Panoramic Picture Illustrating the Beef Industry, 1900

In September 1905 Darrow was approached by Upton Sinclair, who wanted legal advice about whether his book The Jungle, which he was preparing to publish, would subject him to libel charges. The book, about the extremely unsanitary and dangerous conditions and prevalent corruption in Chicago's meat slaughtering and processing plants, was published in 1906. Sinclair had originally intended the book to expose the harsh and unfair working conditions endured by the poor, especially immigrants. But the general public found the exposure of the unsanitary and dangerous food handling practices even more sensational and disgusting. The book was so influential it is credited with leading to passage of the federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which led to the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-52728.