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Shoe Factory & Work Accidents
Short Reports - In Date Order

18 October 1873 - Northampton Mercury

RUSHDENAccident—On Monday week a lad named Arthur Willmot, in the employ of Mr. George Denton, shoe manufacturer, was working rolling machine, when his hand got between the cogs of the wheels of the machine, smashing his hand in a fearful manner.….

Wellingborough & Kettering News, August 14th, 1880

SERIOUS ACCIDENT—On Wednesday, a boy, named Bates, whose parents live at Podington, met with an accident which, at the time, it was feared must terminate fatally. The boy is now in a very precarious condition, but hope of his ultimate recovery is entertained. Bates was engaged at Mr. Cave's shoe manufactory, and in trying to put a strap on to a pulley his clothes were caught, and, in a moment, he was dragged up to the shaft, whirled round and round several times, and then thrown to the ground, a distance of 10 ft. Dr. Crew is attending the sufferer, and reports that no bones are broken.

Wellingborough News, 27th May 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

ACCIDENT—On Saturday morning last a young man in the employ of Mr. G. Denton, shoe manufacturer, named Ephraim Laughton, of Irchester, met with an accident. It appears that he was engaged in splitting leather with a splitting machine worked by steam, when he unfortunately put his hand too near the roll so that his fingers were drawn in the machine. His cries attracted the attention of his fellow workmen, and one of them instantly pulled toe strap off the wheel. The prompt assistance fortunately prevented the accident assuming an alarming character, but we understand that the young man will be unable to work for several weeks.

Wellingborough News, 1st July 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

ACCIDENT—On Friday afternoon a little boy, aged ten years, the son of Mr. George Stapleton, late of Riseley, but now living at Duck-street, Rushden, had two of his fingers pinched off with a machine used for pricking heels before being put on by the machine. The boy was in the employ of Mr. G. Denton, where the machines are worked by steam power. The boy was playing with the machine, and accidentally got his fingers in the cog wheels. The occurrence caused the machine to stop, otherwise the accident would have been much more serious. The unfortunate lad is under the treatment of Dr. Owen.

Wellingborough News, 27th January 1883, transcribed by Kay Collins

ACCIDENT—On Thursday afternoon a young man in the employ of Messrs. B. Denton and Son met with a very serious accident. While engaged working a splitting machine he got his fingers in the machine, and split the whole of the fingers on his left hand. Unfortunately, none of the medical gentlemen were in the village at the time, and a man named Andrew Groome, who had been seeking the doctors, fell down in a fit, and had to be conveyed home. At the time of writing, the young man, whose name is Robert Smith, was considered in a critical state, but no medical gentleman had seen him. Messengers had been sent to Higham Ferrers, and no one was at home there.

Rushden Argus, Friday 4th April, 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Local Intelligence
An accident occurred at Messrs Cave's factory on Friday afternoon, whereby a young man named Dayton lost two of his fingers. It appeared a driving belt got entangled on the shaft, and Dayton unwisely attempted to put it to rights whilst in motion, with the result that two fingers of his right hand were severed just below the second joint. The injuries were attended to by Dr. Owen, and the patient is progressing favourably.

Rushden Argus 28 Feb 1890

Knight Bros On Saturday morning last an accident occurred at the factory of Messrs Knight Bros., Newton-road, whereby a pressman, named John Ward, had his forefinger taken off in a press. The injured hand was attended to by Dr Freeman.

29 November 1895 - Northampton Mercury

Accident in a Rushden Shoe Factory—On Wednesday morning a young man. named Clarke, employed by Mr. B. Ladds, met with a serious accident while working at a sole-moulding machine, by which he got two fingers on his right and three on his left hand .....

Rushden Argus 27th May 1898

Jaques & Clark While at work in Messrs Jaques and Clark's factory, Station-road, Rushden, on Monday morning, Joseph Palmer Johnson, of Washbrook-road, had his hand caught in the rolling machine. Two of the fingers were badly crushed.

The Rushden Echo, Friday May 27, 1898 transcribed Sue Manton

An accident happened on Monday to Joseph P. Johnson of Washbrook Road, while employed at Messrs. Jacques and Clark’s shoe factory. His hand being caught in the rolling machine, two of the fingers were badly crushed.

