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PRESENTED BY 

PUBLISHER 



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OF 



THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 



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Vol. XXX\ I. 



PUBLISHED BY 
THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 



HARTFORD, CO XX. 

1926-1927. 



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INDEX TO A'OL. XXXVI.-1<)2()-1J)27 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 
Referexces Marked with a Star (*) are to Illustrated Articles. 



*Air Tank Explosions, Prevention of, by Geo. H. Stickney, October 1927, 229. 

*.\]lied Paper Mills, King Paper Company Division, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Fly- 
wheel Explosion, January 1927, 130. 

Ammonia Tank Explosions, *Generator in Absorption Refrigerating System, 

October 1927, 226. 
*Condenser in Compression Refrigerating System, 
October 1927, 227. 

Announcement, Title Page and Index for Volume XXXV, January 1926, 21. 

Appointments, Hetu, Thomas P., as Assistant Chief Inspector, Philadelphia De- 
partment, April 1927, 182. 
Kerrigan, James P., Jr., as Chief Adjuster, April 1927, 182. 

Autogenously Welded Tank Fails Under Air Test, Jannary 1926, 21. 

*" Beaver," Boiler of the Steamship, October 1927, 236. 

Berry, E. Sidney, Elected Vice-President and General Counsel, April 1927, 180. 

Big Engine Goes Out at Power Plant, April 1927, 179. 

*Blake, C. Edgar, elected Assistant Treasurer, April 1926, 54. 

Blake, Charles S., Elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, April 1927, 180. 

Blake's, President, Anniversary, January 1927, 148. 

*Boiler and Power Plant Inspection Service an Aid in Acquiring Business, 
April 1926. 37. 

*Boiler Explosions vs. Boiler Inspections, July 1926, 76. 

*Boiler Explosion at Chicago Heights, Illinois, October 1926. 112. 

*Boiler Explosions, Duplicate, at Waite Phillips Co., Rainbow Bend, Kan., April 
1926. 35. 

*Boiler Explosion at Ninety Six, S. C, J. H. Self Lumber Company, /»/v 1927, 
200. 

*Boiler of the Steamship " Beaver," October 1927, 236. 

*Boiler Explosion on the Steamship " Mackinac," January 1926, 7. 

*Boiler Explosion, Walker and Graw Sawmill. Roxbury, N. H., July 1927, 76. 

Boiler Explosions, Regular List, January (Con't) February, March, April, 1925, 
January 1926. 22,; April (Con't), May, June, July, 1925, April 1926, 57; July 
(Con't). August, September, October. November. 1925, July 1926, 86; No- 
vember (Con't), December. 1925, January, 1926, October 1926, 119; January 
(Con't). February, March. 1926. January 1927, 151; March (Con't), April, 
May, 1926, April 1927, 185 ; June, July, August, September, 1926, July 1927, 
215; September (Con't), October, November, 1926, October 1927, 249. 
^Boiler Explosions, Summary of, for 1925, October 1926, 118. 

B^b Fuse in Boiler, Find, April 1926, 43. 

o» 

Centra/-... 
5 Cop. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE — INDEX. 



*Bo\vie, Inspector H. F., Honored by Horlick's Malted Milk Corporation, April 

1926, 44. 

Brass, April 1926, A7. 

*Brine Cooler Explosion at St. Louis, Mo., July 1926, 75. 

*Bulged Boilers, An Epidemic of, April 1927, 176. 

Bull, John, Oldest of Locomotives Steaming Again, October 1927, 248. 

*Cast Iron Sectional Boilers, Scale in, April 1927, 174. 

Caught in The Separator, July 1927, 211. 

*Ccnter-Crank Shafts, by H. J. VanderEb, July 1926. 67. 

Editorial, July 1926, 84. 
*Chart for Dished Head Computations. A, July 1Q26, 79. 
Christie, A. F., Death of, July 1926. 85. 
Cofifee Boiler Explosions, July 1926, 83. 
Company Elects New Officers. April 1927. 180. 
Cooling Boilers for Cleaning, Repairs, or Inspection, by J. A. Snyder, July 1927, 

202. 
Correction, Boiler Explosion at Geneva Foundry Corporation, October 1026, 125. 
Corson, Wm. R. C, Elected President and Treasurer, April 1927, 180. 
Dart, Harry E., Elected Assistant Secretary, April 1927, 180. 
*David, Albert, Chemical Company, Chicago Heights, Illinois, Boiler Explosion, 

October 1926. 112. 
Diesel-Electric Ferryboats on the Hudson, April 1927, 179. 
Diesel Engine Accident, A Fatal, Louisiana Shell Isle Products Company, Happy 

Jack, La., July 1927, 207. 
*Dished Head Computations. A Chart for, July 1926. 79. 
*Duplicate Boiler Explosions, April 1926. 35. 

Editorial, April 1926, 52. 
Dust Explosions Utilized in Internal Combustion Engine, October 1926, 111. 
Early History of Iron and Steel, The, October 1927. 239. 
Editorial, Center-Crank Shafts, July 1926, 84. 

Duplicate Boiler Explosions, April 1926, 52. 

Hartford Correspondence Course for Firemen, July 1927, 212. 

Vapor Heating Systems, July 1927, 213. 

Mechanical Refrigeration, January 1927, 150. 

*Our Sixtieth Anniversary, October 1927, 244. 

Power and Its Relation to Present Day Civilization, January 1926, 20. 

Sixtieth Anniversary of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Company, October 1926, 116. 

Steam Jacketed Kettles, April 1927, 182. 

Three Score Years of Boiler Insurance, October 1926, 116, April 1927, 
183. 
*Electric Motors, Kinds and Applications, October 1926. 100. 
*Engine Accident at Bogota, N. J., Federal Paper Board Company, Inc., July 

1927, 209. 

*Engine Accident at Williamsport, Pa., July 1927, 194. 
*Epidemic of Bulged Boilers, An, April 1927, 176. 
European Rotary Economizer, January 1927, 143. 



THE L O C O M O T I V E — I N D E X . 

*K.\I)losiun of Ainniunia Coiukiiscr in Compression Refrigerating System, October 
1927, 227. 

*Exi)losion of Generator in Absorption Refrigerating System, October 1927, 226. 

*I{xplosion of a Xew Boiler That Had Never Been Fired, October 1926, 115. 

*Kxplosion of a Steam Turbine Casing Due to Overpressure, January 1927, 144. 

♦Failure of a Water Wheel Generator, At'ril 1927, 170. 

Fatal Diesel Engine Accident, A, Louisiana Shell Isle Products Company, Happy 
Jack, La., /»/v 1927, 207. 

Fatigue of Welds, July 1927, 210. 

Fatigue Tests on Welded Joints, /n/v 1926, 82. 

♦Federal Paper Board Company, Inc., Bogota, N. J., Engine Accident, July 1927 , 
209. 

*Few 'Notable Discoveries by Hartford Inspectors, A, April 1927 , 171. 

Find Bomb Fuse in Boiler, April 1926, 43. 

*Fitch. John. The Grave of, January 1926, 18. 

♦Flywheel Explosion at Kalamazoo, Michigan, January 1927, 130. 

*Fly\vheel Explosion -at Newcastle, Indiana, January 1926, 2. 

Flywheel Explosions, Regular List. 1925, April 1926. 56; 1926. July 1927, 214. 

♦French, Jesse, Piano Company, Newcastle, Ind., Flywheel Explosion, January 
1926, 2. 

Gardiner, Curtiss C, Elected Vice-President, April 1927, 180. 

Godfrey. Thomas F., Death of. April 1926. 53. 

Graham, John J.. Elected \'ice-President, April 1927, 180. 

*Grave of John Fitch, The, Jaiiuary 1926, 18. 

♦Grundell, L. E., Harnessing Geysers in California, Ja)iuary 1926, 17. 

Hardened Copper. October 1927. 242. 

Hardest Way to Fire a Boiler. The, (Advertisement) April 1926, 64. 

♦Harnessing Geysers in California, by L. E. Grundell, January 1926, 17. 

♦Hartford Inspections a la Mode, January 1926, 12. 

♦Hartford Inspector Honored, April 1926. 44. 

Hetu, Thomas P.. Appointed Assistant Chief Inspector, Philadelphia Department, 
April 1927. 182. 

♦Horlick's Malted Alilk Corporation, Racine, Wisconsin, Honors Hartford In- 
spector H. F. Bowie, April 1926, 44. 

Hot Water Boiler Explosion, Powers Theatre Building, Grand Rapids, Mich., 
April 1927, \77. 

♦Hot ^^'ater Supply Tank Explosion at Waterville, Conn., April 1926, 34. 

♦Hot Water Supply Tank Explosion at Worcester, Alass., July 1926, 66. 

Inspection Statistics. 1925, April 1926, 55; 1926, April 1927, 184. 

Iron and Steel, The Early History of, October 1927. 239. 

Jeter, Sherwood F.. Elected Vice-President. April 1927, 180. 

♦Keith Paper Company. Turners Falls, Mass.. Failure of a Water Wheel Gen- 
erator, April 1927, 170. 

Kerrigan, James P. Jr., Appointed Chief Adjuster, April 1927, 182. 

Labor Saving on the Locomotive, July 1926, 80. 

Landers. Frary and Clark, New Britain. Conn.. Steam Pipe Explosion, October 
1926, 99. 



THE LOCO IMOTIVE — INDEX. 



Lajing up the Heating Boiler for the Summer, April 1926, 45. 

*Linahan, Joseph John, Death of, April 1926, 53. 

Louisiana Shell Isle Products Company, Happy Jack, La., Deisel Engine Acci- 
dent, /;//v 1927, 207. 

Ludlum Steel Plant, Watervliet, N. Y., Autogenously Welded Tank Fails Under 
Air Test, January 1926, 2\. 

*" Mackinac," Boiler Explosion on the Steamship, January 1926, 7. 

*Mead Pulp and Paper Company, Chillicothe, Ohio, Steam Turbine Explosion, 
April 1927, 162. 

Mechanical Refrigeration, Editorial, January 1927, 150. 

Method of Storing Coal to Eliminate Spontaneous Combustion, April 1926, 50. 

Minneapolis Auditorium, Well Water Used to Cool, October 1927 , 238. 

Morris, Shiras, Elected Alember of the Board of Directors, January 1927, 149. 

Morrison, J. P., Radio Talk by. Station WOWO, April 1926, 54. 

*Morrison, J. P., Steam Jacketed Kettles, April 1927, 163. 

New Cast Iron For Engine Cylinders, A, July 1926, 85. 

No Man is Indispensable (Selected Poem), July 1927, 213. 

Obituary, Christie, A. F., July 1926, 85. 

Godfrey, Thomas F., April 1926, 53. 
*Linahan, Joseph John, April 1926, 53. 
Woods, William T., January 1926, 21. 

*Our Sixtieth Anniversary, October 1927, 244. 

Pacific Coast Division, October 1927, 246. 

Pagosa Springs, Col., High School Heated by Natural Hot Water, April 1926. 34. 

*Personal, Blake, C. Edgar elected Assistant Treasurer, April 1926, 54. 

Powers Theatre Building, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Hot Water Boiler Explosion, 
April 1927, \77. 

President Blake's Anniversary, January 1927, 148. 

*Prevention of Air Tank Explosions, by Geo. H. Stickney, October 1927, 229. 

*Pump Return Systems for Heating Boilers. July 1926, 72. 

*Recent Steam Pipe Explosion, A. October 1926. 98. 

Reese, Dale F., elected Vice President, April 1927, 180. 

*Refrigerating Systems, by Geo. H. Stickney, January 1927, 133. 
Editorial, January 1927, 150. 

Removing Boiler Scale, by J. A. Snyder, October 1926. 108. 

Research Narratives, Brass, April 1926, 47. 

Hardened Copper, October 1927, 242. 

Riveting Pressures, January 1926, 13. 

Rivetless Structural Steel Buildings, October 1926, 114. 

*Scale in Cast Iron Sectional Boilers, April 1927. 174. 

*Self, J. H., Lumber Company, Ninety Six, S. C, Boiler Explosion, July 1927, 200. 

Snyder, J. A., Cooling Boilers for Cleaning, Repairs, or Inspection, July 1927, 202. 
^Removing Boiler Scale, October 1926. 108. 
The Value of the Hammer Test, April 1926, 42. 

State Boiler Laws, October 1927, 234. 



THE L O C O M ( ) T I V E — I X D E X 



Steam lioiler Dcvelupmeiit, Juiimiry 1927, 146. ^ 

♦Steam Jacketed Kettles, by J. P. Morrison, April 1927, 163. 
*Steam Turbine Explosion at Chillicothe, Ohio, April 1927 , 162. 
Stickney, Geo. H., *Prevention of Air Tank Explosions, October 1927, 229. 

