Thurman Wenzl was a longshoreman in Baltimore, Maryland from 1974-2011. His papers include his memoir, journals describing his time working at the Baltimore Docks, dock safety information, and information on his union activities, as well as some photographs and photographic slides from different docks. Most of the papers are related to the Baltimore area.
Wenzl worked with the International Longshoreman’s Association from 1974-1982 to promote safe working environments. The papers include a newsletter named The Talking Delegate which he published, and newspaper clippings of union activities. These papers also contain materials from Wenzl’s time working with the Maryland Committee for Occupational Safety and Health where he advocated for safer working environments for those working as longshoremen.
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1.00 Linear Feet (1 Paige box )
Thurman Wenzl worked as a longshoreman at the Baltimore docks from 1974 until 1982. He was originally a math teacher, but he had a desire to become more active in anti-war protests and improving labor conditions. When Wenzl worked as a longshoreman, he was active in the International Longshoreman's Association (ILA), Local 333 (Baltimore). Part of his activism included writing the newsletter, The Talking Delegate, to help draw attention to issues the union could address.
After leaving the docks, Wenzl decided to pursue a career in industrial hygiene. When Wenzl finished his master’s degree, he worked with the International Chemical Workers Union where he encouraged the investigation of working conditions and worker education. Later, he worked with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health where he continued to advocate for workers’ rights. His research focused on workplace accident causes and prevention. After leaving this job, he volunteered with several local labor unions to improve membership and eliminate mistreatment.
Thurman B. Wenzl donated his papers to the University of Maryland in September 2014.
This collection has been minimally processed. Upon receipt in the archives, a student assistant created an accession record and a preliminary inventory of the materials. Materials were reboxed in a standard Paige box and the scope and content note and biographical history notes were drafted for the finding aid. In 2016, the preliminary inventory was reformatted by Megan O'Hern. In 2020, Jennifer Eidson created the finding aid in ArchivesSpace making revisions where needed, adding descriptive notes, incorporating the box and folder list into ArchivesSpace, foldering all materials in acid free folders, and labeling folders. The collection includes 2 CDs, 1 DVD, and a number of photographs and slides. These items were not given special rehousing at the time of minimal processing.
Several folders contained sensitive/confidential content such as recent (within the last 20 years) names, addresses, phone numbers, and/or emails of individuals other than the donor. These items were removed from the original folders and placed in [Restricted] folders in the collection box.