Friday, November 19, 2010

1880 Stave Factory Accident

Throughout many of the issues of the local newspaper, activities at the Starkey stave and shook factory were reported. Many times, it would seem small fires were the highlight of the week at the factory -- most of which were extinguished before doing much damage. Rarely, though, in my research did I come across items about the men working in this factory such as the following article:

Edward Willet had a portion of two fingers amputated on Tuesday last by the stave jointer in W.W. Starkey's shook factory. Willet stood looking at the revolving wheel, when it suddenly occurred to him to feel if the knives were in place, when he satisfied his curiosity with the above result. Dr. Brown dressed the wound and thinks the fingers may be saved.

Makes one wonder what the conditions were like.

You can read more about shooks and staves in my book, The Fowlerville Chronicles, and some of the trials, tribulations, and successes of this particular factory. There was another shook factory, owned by F.E. Chapman, but in just a few short years, he relocated his business to the Grand Ledge area.

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