May 13, 2014

A death in a Hobart brewery, 1830

Just a little snippet today. I always find it shocking to hear about deaths in breweries, even if they're from the 19th century. Beer is fun and light and rarely too serious and I think it makes this kind of thing especially sobering. Safety has obviously improved since then but a brewery is an industrial environment and there's always an element of danger.

A serious accident happened on Saturday last, to a man of the name of Stephen Ward, who was in the service of Mr. GATEHOUSE, at New-town. It appears that some alterations were considered necessary with respect to the replacing of some of the coolers, which were in the process of being removed, the part of the building where they stood being rendered unsafe, through one of the side walls having given away, and with it the first floor. A new wall was just finished to replace it. The morning following the replacing of the coolers, the unfortunate man was turning in the water to supply the brewery and malt cistern, when sad to relate, the new wall gave way, and with it the floor of the cooling room, on which he was standing, and with it the coolers, all of which were instantly precipitated to the underground cellar. The poor man's right leg was locked between the beam and the edge of one of the coolers, and was crushed in a most dreadful manner. Surgical assistance was obtained as early as possible, but he only survived the amputation about half an hour. We understand he has left a wife and large family to lament his loss. [taken from Colonial Times (Hobart), 30 April, 1830]

This is the second brewery related amputation I've read about in the early brewing scene (James Whyte is the other). Both guys died soon after probably because they had amputations in the early 19th century.

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