|Chicago Bible Society, Eighteenth Annual Report, 1858
Long before the social surveys of the Chicago School of Sociology, the Chicago Bible Society applied to the city a simple question for field research: which families do not have copies of the Bible? The nonsectarian Protestant society, founded in 1840, attempted to canvass the entire city several times in the nineteenth century, although as the city grew it focused its attention on areas considered more likely to be "destitute" of Bibles. It regularly quantified the statistics of its work, including the number of refusals it met with.
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