♦Refrigeration Systems. January 1927, 133. 
Summary of Boiler Explosions for 1925, October 1926, 118. 
Summary of Inspectors" Work for 1925, April 1926, 55; 1926, April 1927, 184. 
Superheated Steam, — Why Metals Eail Under Influence of Steam Once Super- 
heated, July 1927, 205. 
♦Sweet's Steel Company, Williamsport, Pa., Engine Accident, July 1927, 194. 
Tank Failure, Autogenously Welded Tank Fails Under Air Test, January 1926, 21. 
Thinking Right Avoids Accidents, January 1926, 22. 
Three Score Years of Boiler Insurance, Editorial, October 1926, 116; April 1927, 

183. 
♦Timely Engine Inspection, A. April 1026. 49. 
Trend in Modern Power Plant Design, The, January 1926, 3; Editorial, January 

1926. 20. 
Trumbull, His Excellency, John H., elected Member of the Board of Directors, 

January 1927, 149. 
Use of Portable Electric Lights in Boilers. The. October 1926, 110. 
*\'alentino Apartments, St. Louis, Mo., Brine Cooler Explosion, /i//_v 1926, 75. 
\'alue of the Hammer Test, The, by J. A. Snyder, April 1926, 42. 
♦\"anderEb. H. J.. Center-Crank Shafts, July 1926. 67. 
*\'apor Heating Systems, July 1927, 195. 
" \'erboten " is Right, October 1927. 248. 
♦Waite Phillips Company, Rainbow Bend, Kansas, Duplicate Boiler Explosions, 

April 1926. 35. 
♦Walker and Graw, Roxbury, X'. H., Boiler Explosion, July 1927, 76. 
"•■'Water Wheel Generator, Failure of a, April 1927, 170. 
*Waterville, Conn., Town of. Hot Water Supply Tank Explosion at, April 1926. 

34. 
Welded Joints, Fatigue Tests on, July 1926, 82. 
Welds. Fatigue of. July 1927, 210. 

Well Water Used to Cool Minneapolis Auditorium, October 1927, 238. 
Why Metals Fail Under Influence of Steam Once Superheated, /!(/_v 1927, 205. 
Woods. William T., Death of, January 1926, 21. 
♦Worcester Square and Compass Club. Worcester. Mass., Hot Water Supply Tank 

Explosion, /»/y 1926, 66. 




Devoted to Power Piant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Vol. XXXVI. 



HARTFORD, CONN., JANUARY, 1926. 



No. I. 



COPYRIGHT, 1926, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




Fly-Wheel Explosion at Newcastle, Indiana. 

THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 



Flywheel Explosion at Newcastle, Indiana. 

A FLYWHEEL explosion of considerable violence occurred July 
9th, 1925 at the factory of the Jesse French Piano Company, New- 
castle, Indiana, and resulted in a property loss of $8,800. The 
engine overspeeded and the rim and five of the eight spokes of the 
wheel broke into many pieces which tore their way through the walls and 
roof of the engine room and scattered widely. A view of the engine 
room after the accident, is shown on our front cover. 

One piece of the rim, about 3 ft. in length, flew over the three story 
main factory building and landed in a garden across the street. An- 
other piece, about 2 ft. in length, was found in a field approximately 
500 ft. from the plant. A man sitting on his front porch just across 
the street from the factory saw the flying fragments in the air and 
estimated that one piece ascended to a height of at least 200 ft. A 
hole 9 ft. by 50 ft. was torn in the roof of the engine room, and the 
windows and parts of the walls in line with the wheel were demolished. 
One arm of the wheel passed through the roof of the fire-pump house 
nearby and embedded itself 2 ft. in concrete. Several fragments of 
the wheel passed through the windows and south wall of the main 
factory building located 60 ft. from the engine room, breaking down 
some heating coils and two sprinkler pipes. Water from the sprinkler 
lines damaged finished pianos and materials in process of manufacture, 
and led to a newspaper estimate of the loss at $40,000. Prompt action 
by factory employees in moving pianos and other contents minimized 
the damage. In such a bombardment by large and small pieces of iron, 
it is remarkable that no one was injured. 

The accident occurred at 1 150 p. m. when the plant was operating 
as usual. The engineer, A. B. Lanning, was at work on a pump in 
an adjacent room when he heard an unusual commotion in the engine 
room and went back to ascertain the cause. He saw that the engine 
was racing, and rushed to the throttle valve to close it. Just as he 
reached the throttle, the wheel exploded. The engineer's escape from 
serious injury or death was a miracle. One of the flying fragments 
passed across his back and cut his suspenders and shirt from his 
shoulders, yet did not even mark his skin. The throttle-valve wheel 
which he had grasped was smashed into eight pieces, ]\Ir. Lanning 
displayed great courage in attempting to avert this catastrophe and his 
action is to be commended. 

Another employee also had a narrow escape. He was walking along 
the third floor of the main building when a piece of the flywheel burst 
through the wall and flew past him, just grazing his shin. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 3 

After the accident one of the governor springs was found to be 
broken and it is thought that this faikire might have occurred before 
the explosion and caused the governor to become inoperative. The 
engine frame was broken near the main bearing pedestal and the 
foundation was so cracked and broken as to necessitate rebuilding. In 
addition the connecting rod was badly sprung, the eccentric rod broken, 
the rocker arm cracked, and the governor completely ruined. Some 
of the coils of the generator were damaged and the generator pulley 
demolished. 

The loss was covered by a Hartford policy. 



The Trend in Modern Power Plant Design. 

«« "TW T ECESSITY is the mother of invention," and war with its 
l^y insistent demand for more of everything — food, clothing, 
transportation, materiel — has always been a stimulus to in- 
vention. Probably no industry is exempt from such effects. Cer- 
tainly the power industry is no exception for it has exhibited more 
fundamental improvements within the past six or eight years than it 
has ever known in a like period. Increased costs of labor and ma- 
terials demanded either increased rates or greater efficiencies and the 
answer has been greater efficiencies. The cost of everything going into 
the production of power has been materially increased since before 
the war, yet the rates for electricity have remained the same or even 
been lowered. This has been made possible not by merely pushing 
existing installations a few notches higher in ef^ciency, but by a 
study of the theories upon which are based the conversion of the stored 
energy of coal into electrical energy and making new starts in untried 
fields. 

Starting from the coal pile, the first innovation to be met is in the 
use of powdered fuel. In order to burn, coal must come in contact 
with air. Since the air can come in contact only with the surface 
of the lump, it takes an appreciable period of time to burn to the 
center of a lump. Pulverizing therefore results in a more intimate 
mixture of the fuel and air, and consequently expedites combustion. 
Greater economies have resulted from this system. In the first place 
more of the combustible matter is burned, thus reducing the loss from 
unburned fuel in the gases and ash. Also less excess air is required, 
and there is a considerable saving of coal during periods when the fire 
is banked. The improvement becomes most noticeable when the poorer 
grades of coal are burned. Of course the preparation of the coal is 



4 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

an additional expense and requires an investment for pulverizing 
machinery, but this is offset somewhat by the absence of stoker equip- 
ment. This system of firing has been in use for several years now 
and has proved its worth, although the furnace for burning powdered 
coal is still in process of evolution. 

Furnace Walls Protected by Water Cooling. 

Considerable trouble was at first experienced with the furnace walls 
when burning pulverized coal. Higher rates of combustion and con- 
sequent higher furnace temperatures were found to be more than the 
materials of the walls could stand. The coal burns while suspended 
in the air, and the molten ash sprayed against the wall seemed to act 
as a flux, melting the brickwork and running to the bottom of the 
furnace where, upon cooling, it would again harden. This at first led 
to a design of furnace along the line of the oil burning furnace — 
large volumes and the introduction of the fuel so that the fiame would 
not impinge upon the walls — but the tendency in design now is 
toward the " well " type of furnaces. Ventilated or air cooled walls 
were next introduced to overcome the melting of the brick lining 
and proved singularly successful for this purpose, incidentally react- 
ing favorably in an unexpected way as we shall see later. 

The next step was from air cooled to water cooled walls and water 
screens in place of grates, all of these cooling tubes being con- 
nected to the boiler. This move was looked upon with some skepticism 
because it was felt that combustion would be checked by cool walls. 
Such has not proved to be the case, for on the contrary the reduction 
in temperature of the walls by water cooling is hailed as a decided 
step forward in furnace design. Protection of the walls and con- 
sequent reduction of the clinkering tendency permits higher rates of 
combustion to be employed, and in addition radiation from the setting 
is reduced. The heat absorbed by the water in the wall tubes is found 
to be considerable and advantage of this mode of heat transfer is 
taken to the fullest extent. The amount of cooling surface allowable, 
however, is a function of the kind of coal used, although the pulver- 
ized fuel furnace is not built, as are stoker furnaces, to burn a par- 
ticular coal. 

The latest type of furnace is one in which the fuel is injected some- 
what tangentially to the sides and whirls around a small chamber or 
" well." A more turbulent flow and therefore better mixing and burn- 
ing are thus obtained. After combustion, the gasses are expanded 
from the well to a larger chamber above it similar to the combustion 
space under an ordinary boiler. It is claimed that better results are 



1926.1 THE LOCOMOTIVE. 5 

obtained with this type of furnace and that the volume of the well 
and large chamber combined can be less than is provided in the ordinary 
stoker setting. 

An innovation that has produced curious results is the use of 
pre-heated air for combustion. Pre-heating the air with heat from 
the furnace walls or flue gases was felt to be merely a conservation 
measure saving heat previously wasted. This it does and more, for 
the computed probable increase in thermal efficiency from this source 
has been exceeded due to better combustion. It is expected that the 
use of pre-heated air for combustion will become almost universal 
practice in larger power plants particularly with increasing steam 
pressures and temperatures, for more heat will be rejected to the stack 
gases to be reclaimed by either air preheaters or economizers, most likely 
the former since the economizers in turn will probably give way before 
stage heating of feedwater. 

Heating Feedwater by Stages. 
, Stage feedwater heating is another recent efficiency booster in the 
boiler room from which much is expected. The method may be 
roughly compared to the counter flow principle of heat transmission. 
A certain amount of steam is bled from the low pressure stage of a 
turbine and used to bring the cold feedwater up to a given temperature. 
More steam is then bled from a higher pressure stage to raise the feed 
water temperature still higher. This could be continued in an in- 
definite number of steps and the gain would be in direct proportion 
to the number. Practical considerations, however, have so far restricted 
the number of stages in most cases to not more than four. Time may 
be expected to bring a simplification of the arrangement and an in- 
crease in the number of stages. 

Along with the introduction of stage feedwater heating and prob- 
ably as a direct result of the use of bleeder steam for such heating, we 
find the tendency toward electric driven auxiliaries. Current for these 
is usually obtained from a separate " house " generator. 

One of the modern power plant developments that is attracting 
considerable attention is the tendency toward higher steam pressures. 
Only a few years ago 250 lbs. was spoken of as a high pressure. 
Power is authority for the statement that a Mollier chart was copy- 
righted the year the World War broke out, 19 14. and included pressures 
up to 250 lbs. as a maximum, presumably considered the extreme 
limit of practice although steam tables were available up to 600 lbs. 
Yet today stations are operating at 400 lbs., 550 lbs., and 600 lbs., and 
in one case a station to operate at 1200 lbs. steam pressure is expected 
soon to be generating. Even this is not accepted as the Hmit and in 



6 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

England experiments are being conducted on a laboratory scale to 
determine the possibility of generating steam at the critical pressure, 
3200 lbs. At this pressure the latent heat, or heat of vaporization, 
is zero, and the transformation of water to steam would be instan- 
taneous ; there would be no ebullition or boiling action. But pressures 
are restricted by both physical and economic limits. The maximum 
temperature considered safe with the materials of construction avail- 
able today is 750° Fahrenheit, Superheat of course is desirable, but 
the amount must be governed by the pressure since the temperature 
can not safely be raised much above 700° F. Undoubtedly this limit 
will soon be raised, for studies of the generation of steam indicate 
that greater gain may be expected from higher temperatures than from 
higher pressures. The economic limit upon steam pressure is set largely 
by the type of load the plant will be called upon to meet. The cost 
of high pressure plants is enormous, and the amount of equipment 
idle or running at poor efficiency for Lack of load must be a minimum. 
Hence such plants are usually only designed for base load plants, that 
is, where a steady load averaging well up to the capacity of the station 
can be maintained. In the design of the Edgar Station of the Edison 
Electric Illuminating Company of Boston arrangements have been 
made so that the 1200 lb. unit will operate as a base load plant while 
the rest of the station, operating at 350 lbs., will take care of the 
fluctuating portion of the load. 

