The Way We Worked

The Way We Worked Logo

With their hands and minds hard at work and sweat on their brows, American workers
 perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well-being of ourselves and our families, work is a part of nearly every American’s life. Office workers, factory workers, homemakers, truckers and the millions more who keep the nation going through their work make great contributions not only to industry, but also to American culture.

The diversity of the American workforce is one of its strengths, providing an opportunity to explore how people of all races and ethnicities identified commonalities and worked to knock down barriers in the professional world. And, finally, the exhibition shows how we identify with work - as individuals and as communities. Whether you live in "Steel Town, USA" or wear a uniform each day, work assigns cultural meanings and puts us and our communities in a larger context.

The Way We Worked, adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years.  The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections to tell this compelling story.

he Way We Worked is brought to North Carolina by the North Carolina Humanities Council and made possible by support from the Porter Durham Family. The Council also thanks Maria Magdalena Maiz-Pena for her generous supporters of this program

The Way We Worked will be on tour in 2018 at the following sites:

1. Jan 31 – 13 Mar 2018
Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society
Mt Pleasant, NC

2. March 19 – April 29 2018
Blowing Rock Museum of Art and History
Blowing Rock, NC

3. May 5 – June 16 2018
Cowan Museum of History and Science
Kenansville, NC

4. June 22 – Aug 2 2018
Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center
Fayetteville, NC

5. Aug 8 – Sept 18 2018
Historical Association of Catawba County
Newton, NC

6. Sept 24 – Nov 7 2018
Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC

QUESTIONS? Contact Caitlin Patton at or 704.687.1521