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This is why children shouldn't manufacture explosives

Remembering the Victims of the 1883 Excelsior Gas Squib Factory Explosion




Today it seems unimaginable that any factory in the world, much less a factory in the United States, would hire young children. And it is even more unimaginable that anyone would hire young children to work in a factory engaged in the manufacturing of explosives. Yet that is exactly what happened in 1883 at the Excelsior Gas Squib factory in Kingston, and it was a tragic decision that resulted in the deaths of seven children ranging in age from 11 to 19.

But just what is a squib anyway? A squib is a small explosive device, resembling a tiny stick of dynamite, that was used in coal mining during the late 19th century to blast coal from rock. The Excelsior Gas Squib factory, according to newspapers accounts of the era, was staffed almost entirely by children, the youngest of which was 11-year-old James Morris, who died instantly when the factory exploded on the afternoon of October 23, 1883.

Also killed in the explos…

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