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Nelson Morris & Co.

This folded trade card is shaped, colored, and branded like a Nelson Morris and Company ham on the exterior. On the interior, rather detailed (albeit goreless) diagrams of “lifting and hanging,” “killing,” “scalding,” “scraping,” “dividing,” and “cutting up” illustrate how meatpackers split the labor process of slaughtering hogs into routine tasks in order to increase productivity.

The trade card boasts that Nelson Morris and Company could process 10,000 animals per day. One of the innovations that permitted this speed was hog-scraping machinery, pictured in the upper right of the image. The scrapers removed hog bristles in less than fifteen seconds; by hand it would have taken much longer. After a few finishing touches when the animals emerged from the machinery, they were ready to be butchered.



Nelson Morris & Co. (Chicago), 1893.
Chromolithographed trade card. Printed by Beacon Lith. Co., Boston. (5 1/8 x 4 ¾ in).



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