Unions, agencies collaborate for ‘The Way We Worked’

Exhibit kicks off Saturday at National Churchill Museum

Jim Winemiller, business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 257, sets up a display of tools Monday the union has loaned to the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Mo., for The Way We Worked exhibit.

Jim Winemiller, business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 257, sets up a display of tools Monday the union has loaned to the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Mo., for The Way We Worked exhibit. Photo by Mandi Steele.

FULTON, Mo. — About a dozen union members worked together Monday morning setting up The Way We Worked exhibit at the National Churchill Museum.

The first Smithsonian Institution exhibition to come to the museum has been a collaborative effort from many area agencies. Nine area unions have all chipped in to help staff the exhibit during its duration in Fulton. Four of these have loaned tools from their various trades to be part of the display.

Jim Winemiller, business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 257, said he was learning about the old methods and tools of his trade just by setting up his union’s display of tools. He worked with others Monday helping to organize each section of the exhibit.

Mark Fohey, business representative for the Plumbers’ and Pipefitters’ Local Union 562, also came Monday and set up wrenches, gauges and lead burning pots in his union’s display box. Fohey said the area unions welcomed the opportunity to help out with the exhibit — a showcase of how America’s workforce and work environment has changed during the past 100 years.

From Saturday through March 10, visitors can tour the exhibit at the museum. The ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception for the exhibit’s grand opening will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday.

Chris Wulff, sheet metal apprentice, volunteered Monday to assemble display panels in the museum.

“It’s good to see how technology has advanced in our trade,” Wulff said of the exhibit.

Other unions donated time and/or materials to the exhibit. Other area agencies also contributed to the Smithsonian project.

The exhibit will be open during regular museum hours. There is no additional charge to see The Way We Worked. Regular museum admission applies: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students ages 12-18, $3 for youth ages 6-11, and children 5 and under are free.

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