Work has been at the core of occupational therapy for the last seven and a half decades. The tenets of work, which include providing a way of making a living and giving meaning to one’s existence, have remained consistent throughout occupational therapists’ use of work in the treatment of physical disabilities during three eras: World Wars I and II, the era of industrial therapy, and the work-hardening era. Although technological advances and economics have changed the scope of work, it is evident that the work-hardening programs of today have their roots in the work cure of the early 1900s.

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