Story: Class

Occupations: navvies (1st of 5)

Occupations: navvies

This gang of railway-track layers (navvies) are having a smoko (break) near the track in the 1930s. Such men, with their hobnail boots and packed lunches, were typical of the unskilled manual workers who represented about a fifth of male workers at that time. The main asset they brought to their work was the strength of their arms.

Using this item

Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAVK W3493, E8341

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Class - A middle-class society? – material differences, 1890 to 1970', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/29728/occupations-navvies (accessed 19 September 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 May 2018