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“Caught in the Shafting.”

The National Police Gazette portrays, in a characteristically lurid fashion, an industrial accident in a North Grosvenor, Connecticut, cotton mill. Many late-nineteenth century businessmen ignored hazardous working conditions, since they had little financial incentive to make the workplace safer. In 1881 alone, 30,000 railway workers were killed or injured on the job, and industrial hazards existed in other industries, including textiles. A national weekly magazine, the National Police Gazette enthusiastically violated the mores of genteel culture, focusing on legal and illegal sports, violent crimes and accidents, and sex. Women were often depicted as perpetrators or victims of violence, providing titillation to the weekly magazine’s male readership.

Source: National Police Gazette, May 28, 1892—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.