Industries & Suppliers  Quarries that supplied construction stone for the Capitol and a section on the brick industry in Chaska, Minnesota are located here. Photographs from area businesses that supplied furnishings and equipment for the Capitol are also located here.
 
 

Transportation  Photographs of the railroads and horse and wagon teams used to move the heavy blocks of marble and other building materials from the quarries and suppliers to the work site.

Wages  Data on what the amounts that workers from various trades were paid and comparisons of the wages of men and women for their work on the Capitol.

Workplace Conditions: Hazards and Fatalities  This section contains photographs of both the Capitol construction site and the quarries where the stone for the project was quarried and processed. These photographs show examples of the types of scaffolding that workers fell from, and the rough conditions found in quarries at the time.  The fatalities section contains articles from local newspapers describing the accidents and deaths of the six workers who died while working on the Capitol construction site.  The section also contains a recently discoverd photograph of the exact place Albert Swanson was standing on the day  when the scaffolding he was standing on was suddenly pulled down accidently and he fell to his death. 

 

 

 

Please click on the menu links to see the above sections.