The Way We Worked


The Way We Worked is a traveling Smithsonian exhibit that explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environment in the past 150 years. Adapted from an original exhibition designed by the National Archives, The Way We Worked shows how we identify with work – as individuals and as communities.

“With busy hands and minds, American workers perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Work is part of nearly every American’s life, whether for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well-being of their families. In offices, factories, on the road, and at home, millions keep the nation going through contributions to industry and American culture.”

Read the full exhibit description

SC Humanities was pleased to bring The Way We Worked to South Carolina in 2017 for a year-long tour of six communities: St. George, Blythewood, Pickens, Chester, McClellanville, and Hartsville. Each host community presented collateral programming from local exhibits to oral histories to movie screenings. More than 17,000 people participated in the tour of The Way We Worked in South Carolina. SC Humanities thanks all of the host sites and tour sponsors for the wonderful success of this program!

See a list of archived local programs here!


              2_Girls Deliver Ice 12_Aircraft Carrier crew

Exhibit Schedule

January 28 – March 12, 2017
Dorchester County Archives and History Center

101 Ridge Street, St. George, SC 29477
Contact: Bill Blakely, 843-696-0155
See a list of programs planned in St. George

March 18 – April 30, 2017
Blythewood Historical Society

100 McNulty Road, Blythewood, SC 29016
Contact: Susan Jackson, 803-348-6945
See a list of programs planned in Blythewood

May 6 – June 18, 2017
Pickens County Museum of Art & History
307 Johnson Street, Pickens, SC 29671
Contact: Dan Brennan, 864-898-5027
See a list of programs planned in Pickens

June 24 – August 6, 2017
City of Chester
100 West End Street, Chester, SC 29706
Contact: Cynthia Curtis,  803-581-2123 Ext. 233
See a list of programs planned in Chester

August 12 – September 24, 2017
McCellanville Arts Council
733 Pinckney Street, McClellanville, SC 29458
Contact: Bernadette Humphrey, 843-887-3157
See a list of programs planned in McClellanville

September 30 – November 12, 2017
Black Creek Arts Council
116 West College Avenue, Hartsville, SC 29550
Contact: Allison Pederson, 843-332-6234

                       9_Mexican Farm Worker 1_Man on Submarine Hull

For more information about The Way We Worked, please contact T.J. Wallace at 803-771-2477.

The Way We Worked was made possible in South Carolina by SC Humanities. The Way We Worked is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.




In South Carolina, SC Humanities received additional support for the The Way We Worked project from the Byerly Foundation, Dorchester County Accommodations Tax, Pickens County Accommodations Tax, Richland County Accommodations Tax, and Sonoco.


Funded in part by Pickens County Accommodations Tax
Official Pickens County Tourism website is


To find out more about supporting The Way We Worked in South Carolina, please contact Judy Burke Bynum at 803-315-4411.

Image 1: Young women delivering ice, 1918. National Archives, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs
Image 2: Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) deck crew guides a fighter jet, by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Snyder, 2008. US Department of Defense, US Navy Photo
Image 3: Mexican farm worker in lettuce field, Blythe, California, by Charles O’Rear, may 1972. National Archives, Records of the Environmental Protection Agency
Image 4: Submarine builder at Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut, by Fenno Jacobs, August 1943. National Archives, General Records of the US Navy