Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 28, 1901 -- Elevator Trouble at the YWCA

January 28, 1901 -- WARNING . . . This one is not for the faint of heart, but it does demonstrate that in the days before O.S.H.A. danger was constantly lurking and peril was always at hand. It happened that Dr. B. L. Reise was administering vaccinations to women at the Young Woman's Christian Association Building on Michigan Avenue. Miss Stella Thomas of Burlington, Iowa, seeing that she would have to wait for some time because of the length of line, headed for her room. There is speculation that the sight of the injections was disquieting to her, and as the elevator approached the fifth floor, Miss Thomas fainted and fell to the floor of the car in such a way that her head extended through the grate of the elevator's door and was caught between the bottom of the elevator car and the lower portion of the fifth floor. Miss Thomas, who had come to Chicago just hree weeks earlier to enter the Sherwood Musical College in the Fine Arts Building, died within minutes. The second building from the middle left (next to the mansion on the corner) in the 1901 photo above is the YWCA building where the accident occurred.

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