Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: Photographs of Agricultural Laborers in California,
Date (inclusive): ca. 1906-1911
Collection Number: BANC PIC 1905.02634-.02731 -- PIC
101 photographic prints, 9 x 14 cm. or smaller.
100 digital objects
Cross, Ira B. (Ira Brown), b. 1880
The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Information for Researchers
Collection is available for use.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted
in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted
to research and educational purposes.
[Identification of item,
Photographs of Agricultural Laborers in California,BANC PIC 1905.02634-.02731--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Digital Representations Available
The Photographs of Agricultural Laborers in California collection was received as a gift from Ira B. Cross.
Finding aid and digital representations of archival material funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the
Ira Brown Cross, a descendant of William Bradford and John and Priscilla Alden of the Plymouth Colony, was born December 1, 1880 in Decatur, Illinois. He received his A.B. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and while a student there became a member of the Socialist Party. In 1904 he served as the Assistant Secretary of the National Convention of the Socialist Party in Chicago. Cross received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1909. He remained at Stanford as a professor until 1914, when--despite his radical economic views--he was asked by University
of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler to accept a position in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. Cross accepted and would
remain at the University of California until his retirement in 1951. During his tenure at Berkeley he significantly expanded
the scope of the Department of Economics and gained a reputation as a challenging, iconoclastic instructor and impassioned
lecturer who was able to enliven student interest in a field often referred to as the "dismal science." An estimated 60,000
students enrolled in his classes during his career. Cross was Chair of the Department of Economics in the 1919-1920 and 1923-1924
school years. In 1951 Cross was awarded the LL.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin, and in 1958 was awarded the same
degree from the University of California. In 1964 he was honored with the dedication of the Ira B. Cross Room in Barrows Hall
on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to his career in academia, Cross was also active in
arbitration and strike-breaking efforts, and created one of the nation's first employment management training courses. He
also served as a member of the American Institute of Banking from 1935 to 1960, for whom he taught and contributed important educational texts. Cross also helped to form the Berkeley Police School, an internationally recognized crime prevention program. After his retirement, Cross pursued his interest in the cultivation
of chrysanthemums, becoming such an authority on the subject that he served as associate editor of the
Bulletin of the National Chrysanthemum Society. Ira B. Cross died March 24, 1977.
In addition to publishing numerous articles and reviews, Cross also wrote several volumes on economics and banking, among
them the following:
Cooperative Stores in the United States (1906);
Essentials of Socialism (1911);
Collective Bargaining in San Francisco (1917);
Domestic and Foreign Exchange (1923);
History of Banking in California (1927);
Money and Banking (1931); and
A History of the Labor Movement of California (1935).
Cross, Ira B. (interviewee),
Portrait of an Economics Professor: Oral History Transcript,
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California,
Academic Senate, University of California, Berkeley, California,
Scope and Content
The Photographs of Agricultural Laborers in California collection contains 101 photographic prints taken circa 1906-1911.
The collection documents various ethnic groups, many of them agricultural workers, present in California in the early twentieth
century. Especially featured in the collection are Japanese farm laborers and scenes of urban Chinese communities. Also pictured
are Mexican, Italian and East Indian (referred to in the captions as "Hindu") workers and communities. Agricultural locations
pictured in the collection include the Stockton area, Palo Alto, Woodland, Visalia, Ryde, and the San Joaquin River area.
Many prints show the various types of housing used by the farm laborers, which included large ranch houses, communal bunk
houses, dilapidated shacks, and open-air tents and beds. Also pictured are laborers at work or during travel.
The collection also includes scenes of many urban communities, including the Chinatown districts of San Francisco, Los Angeles,
Fresno, Gilroy, San Jose, and Merced, as well as Japanese commercial districts in Fresno, San Francisco and San Jose. Also
pictured are an Italian residential area of San Francisco, and a Mexican employment office in Fresno.
Many of the photographs in the collection may have originated from a 1908 U.S. Immigration Commission study conducted by Stanford
University professor Harry A. Millis, with the assistance of Cross, which sought to gather information on immigrantfarm labor
problems of the San Joaquin Valley.
Individuals identified in the collection include Harry A. Millis, rancher George Shima, and anarchist William C. Owen.
Cross is likely to have been the photographer of many of the prints, but this has not been ascertained.
The original captions accompanying the photographs are reproduced in the container listing. They include words like "Jap"
and "Hindu" that were commonplace at the time, but may now have a derogatory meaning.