It is interesting to note in connection with the 1200 lb. plant that 
the boiler drum is seamless, having been forged from a solid ingot, 
and that all fittings were subjected to an X-ray examination for 
possible latent flaws. 

Reheating Steam Increases Thermal Efficiency. 

Recent practice in modern power plants calls for the reheating of 
the steam after it has performed part of its work. The steam is taken 
oflf from the turbine at a designated pressure, reheated to approxi- 
mately its original temperature and piped back to resume its work. 
The reheating is done sometimes by live steam but more often by the 
furnace gases direct just as in an ordinary superheater. Reheating 
the steam gives a perceptible increase in thermal efficiency but is some- 
what complicated by the piping necessary to return the steam to the 
boiler. It is of interest to note that a new turbine hazard has been 
introduced by reheating; the reheater and its piping in some cases 
contain enough steam to overspeed the turbine even though the main 
governor cuts off additional steam. Of course, protection against this 
hazard is usually provided. 



19^6.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 7 

Modern power plants show a decided tendency toward larger gen- 
erating units and stations. This has been brought about by the influ- 
ence of many factors. Greater demand for power, improved materials 
and design, and necessity for cheaper production of current have all 
had their efTect, but perhaps the real deciding factor has been inter- 
connection. The interconnection of systems and stations has made 
larger generating units possible because each unit does not represent 
such a disproportionate percentage of the interconnected system as it 
does of a single station. Hence one of the large units can be shut 
down when necessary without interrupting the service, and this with- 
out carrying a large amount of idle standby equipment. The invest- 
ment in reserve units is divided. 

Interconnection has also in other ways reduced the cost of generat- 
ing electricity. It has permitted greater use to be made of hydro- 
electric stations. At certain periods of the year more water enters 
the storage ponds than can be retained and therefore must waste over 
the spillway. By making a maximum load available to the hydro- 
electric plant during such seasons, use can be made of this water and 
recourse had to steam plants to tide over seasons when there is in- 
sufficient water. Interconnection also permits of greater use of the 
more efficient stations. 

Other innovations in the field of power production are under con- 
sideration but have yet to be adopted for general use. The mercury 
boiler and turbine, for instance, has one installation operating success- 
fully on a commercial basis. Low temperature carbonization of coal, 
advocated largely as a fuel conservation measure, has already proved its 
merits in Europe but it is still a matter of debate whether conditions 
in this country justify it. The wave of radical improvement has not 
yet subsided and other novel changes are to be expected, for when once 
stimulated, invention maintains its pace over quite a period of time 
before tapering oflF. 



Boiler Explosion on the Steamship " Mackinac." 

ON August i8th, 1925, one of the boilers exploded on the steamer 
" Mackinac " while in Narragansett Bay returning from Newport 
to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and resulted in the death of fifty- 
two persons and the injury of over one hundred others. There have 
been boiler explosions that caused indirectly a greater number of 
fatalities through resulting fires or disasters incident to the explosions, 
but this is the largest recorded casualty list directly attributable to a 
boiler explosion in this country. Regularly a freight boat, the " Mack- 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[January, 



inac " had been put on an excursion route for the summer and at the 
time of the explosion was carrying nearly seven hundred excursionists, 
most of whom were members of either one of two groups holding 
annual outings. It was built in 1909 on the Great Lakes and was 
operated there until last year. 

As shown by the illustration, the boilers on this vessel are of a rather 
unusual type said to be peculiar to lake boats. The upper part of the 
boiler is similar to a return tubular boiler, but in place of a setting, 




^ 



^M 



Welding on Shell 



"ZSZZZi 



s^ 



Fig. I. 
the fire box and combustion space are enclosed by water-legs which 
run along each side of the boiler for its full length. These water- 
legs are connected near the center by an 18 inch diameter circulating 
cross drum, which serves also as a bridge wall. This drum has an 
8 inch diameter vertical connection to the boiler shell and two 6 inch 
diameter horizontal connections to the wet-back at the rear of the 
combustion chamber, as indicated in Fig. i. 

The failure was in the circulating cross drum of the forward boiler. 
Leakage in this drum had become evident and repair men from a local 
boiler shop were called in to weld the leak before the boat left Pawtucket 
on the morning of the accident. The welders reported a crack about 
7 inches long near the longitudinal seam, which they were unable to 
repair because of lack of room and too much moisture from the leak; 
so that the boat set out for Newport, forty-five minutes late and 
with only the aft boiler, which had not been giving trouble, under steam. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



9 



A fire was later started under the forward boiler and the return trip 
begun about 5 130 p. m. with both of them in oj)eration at reduced 
pressure. When but a short distance out from Newport the circulat- 
ing cross drum of the forward boiler failed. The rupture began at a 
line about 25 inches long parallel and very close to the longitudinal 
seam — which was near the bottom of the drum on the side away 
from the grates — and tore a strip of this width circumferentially 




Fig. 2. 
around more than one-quarter of the drum. The nature of the failure 
is clearly shown in Figs, i and 2. The piece marked " B " in Fig. 2 
is the torn part of the drum shell. The piece marked "A" had no 
connection with the boiler. 

Most of the killed and injured were on the main, or freight deck, 
where dancing was in progress, and were immediately enshrouded with 
live steam. The absence of a non-return valve on the steam line per- 
mitted the other boiler to continue to empty itself through the rupture. 
Although no parts of the boiler were violently projected about the 
boat, the pressure attained in the boiler room was sufficient to raise 
the steel main deck about 12 inches. The reaction of the escaping jet 
moved the boiler forward about one foot. The steam pressure allowed 
was 142 lbs., although only about 100 lbs. was being carried at the 
time of the accident. 



10 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

The cause of the failure was external corrosion. External corro- 
sion is a wasting away of the outside surface of the boiler, accelerated 
usually by the presence of moisture and soot. Sometimes the mois- 
ture comes from the boiler itself through a leak, and sometimes from 
other sources such as leaky valves or fittings in overhead pipings. 
Sometimes it may be produced by the sweating of a cold boiler, or 
perhaps by exposure to the elements. Deposits of soot, usually in 
comparatively inaccessible places which are likely to be slighted when 
cleaning the exterior of the boiler, retain this moisture and, by reason 
of the composition of soot, almost invariably result in corrosion of 
the plate which, if not checked, will soon become dangerous. The 
original thickness of the plate of the ruptured drum in this case was 
}i inch, but it had been seriously reduced by the corrosion. The 
reduction in thickness of the shell began on a line running parallel to 
the axis along the lowest part of the drum and increased toward the 
seam, tapering ofif sharply to practically a knife edge at the line of 
initial failure. The defect — variously reported as "pin holes" and a 
"crack" — that prevented full use of the boiler just prior to the 
accident was evidently a place where the corrosion had penetrated 
through the plate. This wasting away of the place, however, had been 
so uniform and so free from signs of pitting or grooving that, except 
where it had actually penetrated through, there were practically no 
visible indications that the plate was dangerously thin. 

Both of the boilers on this vessel had been inspected in April, 
1925, by the government steamboat inspection service. While it would 
seem that the plate must have been seriously reduced at that time, 
yet we cannot attempt to say whether its condition could then have 
been detected as this depends entirely upon the nature of the inspection, 
a matter on which we arei not informed. We do believe that if an ex- 
perienced inspector examined this boiler when its latest defect developed 
just before the boat started on its fatal trip, the boiler would not have 
been approved either for temporary operation or for repair. It is 
hard to believe that anyone at all familiar with boiler construction would 
even consider repairing a boiler that had wasted away over a large 
area to the extent that there was an actual opening more or less con- 
tinuous for a distance of approximately 7 inches. Yet the welders called 
in on the morning of the accident attempted to weld this opening, and 
undoubtedly would have done so had conditions permitted. Moisture 
and the inaccessible position of the opening were given as the reasons 
for not making the repair. There is no doubt that this leak would have 
been stopped by welding had conditions been more favorable for, 
about six weeks previous to the accident, an almost identical repair 



J926.\ THE LOCOMOTIVE. \l 

was made on the rear side of this same drum, and only a few inches 
from the final rupture. It too was apparently an opening about 7 inches 
long running approximately in a longitudinal direction and at a place 
where the metal was less than 1/16 inch thick. 

A still further indication that the generally corroded condition of 
certain parts of the boiler had become evident is given by the fact 
that on the 6 inch diameter pipes connecting the ruptured drum with 
the wet-back, 75% of their external surfaces had been welded over. 
It might be well at this point to call attention to the apparent readi- 
ness of autogenous welders in general to apply their methods to boilers 
without giving any consideration whatever to the strength of the vessel. 
It is true that welds have been made which under test proved to be 
as strong and even stronger than the original plates joined; and it is 
perhaps with a knowledge of this fact that the welder undertakes to 
patch any opening in any vessel, placing sublime faith in his own work 
— done frequently under adverse circumstances — as being always 
the equal of the best. That so much of this work is imperfect and 
that there is no indication when such is the case is apparently lost sight 
of entirely. As a result, many repairs are made and defects covered 
over that should have had radically different attention. Until welders 
are frank to admit the limitations of their methods, it will be best to 
take your boiler troubles to a boiler inspector, - — • a man who is not 
interested in any one kind of cure, but only in the safety of the boiler. 

This explosion is an outstanding one because of the number of 
casualties resulting from the explosion itself. Others have surpassed 
it although the number of killed and injured in each case was increased 
by accompanying disasters. One such instance is the explosion that 
occurred in March 1905 in a shoe factory at Brockton, Massachusetts 
in which the instantaneous collapse of the building and the ensuing fire 
resulted in the death of 58 and the injury of 117 persons. Another 
one, and one which undoubtedly will never be equaled, is the explosion 
of a boiler on the Mississippi River steamer " Sultana " in April 1865. 
The boat was packed beyond its capacity with Federal solders return- 
ing from prison camps. Fire followed the explosion and the boat 
was completely destroyed. Out of nearly 1900 soldiers on board, 1,101 
perished, together with 137 of the civilian passengers and crew, a total 
of 1,238 killed. 



12 



THE LOCOAIOTIVE. 



[January, 



Hartford Inspections a la Mode. 

IF your boiler is located in Con- 
tinental United States you can 
obtain "Hartford" inspections. 
No matter how remote or inac- 
cessible the location, the inspector 
will find means of transportation 
and ferret it out. He may arrive 
by one of the usual methods of 
travel — train, automobile, or 
street railway — or if conditions 
require it he may travel by some 
less usual means. Inspector J. L. 
Wiant, for instance, has head- 
quarters at Charleston, West Vir- 
ginia, and covers considerable 
territory in the mountainous sec- 
tion of that state. The scattered 
population and infrequent train 
connections often prompt him to 
resort to hiking in order to save a 
dav or two in journeying between 
plants. Of course the usual in- Inspector J. L. Wiant. 

spection kit must be taken along in addition to the regular traveling 
necessities, and so Inspector Wiant has a special carrying case to make 

easier the work of carrying his equipment. 
jHMjp|BS"Bpi^^^K{ Traveling on foot in this territory is not 
I^^^^MjMflflH^^^ as simple as one might think, for the road 
' Wfl^^^^^^B^P* ^10^ always in the open, but frequently 

WA '" " '*^ Ti leads through abandoned mines and even 

IjE --|^Q|ftHf railroad tunnels. Bad weather also adds its 

IflE ^^^^A disagreeable features. In spite of all this. 

Inspector Wiant does not consider portag- 
ing a pack for days at a time an irksome 
part of the work, but rather, dressed for 
the occasion, he derives much pleasure from 
these mountain hikes. 

Another inspector who occasionally re- 
sorts to a somewhat unusual means of travel 
is W. J. Betts of Ishpeming, Michigan. 
Ishpeming is located in the northern penin- 
Inspector Wm. J. Betts. sula of Michigan and snows are frequent 



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1926.1 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



13 



and heavy. Skiing is therefore a popular winter sport and it is not 
surprising that Inspector Betts should find it advantageous to mike 
some inspection trips in this agreeable manner. 

On the other hand, Inspector W. H. G. Slaymaker of Jackson, 
Mississippi shows a decided preference for more modern modes of 

travel. Inspector 
Slaymaker has had 
experience in avia- 
tion and his interest 
in the subject con- 
tinues. While the 
automobile usually 
takes him on his 
rounds, he at times 
is fortunate enough 
to have an airplane 
at his disposal. This 
means of travel not 
only reduces the time 
spent in going and 
coming, but under certain conditions has expedited the work in another 
way. For instance, the inspector, in trying to keep track of portable 
boilers, often finds himself in a position to sympathize with the hen who 
" never finds things where she lays them." Portable sawmill boilers 
are seldom found where they were at the time of the last inspection, and 
sometimes are rather evasive. " In the woods " is often the only address. 
In such cases the advantages of an airplane observation are apparent. Of 
course the opportunity of flight holds no inducement for the inspector. 




