Price: $310.00

    Code: 1535

    This video offers an in-depth historical examination of Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley brass industry, from its heyday to its present decline. From the mid-19th century to its peak during WWI, 'Brass Valley' produced more than half of America's brass goods, from buttons and belt buckles to auto parts, pistols and cannon shells. Today, the mills and factories are mostly shut down and unemployment is widespread. Experts variously blame it on plastics, foreign competition or labor unions. This three-part documentary is a case study of the major themes of American working class history. Part I examines the WWI era, when an alliance of laborers speaking nineteen different languages called general strikes to protest the economic conditions of the period. Part II traces the rise of industrial unionism from the desperate days of the Depression to the brink of post-WWII prosperity. Part II, focusing on the Sixties and Seventies, examines an industry in decline. Brass Valley includes interviews with present and retired brass workers, rare archival photos and footage, and an original music score by William Walach.

    Produced by Jerry Lombardi, Jan Stackhouse and Jeremy Brecher
    1984, 86 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125

    "...serves as a microcosm of the evolution of U.S. industrialization and the growth of labor unions...Fascinating for public library viewers, this presentation will also serve as an unusual case study for college students."-Booklist (American Library Association)

    "...the narration and the story line are good...suited for collections with a special interest in labor history, manufacturing, or New England."-Library Journal

    "...should be useful to college and general audiences interested in grassroots history and in the origins of the American labor movement."-Choice (American Library Association)

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