Author Archive | Mike Esbester

New data – new disabilities, old ‘solutions’

Earlier this week we launched our third set of data about accidents to railway staff (see here). It comes from a record of legal cases kept by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants trade union, between 1901 and 1905. As you’d expect, those records reveal all sorts of things about railway work – including where […]

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New dataset! ASRS legal cases, 1901-1905

From Tralee and Belfast to Inverness, and Wrexham to Ashford and Penzance, our newest data release shows the impact of staff railway accidents in the early 20th century – and the ways in which one of the major trade unions, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (ASRS), defended workers. The cases come from a record […]

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Improvising to work with a disability

In the course of looking for something else in our database of British and Irish railway worker accidents, I recently stumbled across a fascinating case that gives us a little glimpse of the ways in which disability was a common part of everyday life on the railways. We could read this as a positive: in […]

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Do as I say, not as I do!

How did railway employees learn their craft in the late 19th century and on into the 20th? For most grades it was by learning on the job, from more experienced colleagues. That created all sorts of things – not least a sense of craft identity, and an understanding of what was necessary in order to […]

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