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Howling Mob Society
December 3, 2007 10:41 AM   Subscribe

The Howling Mob Society. Looking out over the burning Strip District from the safety of his office in Pittsburgh's Union Station, Thomas Alexander Scott must have been humbled. Only days before, as president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Scott famously suggested that impoverished and striking railroad workers be given “a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread.” Now, with the local Pittsburgh militia all but mutinied and the State Militia rapidly retreating, he must have wondered if his hard-line stance had backfired…

"The Howling Mob Society (HMS) is a collaboration of artists, activists and historians committed to unearthing stories neglected by mainstream history. HMS brings increased visibility to the radical history of Pittsburgh, PA through grassroots artistic practice. Our current focus is The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, a national uprising that saw some of its most dramatic moments in Pittsburgh."

Be sure to check out their signs.
posted by damnthesehumanhands (9 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw one of their signs on Saturday but didn't have time to stop and read it. Seems like a cool project, given that the robber barons are winning again.
posted by octothorpe at 11:02 AM on December 3, 2007


This is a very cool project - very subversive in a sly way.
posted by Rumple at 11:10 AM on December 3, 2007


Nice site—thanks!
posted by languagehat at 11:58 AM on December 3, 2007


Very nice. I developed an interest in labor history years ago and it was very frustrating trying to learn about these kinds of events.
posted by lordrunningclam at 12:37 PM on December 3, 2007


This is really cool...
posted by schyler523 at 1:48 PM on December 3, 2007


Nice project.

I developed an interest in labor history years ago and it was very frustrating trying to learn about these kinds of events.

I don't know about the USA but our history is so rich with them that British social history tends to consist of little else. People like Eric Hobsbawm, EP Thompson, Christopher Hill, John Foster's work on class struggle in the industrial revolution, etc. etc. etc.

In fact, I remember even as a schoolboy being taught about the enclosure movement and the struggle against it, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the rise of the Cooperative movement, etc.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:09 PM on December 3, 2007


This is a very cool project - very subversive in a sly way.

I grew up near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and I'd like to second that opinion. The logo of the Howling Mob Society is a subversive take on the Pennsylvania state flag. Where the state flag says Virtue-Liberty-Independence, the HMS logo says People Before Capital. In addition, Pennsylvania has a long history of historical markers done by the state historical commission. The signs are extremely similar to "official" state historical markers, but just a little bit different.
posted by jonp72 at 4:23 PM on December 3, 2007


Sweet. Thanks! Have these just gone up in the last few days? I don't think I've even seen any around town, and I go by some of these spots, and I'm not usually that clueless.
posted by chinston at 5:45 PM on December 3, 2007


Oh, this is wonderful. It makes me sad I moved away — I'd like to see some of these in person.

(FWIW, for a while now there have been official signs in the Strip commemorating this same strike If I remember right, they're similarly vivid in their description, but not nearly so political in their language.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:29 AM on December 4, 2007


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