Work crew passing dynamite
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The work crew passing dynamite for the Atglen and Susquehanna Branch of the PRR.  Soon after this picture was taken, an accidental explosion took the life of one of these workers.

Credit: Courtesy of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Skilled workers on Pennsylvania's railroads took great pride in their well-paying and comparatively steady jobs. Railroad workers, however, were also vulnerable to injuries, layoffs, and wage cuts characteristic of the boom and bust economy of the American free market system. The accidental explosion of dynamite during construction of the Atglen and Susquehanna Branch of the PRR in 1906 would claim the lives of many Italian workers, some of them pictured here.

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