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Crystal EastmanA Revolutionary Life$
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Amy Aronson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199948734

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199948734.001.0001

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Embarking: The Pittsburgh Survey, Workers’ Compensation, and the First Blush of Fame

Embarking: The Pittsburgh Survey, Workers’ Compensation, and the First Blush of Fame

(p.69) 3 Embarking: The Pittsburgh Survey, Workers’ Compensation, and the First Blush of Fame
Crystal Eastman

Amy Aronson

Oxford University Press

In 1907, Crystal Eastman began a temporary job investigating industrial accidents with the Pittsburgh Survey, a comprehensive study of urban industrial life organized by Paul Kellogg and Edward Devine, financed by the newly formed Russell Sage Foundation. The project involved established leaders, such as Florence Kelley and John R. Commons, as well as young visual artists, including Lewis Hine and Joseph Stella, and brought a new generation of educated women into professional work in social welfare. Eastman’s study, later published as Work Accidents and the Law (1910), resulted in her appointment by Governor Charles Evans Hughes to chair New York’s new commission on employer liability in 1909. There, she proposed to overhaul common law standards, shifting to a no-fault distribution of risk and loss shared by workers, businesses, and consumers. The resulting legislation failed a constitutional challenge in 1911 but laid the groundwork for successful workers’ compensation laws in New York State and elsewhere.

Keywords:   Pittsburgh Survey, Paul Kellogg, Edward Devine, Russell Sage Foundation, workers’ compensation laws, National Consumers League, law of negligence, master and servant, American Economic Association, Inter-Collegiate Socialist Society

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