How did machinery change accidents? Explore real examples from the 1800s

Newspapers tell a range of stories. From local to international, from small single incidents to sweeping changes over time and place. People then and now were fascinated by accidents involving machinery.

Living with Machines researchers set up innovative online projects so that anyone with access to the internet can help answer questions about historical newspaper articles. Public conversations around these tasks helped shape the themes of this exhibition.

Explore this visualisation of accidents reported in British newspapers in the 1800s in gallery. You can also see code ‘Notebooks’ that display sample data on the age and gender of accident victims, the types of sites where accidents were reported and when reports were published. Please note that these visualisations represent tiny samples from newspapers and are only indicative of general trends.

What kinds of accidents happened as machines were introduced into workplaces and homes? We’ve set up crowdsourcing tasks on Zooniverse so that you can help us find out:

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