Inspector Wm. H. G. Slaymaker (Right). 



Riveting Pressures.* 

THE pressure applied to rivets in the operation of riveting up and 
the length of time the pressure is sustained upon the rivets are 
two important factors which materially affect the eflficiency of 
the riveted seams of boilers. In this country [England], these ques- 
tions have received considerable attention, but there is a wide differ- 
ence in the actual practice of various boiler makers. The following 
translation from a French contemporary expresses to some extent 
Continental opinion regarding riveting pressures, which it may be noted 
are appreciably less than is the practice in this country : — 



•Extract from an article by V. Kammerer. in the Bulletin of the French Association of 
Boiler Owners, January, 1925. Reprinted from Vulcan. 



14 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

" It is well known that in boiler shop work lines of rivets con- 
stitute weak points, not only in consequence of the reduction in strength 
due to the rivet holes, but also by reason of the stresses to which the 
edges of the plates are subjected in course of construction, all of 
which tend to set up stresses in the metal of the plates. Again, cer- 
tain forms of riveted joints, notably lap joints, are subjected in the 
course of working to a bending action, and joints exposed to the fire 
are subjected to additional stresses in consequence of the differences of 
temperature which exist between the inner and outer surfaces of the 
plate. 

Amongst the boiler shop operations which particularly affect the 
plates must be cited punching of the holes (a practice that every good 
shop will either forbid or render less harmful by subsequent drilling), 
bending of the plates, flattening of the edges and caulking. This latter 
operation cannot be avoided even when modern bending rolls are 
used and every care is taken in the construction. 

These questions have been the subject of study for some years, 
and the opinions expressed have been that the operation of riveting 
was not likely to produce any serious alteration in the plates, neither 
through the heating of the rivet hole nor by the work of riveting 
itself. It is true tliat formerly a considerable proportion of the rivet- 
ing was done either by hand or by a pneumatic hammer, and when 
hydraulic riveters were used the pressure rarely exceeded 50 tons. 
In more recent years, and particularly since the war, boiler shops have 
been furnished with more powerful tools to enable them to deal with 
thicker plates. These changes were already taking place in Germany 
before the war, as in that country higher pressures were more fre- 
quently used than in France, and also the Germans had a marked 
preference for the cylindrical boiler with internal fvu'naces, which for 
pressures of 180 lbs. per square inch require shell plates of consider- 
able thickness. Due to the use of thicker plates the fitting of the ends 
is much more difficult, and in consequence boiler makers were tempted 
to make use of higher pressures in order to bring the plates together. 

If plates fit well throughout the whole of the surface contact with- 
out any previous pressure, only a moderate pressure on the riveting 
machine is required to obtain a tight riveted joint, subject to the pressure 
being maintained for a sufficient period of time, as the close contact 
is assisted by the contraction of the rivet when cooling. The riveting 
machine must give a sufficient pressure to put a good head on the 
rivet, but this can readily be done if the rivet is properly heated. On 
the contrary, if the pressure is too high the contact of the plates at 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. |5 

the joints may be unsatisfactory, due to their being stressed above 
the elastic Hmit. 

This fact has already been noticed in the experiments made by 
Mons. F. Fremont in 1909. To determine the effect of the pressure 
during riveting upon the plate caused by the rivets, he used for rivets 
of I in, diameter pressures of 40, 70 and 100 tons, which corresponds 
approximately to 50, 90 and 125 tons per square inch of rivet area, 
and he found that in most of the cases the friction of the riveted 
joint diminished when pressures above 40 tons were used. He cal- 
culated that a pressure of 40 tons to 50 tons for i in. diameter was 
sufficient, and that any higher pressure would tend to crush the metal. 
A little later similar tests were undertaken at Stuttgart by Professors 
Bach and Baumann, and they arrived at similar conclusions, viz., that a 
riveting pressure of 42 tons to 52 tons per inch of the section of 
the rivet was sufficient to secure a good joint even with thick plates, 
and that if this latter pressure were exceeded there was a risk of in- 
juring the metal around the rivet hole, and possibly setting up fractures. 

The numerous failures that occurred in 19 17 at a large chemical 
works in Germany of the riveting of almost new boilers (necessitating 
22 boilers being put out of service), and a serious explosion at Reisholz* 
in 1920 causing 27 deaths, again drew attention to this question, as 
expert opinion attributed these failures to excessive riveting pressures. 
Professor Baumann undertook systematic tests to ascertain what was 
the effect of pressure and temperature upon the plates during riveting. 
Tests were made with heated iron rivets, the temperature of these be- 
ing measured. When the rivet pressure exceeded a certain limit that 
Professor Baumann fixed at 52 tons per square inch on the area of 
the rivet, not only was the plate around the head of the rivet stressed 
beyond the elastic limit and deep depressions formed, but the pressure 
on the rivet was transmitted by the shank, which was in a plastic 
state, to the sides of the rivet hole, the temperature of the plate around 
the rivet hole being raised to about 900 deg. Fah., and this transmitted 
pressure caused crushing of the sides of the hole, the extent depend- 
ing upon the riveting pressure used. As the shank of the rivet always 
has a tendency under pressure to take barrel form, it is near the middle 
of the hole — that is to say, the interior of the joint — that the metal 
is most severely stressed. It follows, then, that without considering 
any damage that may be done to the plates prior to riveting, cracks 
will be set up on the inner surfaces of the plates in contact, either 
at the time of riveting or at a later date, due to the stresses set up in 



•See The Locomotive, January 1924, p. 11. 



IQ THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

working acting upon the damaged parts. This fact, which is gen- 
erally recognized, causes these failures to be particularly serious, as 
nothing can be detected by examination until the cracks have gone 
right through the plate. 

But it is evident that if only a moderate riveting pressure is 
applied, other things being equal, the pressure must be kept on for a 
longer period if equal contact is desired. Mons. Fremont in his first 
experiments on riveting had drawn attention to the importance of the 
length of time pressure was applied, this time requiring to be increased 
if the fitting of the plates was poor, and that in no case should the 
time be less than 30 seconds. In England it is the practice in some 
cases to keep up the pressure for one minute. It must be remembered 
that the length of application of the pressure has an appreciable influ- 
ence on the cost of riveting and the use of the plant, and it is there- 
fore natural that boiler makers should, on their part, desire to reduce 
the time as far as possible. As contact is obtained chiefly by the con- 
traction of the rivets and is affected by the fitting of the plates it does 
not seem that a minimum duration of time can be fixed suitable for 
all cases. The American Boiler Code includes a rule which states 
that pressure must be maintained so long as the rivet head shows red 
in daylight (another rule followed in certain boiler shops proportions 
the time of application of the pressure to the diameter of the rivet in 
millimetres). The American Boiler Code also states that the bolts 
holding the plates together must not be taken out until the rivet has been 
fixed on either side of the bolt. This precaution certainly tends to 
improve the contact of the plates and the tightness of the riveting. 

An enquiry made in Germany in twelve of the most important 
boiler shops on the subject of pressures of riveting has shown that 
with two exceptions all these shops at the commencement of 192 1 used 
pressures between 65 tons and 95 tons per square inch on the area of 
the rivet, whilst at the commencement of 1924 they had reduced the 
pressure to below 52 tons per square inch, and found that they were 
able to obtain the necessary contact of the plates and tightness of the 
joints which they had hitherto considered could only be obtained by 
the use of higher pressures." 



From the Zeitschrift of the Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance 
Company at Vienna, Austria, it is noted that nickel steel is being used 
in some cases for the shells of boilers built for very high pressures in 
Continental Europe. Furnaces and water tubes in such boilers, how- 
ever, are without exception made of Siemens-Martin (mild) steel. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



17 



Harnessing Geysers in California. 

By L. E. Grundell, Inspector, San Francisco Department. 

SEVENTY-FIVE miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County 
is Geyser Canyon, discovered in 1847 by W. B. Elliott, a hunter 
and trapper. This canyon is about one-half mile long and is full 
of boiling mineral springs and volcanic vents or fumaroles from which 
steam is constantly issuing. A meal can easily be prepared over one 
of these steam vents. About three years ago J. D. Grant of Healds- 

burg, a nearby town, conceived the 
idea of drilling out some of these 
vents and utilizing the natural steam 
for commercial use. The Geyser 
Development Company was organ- 
ized and three wells were driven 
under unusual difficulties to" depths 
from 150 to 300 ft. through ground 
from which steam was issuing in 
large quantities. Tests of the quan- 
tity, temperature, and pressure of the 
steam obtained indicated that about 
1200 horse-power could be developed 
from these three wells. 

During the past year four new ex- 
perimental wells have been drilled by 
means of a rotary drill similar to the 
tool used in the oil fields. The last 
well opened up, No. 7, just before it 
was capped projected a jet of steam 
from an 8 inch diameter pipe fully 75 
ft. into the air, as shown in Fig. i. 
When capped it showed a pressure of 
220 lbs. Well No. 6 only a hundred feet away developed a pressure in 
excess of 300 lbs. In order to limit it to this pressure, the safe working 
pressure for the casing valves and fittings, a 4 inch diameter escape 
pipe is provided as shown in Fig. 2. Well No. 5 showed a pressure 
of 250 lbs. 

Utilization has not yet been made of this natural steam except to 
furnish power and light for furthering the work. A 12 kva. turbo- 
generator supplies electric power and light for the construction and 
drilling, and a iox6x 10 pump operating under 150 lbs. geyser steam 
pressure supplies water at a similar pressure for drilling. The experi- 




FlG. I. 



18 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[January, 



mental work is about completed and plans for a commercial electric 
generating plant are taking form. 

Tests of this geyser steam reveal about i^% of non-condensable 
gases, which, of course, is objectionable, and in addition a small amount 
of acid. This latter, however, is 
said to be so minute that no corro- 
sive effect has been noticed on the 
casing, valves, or machinery. The 
quantity of this steam available is 
naturally an open qquestion, but it 
is said that no well has shown any 
falling off in production regardless 
of climatic changes or additional 
drillings. Preparations are now be- 
ing made to sink two additional 
wells. A i6 inch diameter casing will 
be driven down for approximately 
20 ft. and surrounded by a large 
concrete foundation. A 15 inch 
diameter casing will then be carried 
down the rest of the way and sul)- 
sequently strengthened by an inside 
filling of concrete lined with a 12 
inch diameter casing. To retain the 
drill in position and advance it, a 
giant hydraulic jack is used whose 
capacity is 300 tons. 

Although this is the first development of the kind in America, 
Italy is reported to have in operation a plant utilizing 10,000 horse- 
power of geyser steam, 4,000 of which is furnished by a single well. 




Fig. 2. 



The Grave of John Fitch. 

THE accompanying picture shows " the simple marker given by 
the government to the resting place of each Revolutionary sol- 
dier " which marks the grave of the inventor of the first successful 
steamboat. John Fitch was born January 21, 1743 in Windsor, Con- 
necticut. He early showed an inclination for mechanical things and 
was in turn a watch repairer, brass founder, surveyor and engraver. 
This wide experience gave him an excellent grounding for the later 
development of his great invention. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE* 



19 



In 1785 he designed and built a working model of a steamboat. A 
full size boat was next constructed, and in 1788 it traversed the Delaware 
River from Philadelphia to Burlington, a distance of 20 miles, at the 
rate of 63^ miles per hour. During the summer of 1790 his boat, 
capable of making 8 miles per hour, ran as a passenger boat over this 
route. The Philadelphia papers carried advertisements of the schedule, 
and the Federal Government granted him a patent on August 26, 1791. 
As a protection of the invention, the state of New Jersey granted 
to Fitch for fourteen years the " sole and exclusive right of construct- 
ing, making, using and employing or navi- 
gating all and every species or kinds of 
boats or water craft which might be 
urged or impelled by the force of fire or 
steam in all the creeks, rivers, et cetera 
within the territory or jurisdiction of this 
state." This action was followed by 
similar action on the part of the states of 
Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and 
Virginia. These rights were later trans- 
ferred to Fulton and his financial backer, 
Livingstone. In this connection the fol- 
lowing extract from " Public Statute 
Laws of the State of Connecticut May 
Session, 1822" is of interest: 
" An Act to protect the citizens of Connecticut in their right to 
navigate boats or vessels moved by Fire or Steam. 

