labor day parade

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Your friends at Old World Stoneworks want to cheer you up with not one, but TWO special promotions this month. Take advantage of 10% off all of our beautiful cast stone fireplace mantels AND 10% off our exquisite range hoods through September 30, 2018.

For most of us, Labor Day marks the end of summer, back to school, and maybe some good sales. But of course Labor Day has a deeper meaning – otherwise, it wouldn’t be a national holiday. As history-loving traditionalists, we thought this week we’d look into the true meaning of Labor Day.

Labor Day: It’s about Workers

Labor Day became a holiday 124 years ago, in 1894. By the late 1800s, the Industrial Revolution had swept the United States. Instead of making life easier, people were working more than ever. Twelve-hour days and seven-day workweeks were the norm. Kids who should have been attending first grade toiled in mills instead. OSHA did not exist. Workers’ rights were an unknown concept.

Labor unions grew, becoming the voice of these exploited workers. Rallies and strikes brought attention to abysmal conditions. When the American Railroad Union went on strike in 1894, a violent clash between workers and the government shocked the nation. Congress proclaimed Labor Day in part to smooth over bad feelings left by this strike and riot. The idea was to honor workers on the first Monday of September every year.

A few of the labor movement’s accomplishments are:

  • Weekends!
  • Medical insurance paid by employers
  • Laws against child labor
  • Family and Medical Leave Act

Traditional Labor Day Activities

From its earliest years, Labor Day was meant to be a day of entertainment, fun and relaxation for workers and their families. Labor unions marched in parades. Community festivals offered games, picnics, fellowship and sometimes speeches.
labor day parade
An early Labor Day parade in Massachusetts

While people don’t think as much about the labor movement these days, many Americans enjoy the holiday. And they still often spend the day picnicking and playing games with their children. Other top Labor Day activities include music festivals, going to the beach and shopping the Labor Day sales.

The Labor Day Mantel

At Old World Stoneworks, we love to decorate our mantels for various holidays. But even we’ll admit that Labor Day doesn’t have the best decorations. Instead of going literal with dour portraits of 19th century labor organizers, this might be a holiday that lends itself to symbolism. An American flag or some red, white and blue pinwheels or wreaths could help you reflect on the great things about our country, such as laws protecting workers. If patriotic colors clash with your furnishings, try a beachy, end of summer theme with sand and beach pails.

Now we want to pause a moment to say thanks to OWS’ workers – the folks who lovingly craft our cast stone mantels and range hoods, our designers, visionaries, sales team, blogger, web personnel, warehouse workers, and everybody else who makes our company great. We wish all you workers out there a happy Labor Day.

September Old World Stoneworks Sale on Mantels and Range Hoods

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