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19 Responses to Pre-OSHA

  1. John h says:

    Ya think?? I worked in a cotton mill in Chatt Tn while in college. Early 70’s and it wasnt much safer than that. But no emply’s under 18 that i saw. That was about the only difference.
    John h.

  2. Veeshir says:

    That’s from when kids were easy to shop for. You could pick one up on almost any street corner.

  3. arc says:

    white slavery. Kids forced to work in textiles industries and when they lost limbs, off to the street with them.

  4. Chris Mallory says:

    My grandfather probably would have jumped at that job. His mother died when he was 8. He had to drop out of school to help take care of his younger brothers and sisters. At 12 he was working the coal mines in Muhlenberg County.

  5. Tom from East Tennessee says:

    That picture reminds me of work stories my Grandfather used to tell me. He was born in 1902 when they still used horses in the city and there were only gas lights on his street, no electricity. He got through 6th grade and then had to go to work at age 12, poor immigrant family and that’s what they did back around 1914.
    He became a tool and die maker in a machine shop. I remember working in a machine shop (in the 1970s) and he was impressed with all the electric motors running the machines. He said back in his day all of the mills/lathes etc were powered by exposed belts running down from the ceiling to each machine. A lot like the loom or whatever it is in the picture, just with metal cutting implements on the machine instead of yarn or whatever. He saw lots of accidents, lost fingers/limbs and worse.

  6. brighteyes says:

    Some of those kids were working 12 and 16 hour days. As said a lot of them lost limb and were just tossed aside like garbage. A dime a dozen and they were paid pennies.

  7. Joe says:

    As someone has said, “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good time create weak men. Weak men create hard times.”

  8. Heathen says:

    Nixon signed OSHA December 29, 1970. It became effective on on April 28, 1971.

    I started work in a factory in October of 1969; building railroad cabooses.

    I’m likely not the only one here who worked in factories prior to OSHA.

    • rob says:

      Hell yes – Allis-Chalmers, 1963, building bulldozers.

      I was 18, and that was a long way from my first job, too.

  9. WoodBurner says:

    White Privilege

  10. Curtis says:

    I’ve noticed a trend in these photos. Shoes you may, hats you must. Interesting perspective.

    • grayman says:

      At that time in history men and women young and old wore a hat every place. Shoes were a luxury for many people especially kids

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