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jaw, but I am young yet, and how would workpeople to run the risk of this peril it. look ? I'd rather be dead, I think !” by unnecessarily continuing the use of

The suppurating · bone is more horri- poisonous phosphorus, because the subble than anything that can be imagined. stitute costs a fraction more! Anyone who has once witnessed the con- In order to understand the full meandition of such a sufferer can readily un- ing of the present situation we must rederstand why dentists and physicians view briefly the match industry as a alike shun patients who are afflicted with whole. Know, then, that these insignifi"phossy jaw."

cant little trifles of wood, paper, or wax, Now the case of Mary Wilson is not topped with latent flame, wherewith we extraordinary. It is typical of many. kindle fires and light the soothing pipe or There is an old woman in Ohio-a cigar, represent an industry involving an former matchmaker-who, as a result of investment in Europe and America of phosphorus poisoning, for twenty years hundreds of millions of dollars. The has had no lower jaw, but masticates her ' match does its work, and is cast confood by pressing it against her upper temptuously aside, yet it is an evolution jaw with her thumb. Then there is representative of much human patience, George K— of Portland, Maine, who ingenuity and skill,—one of the best gifts also had his entire lower jaw removed sought out and elaborated by genius for and for twenty-two years ate no solid the benefaction of the human race. food; and William J- of Milwaukee, In this country alone the largest prowho lived in abject misery with necrosis ducer cuts one hundred million feet of of the bones of the ear.

timber every year to be converted into A well-known case was that of Emil match sticks. Every minute of the H- , who underwent treatment in Chi- twenty-four hours throughout the day cago in 1895 for necrosis of the jaw. three million matches are struck. FifAccording to the hospital records, when teen hundred billion is the number for an forty-six years old, and married, he was entire year. The importance of the infirst admitted to the hospital on June dustry is only recognized when the aver9th, 1896, and remained ten days. The age smoker tries to contemplate his prefollowing appears in the hospital record: dicament if he had to go back to the time “Phosphorus necrosis. Dr. B— of when he had to coax a spark from a tinChicago removed both upper and lower der box. maxillae.” With both upper and lower In the years succeeding the discovery jaws entirely removed, and with the of the phosphorus match the industry poison still continuing its deadly work, grew prodigiously. In Germany first, this man lived month after month, suffer- then in France, Belgium and England, ing untold agonies, and taking nourish- and successively in all parts of Europe, ment through a tube.

factories were established, and as there Dozens of cases could be quoted of was absolutely no control exercised over strong vigorous young men and women the manufacture, the most deplorable who have gone to work in our match conditions prevailed. Matches were factories, and in a few years have become being made almost anywhere, in the terribly disfigured, with teeth gone, and workmen's cottages, in the homes, in with necrosed bone exposed. When a cellars. Phosphorus was found in man has his lower jaw removed he im- . clothing, in the midst of food, within mediately grows a beard, a refuge denied reach of children, and from this careto the women sufferers.

lessness came fires and hundreds of Now, incredible though it may sound, deaths from poisoning. The workmen, it is an absolutely established fact that recruited from anywhere, and uncared this human misery, this blasting of the for, were crowded together in unventilives of men, women, and children, is ab- lated workrooms, where the atmosphere solutely unnecessary, and that a harmless was stilling. In a brief period the hospital substitute for the white phosphorus ex- in Vienna had one hundred and twentyists and has been successfully used in six sufferers from phosphorus necrosis, this and other countries. In other words, and the hospitals of Berlin and Nuremour match manufacturers permit their berg were also crowded with cases.


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DEATH CERTIFICATE OF ANNA WALTER. A worker in a Wisconsin factory after the use of the harmless substitute for poison had been discontinued. She died in June, 1908, of general debility due to phospho-necrosis of left inferior maxillary bone." Fifte

others in the same factory have lost one or both jaws.

About this time the various govern- land decided upon prohibition in 1898, ments of Europe began to make rules and the Netherlands in 1901. In 1906, and regulations for the manufacture of on account of the difficulties of eliminatmatches. The new industry was driven ing the use of phosphorus in countries out of the cellars. Better ventilation with an important export trade, the Inand better opportunities for bathing in ternational Association for Labor Legisthe factories were insisted on. But solation secured an International Conferlong as white phosphorus continued to be ence at Berne, which resulted in an inused necrosis could not be eliminated, ternational treaty providing for the and so in 1872 Finland gave up attempts absolute prohibition of the manufacture, at regulation and prohibited the use of importation, or sale of matches made white phosphorus in her match factories. from white phosphorus. This treaty Denmark, in 1874, followed suit.