Rushden Echo, 5th September 1902, transcribed by Greville Watson

Accident at a Rushden Factory
An accident of a somewhat serious nature occurred about half-past seven this morning at the factory of Messrs Spencer & Twelvetree, Wellingborough Road, Rushden. A youth named Henry King, aged 14, of Cromwell Road, was assisting on a press when he was caught in the belting and received two heavy blows at the back of the head which rendered him unconscious. Chief Officer Swindall, of the St John Ambulance Brigade, was immediately called in and rendered valuable first aid. In the meantime Dr Bromilow was sent for, and had the patient conveyed home and there dressed the wound. We understand that King is subject to dizziness in his head and it is thought that he lost consciousness and fell upon the belting. Privates Beardsmore and Bugby also rendered help in conveying the patient on a wheel litter to his home.

Rushden Argus, 25th December 1903, transcribed by Greville Watson

Some alarm was caused on Thursday last by the breaking of the fly wheel of the engine at Mr. B. Ladds’ factory in Moor-road.  The wheel flew through the wall into the finishing room, but, though machinery was smashed, fortunately no one was injured.  The works have since been run by means of a portable engine.

Rushden Echo, 13th September 1907, transcribed by Kay Collins

On Wednesday Samuel Elmer, of Queen-street, employed at Messrs Thomas Gadsby and Son’s shoe factory, Higham, got his had severely crushed in a moulding machine. Private S Ward, of the Rushden Ambulance Corps, rendered first aid. Two of Mr Elmer’s fingers had to be amputated, the operators being Dr Crew and Dr Greenfield.

Rushden Echo, 1st October 1909, transcribed by Peter Brown

AccidentMr Ewart Willmott, son of Mr Arthur Willmott, shoe manufacturer, High Street South, met with a painful accident on Monday morning. He works in his father’s factory and was starting the engine. The ignition tube did not appear to be acting properly so he went to see what was wrong, when the tube, which was white hot, exploded and the fragments were blown into his face with great force. A number of pieces of the tube struck his eyes and it was feared at first that the right eye had been blown clean out. The injured man suffered intense agony, but some of the men in the factory bound up the wounds temporarily and Dr Baker was called in. Under the doctor’s skilful treatment the sufferer soon obtained relief and it is hoped that the sight of the eye has been saved. Mr Willmott, at any rate, is making good progress under the care of the doctor and the nurse, and no complications have made an appearance.

Rushden Echo, 8th October 1909, transcribed by Peter Brown

A Bad Accident occurred at Messrs Jaques and Clark’s factory on Wednesday last at about Harry Robert Goodwin, a nephew of Mr B Vorley, was working a revolution press, when the buffer went down a second time without warning, with the result that Goodwin’s right hand was badly crushed and the first finger broken. Mr Leonard Baxter, foreman in the department in which the injured man works, rendered first-aid, and Dr Elwood afterwards attended to the injuries. Mr Goodwin is still in considerable pain, but is going on as well as can reasonably be expected. It was feared at the outset that he would have his first finger amputated, but happily this contingency has been averted.

Rushden Echo, 15th October 1909, transcribed by Peter Brown

AMPUTATIONMr H Robert Goodwin, nephew of Mr B Vorley, who met with an accident last week while working a clicking press, has unfortunately had to have two of his fingers amputated. His injured hand seemed to be going on well for a few days, but a day or two ago it again became inflamed and it was found necessary to take off two of the fingers.

The Rushden Echo, 11th November 1910, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Serious Accident at Rushden
Boy Sustains Nasty Injuries at The C.W.S. Factory

A very nasty accident took place at the C.W.S. boot and shoe factory, Rushden, on Saturday just before noon. The unfortunate victim was Sidney William Cheney, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Cheney, of Duck-street. He works in the lasting department, and is 14 years of age next January.

It appears that Cheney was putting a rack on the lift when it was accidentally drawn up some distance. Cheney fell between the lift and the side. Blood streamed from several wounds, and he looked in a worse state than he really was. A cart happened to be standing outside at the time, and in this he was quickly conveyed home.

The injuries included a very bad cut behind the ear, and a scraped and cut neck and shoulder. The nail on the third finger of the right hand was completely torn off, and the finger is in a very bad state. He has also a nasty wound upon the head.

Dr. Owen attended him and ordered him perfect quietness, remarking that the lad had had a very narrow escape. Three years ago his father sustained a bad accident in Mr. C. W. Horrell’s factory, and although he has recovered sufficiently to work, he is now unable to obtain any.

Rushden Argus, 18th October 1912

Operative Loses a Finger

On Wednesday afternoon a painful accident happened to a young shoe operative named Will Seamark, while at work at the C.W.S. factory, Rushden. He was working a rounding machine, when his hand became entangled, and one of his fingers was cut clean off close to the middle joint. Two other fingers were badly injured. First aid was rendered by Private Dix, of the Club’s Ambulance Corps, and subsequently Seamark was taken to Dr. Own’s surgery and there treated.

