Today marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA). The organization is celebrating by launching a new website, SMART 125, that will help chronicle the history of America's sheet metal workers by allowing site visitors to upload their own job site photos.
SMWIA also will be posting historic photos on their Facebook page all day and has posted an abridged copy of the book about their history, Honor the Past, Fight for the Future: A History of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, 1981-2012, online for free.
Here's an excerpt from the press release discussing the importance of the anniversary:
We were the first to institute a pension for retirees in the building trades, the first to create a fund to help underemployed members, worked on the Manhattan project that ended World War II, erected some of North America's greatest landmarks, worked on the Apollo program and constructed the Spirit of St Louis—the first plane to successfully cross the Atlantic.
The skill, determination, character and solidarity of the men and women of this organization have helped us grow from a small gathering of tinsmiths and cornice workers in 1888 to what we are now, a proud and diverse membership of sheet metal, construction, manufacturing, rail, transportation and service workers that has withstood the test of time.