was signed by France, Denmark, Lux, In France, where the manufacture of embourg, Italy, Switzerland, the Nethmatches is a state monopoly, the disease erlands, and Germany. On January 1, spread with great rapidity, and the 1910, Great Britain also signed the Berne French Government, called upon to bear treaty. In 1908 the Austrian House of the expense of the many cases of poison- Representatives passed a resolution reing, offered a reward of $10,000 for a questing the Austrian Government to substitute for white phosphorus, which prohibit the use of the poison. Hungary was discovered in sesqui-sulphide of is considering absolute prohibition. phosphorus, and the use of white phos- Sweden does not permit the use of phorus was prohibited in 1897. Switzer- poisonous matches at home but exports

them to other countries. In 1905 the to the fumes of phosphorus and the tax on white phosphorus matches in dangers of phosphorus poisoning. The Russia was doubled.

women and children were found to be Thus the leading countries of Europe much more exposed than the men, have gone on record as favoring the ninety-five per cent. of the women and absolute elimination of this terrible trade eighty-three per cent. of the children disease, and the United States has the under sixteen years of age being so exunenviable distinction of being the only posed. Those fifteen factories, according country that has made no adequate pro- to statements by the manufacturers,

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vision for the protection of the health employed 3,591 persons, of whom 2,024 of workers in her match factories, als were men and 1,253 were women 16 though for over half a century the years of age and over; children under dangers of working with white phos- 16 numbered 314121 boys and 193 phorus have been well known

girls. The best harmless substitute for the Notwithstanding the dangers conpoisonous phosphorus, i. e., sesqui-sul- nected with employment in the match phide of phosphorus, would make the factories, 23.26 per cent. of the men are manufacturers' cost of matches less than paid less than six dollars a week, and five per cent. more, but they declare that 33.52 per cent. earned ten dollars or its voluntary use would place them at too more. Of the women, 53.75 per cent. great a disadvantage with business com- earned under six dollars a week and petitors. During 1909 and 1910, how- only 4.47 per cent. earned ten dollars and ever, a quiet investigation was made of over. In some instances the employees conditions in fifteen American match have been in ignorance of the serious factories by agents of the Bureau of dangers of match-factory employment. Labor. Their reports show that sixty- In several factories visited not a single five per cent. of the labor force were notice was posted warning the employees working under conditions exposing them of the peculiar dangers to which they were exposed by the character of their name by marriage, or because of change work.

of occupation and residence. And when In some instances the employers also finally located these older women often, have carried on the manufacture of from reasons of social pride, reluctantly matches entirely in ignorance of the admit that they ever worked in a match dangers involved. The manager of one factory. Employees now at work in the factory even declared to Dr. John B. match factories frequently express the Andrews, secretary of the American greatest alarm, even when met at their Association for Labor Legislation—who homes, lest the giving of information has made an extensive study of the cost them the loss of their miserably paid effects of phosphorus poisoning in the positions. Sometimes, however, starting United States—that they had gone on with the statement that they never heard for five years in no way suspecting that of more than one case, they are later able there was anything dangerous about the to recall, after some careful thinking, material they were using. Their atten- half a dozen or more specific instances, tion was first called to the dangers of and to give names and even approximate the industry, so they said, by an epidemic dates, although it is a fact that employees of phosphorus necrosis which broke out leave the factory immediately upon almost simultaneously among their em- learning the nature of their trouble, often ployees.

without telling their most intimate Ignorance of the dangers of the in- friends at the bench the true cause of dustry and of the practice of the most their leaving. fundamental precautions exists to an Although complicated by modern extraordinary degree. A physician in methods of machines, the fundamental one of the towns where a match factory processes in the manufacture of matches is located had under treatment a very may be described in a few words. The serious case of phosphorus necrosis, and wooden match splint is prepared, the when asked what kind of phosphorus was phosphorus composition for the head of used in the factory where the disease the match is mixed; one end of the splint was contracted, replied that he "did not is dipped into this paste; the “green” know.” Several dentists interviewed match is allowed to dry, and finally it is stated that they had been unable to find boxed and wrapped. anything written on the subject of phos- The processes which are especially phorus poisoning, and several confessed dangerous in this industry are all those that they had been "experimenting," and which bring the employee within range hoping in that way to learn what to do of the poisonous phosphorus. In the for their patients.