Whereas the Legislature of the State of New York, 
have passed, and continue to enforce, sundry acts giving 
to certain persons of that State, their associates and as- 
signs, heirs and representatives, the sole and exclusive 
right of navigating all the waters claimed by that State, 
with boats or vessels moved by fire or steam, and have 
secured the observance of said laws by severe penalties 
and forfeitures ; and whereas said laws operate to ex- 
clude the citizens of Connecticut from the free naviga- 
tion of Long Island Sound, and the East River, communi- 
cating with the Atlantic ocean and our sister states — " 
Then follows a section of the Act forbidding any person claiming 
rights under the above laws of the State of New York from operating 
any boat " moved by fire or steam " in the waters under the control 
of the State of Connecticut under penalty of $500 fine for the first 
offense, and $10,000 fine for the second oflfense. Another section pro- 




( Continued on Page 22.) 



20 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[January, 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Benj. C. Cruickshanks. Editor. 



HARTFORD, JANUARY, 1926. 

Single copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company^ s ag-encies.> 

Subscription price SO cents per year "when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting' tnaitcr from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of the Hartford Steam Boiler I. & I. Co. 



PRESENT day civilization is a complex thing and there are many 
factors that have entered into its development and which are vital to 
its maintenance. Without any one of these factors, progress v^rould 
be thrown back several generations at least. Look around, for instance 
at the many conveniences — automobiles, telephones, typewriters — 
necessities we will most likely call them today. How many would be 
within our price range without American mass-production methods. 
Or once produced, how many would still be available at any price with- 
out present day transportation facilities. And what a boon mechanical 
refrigeration has proven to all mankind. A varied assortment of fresh 
foods brought to our table in excellent condition the year round whether 
in city or country has meant perennial good health and the passing of 
the old fashioned spring tonic. 

Yet all of these factors are in turn dependent upon one thing — 
power. With the development of more and cheaper power, particularly 
with the development of power in its most convenient form, as elec- 
tricity, our highly organized civilization has advanced. Power is truly 
an Atlas upholding the world of present day civilization, and the recent 
growth of this mighty giant as outlined in the article on page 3 of this 
issue should therefore be of general interest. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 21 



Obituary. ^ 

WILLIAM T. WOODS, for nearly thirty-two years an employee 
of this Company, died suddenly on Thanksgiving Day, Thurs- 
day, November 26, 1925, at his home in Logan, Philadelphia, 
Pa. Apparently he had been in excellent health, but at midnight 
Wednesday he was stricken with apoplexy and died Thursday after- 
noon. 

Mr. Woods was born at Newport, Pennyslvania, July 10, 1859, 
and entered the employ of our Philadelphia Department March i, 1894. 
He had thus given nearly thirty-two years of faithful and ef^cient 
service to the Company. Mr. Woods was also an active and enthu- 
siastic church worker. 



The title page and index for Vol. XXXV of The Locomotive, 
covering the years 1924 and 1925, is now available and may be obtained 
upon application to the Hartford Office of the Company. 



Autogenously Welded Tank Fails Under Air Test. 

CONSIDERABLE interest was aroused by the article on page 239 
of the October issue of The Locomotive describing the explo- 
sion of a new autogenously welded storage tank while it was being 
tested for tightness with compressed air. Another accident that oc- 
curred under strikingly similar circumstances was reported as follows 
in the Albany Times-Union of November 16, 1925: 

Two workmen were killed in the Ludlum steel plant, Colonie, 
[Watervliet, N. Y.] early today, when a new gas tank, which was 
being tested, through air-pressure exploded. 

The dead men are: John King, pipe fitter, 526 Sixth St., 
Watervliet, Salvis Corrato, pipe fitter's helper, 537 Broadway, 
Watervliet. 

The double fatality was purely accidental. It is customary 
at the big steel works to carefully test out all new apparatus. In 
accordance with this rule, the new gas tank was being tested today 
with air pressure. It was given a pressure up to its supposed 
capacity when the explosion occurred. 

The test was being made by the two men who were killed. 
The blast of the explosion hurled them several feet. First aid was 
administered promptly, but both victims were found to be beyond 
human help. 



22 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

This tank was of 3/16 inch plate, 48 inches in diameter and 12 ft. 
long. The longitudinal seams were butt welded. The heads were 
3/16 inch disks welded fiat against the ends of the shell. The tank 
was intended for use as a gasoline storage tank and had a capacity 
of 1,000 gallons. xA.t the time of the accident it was being tested for 
tightness by air and is said to have failed when the pressure reached 
40 lbs. per square inch. 



(Continued from page 19.) 
vides that other boats shall not land or take off passengers from the 
proscribed steamboats on penalty of $100 fine per person. Still another 
section specifies that the Act shall remain in force so long as the objec- 
tionable New York laws remain in force. It is interesting to note that 
in 1824 the Supreme Court of the United States revoked and annulled 
these rights granted by the states. 

Fitch continued his experiments with the steamboats until his death 
at Bardstown, Kentucky, July 2, 1798, nine years before Fulton's 
" Clermont " steamed up the Hudson River, Until a few years ago, 
Fitch's grave was entirely unmarked and unknown, but it is gratifying 
to note that Congress recently appropriated $15,000 for a monument to 
him to be erected at Bardstown. 



Thinking Right Avoids Accidents. 

WHEN a man is injured or loses his life through accident, the 
laws in the different states say what he or his depends shall 
receive in the way of compensation. That is, they say what 
a life is worth or a part of a life is worth. Statutes vary as to the 
amount to be paid the man or his dependents. Insurance companies 
will place such values on your life as you are able to pay for. 

But who would attempt to place a value on a crippled man or a 
life? No one. The greatest fortune, doubled and trebled, could not 
induce you to become a cripple or part with your life needlessly; 
either is priceless. Obviously such an enormously important thing 
should be cherished and safeguarded in every way possible, yet injury 
and death are gambled with continually, in the shop, on the streets, and 
even in the home. Of course we don't deliberately defy Providence; 
we simply are thoughtless and careless. 

The explanation of a great many accidents lies in failure to think. 
Yesterday, perhaps, or last week, we did really try to observe the prin- 
ciples of safety ; but the safety of yesterday won't answer for today 
any more than will yesterday's dinner. We must keep on thinking about 
safetv and what it means to us and to others. — Gas & Electric Nezvs. 



1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



23 





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24 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



[January, 



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Philadelphia, Pa. 
Hanitranch, Mich. 
Winchester, Va. 
Derrick City, Pa. 
Ivirbyville, Pa. 
Dorchester, Mass. 

Lansing, Mich. 
Bedford, Iowa. 
Lawrenceville, 111. 
Salem, Mass. 
Kansas City, Mo. 
Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Knoxville, Tenn. 
New York, N. Y. 


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Home for Boys 

Furniture Store 

Hendley School 

Oil Well 

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Bank Bldg. 
Apts. & Stores 
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Sand Dredge 
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Sam Bookstein 

Board of Trustees 

Frederick's Lease 

Kirbyville Inn 

Estate of Bencion Moskow 

Louis F. Breitenwisher 

Citizen's State Bank 

Est. of A. L. Maxwell 

Waldorf System, Inc. 

R. X. DeGraw 

P. Goldsmith Sons Co. 

II. C. Milnor Sand & Lime Co. 

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Section of heating boiler cracked 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Boiler exploded 
Hot water boiler exploded 
Manifold and seven sections heating 

boiler cracked 
Several sections heating boiler cracked 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Six sections heating boiler cracked 
Blow-off pipe fitting failed 
Boiler ruptured 
Boiler exploded 
Hot water supply boiler exploded 


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Dorchester, Mass. 
Charlottesville, Va. 
Niles, Ohio 
Arkadelphia, Ark. 
Laurel, Del. 
Madison, 111. 
Tacoma, Wash. 
Burlington, N. J. 
Wortham, Texas 
Covington, Tenn. 
Worcester, Mass. 
New York, N. Y. 
Omaha, Nebr. 
Terre Haute, Ind. 


Oxygen Plant 
Woolen Mill 
Steel Plant 
Sawmill 
Power Plant 
Oxygen Plant 
Logging Camp 
Iron Works 
Oil well 
School 

Apts. & Stores 
Club House 
Apt. House 
Hotel 


Air Reduction Co., Inc. 
Charlottesville Woolen Mills 
Waddell Steel Co. 
Walter Robey 
Penn Central Lt. & Power 
Air Reduction Co., Inc. 
West Fork Logging Co. 
Thomas Devlin Mfg. Co. 
Crouch Lease 
Byars-Hall High School 
Dworman Bros. 
Cosmopolitan Club 
Elizabeth C. Graham 
Filbeck Hotel 


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Valve in feed water line ruptured 

Two tubes ruptured 

Boiler exploded 

Superheater circulating tube pulled out 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Flue plug blew out of locomotive 

Tube ruptured 

Boiler exploded 

Boiler exploded 

Several sections heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 


- N ro •* "^ 





1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 25 




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26 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[January, 



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Winnipeg, Can. 
Monroe, La. 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Charlestown, Mass 
New Orleans, La. 
St. Louis, Mo. 
Holt, Ala. 
Langhorne, Pa. 
Hartford, Conn. 
Hammond, Ind. 
Seattle, Wash. 
Fall River, Mass. 
Maysville, Ky. 
Ware, Mass. 
Rnckford, 111. 
Woodward, Ala. 
Duncanville, Al;i. 
Petersburg, 111. 
Bisbee, Ariz. 
Worcester, Mass. 
Chicago, 111. 
Allentown, Pa. 


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Paper Mill 

Apts. & Stores 

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Alkali Plant 

Railroad 

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Steamship 

Cotton Goods 

Pulley Works 

Paper Mill 

Laundry 

Blast Furnace 

Sawmill 

Reduction Plant 

School 

Apts. & Stores 

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Canadian Pacific R. R. Co. 
Brown Paper Mill Co. 
Est. of Wm. Davis 
Charlestown Armory 
New Orleans Country Club 
Windmore Hotel 
The Solvay Process Co. 

S. & J. Kohn 
Calumet Baking Co. 
S. S. Alaska 
American Printing Co. 
Ohio Valley Pulley Co. 
McLaurin-Jones Co. 
Model Laundry Co. 
Woodward Iron Co. 
J. E. Brown 
Charles Irwin 
School District No. 2 
Dworman Bros. 
H. S. & B.N. Jelonak 
Schwartz Apartments 


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Steam pipe exploded 

Four tubes pulled out of drum 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Hot water heater exploded 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Boiler failed 

Tube ruptured, seven headers cracked 

Arch tube of locomotive failed 

Three sections heating boiler cracked 

Six sections heating boiler cracked 

Boiler exploded 

Fitting on return line ruptured 

Blow-off pipe fitting failed 

Blow-off pipe failed 

Boiler bulged and ruptured 

Tube ruptured 

Boiler exploded 

Boiler exploded 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Five sections heating boiler cracked 

Four sections heating boiler cracked 

Boiler ruptured 


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1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



27 



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28 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



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1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



29 






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THe HaitlomsteaiiiBoileiliispectioiiaiiillpiaiicBGoiiuiaiiji 

ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1924 

Capital Stock, . . $2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in offices and banks 
Real Estate .... 
Mortgage and collateral loans 
Bonds and stocks 
Premiums in course of collection 
Interest Accrued . 



$312,885.77 
255,000.00 
1,797,000.00 
9,830,809.50 
1,114,552.34 
145,614.56 



Total assets $13,455,862.17 



LIABILITIES 
Reserve for unearned premiums . 
Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital stock ...... 

Surplus over all liabilities .... 

Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total liabilites ..... 



$5,897,736.62 
258,782.17 
559,988.34 



^2,500,000.00 

4,239,355.04 



$6,739,355.04 



$13,455,862.17 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, President. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

E. SIDNEY BERRY, Second Vice-President. 

LOUIS F. MIDDLEBROOK, Secretary. 

J. J. GRAHAM, Assistant Secretary. 

HALSEY STEVENS, Assistant Secretary. 

SHERWOOD F. JETER, Chief Engineer. 

KENNETH A. REED, Electrical Engineer. 

HARRY E. DART, Supt. Engineering Dept. 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



ATWOOD COLLINS, Hartford, Conn. 

LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Trustees United States Security Trust 
Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAINARD. President 
.^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 



JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 

EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN G. BULKELEY, JR., Vice- 
President and Treasurer .(Etna Life 
Ins. Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

S.\MUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS, DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SIONS OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 
ATLANTA, Ga., 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg 
BALTIMORE, Md., . 

13-14-IS Abell Bldg. 
BOSTON, Mass., 

4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 

404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg, 
CHICAGO, 111., 

209 West Jackson BTv'd 



CINCINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 
CLEVELAND, Ohio, 

Leader Bldg. . 
DENVER, Colo., 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 
HARTFORD, Conn., . 

