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“An Awful Battle at Homestead, Pa.”

In 1892, owner Andrew Carnegie and his plant manager Henry Clay Frick decided to break the steelworkers union at the Carnegie Steel Company plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Frick locked out the steelworkers and hired 300 armed guards from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to protect non-union strikebreakers. When the Pinkertons arrived on barges, armed steelworkers defeated them in a bloody pitched battle. Later, however, the state militia supported Carnegie, and the strike—along with the union—was broken. The National Police Gazette portrayed the July 6, 1892, fight between striking workers and Pinkerton strike-breakers on the Monongahela River. A national weekly directed to male readers, many of whom were workers, the Police Gazette occasionally covered labor conflict, expressing sympathy toward strikers while also exploiting the more sensational aspects of the events.

Source: National Police Gazette, July 23, 1892—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.