Rushden Argus, 29th May 1914, transcribed by Kay Collins

Accidents - Factory Hands Injured at Rushden

Two serious and painful accidents happened recently in the factory of Messrs. Sanders and Sanders, Spencer-road, Rushden, resulting in the fingers of two workmen being badly hurt.

Last Saturday morning, while Mr. Jack Gadsby, of Spencer-road, was at work on the Consol laster, he sustained a severe punctured wound right to the bone of the first finger of his left hand. Skilled assistance was rendered by First-class Sergt. Prigmore, of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, and the man was subsequently taken to Dr. Greenfield's surgery, where he was treated.

On Thursday morning of this week another accident happened, this time in the finishing department. Mr. Barker, of Spencer-road, was working the forepart trimmer, when the boot jumped, and the first finger of his left hand was caught in the machine. A terrible wound resulted, the flesh being torn in shreds right to the bone. First-class Sergt. Prigmore again rendered assistance, and took the injured man to Dr. Greenfield's for attention. At first it was feared that the poor fellow would have to lose his finger, but the doctor found the bone was fortunately uninjured.

Last week Mr. Arthur Green, of 22, High-street South, sustained severe injuries through a fall. He was going down the cellar of his house, when he slipped and fell. Being a heavy man, he dropped with some force, and falling on his side fractured his ribs. He was attended by Dr. Freeman, and subsequently taken to Bedford Hospital (by First-class Sergt. Prigmore and Private Pashler) where he now lies. On inquiry on Thursday night we were pleased learn that the patient was progressing satisfactorily.

Rushden Argus, 4th June 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Serious Accident - Caught in Shafting at Rushden
Mr. E. Lockie, metal worker, of Newton-road, Rushden, had a very severe accident on Thursday morning. He was working in Messrs. Nurrish and Pallett's factory, Rushden, near the shafting, about 8 a.m., when he was caught by a big driving belt. He sustained a severe scalp wound, and Dr. Baker was sent for. The doctor, assisted by Mr. Smith and Mr. Farmer, took the injured man to his home in the doctor's car and there attended him. Three stitches were necessary, and the patient remained unconscious for a considerable time. At the time of writing he was as comfortable as could be expected.

Rushden Echo, 27th August 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

A Nasty Accident
A nasty accident occurred at Mr. Joseph Knight’s factory on Monday to Miss Stella Parker, of 20, Wellingborough-road, Higham Ferrers. Miss Parker was engaged in cutting waste bits on a splitting machine, when by some means or other her right hand was drawn between the rollers, her fingers being severely injured. Assistance was soon at hand, and the machine was stopped. First aid was rendered by Mr. A. Beeby, who was assisted by Mr. W. Willey, foreman of the department. Subsequently the injured girl was conveyed on the wheel litter to Dr. Crew’s surgery where further attention was given her. She is now, we understand, progressing as favourably as can be expected.

Rushden Echo, 11th February 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis 

An accident occurred at Messrs. John Cave and Son’s factory yesterday to Mrs. Perkins, of Beaconsfield-place, who, whilst working a heel compressor, had the misfortune to get her fingers caught by the machine. She was taken to the doctor’s where her injuries were attended to.

Rushden Echo, 4th August 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis 

Accident—On Tuesday morning at the boot factory of Messrs. W. Green and Sons, Mrs. Knight, of Cromwell-road, was working a press when she got her thumb caught between the top of the knife and the press. Private A. W. Ablett, of the St. John Ambulance, effectively rendered first-aid, and Mrs. Knight was subsequently taken to Dr. Owen. Fortunately the bone of the thumb was not broken, but the wound was rather severe, and Dr. Owen immediately stitched it up. As a result of the quick attention it received the injury is now healing fairly well.

Rushden Echo, 15th September 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

AccidentMiss Ada Reynolds, of 14, Washbrook-road, got her right thumb badly crushed whilst working a blocking machine at Messrs. Nurrish and Pallett’s factory on Monday.

Rushden Echo, 15th September 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

An Accident that might have been attended with very serious consequences occurred at the factory of Messrs B Denton & Sons Ltd., this morning to Miss Lizzie Fields, of Sartoris-road. She had got on to the bench with the intention of shutting the window, and her hair caught in the shafting. She was at once dragged off her feet, and immediately afterwards fell to the bench, a great deal of her hair having been pulled out by the roots. Her screams attracted the attention of her co-workers, and they at once rushed to her assistance. Mrs Chapman was the first on the scene and rendered first-aid. Subsequently the injured girl, who in addition to losing a portion of her hair, had sustained a nasty scalp wound, was taken to Dr Owen’s surgery by Mr Partridge, a member of the ambulance brigade.

