Anthony J.Lanza. Silicosis and the Gauley Bridge 'Nine'

McCulloch, J and Tweedale, G 2014, 'Anthony J.Lanza. Silicosis and the Gauley Bridge 'Nine'', Social History of Medicine, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 86-103.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Anthony J.Lanza. Silicosis and the Gauley Bridge 'Nine'
Author(s) McCulloch, J
Tweedale, G
Year 2014
Journal name Social History of Medicine
Volume number 27
Issue number 1
Start page 86
End page 103
Total pages 18
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract Gauley Bridge was the scene of America's biggest industrial disaster, in which hundreds of workers died from silicosis in the aftermath of the drilling in 1930-31 of a hydro-electric tunnel at Hawk's Nest. This article scrutinises for the first time the role of Dr A. J. Lanza (a medical director of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company) in hiding the extent of acute silicosis amongst the tunnellers. Lanza and his allies in the medical profession were able to impose their own interpretation on events at Gauley Bridge. Their analysis of nine autopsies ignored the evidence of acute silicosis, in favour of one which emphasised tuberculosis, racial susceptibility, syphilis, the supposed negligence of the workforce and alleged racketeering by lawyers. The result was that acute silicosis largely disappeared from medical discourse and Gauley Bridge was denied a place in America's national consciousness.
Subject History and Philosophy of Medicine
Keyword(s) Silicosis
mining
tuberculosis
occupational health
insurance
USA
DOI - identifier 10.1093/shm/hkt047
Copyright notice © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.
ISSN 0951-631X
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