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Initially called Bow Rail Works, it was purchased in the 1850s by Rupert Ferris, who promptly renamed it "Ferris Ironworks". Over the years, it made vast profits shipping out iron ore used in the construction of trains.
For all its outward success, its inner workings revealed a darker side. Employees were severely maltreated, watched by overseers who pushed them to their limit working fourteen-hour shifts in order to keep production levels high, thereby maintaining the company's image as a major business. Rations were given out at infrequent intervals, doubled on some days and held back on others, in an effort to motivate workers to maximize production time. Machine accidents were common, leading to such injuries as severe burns and missing fingers, and fault was always directed at the operators, who were told to bear any pain in silence lest they risk unemployment or having their wages docked.
As a result of the inhumane conditions, many workers died from complete exhaustion, as noted in numerous police records. Hoping to hide the correlation between cause of death and employee age, the average age of an employee rapidly decreased over the next ten years, providing justification for the high numbers of exhaustion-related deaths.
In 1862, the company was bought out by Crawford Starrick, Grand Master of the British Rite. Already controlling London at the time, Starrick sought to seize power over all of England before expanding internationally, in accordance to the Templars' over-arching designs, and saw controlling industry as a key step.