After you look at these images of meat-packing facilities from early last century, you'll understand why social reformer Upton Sinclair wrote his great 1906 novel The Jungle about workers' horrific experiences in the meat packing industry.

The mince meat department in Armour's great packing house, Chicago, c. 1893

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A Half Mile of Pork, at Armour's Great Packing House in Chicago, around 1894

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(via Library of Congress)

Workers

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The old Union Stockyards in Chicago, early 1900s

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Cutting up hogs in Swift & Co.'s Packing House, c. 1905

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Making link sausages with machines that could stuff 10 ft. per second, c. 1905

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Washing and tagging freshly killed lamb, 1906

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Knocking cattle before slaughtering, 1906

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A slaughterhouse in Canada, around 1907

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(via Library and Archives Canada)

Cutting up meat in a German packing house

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Packing sliced bacon in glass jars, c. 1909

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As a lamb to the slaughter, photo by George Boston Brayton, c. 1913

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Chicago meatpacking plant workers, 1905

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Pen of hogs at William Davies Company, a photo by William James Topley, 1920s

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(via Library and Archives Canada)

A butcher inspects a rack of hams, c. 1928

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Cattle are first led into a narrow alley and stunned by a blow on the head, in a packing plant in Austin, Minnesota, 1941

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Heads of beef cattle, Austin, Minnesota, 1941

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(via Library of Congress)