Rushden Echo, 15th September 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

An accident occurred on Friday at the factory of Messrs. P. Collins and Co., Denmark-road, Rushden, to Miss Emily Harrison, 12, West-street, Rushden, by which she lost the first joint of the first finger of the left hand.  It appears that while she was working the rapid press she got her finger under the knife, and, according to her own account, did not realise that the finger was off until she saw it lying there.  She was taken to Dr. Owen’s surgery, where her injury was attended to.  The finger is healing nicely, we understand.

Rushden Argus, 29th June 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Easton Maudit Young Lady Maimed at Rushden
An unfortunate accident happened to Miss Charlotte Patrick, of Easton Maudit, on Tuesday, while at work at Mr. C. W. Horrell’s factory, Rushden. She lodges in Wellingborough-road, and was working a Hercules levelling machine, when by some means her right hand was drawn into the working parts and badly crushed. Dr. Baker was sent for and ordered her removal to the Northampton Hospital. It was feared that her hand might have to be amputated, and it is reported that the operation has been successfully performed.

Rushden Echo, Friday 5th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Accident at Rushden
A slight accident occurred this morning at Messrs Eaton & Co’s factory to Mrs Barker, who, whilst working a clicking press, had the misfortune to accidentally injure the first finger of the right hand by getting it on top of the knife, with the result that the digit was badly bruised. Her injury was attended at Dr Greenfield’s surgery.

Rushden Echo, 12th October 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

A Nasty accident occurred yesterday at the factory of the Wearproof Leather Co., to a little lad named Chettle, son of Mr. Chettle, of Duck-street.  The boy was putting welts through a splitting machine when, it is thought, for some reason or other he must have lifted the guard, with the result that he got his left hand in the rollers, the hand being badly crushed.  Mr. Amos Cave, the principal of the firm, at once went to the lad’s assistance, and extricated his hand from the machinery.  He was then taken to Dr. Owen’s surgery and from thence by motor-car to Northampton Infirmary, where he is making satisfactory progress.

Rushden Echo, 2nd November 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Hand Amputated – We are sorry to report that Herbert Chettle, aged 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Chettle, of 83, Duck-street, who, as reported in the “Rushden Echo” recently, got his hand into a welt splitting machine, has had to undergo an operation for the amputation of the injured member.  We understand that he is now progressing satisfactorily.

Rushden Echo, 23rd November 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Accident—A boy named Ernest Hulatt living in Cromwell-road, met with an accident at Messrs William Green & Son’s factory on Friday evening last. He accidentally got his hand badly crushed in a moulder. First-aid was rendered by Mr A Ablett, and Hulatt was afterwards taken to Dr. Baker’s surgery. Happily no bones were broken.

Rushden Echo, 26th April 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Accident—A man named Blackwell, of 28 Robert-street, Rushden, employed by the Coxton Shoe Co., was admitted to the Northampton General Hospital on Monday afternoon, suffering from injuries caused by getting his right hand in a Revolution press. It was found necessary to amputate the first joint of the second finger and the thumb.

Rushden Echo, 26th July 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

AN ACCIDENT occurred on Tuesday at the factory of Mr. James Jaques, Fitzwilliam-street, to Mr. E. Joyce, who, whilst working a press, had the misfortune to get his left hand on top of the knife, with the result that has lost the top of his thumb. Mr. Joyce, however, since the accident has made a plucky attempt to continue at work, but this (Friday) morning had to relinquish his good intentions in this respect, although he is making progress as satisfactorily as can be expected.

Rushden Echo, 6th September 1918

SERIOUS ACCIDENTLily Minney, aged 14, daughter of Mr. C. Minney, of Grove-street, while working a splitting machine at the factory of Messrs. Green and Coe, boot manufacturers, met with a serious accident on Monday.  Her right hand was caught by the machinery and badly mangled, all the fingers being lacerated severely.  The injured girl was taken to Dr. Greenfield’s surgery, where the injuries were dressed, and the girl was then taken home in the doctor’s motor-car.  The two middle fingers are smashed, and it is feared that amputation will be necessary.

