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Industrial CowboysMiller & Lux and the Transformation of the Far West, 1850-1920$
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David Igler

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520226586

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520226586.001.0001

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Laboring on the Land

Laboring on the Land

(p.122) Chapter 5 Laboring on the Land
Industrial Cowboys

David Igler

University of California Press

This chapter describes Miller and Lux's workforce. It notes that in order to fill its constantly changing labor needs, the firm employed migrant, low-wage workers and divided them along racial and ethnic lines, adding that the racial and ethnic segmentation reflected the company's attempt to organize a large and potentially unwieldy male population. The chapter explains that Miller and Lux, like industrial employers nationwide, capitalized on immigration trends, and separated their workers as a way to prevent strikes. It narrates that Miller and Lux's largest labouring group had little direct contact with livestock but instead found themselves employed in reclamation activities, and notes that the laborers spent long hours of arduous work for low wages. The chapter explains that human labor was the integral link between resource exploitation and large-scale production, and that the company's power ultimately derived from the ability to tap both human and natural energy for its own ends.

Keywords:   Miller and Lux, workforce, migrants, low-wage workers, immigration trends, segmentation, human labor

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