Men at Work
A Photo Collection of
Oscar W. Boedeker
From the Calumet Archives Collection
Indiana University Northwest


  In 1934, Hammond photographer did a series of photographs that captured the working man's normal routines in Hammond, Indiana.  The glass plate negatives were found in a box at the Calumet Archives at Indiana University Northwest in Gary. In looking at the series, one can appreciate O.W. Bodie's work. Historically he was more than a portrait photographer; behind his camera, he was an artist.


The clerk records the amount of coal loaded into a truck owned by the Washington Lumber and Coal Company.  The coal was delivered to the home, dumped on the street or in the driveway. When you came home from work you had to shovel it into a coal bin. This required a coal shovel and a good wheelbarrow. It was a dirty, dusty job that you had to do often during the cold Hammond winters.


This industrious young butcher was actually photographed in his backyard where he butchered the animal. He is seen here taken a hind quarter into the house. These photo prints were taken on glass plates and the emulsion is beginning to separate leaving a light area in the lower left corner of the pictures.



    We all loved Wonder Bread. 

The slogan "Wonder Bread builds strong bodies seven ways!" was later ruled void by the Federal Trade Commission. Why? Because it was a tautology. There were no foods that didn't "build strong bodies seven ways!"

This was actually baked in Hammond and is seen here being delivered to the store. The third shelf has loaves of bread on the truck that are not wrapped.

Hmmm.  good!



This great photo by Bodie shows
his true artistic flare when it came to taking photographs.

Here the young man poses for the camera.

Good lighting.
Good composition.
Good photograph!



The house painter.

Bodie captures this 1934 image of a young man unloading his truck so he can begin work painting a house.

The lighting and the thoughtful composition
reflects Bodie's artful orientation.




  Bodie captured this dump truck hauling out fill for a new building in Hammond. We had straightened out the plane on this because it suggested that the ramp was steeper than it was.

But then we put it back realizing that photographer Bodie deliberately tilted his camera to get this effect for his shot.




Learn More about Bodie