Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Studio Strike of 1941 Part 2

Continuing with the strike photos from the Cowan collection, I start off with another night shot with the strikers in their formal attire.

The next two images are of the soup kitchen. The tables were constructed by the Warner Brothers Carpentry department and staffed by members of the Coral Room and Disney Studio Restaurant. It was set up in a nice shady grove right across the street from the Walt Disney Studios. The man in the center of the second image is of Herb Sorrell who was one of the strike leaders from the Union. Walt was convinced Herb was a full fledged communist out to destroy the United States.

The photographs are some of the earliest from an animator who left after the strike and became a famous photographer. The animator Kosti Ruohomaa returned home to New England and took photographs of the landscape of New England with a special interest in Maine. He eventually earned the nickname the Ansel Adams of New England.

Finally another nice image of the picket line at the Studios. p>

Once again I would like to thank Bob Cowan ( for his generosity in sharing these images. And thanks to all who wrote comments. Look for some more documents and a couple of images tomorrow from this collection.


Major Pepperidge said...

These are just so interesting, really amazing. I love the details that bring that era to life. The lady with her fur and the guy in the background with the huge sombrero in the first picture!

The folks camping out in the vacant lot, it looks like they are visiting the Redwoods rather than striking to unionize.

I joined the animator's union when I worked at Disney... it is a good organization, but fairly toothless these days with so much outsourcing. The studios finally thought of a way to get the cheap labor after all!

Thufer said...

these are all so revealing of the time. thank you both.

David said...

I've just posted some strike related images on my blog.