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Archiver > COOK-CO-IL > 2006-03 > 1143731185

Subject: RE: teamster in 1880 Chicago
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:06:25 -0600
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Susan Husk [mailto:] asked what a teamster would do for
a living in 1880.

Susan a teamster was a person who drove a vehicle pulled by a team of
horses. That is where the word teamster comes from.

A person who worked in a brickyard could have done any number of jobs in a
brickyard from putting clay into brick molds, to placing the molds into
kilns to be dried, to loading finished bricks for shipment, to working in an
office. There were lots of brickyards in and around Chicago in the period
after the Great Chicago Fire. After the Great Chicago Fire, the City of
Chicago required that all new construction had to be fire resistant which
meant you had to use brick.

As far as someone working for the railroad, there were countless jobs on the
railroad. A person could work in the main or regional offices as a clerk, or
out in the rail yard as a switchman, hostler (some who moves engines or
trains around in the yard), engineer, conductor, brakeman, etc. He could
also work in the roundhouse as a steam fitter, carpenter, mechanic, etc.
There were also car shops in Chicago which repaired wooden cars and also
built wooden cars for the railroad so you would need men who were skilled in
working with wood.

Thomas Mackowiak

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