56 Prospect St. 
NEW ORLEANS, La., 

Hibernia Bank Bldg. 
NEW YORK, N. Y., . 

80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., 

429 Walnut St. 
PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 

1807-S-9-10 Arrott Bldg, 
PORTLAND, Ore., . 

306 Yeon Bldg. 
SEATTLE, Wash., . 

415 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., 

339-341 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 

319 North Fourth St. 
TORONTO, Canada, . 

Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 
W. M. Francis, Manager. 
C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 
Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 
James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 
Ward I. Corneix, Mana,c;er. 
W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 
W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
P. M. Murray, Manager. 
J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 
J. T. Coleman, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. W. Zimmer, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
W. E. Gleason, Manager. 
W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 
A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 
J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 
F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. C. Gardiner, Manager. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 
R. P. Guy, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
A. S. WiCKHAM, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 
Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 
Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents. 

J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

L. J. Reed, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 

Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President, The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



ELECTRICAL ^^' 
MACHINERY 
INSURANCE 

Inspections made by HARTFORD ELECTRICAL 
INSPECTORS are of the same thorough character as those 
that have made HARTFORD BOILER INSPECTIONS 
the standard for comparison. 

A Hartford Electrical Policy 

PROTECTS against loss due to 
Burnouts 

Short Circuits 
Lightning 

Mechanical Breakage 

Explosion from overspeed 
Etc. 
INSURES 

Rotating Machinery 
Transformers 
Switchboards 
Etc. 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world" 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Vol. XXXVI 



HARTFORD, CONN., APRIL, 1926. 



No. 2. 



C0PYRI6HT, 1926, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




Hot Water Supply Tank Explosion at Waterville, Conn. 



THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



34 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

Hot Water Supply Tank Explosion at Waterville, Conn. 

THE picture on the front cover page illustrates an accident that 
comes quite close home to practically everyone. A hot water 
supply tank failed apparently from overpressure and completely 
demolished the building in which it was housed. Fortunately no one 
was in the building at the time. 

The building was a one story frame structure used as a public 
bath house and was the property of the town of Waterville, Con- 
necticut. It was equipped with shower baths, a gas coil water heater, 
and a copper hot water supply tank. A steel mixing tank was 
formerly part of the system, but it had not been in use for some 
time and had been disconnected. This steel tank appears quite promi- 
nently in the picture though it had no part in the accident. The 
copper tank that exploded is said to have been about lo years old, 
but showed no signs of weakness or distress. 

The explosion was caused by overpressure, as shown by the 
violence attending it. Not only was the building demolished, but one 
portion of the tank passed over a two story building and over several 
large elm trees, landing about 500 ft. away in the yard of an old 
factory. The distance traveled and height attained by this section 
of the tank are remarkable inasmuch as it had been in a horizontal 
position in the bath house. 

This accident is of particular interest because it happened to the 
type of hot water supply installation found in most residences and 
apartment houses. There was no relief valve on the tank. Over- 
pressure was supposed to be prevented by the water backing into the 
city main. There was, of course, a valve where the feed line entered 
the building but this valve was found open after the accident. There 
was no meter in the line. What prevented the water from backing out 
and thus relieving the pressure is not apparent, but it is believed to 
have been due to scale or sediment loosened by the back flow of 
water. A relief valve of suitable size mounted on the tank would 
most likely have averted this explosion, which was directly due, it is 
thought, to the gas heater having been left on over night. 



According to The Valve World, the new high school building at 
Pagosa Springs, Colorado is heated with natural hot water from an 
artesian well 350 ft. deep. The building contains about 7,000 ft. of 
radiation, which, owing to the lower temperature of the well water. 
is practically double the radiation that would be required for artificial 
heat. 



1926.] 



T I [ l' L O C O M O T I V E 



35 



Duplicate Boiler Explosions. 

LIGHTNING is said never to strike twice in the same place, and 
although there is no such popular belief protecting the owners 
of boilers, the natural effect of a boiler explosion is to impress 
itself so vividly on the minds of the persons connected with the plant 
that the standard of safety is raised and the possibility of a repetition 
becomes more remote. A boiler explosion doesn't just happen, but 
instead is brought on by a definite cause. If the cause is not definitely 
determined and removed, a repetition of the accident is to be expected. 




l"lG. I. 



For instance, stop valves on steam lines are frequently ruptured by 
water-hammer. The water-hammer is most likely produced by an 
improperly drained- pipe system or by faulty operation of the boilers. 
Unless the piping is redesigned or the boiler operation improved, further 
accidents are almost sure to occur. 

The \\'aite Phillips Company of Rainbow Bend near Winfield, 
Kansas, suffered a boiler explosion in July 2, 1925, and on September 
12, 1925 suffered a second explosion from exactly the same cause — 
low water. The installation consists of four locomotive type boilers, 
as shown in Fig. i, that operate at 150 lbs. pressure. At the time of 
the first accident, which occurred about 2:40 a. m., the fireman was 
about 100 ft. away from the boiler house, returning from another 
building. The water level in boiler No. i became low and uncovered 
the crown sheet with the usual result. The crown sheet overheated 
and collapsed and ruptured, causing the boiler to be thrown forward 



36 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 



about 50 ft. from its foundation. About half of the boiler house was 
wrecked. Fig. i shows the scene of the accident after a new boiler had 
been installed in place 
of boiler No. i but be- 
fore the boiler house 
had been rebuilt. Fortu- 
nately no one was in- 
jured in this accident. 
The property loss was 
approximately $2,500. 

A little over two 
months later boiler No. 
4 in this group ex- 
ploded. As in the pre- 
vious instance, the cause was low water. The crown sheet dropped 
and the boiler hurtled out of the house. By a peculiar twist of 
fate, it came to rest partly on top of the one that had exploded before. 
The two boilers are clearly shown in Figs. 2 and 3 just as they landed. 
Again no one was injured. The property loss amounted to $1,700. 




Fig. 2. 




Fig. 3. 

As previously stated, the direct cause of each accident was low 
water. This was quite apparent from an examination of the boilers 
after the explosions, but the cause of the low water is not so apparent. 
The boilers were subject to inspection and the gauges and appliances 
were found to be kept in good condition. The presence of a feed 
water regulator suggests the possibility that too much dependence was 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 37 

placed upon it, the operatives thus becoming lax in watching the water 
level. The fact that no one was killed or injured in either accident 
indicates that there was no one in the boiler room on either occasion. 



Boiler and Power Plant Inspection Service an Aid in 
Acquiring Business.* 

AN engineering insurance policy — specifically boiler, engine, fly- 
wheel or electrical machinery — carries with it an accident pre- 
vention service that should appeal to the agent, for it offers to 
the assured a tangible and immediate return on his investment. Insur- 
ance of this kind has two distinct features, inspection and insurance. 
The insurance feature indemnity for a loss sustained, is characteristic 
of all insurance and is of course understood by every agent. The in- 
spection feature, however, is not so well known although it is this 
accident prevention service that is the principal attraction. 

When steam boiler insurance was inaugurated in this country fifty- 
nine years ago by the The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Company, the company in adopting a name placed the 
word " Inspection " before the word " Insurance " because it wished 
to impress upon everyone seeing the name that its business was 
primarily the inspection of boilers. This service is the foundation 
upon which the business is based for by it losses have been reduced and 
rates kept correspondingly low. In the early days of life insurance 
there was an old saying about the straight life policy that " one had 
to die to beat it," that is, to get any return on the premiums and 
many agents doubtless have somewhat the same feeling with regard to 
casualty insurance of this type. A little experience in selling it, how- 
ever, will soon serve to remove any such feeling, for it will be found 
that those who have bought steam boiler, engine or electrical machinery 
insurance have done so primarily to avail themselves of this accident 
prevention service rather than the insurance feature ; although the 
value of the latter is not under-estimated in view of the ever present 
hazard where machinery or pressure vessels are in use. Accidents 
can be reduced to a minimum but never entirely eliminated. The 
indemnity feature also serves as a stimulus to the inspection company 
to keep up an efficient inspection force. 

Value of Inspections. 
In a paper presented before a recent meeting of casualty under- 
writers Albert W. Whitney, Associate General Manager and Actuary 

♦This article was prepared by the Editor of The Locomotive especially for the 
Xovember 1925 issue of Roitcih Notes. 



38 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[April, 



of the National Bureau of Casualty and Surety Underwriters, said, 
" What I have in mind for insurance in general has been precisely 
carried out already in the field of steam boiler insurance. A boiler 
explosion is such a terrible catastrophe that human nature revolts at 
the idea of dealing with it merely as a cold-blooded, passive distribu- 
tion of loss; insurance has, instinctively and inevitably, become in- 
flamed with the active fervor of prevention and its machinery has 
been put to work upon the primary problem of keeping boilers from 
exploding and only sec- 
ondarily upon paying 
losses, so that a steam 
boiler 'insurance com- 
pany pays out for its 
preventive work four 
times as much as it pay> 
out in losses." 

In an editorial com- 
ment upon a recent 
boiler explosion dis- 
aster, the vS" 3' r a cusc 
Journal said, in part, 
" Boiler explosions are 
not in the exact class of 
other accidents, hence 
the recognized necessity 
for boiler inspectors the 
world over." 

Just a few days ago 
the papers announced 
that the Governor of 
Pennsylvania had dis- 
charged two state em- 
ployes for responsibility in connection with a fatal boiler accident in 
the State Capitol which cost the lives of two men. It was found 
that the boiler, a new one, had been placed in operation " without a 
final inspection." Furthermore, the accident, a tube rupture, was 
the result of a scale accumulation in a tube directly over the fire, 
which should have been detected by inspection. The boiler, however, 
had been in constant operation for six months and therefore had not 
been internally inspected since its installation. 

The boiler explosion on the steamer " Mackinac," which occurred 
near Newport. Rhode Island, and in which 52 persons were killed 







■ '^"^ 


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11911^2^9 



Inspector Examining Engine Valve Gear. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



39 



and approximately 100 
excellent illustration of 
by inspection. This ac 
that had been thinned 
its fatal trip the boiler 
to indicate that, if an 
time, the boiler would 
operation or repair. 



injured, is still fresh in our minds and is an 
a disaster that could probably have been averted 
cident was the result of the failure of a drum 
by corrosion. Just before the boat started on 
developed a serious leak. The evidence seems 
experienced inspector had examined it at that 
not have been approved either for temporary 



Methods of Inspection. 

The inspector's principal duty is to examine, from the point of 
view of safety, the objects covered by the policy. Periodical calls 
are made at the plant to check up on the physical condition of the 
equipment and to observe the methods of operation. This is done by 
a general inspection at stated intervals supplemented by frequent in- 
spections while under operation. On a visit of general inspection, 
better known in the case of boilers as an " internal," the boiler or 
machine is given a minute examination inside and out and all acces- 
sories are scrutinized and tested. The results are frequently surpris- 
ing to the owner. A small leak along the seam that to the untrained 

eye may appear of no 
consequence may mean 
to the inspector a hid- 
den defect that if neg- 
lected will lead to death 
and destruction. A 
freshly painted and well 
kept boiler front may 
give the owner the im- 
pression of an 
efficiently operated and 
well kept equipment, 
while a thorough ex- 
amination of all the 
hidden parts may show 
conditions which mean the wasting of a large part of the fuel ex- 
pended in the operation of the plant. The pipe lines may appear to 
be systematically laid out and by their symmetry leave the impression 
that they are well designed, while the trained eye of the inspector will 
detect a rigidity in the construction that will be fatal to safety if 
continued in operation. 

The average plant operator has practically no knowledge of the 




Inspecting a Flywheel. 



40 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 



safe pressure at which boilers under his care may be operated ex- 
cept that the manufacturer may have claimed their construction to 
be suitable for a given pressure or some former inspector had allowed 
a certain amount. The boiler inspector at the first inspection of a 
risk must carefully determine all the dimensions that are concerned 
with the ability of the boiler to withstand the pressure and fix a safe 
limit for pressure to govern its operation. While rules are supplied 
to guide him in reference to stresses that may be allowed for the 
material of which the boiler is constructed, if the vessel has seen 
service and is deteriorated as it necessarily will be in many cases, 
his judgment must be relied on entirely to determine whether such 
deterioration or the effects of age would warrant the full amount of 
stress that could be allowed on the part of a similiar structure when 
new. If the original pressure is to be reduced the inspector must 
decide how much. 

The Work of Specialists. 

