From: "Wright, Mike" <mwright**At_Symbol_Here**USW.ORG>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Common industrial lab safety practices 1906-1930?
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2017 13:43:29 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 673A00C44C25834BA3198AADFC1EB7AE960C3A0E**At_Symbol_Here**PIT-MAIL01.uswa-us.local

Try Exploring the Dangerous Trades, by Alice Hamilton. Published in 1943, it's out of print but widely available used. There's not a lot on lab safety, but it's a compelling autobiography. Hamilton explored, documented and worked to correct dangerous working conditions in the first half of the 20th Century. Hamilton was a product of Hull House, a peace and women's rights crusader, and an occupational physician. She was the first female faculty member at Harvard. Her family was equally remarkable. Her sisters were Dame Edith Hamilton, the renowned classicist, and Norah, a gifted artist, who incidentally illustrated her sister's book.

The other book you might try is Industrial Toxicology, which she co-authored with Harriet Hardy, an equally remarkable occupational physician.

Mike Wright


Michael J. Wright

Director of Health, Safety and Environment

United Steelworkers


412-562-2580 office

412-370-0105 cell


"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."

                                                                                                                                                                                         Jack Layton





From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Samuella B. Sigmann
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2017 6:13 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Common industrial lab safety practices 1906-1930?


I would try to find a book or writings on or by Alice Hamilton who was a contemporary of this person and may have been at Harvard around the same time. 

On 6/9/2017 3:15 PM, Reinhardt, Peter wrote:



With the wisdom of this listserve, I bet a few of you may provide some information on this topic.


A family member is writing a history of a relative who was a Harvard-educated dye chemist at a New England textile firm from 1906 until about 1930. At that time his health began to deteriorate and he "retired" from chemistry. He died in 1936 of liver cancer at 51 years of age.


Both she and I know it is highly speculative to associate his work and poor health, but she wonders what laboratory safety precautions might have been in common industrial use during that time. Do you know?


When I worked at the University of Wisconsin, a retired chemistry professor there told me that his first "gas mask" was purchased from army surplus prior to WW II. In my career, I've helped remodel labs with functional fume hoods dating from the 1920s. Were masks, gloves, hoods, etc. in common use in industrial labs between 1906 and 1930?


Perhaps there is a book that traces this safety history. If so, I'd appreciate hearing about it.


Thank you!




Peter A. Reinhardt

Director, Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Yale University

135 College St., Suite 100

New Haven, CT   06510-2411

(203) 737-2123



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We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold paraphrased from Konstantin Josef Jirec˙ek (1854 - 1918)


Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**


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