Joe Adams bildungsroman
Detroit's East Side, 1933-1944

In the Detroit area there were four ecological regions:

the East side, centered on Dodge Main

the far east side, along Connor Avenue (Briggs, Chrysler, Packard, Hudson among the major plants)

Southwest Detroit (mainly Reuther's Local 174)

Dearborn (Ford's River Rouge plant)

This page is about the East side.
Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry, South Wall, 1932–33. Detroit Institute of Arts

UAW Local 3, Dodge Main
, bounded on the east by Mt. Elliott, on the west by Joseph Compau

UAW Local 410, Midland Steel (5 long buildings) across Mt. Elliott southeast of Dodge Main

UAW Local 351, Detroit Steel Products (not visible) across the street from the southwest corner of Dodge Main

UAW Local 238, Michigan Steel Tube (not visible) north of the northeast corner of Dodge Main

UAW 490, Chrysler Highland Park, north of Dodge Main

Dodge Main and Vicinity
Midland Steel Corporation,
Detroit Division

I conducted about 40 interviews of union members, activists and officers, the nurse, the works manager, and the Vice President of the Frame Division.

I also examined the papers of Newton Baker and Felix Frankfurter.  Newton Baker was on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Turst Corporation.  Felix Frankfurter was the hed of the Cleveland Foundation.  The list of firms linked to the bank is incomplete.

The White Motor Company was an important scene in the development of the UAW.  Wyndham Mortimer, one of the if not the most important organizer of the early UAW, worked for Whhite Motor.

John Carmody, head of the Society of Industrial Engineers and active in the Taylor Society, was active in Cleveland in the years following WWI.  

The Almangamated Clothing Workers were engaged in labor-management coooperation in Cleveland.

In this context it is interesting to compare Mortimer's insider account of White Motor's progressive approach to labor relations with Henry Kraus's outsider and ideologically driven characterization of of the company's approach to unionization.
             Midland Steel: Capital

Go to UAW Local 410, Political Cadre: Socio-Technical Patterns
This is a useful map of 1940 Detroit.  The lower left corner of the E in East Side marks the Connor Avenue far east side concentration of auto plants.
Thhis is the layout from my book The Emergence of a UAW Local.  It is interesting to consider in what ways the actual location and mobility of workers was not significant.
Michigan Steel Tube (UAW Local 238)
On the "Working Class": Heterogeneity; Discontinuity; Quantum Gaps

NOTE: to right shows pres of Midland Steel Corp; insert above this position firms including Midland)

Interviews: Joe Adams: Bildung at Doge Main (Trim shop)
1.  family history (socialism in Polantd)
2.  skill and being: trim
2a. after sitdown 1937 signing em up
3.  joint union management control: we were better at their jobs than they were
4.  Organizing as Bildung
5.  Strike 1944

VP Frame Div; one more

Works Manager (Art Lamb: the gap)

John Anderson (Local 155, organized Midland Steel sitdown strike: lying about strike vote--see Bob Brenner; Anderson said "it was possible.  We sometimes did things like that, but can't remember")


40 workers

Detroit's East Side 1939-1944/Petrograd 1917-18

S. A. Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983)

Steve Jefferys, Management and Managed: Fifty Years of Crisis at Chrysler (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
meeting leo
1936.  An organizing leaflet distributed to auto workers by the Dodge Main local of the UAW. The event promises to address the issue of “Speed Up” practices and has Leo Krzycki, organizer for the CIO, listed as the main speaker and will be held at 8944 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck, Michigan. (Reuther Archives, Detroit).  See Interview with Joe Adams for a vivid description of that meeting.