Likewise with fly-wheels. The initial strength of the wheel must 
be determined and a safe speed set. Sound wheels that explode from 
overspeed, like sound boilers that explode from overpressure, cause 
the greatest havoc. Therefore the speed limiting and automatic stop 
devices must be 
carefully passed on. 
The wheel and its 
shaft must be care- 
fully examined for 
any defects that 
may reduce its 
strength. And so 
with turbines, en- 
gines, pumps, elec- 
trical machinery 
each in its own 
peculiar way calls 
for inspection by a 
specialist. 

As stated previously these general inspections are supplemented 
by frequent visits to observe the equipment " under operation." The 
working of the object and the care and attention it receives are func- 
tions of its safety and its probable life, and, as such, are of interest 
to the inspector. A written report on every inspection visit is in- 
variably made to the assured. 




Examining the Inside of a Boiler. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



41 



The men who carry on this accident prevention service are former 
operating engineers who have been thoroughly trained for the work 
of inspection. They are therefore not only well versed in safety 
standards but also are entirely familiar with operating conditions. A 
man who visits hundreds of power plants and examines carefully the 

details of each must 
certainly have a fund 
of knowledge regard- 
ing good and bad prac- 
tice and this is freely 
available to the op- 
erator. As a result the 
coming of the inspector 
is looked forward to, 
especially by the opera- 
tors, and the visit con- 
sidered very much in 
the light of a visit from 
the family physician. 

This inspection or 
accident prevention 
service is expensive and therefore can be most successfully carried on 
by a company with a large volume of such business. As pointed out 
before, a steam boiler insurance company pays out for its preventive 
work four times as much as it pays out in losses. Over one-half of 
its income is expended on this work. Hence, in power plant insurance, 
as distinguished from most other forms, even the assured who does 
not suffer an accident receives continuously, through this inspection 
service, direct returns on the investment. As a matter of fact the 
majority of power plant insurance buyers feel that the premium which 
they pay comes back to them many times during the policy term through 
economies and lower operating costs that result from inspection, to 
say nothing at all of the monetary loss prevented by reducing shut- 
down periods. When an agent delivers one of these policies to an 
assured, he is virtually passing the goods over the counter, for the 
inspection department has already started to function. 




Inspector Making Megger Test on D. C. Generator 
TO Determine Condition of Insulation. 



A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his 
work and done his best ; but what he has said or done otherwise shall 
give him no peace. — Emerson. 



42 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 



The Value of the Hammer Test. 

By J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector, Pittsburgh Department. 

THE use of the inspector's hammer has brought to light many 
dangerous conditions in boilers and pressure vessels that would 
not otherwise have been found and that undoubtedly would have 
caused serious explosions within a short time had they not been dis- 
covered. 

In certain parts of the country where corrosive water is used in 
steam boilers, the corrosion produces such uniform reduction of the 
plate or tube material that it is not perceptible to the eye. Where the 
material is wasted away so uniformly that it cannot be detected by 
visual inspection, it may become reduced to such extent that a rupture 
or crack may develop and cause a serious explosion. Recently an in- 
spector found a dangerous condition in the mud drum of a bent tube 
type of water tube boiler. He was using his hammer freely on the 
plate surface, and the difference in sound to his ear and feeling to his 
hand when he struck certain spots attracted his attention. Upon re- 
moval of some brickwork, a careful investigation was made and a 
dangerously thin condition of the shell was found. 

While hammer testing the tubes of a horizontal water tube boiler, 
an inspector noted a peculiar sound given out by one tube in the top 
row. It seemed to be entirely free at one end. He inquired of the 
engineer whether that tube was being cut out, but the engineer stated 
that he was not taking out any tubes as the boiler had been operated 
the day before and as far as he knew was in good order. Upon exam- 
ination it was found the tube was cracked all the way around close to 
the header; it evidently had cracked while the boiler was cooling down. 
This condition would not have been found by mere observation as the 
tube end was in a difificult place to see. 

The Interstate Commerce Commission rules require all rigid stay- 
bolts in locomotive boilers to be hammer tested every thirty days. It 
is a splendid rule for it has probably prevented many explosions and 
failures in fire boxes. In one case, with everything appearing sound 
and in good condition, an inspector discovered by means of the hammer 
test twenty-two broken staybolts. Cracked and broken braces are often 
detected by the use of the hammer. Loose hangers and supporting 
columns are also thus detected and show insufficient support of boilers 
or important steam pipes. 

A common bolt was found projecting from a hole in the side of a 
boiler that was being used in a saw mill. Upon being asked why it 
was there, the engineer replied, " Why, a fool boiler inspector knocked 



1026.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 43 



a hole in the boiler." This boiler was not approved by the inspector, 
and as there were no inspection laws it was continued in operation. 
Later the boiler exploded. There would be much less sacrifice of 
human life and wasteful destruction of property if some sort of in- 
spector could knock holes in certain boilers and then not permit clos- 
ing the holes by bolts, welding, or any other process, but instead 
have such defective boilers discontinued from service or else repaired 
by safe and substantial methods. 

A valuable adjunct of the hammer test, particularly where old 
boilers or pressure vessels are concerned, is the hydrostatic pressure 
test. Boilers that have been in service for any length of time are 
likely to have developed cracks. These cracks gradually get longer 
and deeper, and finally penetrate through the plate. Long before 
this stage has been reached, however, they are dangerous, yet ex- 
ceedingly difficult to detect. If the hydrostatic pressure can be kept 
up while the hammer test is also applied, many incipient ruptures 
will be revealed. 

If there is any reason whatever to suspect, as a result of internal 
or external examination, that a used boiler is liable to fail under 
ordinary working pressure, it is advisable to apply a hydrostatic test 
equal to one and one-half times the working pressure allowed by 
the inspector. If the boiler withstands this test without showing 
signs of distress, it may be taken as evidence, contributory but not 
conclusive, that the boiler is capable of handling the steam pressure 
which the inspector advises under the conditions. 

If major repairs are made on a boiler it is well to subject it to a 
hydrostatic pressure for the same reason that a new boiler is sub- 
jected to it on the testing floor in the shop — to show leakage at 
rivets and joints where these parts are not as tight as they should be. 
The hydrostatic test is of particular value for showing up minor 
leaks, particularly on new constructions. 



Find Bomb Fuse in Boiler. 

Ogdensburg, N. Y., Feb. 3 (AP) — An examination today of the 
boiler room in the City Hall, which was destroyed by an explosion 
and fire three weeks ago, with an estimated loss of $500,000, disclosed 
a timing device, wires and the fuse of a bomb, city officials said. 
First reports of the blast indicated that the boiler had exploded. — 
A^^zt' York Times. 



44 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 



Hartford Inspector Honored. 

THE Horlick's Malted Milk Corporation of Racine, Wisconsin, 
manufacturers of the universally known " malted milk," recently 
paid signal tribute to Inspector H. F. Bowie by naming one of their 
new engines after him. Mr. Bowie is attached to our Chicago Depart- 
ment and for over thirty years has inspected the boilers and engines 
at the Horlick plant. In fact, it appears that their original power 
plant, consisting of one boiler, was inspected by Mr. Bowie before 









mitm 


'^ 





At the Unveiling of the Bowie Engine. 

Inspector Bowie (Center), Chief Inspector Morrison (Left Center), and 
Vice President Wm. Horlick, Jr., of the Horlick's Malted Milk Corporation 
(Extreme Left). 

it was purchased. Since then he has carried on the inspection work 
at this growing plant in such a thorough and conscientious manner 
as to make a lasting impression upon the officials of the Horlick Com- 
pany. The recent acquisition of a new engine suggested a means of 
showing the esteem in which he was held. 

Inspector Bowie's interest in this engine was increased when he 
was asked to select its name. His admiration for President Coolidge 
prompted him to suggest the name " Coolidge," and he assumed that 
his selection would be accepted. When the engine was ready to 
operate, it was decided to have a little informal unveiling ceremony 
on February ist, and arrangements were made to have the inspector 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 45 

present on that date to make linal inspection. Upon arrival at the 
plant he was received in the usual cordial manner and conducted to 
the engine room via the boiler room. Some changes being made in 
the latter place attracted the inspector's attention and it was with 
some difficulty that he was finally led into the presence of the new 
engine. Here were gathered a few officials of the Horlick Company 
and Mr. J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector of our Chicago Department, 
representing the Hartford Company. One can imagine the surprise 
of the Inspector as the veil was withdrawn from the name plate to 
find the name " Bowie " instead of that of " Coolidge." All present 
congratulated Mr. Bowie and on behalf of the Hartford Company 
Mr. Morrison expressed appreciation for the honor he had brought 
to the Company. An informal reception in the office of President and 
General Manager \\'illiam Horlick followed. 

Some degree of appreciation of this testimonial to Inspector Bowie 
may be gleaned from the internationally prominent names borne by 
other engines in the plant, among which are : 

\\'illiani H. Lincoln 

James H. Ziegler 

Edison Washington 

Victoria Christian IX 

Gladstone Amundsen 
Bowie 



Laying up the Heating Boiler for the Summer. 

DURING the summer season a heating boiler does not run the risk 
of explosion, at least under ordinary conditions, but if not prop- 
erly cared for corrosion may set in on a steel boiler and leave 
it in a serious, if not dangerous, condition. Corrosion may proceed on 
either the inside or the outside surfaces, hence attention to both is 
necessary to preserve the boiler when it is being laid up for an extended 
period. 

On the outside, every vestige of soot and ash should be removed. 
These residuals of combustion contain certain ingredients which, when 
combined with moisture, are particularly corrosive. In fact this harm- 
less appearing soot is held to be the cause of a skin disease known as 
soot-cancer which is found among chimney-sweeps. In the case of 
boilers, the moisture is readily absorbed from the air, or else it may be 
supplied by the sweating of the cold metal of a boiler. Hence all soot 
should be blown, scraped, and otherwise carefully removed, not only 
from the boiler but also from the whole inside of the setting. In addi- 



46 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

tion, the surface of the boiler should be given a good cleaning with a 
stiff wire brush. By way of further precaution against external cor- 
rosion, care should be exercised to see that no water drips on the boiler 
from overhead sweating pipes or leaky valves, as such water is likely to 
seep through the insulation and attack the metal. 

The inside surfaces should also be given particular attention as there 
is always a tendency to leave some water in the boiler. Whether this 
be much or little, corrosion is almost sure to ensue around the edge of 
the water because of the presence of both air or oxygen and moisture. 
Once started corrosion usually proceeds at a fairly rapid rate. Filling 
che boiler entirely full does not satisfactorily dispose of the trouble, 
first, because of the air dissolved in the water, and second, because such 
a body of water does not change its temperature readily to conform 
to atmospheric temperatures and hence the boiler is quite likely to sweat 
and induce external corrosion. The logical remedy is to completely 
empty the boiler and take off all manhole and handhole covers, thus 
allowing free access of air to the interior. Burning a few papers on 
the grate will assist in driving. out the moisture, but under no circum- 
stances should a wood or coal fire be built under a dry boiler nor should 
the metal be allowed to get too hot to touch. Quick or unslaked lime 
is sometimes placed in pans on the inside to remove the moisture and 
keep the air dry. When this is done, the boiler should, of course, be 
closed up to prevent the continual entrance of moist air. The safety 
valve ought to be propped open to prevent its sticking to its seat, and 
special attention given to feed and stop valves to see that they do not 
let leakage enter the boiler. 

Cast iron boilers are not susceptible to corrosion and precautions in 
laying up need not be very elaborate. As a matter of convenience in 
inspection — and to this suggestion attention is particularly invited • — it 
is advisable to thoroughly clean the boiler and fill it completely full of 
water. 

A practice frequently followed in the summer is that of burning 
rubbish under a cold boiler. Such material usually burns with a quick 
and intensely hot fire, and is therefore destructive to boilers. This 
practice should be prohibited. 

The engineer in charge of a heating system can save himself con- 
siderable trouble and annoyance in the fall by going over the system 
carefully before shutting down for the summer and marking leaky 
joints and valve stems, as these may be more readily packed or repaired 
during the off season. It is also well to note any leaks around the boiler 
and give them attention while shut down. Repairing vessels or pipes, 
while under pressure, is extremely dangerous. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 47 

Brass. 

An Old Alloy That Every Now and Then is Being Rediscovered 
AS A Great Servant of Mankind. 

COPPER was first produced from ores probably 5,000 years 
before the Christian era. About this time bronze became known, 
not by melting copper and tin together, but rather because the 
ores available contained tin, nickel and small amounts of other metals 
and produced alloys harder and stronger than copper. The Bible 
mentions Tubal Cain as a worker in brass and refers to the alloy 
in several places. There is reason to believe that not brass but 
bronze is intended. In the first century Dioscorides makes the earliest 
unmistakable reference to brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) ; 
nevertheless, it was known to the Far East long before. Due to 
confusion in names no approximation of a definite time when brass 
came into use is possible. 

