In 1925, researchers at the Rand School of Social Science compiled and published The American Labor Press Directory, listing 629 newspapers and periodicals. Mostly weeklies and monthlies, the majority were affiliated with local labor councils or were owned by publishers who proclaimed their commitment to the labor movement. Next in number were national publications owned by AFL international unions like the International Moulders Union. The once massive Socialist press had been decimated in the Red Scare and by 1925 claimed only 31 periodicals, while the IWW had 15, nearly all published out of the Chicago headquarters. The Directory also counted periodicals published by religious groups and other organizations deemed friendly to the cause of labor.
The UCLA based Networked Labor Project has been working with these data to explore personal connections between labor activists in the 1920s and presents more detail than is available here. Here we map the newspapers to show the changing geography of labor and radical organizations. Switch between three visualizations. And compare these 1925 data with our maps of the Socialist, IWW, and Anarchist movements before 1925. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page.
Sources: American Labor Press Directory (New York: Rand School of Social Science, 1925). Pdf copy from Hathi Trust https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/005897313.
Data extraction and compilation: Josue Estrada
Maps: James Gregory
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