mixing, dipping, drying and packing A searching investigation by Dr. An- room the danger from breathing the drews in the homes of the workpeople poisonous fumes and from contact with of three match factories yielded a total the phosphorus is always present, alof eighty-two cases of phosphorus though it may be much diminished by poisoning. He quickly discovered the thorough ventilation and by the rigid records of more than one hundred cases enforcement of preventive measures. of the disease, though the belief has been Also, particles of phosphorus become atfostered by the match manufacturers tached to the hands and are later transthat the disease has not existed in a ferred to the mouth by the employees. serious form for twenty years in this Two kinds of phosphorus are used in country.

the manufacture of matches. One is the Unfortunately for the investigators, red or amorphous variety contained in the labor element in match factories is the friction surface of safety match constantly changing, and it is difficult to boxes. This, when pure, is entirely find among the employees one whose harmless. It is made by baking in a memory goes back over many years to closed vessel the poisonous, or white recall cases of necrosis that may have phosphorus—also called yellow phosoccurred several years ago. Girls who phorus, because when exposed to the formerly worked in match factories are light it recomes yellowish-and is condifficult to find because of change of sequently more expensive. The poison



ous phosphorus is made from bones, and was shown a box of these matches by when sold for commercial purposes is Dr. John B. Andrews, who struck sevusually in the form of sticks, in appear- eral of them on wood and cloth and ance not unlike lemon candy. A very other objects. Although they were manusmall amount of this poison is sufficient factured four or five years ago they to cause death.

ignited perfectly, completely refuting the Broadly speaking, three kinds of statement that has been made that while matches are manufactured. One is the successful in Europe they cannot be "safety” match, which must be struck on manufactured and used in America a prepared surface on the box. This “owing to climatic conditions." match contains no phosphorus, and is Now the Diamond Match Company harmless. The igniting composition is had acquired the American patent rights painted on the box, and contains red from the French chemists who discovphosphorus, which, when pure, is non- ered sesqui-sulphide. When the investipoisonous. Although used extensively gation conducted jointly by Dr. Andrews in Europe, its manufacture in this coun- and the Bureau of Labor revealed the try is limited.

shocking nature of the disease caused The second kind of match can be by the white phosphorus, the Ameristruck on any ordinary rough surface, can Association for Labor Legislation and is called the “strike-anywhere" brought all its influence to bear on the phosphorus match. This is the familiar Diamond Match Company to induce parlor match. As made in America, the them, in the interests of humanity, to paste for the head of this ordinary match surrender their monopoly in the harmless contains poisonous phosphorus, the match. The present president of the direct cause of "phossy jaw.”

company, Mr. Edward R. Stettinius, The third variety of match also pos- happens to be an unusual type of trust sesses the desirable quality of striking president, with a distinctly philanthropic anywhere, and is at the same time non- turn of mind. During the two years that poisonous. This is the strike-anywhere he has been connected with the match match now manufactured and used in industry he has made every effort to those countries where public sentiment improve the working conditions of the has been sufficiently aroused to prohibit employees. the use of white phosphorus in match- But the proposition which Dr. Anmaking, and, as we have seen, it is made drews made on behalf of his Association of sesqui-sulphide of phosphorus. For meant the surrendering of rights which twelve years, in France, this substitute it had cost the match company about one has been successfully employed, and its hundred thousand dollars to acquire. use has been extended to several other Nevertheless, Mr. Stettinius laid the countries, which have absolutely pro matter before his directors, and exhibited the manufacture, importation pressed his personal approval of the sugand sale of matches made from white gestion. The board was amazed and phosphorus.

indignant. “What! Present our comSeveral years ago the Diamond Match petitors with a patent worth $100,000! Company, the biggest concern of its You must be crazy,” they said, in effect. kind, with giant factories in Ohio, Wis- Stettinius pointed out the unenviable consin, Maine, Michigan, New York position in which the company stood. and California, demonstrated the prac- “Phossy jaw” could no longer be denied, ticability of manufacturing the non- and they possessed the only remedy. To poisonous "strike-anywhere” match in cut a long story short, Stettinius eventhis country, and put thousands of boxes tually carried the day, and on January upon the market lal eled “These matches 6th, 1911, the patent rights of sesquido not contain phosphorus. A new dis- sulphide of phosphorus were transferred covery.”

to three trustees,—Professor E. R. A. It cost a little more to manufacture, Seligman of Columbia University, however, and as the public, unaware of Charles P. Neill, Commissioner of the the perils of white phosphorus, did not Bureau of Labor, and Jackson Ralston, demand it, it was abandoned. The writer Attorney for the American Federation

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