The Rushden Argus 30th May 1919, transcribed by Susan Manton

Accident – On Wednesday a very painful accident happened to Miss Dora Underwood aged about 15, of the Court Estate, a young lady employee of Messrs. P. Collins and Co., Rushden. The unfortunate girl had the nails of two fingers of her right hand cut off. Mr. A. Abblett rendered first aid, and she subsequently was treated by Dr. H.S. Baker.

Rushden Echo, 26th December 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins

HAND TORN OFFArthur Drage, aged 14½, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Drage, of 16, Sussex-place, Higham-road, Rushden, met with a terrible accident last Thursday about 5p.m., while at work at the Premier Boot Company. He was operating a 'moulder' when his right hand got entangled and was practically torn to ribbons. First aid was rendered by Mr. Martin O'Connor, Mr. Gore, and others, and the injured lad was taken to Dr. Baker's surgery, where the wound was further dressed. The doctor ordered the lad's removal to Northampton Hospital without delay. The transport was carried out by the District Motor Ambulance, Mr. A. Swindall being in charge of the patient. We learn that the injured lad is making as good progress as can be expected.

Rushden Echo, 13th January 1922, transcribed by Kay Collins

ACCIDENTMr. Fred Croft, of Little-street, while working a "whitening" machine at Messrs. Radburn and Bennett's factory yesterday week, had the misfortune to get his left hand pulled in through his fingers getting caught in a hole in the skin which was passing through at the time. The hand was badly lacerated but Mr. Croft being acquainted with first-aid remedies, he quickly attended to the cuts and Dr. Muriset afterwards made the injuries safe from poisoning. Fortunately no bones were broken and the hand is now much better.

Rushden Echo, 5th May 1922, transcribed by Kay Collins

Crushed HandMr. J. Fleckner, of 17 Newton-road, Rushden, had his right hand accidentally crushed whilst operating a press at Messrs. F. Skeeles and Sons Ltd., on Tuesday afternoon. He was taken to Northampton Hospital, and there it was found necessary to amputate part of two fingers. On inquiry this (Friday) afternoon, we learn that he is making good progress.

Rushden Echo, 4th September 1925, transcribed by Kay Collins

Accident—Whilst operating a power press at Mr J White’s boot factory in Newton-road on Wednesday, Mr Jack Sargent, of Wymington, caught the thumb of his right hand under the knife of the machine. A piece of flesh was almost severed from the thumb, and the injured man was taken to Dr Greenfield’s surgery, where stitches were put into the wound. It is hope that the torn-off flesh will grow on to the thumb again, but it will be some time in doing so. Mr Sargent was well enough to be able to go home without assistance.

Rushden Echo, 4th March 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Smashed Finger was sustained by Mr Sydney G Arnold, of Spencer-road, while at work on Wednesday. He was taken at once to Northampton Hospital, where the finger was amputated, and he was able to return the same day.

Rushden Echo, 29th April 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins

Factory Accident
Mr L Sharpe, of North-street, who is engineer at Messrs W A Patenall’s factory in North-street, met with a painful accident on Wednesday morning. In the course of his duties Mr Sharpe had occasion to test the running of a pulley which drives the suction fans of the edge-trimmers, to see if there was any sign of the bearing running hot after the belt had been adjusted. The pulley is near the floor level, and the belt is carried straight up, a wooden guard affording ample protection over the front of the belt. Mr Sharpe’s hand accidentally slipped and was caught between the belt and the pulley, and he was dragged suddenly forward, his forehead striking the wooden guard with great force. An operative picked him up and called Mr Abbott, the foreman, who rendered assistance. Mr Percy Patenall motored the injured man to two surgeries, but was unfortunately unable to find a doctor handy. Mr Patenall then took Mr Sharpe to Mr A Prigmore’s house in Station-road, and Dr Muriset there attended to him. It was found that besides the nasty cut and bruise over the right eye, the right wrist was much injured, though the bones were not broken.

Rushden Echo and Argus, 26th October 1934, transcribed by Kay Collins

Cut FingersMr. Albert Line of "Rodney Stoke," Newton-road, has been admitted to the Northampton General Hospital with cut fingers. While working at Mr. F. Ward's factory in Duck-street he caught his fingers in a "guillotine."

Rushden Echo & Argus, 8th February 1901

Singular Accident — On Wednesday of Messrs. Crick and Patenall's factory in North-street a man named George Sanders went attend to the gas engine which had stopped. On his approaching the engine the asbestos burst and a quantity of the stuff went into his eyes. He was removed to Dr. Owen's surgery where the injuries were attended to.

Factory Accidents - index

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