Garment Workers Exhibit

New Haven’s

Garment Workers:

An Elm City Story

History lives on for those who visit New Haven’s Garment Workers: An Elm City Story, a history folded into the fabric of nearly every Greater New Haven family, sparking collective memories
and personal reflection.


About the Exhibit

“New Haven’s Workers: An Elm City Story” is presented by the Greater New Haven Labor History Association.  Since its opening in 2006, this traveling exhibit has been displayed at 12 locations locally and throughout the state.  It paints a vivid portrait of the lives, victories, struggles and sacrifices of a courageous group of working people in the clothing industry in New Haven. 

Exhibit Tour Next Stop: 

Southern Connecticut State University's annual Women's Conference, April 20-21, 2012.  
Please contact GNHLHA Director/Archivist Joan Cavanagh at for further viewing information.


In 1932 and 1933, to combat sweatshop conditions in the clothing industry, workers from the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union cooperated in an organizing campaign.  Their efforts resulted in large-scale unionization of the industry and improvement in wages, working conditions, and hours. Their history offers important lessons for all of us in these times. 

Did someone in your family work in the garment industry in CT?  
The exhibit has impacted thousands of viewers across the state!  Many times we have heard comments such as "my mom worked in the garment factories."  We have even heard from family members of those featured on the exhibit panels.  CT's garment industry history is our collective history.  We welcome you to share your family's stories through our History Among Us program or by contacting us at  We'd love to hear from you! 

On the Road Since 2006... The Tour in Review


Southern Connecticut State University's annual Women's Conference (April 20-21)
Concourse of the Legislative Office Building at the State Capitol in Hartford, CT (March 5-9)

Click to enlarge

Garment Workers Exhibit Visits State Capitol 
The exhibit's latest residence happily coincided with the public hearing before the Education Committee of the State Legislature about GNHLHA's raised bill to mandate the teaching of labor history, the collective bargaining process and the history of existing legal protections in the workplace as part of the Connecticut public school curriculum.  Click here to learn more about the Labor History in the Schools Initiative.


New Haven Maritime Center (January-March) 


Bella Vista of New Haven (December)
The Council Teachers Building in New Haven (December)

Olin Memorial Library at Wesleyan University (October-November)

Atwater Memorial Library in North Branford (September)
Wachovia Bank in New Haven (April-September)
Fairfield University in Fairfield (March-April)
Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford (January-February)


Hagaman Memorial Library in East Haven, Welcome Event by Mayor April Capone Almon
University of Connecticut at Storrs
University of Massachusetts Amherst, WEB Dubois Library


New Haven City Hall Atrium
New Haven Council Teachers Building


Courtland Wilson Library in New Haven
New Haven City Hall Atrium


Ethnic  Heritage Center of New Haven, Welcome Event by Author Anthony Riccio
New Haven Public Library

Greater New Haven Labor History Association  •  267 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06513 • •

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The old office telephone number is no longer operational
Messages left there cannot and will not be retrieved. Please contact the Labor History Association by email.

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