Open today: 10AM - 3PM

Built on Scrap Part I – Wisconsin History and the Scrap Industry (Virtual)

Date(s) - Tuesday, October 19th
12:00 pm CDT - 1:00 pm CDT


dsc0801-version-2While many people associate the phrase “scrap yard” with scrap metal, the scope of scrap dealing in Wisconsin is far more diverse. In addition to dealing with scrap iron and nonferrous metals, Wisconsin scrap dealers have dealt in scrap paper and rags, hides and bones from slaughterhouses, and army surplus. 

Like their counterparts in other states, Wisconsin scrap dealers have sought opportunities where other people saw materials to discard. Join  Jonathan Pollack, Honorary Fellow of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies and Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as he traces the evolution of scrap dealing in Wisconsin and tracks the parallel evolution of the Wisconsin economy.

Register to get access to the Zoom session.
This program is free and open to the public.
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Funded in part by a grant from  Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In connection with  Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, October 8, 2021 – January 30, 2022. Image: Wisconsin Salvage Collectors Union, 1942. Image Courtesy of Dan Chudnow, David Chudnow, Robert Chudnow and Lois Infeld.

About the Presenter

Jonathan Z. S. Pollack is the Chair of the History Department at Madison Area Technical College. He earned his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1999. He is the author of  Wisconsin, The New Home of the Jew: 150 Years of Jewish Life at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, self-published in 2019, and the co-editor of The Voice of the People: Primary Sources on the History of American Labor, Industrial Relations, and Working-Class Culture, published by Harlan Davidson in 2004. Pollack has been a consultant on Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling for its initial run at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and he’s also consulted for the exhibit’s Milwaukee showing. He is the author of two articles and numerous presentations on the history of Jewish scrap dealers, and he is the descendant of scrap dealers in southern Ohio.

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