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Image 2: “Gandy Dancers”
These laborers became known as “gandy dancers” during the early 20th century. The origins of the term remain unknown. Journalist Freeman Hubbard wrote in 1945 that the phrase derived from the use of tools made by the Gandy Manufacturing Co. of Chicago, Illinois. “Gandy dancers” chanted songs in order to work in unison, especially when driving spikes. The rhythmic combination of song and movement resembled dancing.
Questions for Image 2
1. What important task do these “gandy dancers” appear to be performing?
2. How do you think this same job is accomplished on today’s railroad tracks?