FRIGHTFUL ACCIDENT BY MACHINERY
About eleven o'clock on Monday morning a frightful accident occurred at the works of Messrs. Hutton and Son, silver platers, Sheffield, to a young woman named Emma Memmott, who was employed as a slver polisher. The young women employed in silver polishing stand at a workboard, about four feet apart, and underneath each board, at about 18 inches from the floor, runs the shaft from the steam-engine by which the polishing spindles are propelled. An iron bar is fixed on a level with the front of each workbench, to protect the clothes of the young women from the shaft. This precautionary measure, however, proved ineffectual in the case of Memmott, for while she was at work on Monday morning her clothes, from some unknown cause, became entangled with the coupling box of the shaft. Feeling the drag at her clothes, she screamed out for assistance, and a man named Birks under whom she worked, ran to her assistance, and, seizing her under the arms, endeavoured to drag her from the spot, both he and she screaming all the while to the persons in care of the engine in a lower room to stop it. The engine was not stopped, and the machinery gradually wound up the young woman's clothes, dragging her down at every moment, despite the efforts of Birks, who, finding it useless further to contend against the force of the machinery himself ran into the lower room and instantly stopped the engine. When he returned to the poor young woman he found all her clothes torn off, and her body mutilated in the most shocking manner; it was literally crushed to pieces. She was quite dead. It is supposed that an iron bar connected with the shaft was loose, and caused the accident, for so great was the force of the machinery, that the bar, though of considerable thickness, was found wrapped round the shaft, as though it had been a piece of cord.
Source: The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality - 9th August 1856