Tired!: Industrial and Workplace Fatigue, 1900-1950

Tired!: Industrial and Workplace Fatigue, 1900-1950

History Hangout: Conversation with Tina Wei


Work tires folks, and if fatigue is allowed to continue unabated, it can wear them right out. Studies of industrial and workplace fatigue during the first half of the twentieth century sought to address this pressing social and economic problem. But for whose benefit: labor or capital? 

The dissertation research of Tina Wei, PhD candidate at Harvard University, demonstrates that this matter was of real concern to labor unions, business owners, management, and research scientists. Using multiple sources, including the records of the National Industrial Conference Board held at the Hagley Library, Wei explores how concept of industrial fatigue changed over time from a primarily physical matter to one focused on mental and emotional states.  

In support of her work, Wei received funding from the Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society at the Hagley Museum & Library.

The audio only version of this program is available on our podcast.