The word prompt for the 15th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "They WORKED hard for the family." The professions of our ancestors are almost as interesting as the people themselves. Some of our ancestors worked very hard; they took in laundry, worked the land, raised many children, or went to school and became professionals. Photographs of them working are called occupational photographs and are rather hard to find. If you do have a photograph in your collection or family photographs, bring them to the Carnival. This edition is hosted by footnoteMaven over at Shades of the Departed.
My paternal grandfather, George Henry Hughes, was employed as a draftsman with The American Bridge Company, a Division of U.S. Steel, Ambridge, Pennsylvania, located on the Ohio River west of Pittsburgh. I don’t know what type of position he had when he was first employed with American Bridge, however I do know that he began in 1913 at the age of fifteen.
Over the years American Bridge has been responsible for designing and building hundreds of bridges and buildings in the United States and abroad. Some of the more notable are: the cable for The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, The Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York, the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower and the Mackinac Straits Bridge. These were all designed and constructed during his years with the company.
A local Pittsburgh project that my grandfather worked on was the Civic Arena which had a motorized, retractable roof of fabric-coated plastic. During the early 1950’s, my aunt can remember her father working on the design of the Civic Arena every night at home. He had some form of blocks that were made to copy the drawings on paper and spent hours working with the blocks trying to figure out how to keep the roof of the circular building up.
My Grandfather Hughes was employed by American Bridge his entire working life. He retired in 1961 after 48 years of service. He worked hard for two families during his lifetime. As a teen he added to the family earnings and once married he supported a wife and three children. My grandparents enjoyed a relaxing life after all the work years in warm and sunny St. Petersburg, Florida paid by a retirement plan provided by the company.