Crucible furnaces were used for brass from the earliest times. 
Calamine (a zinc ore) was the primitive source of zinc. This prac- 
tice continued to the eighteenth century, when metallic zinc was em- 
ployed. No further great changes occurred until about ten years ago, 
when the electric furnace largely replaced the crucible furnace. 

Brass was produced in the American Colonies first at the iron 
foundry of John Winthrop, Jr., Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1644. Cast 
brass was produced at Philadelphia also previous to the Revolution. 
The brass business developed from the manufacture of buttons. At 
Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1750, John Allen established a brass fac- 
tory and in 1802 scrap copper and zinc from England were fused 
together and cast into ingots, subsequently rolled into brass sheets 
and used for buttons. From this humble start the brass industry of 
the United States, transplanted almost bodily from England, with the 
exception of brass spinning, has grown to be the greatest in the 
world. Connecticut now produces 60% of the world's brass. 

As production of sheets, rods, wire and tubes increased, the use 
of brass was extended to other than button purposes. The attractive 
finish that may be given it, its strength, easy workability and rust 
resistance so encouraged possible users that consvimption of copper 
by brass mills grew from less than 50 tons in 1820 to over 300,000 
tons a century later. 

Short brass pipes were used by the Romans as water-measuring 
devices. The copper pipes of ancient Egypt, however, are the fore- 
runners of modern plumbing pipes. A piece of copper pipe in ex- 
cellent condition, in the National Museum at Berlin, believed by 



48 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

Egyptologists to be over 5400 years old, unearthed several years ago 
at Ghizeh, near the tomb of King Sahoure, undoubtedly was used 
to convey water to his palace and that of his successors. Between 
copper pipe in Egypt and brass pipe of today are many devious steps, 
— open troughs of stone and of wood, lead pipe, wooden pipe, iron pipe, 
steel pipe, tin pipe, concrete pipe. In 1838 the process of producing 
seamless brass tubing was invented in England and in 1850 was intro- 
duced in this country ; it is giving fresh impetus to the brass industry. 

Brass spinning invented by Hiram W. Hayden, of Waterbury, in 
185 1, was the first real forward step contributed by America. It 
quickly replaced the tedious method of producing cupped articles such 
as vases, pails, pots, other containers and many ornamental objects, 
by which a disc of metal was hand-hammered and otherwise worked 
until the desired shape was obtained. In spinning, the disc is mounted 
in a chuck, which is rotated at the proper speed. By holding suit- 
able tools against the revolving metal it is thinned out over wooden 
or metal forms to the intended shape. 

Hayden's first spinning was done at Wolcottville, now Torrington, 
Connecticut. According to two daughters who survive him, he in- 
vented as a pastime. Among his inventions were a process for color 
photography and a rifle, displaying wide diversity. He invented many 
things, but he kept no records. Just what experience or observation 
or line of thought suggested the method called spinning cannot now 
be ascertained. One of the largest uses for brass in his day was 
the manufacture of kettles and pails, originally cast and later hand- 
hammered from discs. The success of the hand-hammered kettle 
was short, because the first kettles so produced were manufactured 
from the wrong alloy and were unsatisfactory. 

Brass pails made by methods in use in 1850 had thin bottoms. 
To overcome this fault Hayden devised the spinning process. He 
marked all of his pails as soon as he began manufacturing them by 
this method. Miss Hayden still has in her home one of the first 
pails produced by her father in 1851, bearing the date and his name. 
Hayden also used his process at one time in Waterbury for manu- 
facturing lamps. It was in December 1851 that Hayden brought 
out the spinning process. In 1852 he sold it to the Waterbury Brass 
Company. Use of the process has grown so that it may be said to 
be universal today. 

The world is again discovering copper and brass for a great variety 
of uses and may be said to be entering, on a grander scale, a second 
Bronze Age, using copper and its alloys much more extensively. — 
Research Narrative No. log, Engineering Foundation. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



49 



A Timely Engine Inspection. 

PROMPTED by a request for a special inspection, a Hartford in- 
spector was detailed to examine a large rope-drive wheel which 
could not be made to operate smoothly. The master mechanic at 
the plant told the inspector that the wheel would not run true but 
wabbled, due. it was thought, to the shaft not being properly lined up. 
While the repairmen were preparing to line up the shaft, the inspector 
proceeded to examine the mammoth wheel. 

It was really a double 
wheel and weighed ap- 
proximately 86,000 lbs., 
or 43 tons. It was 18 
ft. in diameter, with a 
face width of 7J^ ft., 
and was mounted on a 
shaft of 21^ inches 
diameter. The inspector 
carefully went over the 
wheel giving it a minute 
examination, frequently 
having it turned into 
different positions to 
permit of a close exam- 
ination of every part. 

The first defect no- 
ticed was a slight crum- 
bling of the metal on 
the lugs or supports 
under the binding links 
of the hub. This in it- 
self had not progressed 
far enough to be con- 
sidered serious except 
that it was evidence of 
the distortion of the wheel. Later, while down on his knees examin- 
ing the shaft, the inspector found a crack in the shaft about two 
inches from the hub. It was barely visible at first, but after cleaning 
the metal in the vicinity, he was able to insert the point of the blade 
of a pocket knife into the crack far enough so that the knife was 
supported in a horizontal position. It was decided to immediately 
discontinue the use of the shaft. 




Showing How an Old Crack Had Penetrated 

Approximately 70% of the Cross-Section 

OF an Engine Shaft. 



50 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 



At a later date the inspector returned to the plant to examine the 
shaft after its removal, and found it in a much more accessible posi- 
tion, on blocks in the mill yard. This time a second crack was found 
which extended three-fourths of the way around the shaft. It was 
only a few inches from the first crack but had been under the hub 
and so could not have been found without removing the wheel. 

The engine connected to the wheel was one of many in a large 
manufacturing plant employing thousands of men and containing acres 
of valuable machinery and buildings. The inspection was therefore 
timely as it undoubtedly averted a serious accident. 



Method of Storing Coal to Eliminate Spontaneous Combustion. 

IN order to eliminate spontaneous combustion of coal in storage, 
without the disadvantage of submerged storage, the Philadelphia 

Electric Company has devised a unique and effective method of stor- 
ing coal. It is necessary to keep a large amount of coal in storage, 
principally as an insurance against strikes, having at present over 
225,000 tons of bituminous coal in storage at several points of the 
system. This coal has been in storage over two years and has given 
no trouble. 

" The ground is prepared by covering it with ash or dry earth and 
then rolling it hard. Over this the base of the coal pile is started by 
spreading a layer of coal, approximately two feet deep, over a width 
of from ninety to one hundred feet, and one thousand or even two 
thousand feet in length, depending on the length of the property on 
which the coal is to be stored. This coal is handled by a locomotive 
crane. A caterpillar tractor weighing approximately two tons then 
grades this first layer of coal with a drag and after the coal has been 
leveled a roller is drawn over the pile, thus packing the coal until it 
weighs approximately 65 pounds per cubic foot. The second layer is 
then started in precisely the same manner and after it is packed, the 
third layer, and so on up until the top of the pile is only as wide as the 
tractor and the roller. 

" During the time that this pile is being built there is a certain 
amount of loose coal that will roll down the sides of the pile, and if 
left there will undoubtedly cause trouble in the form of small surfac" 
fires. To eliminate this, the operator on the crane trims the sides of 
the pile at the ground level the width of his bucket after the pile has 
been completed and in this manner gathers up the loose material and 
places it on the very top, thus forming the crown of the pile. The pile 
has now been thoroughly packed from top to bottom. The interesting 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 51 



feature of this is that coal which would weigh 45 and 50 pounds per 
cubic foot if piled normally without packing, now weighs 65 pounds per 
cubic foot. The surface of these piles is so closely packed that they 
readily shed water, and in all probability the circulation of air is 
entirely eliminated. Temperatures of this coal have been taken at 
least every six weeks from the time that the coal was placed in storage,, 
using at each of our respective storage plants a portable protecto- 
nieter. 

" The temperatures indicate very clearly that there is a considerable 
lag of temperature within the coal pile compared with the external air, 
showing that there is no free circulation of air in the pile, but rather 
that the air is excluded and the temperature variation is governed more 
or less by contact connection. The various coal piles have been divided 
into sections and numbered, the records showing the analyses of the 
coal in the various piles as it was stored. This coal will be analyzed 
as it is removed from storage and it is hoped to obtain some definite 
figures on the losses which may be expected over a large storage of 
this kind. The coal storage piles average from 25 to 30 feet, in height, 
and from 90 to 100 feet in width at the base. It has been found 
necessary to crush the coal to insure success with this method. The 
average analysis of the coal as received is as follows : 

Central Pennsylvania Coal. 

Moisture 3.02 per cent. 

Volatile Matter 24.04 " " 

Fixed Carbon 65.77 " " 

Ash 7.17 " " 

" There are, of course, some kinds of coal which cannot be stored 
satisfactorily even under the best conditions, but even good coal stored 
improperly will develop fires. 

" There seems to be some disagreement as to whether it is best to 
store coal that is wet, as from rain. A large amount of the storage 
mentioned was stored during wet weather and if anything this coal 
seems to pack harder and tighter than the coal that was stored during 
dry weather. There was, however, little or no variation between the 
two so far as temperature was concerned." — Report of Prime Movers: 
Committee' N.E.L.A 



Covered. 
Jim — " George burned a hole in his trousers." 
Bill — " Did he carry any insurance ?" 

Tim — "No! His coat tail covered the loss." — Selected. 



52 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[April, 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Benj. C. Cruickshanks, Editor. 



HARTFORD, APRIL, 1926. 

SiNGiJE COPIES can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies^ 

Subscription price SO cents per year "when mailed from this office. 

Recent hound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones tivo dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted tf credited to 

The Locomotive of the Hartford Steam Boiler I. & I. Co. 



REMOVE the cause and you remove the effect. A boiler or fly- 
wheel explosion is an effect. There is nothing mysterious nor 
providential about such accidents as they result from something 
faulty in material, construction, or operation. Usually the cause be- 
comes evident from an examination of the wreckage, and frequently 
the cause could have been detected by an inspection before the acci- 
dent. This latter point is well brought out by a glance at the statistical 
table relating to the work of our inspectors as given on page 55 of 
this issue. The 35,696 dangerous defects and the 1,462 uninsurable 
boilers listed therein point to just so many potential explosions. In 
the majority of these cases, accidents were undoubtedly averted by 
timely repairs, the results of inspection. On rare occasions the recom- 
mendations of the inspector are not acted upon promptly and acci- 
dents result, as for instance the two accidents described in an editorial 
in our October 1925 issue. But stranger still there are times when 
accidents are allowed to repeat themselves for lack of removing the 
cause even though the cause is definitely known. An allustration of 
this is given in the article " Duplicate Boiler Explosions " appearing 
elsewhere in this issue. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



53 



Obituary. 

JOSEPH JOHN LINAHAN, for many years identified with our 
Cincinnati Department as a special agent, died Saturday, September 
26, 1925, at his home in Mt. Auburn, Cincinnati. He had been 
in ill health for over a year and his death was not unexpected. 

Mr. Linahan was born August 16, 
1858, at Brooklyn, New York. He re- 
ceived a commercial education and be- 
came an expert accountant, later enter- 
ing the insurance business. He came 
to this Company as a special agent in 
February 1900. In February of last 
year Mr. Linahan accordingly passed 
the twenty-five year service mark and 
was awarded a gold service medal in 
accordance with the custom inaugurated 
by the Company a few years ago for 
rewarding faithful employees. 

Mr. Linahan was held in high esteem 
by his immediate associates and the 
officials of the Hartford Company. He 
was characterized by a loyalty and devo- 
tion to his work that was remarkable. 
Throughout his life he was guided by a desire to earn what he con- 
sidered the highest tribute that could be paid to any man and it is 
said of him that " he was loving in his family, true to his friends, 
and faithful to his employers." 

He is survived by his wife, two sons, and a brother, John J. 
Linahan, special agent in our Atlanta Department. 




Joseph J. Linahan 



THOMAS F. GODFREY, formerly an inspector at the Minne- 
apolis, Minnesota Branch and later a special agent connected 
with the Omaha Branch of our Chicago Department, died on 
Saturday, February 27, 1926, at his home in Seattle, Washington. 

Mr. Godfrey was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1849, 
at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After being trained as an engineer 
he entered the services of this Company as a boiler inspector and 
was first assigned to the Minneapolis Office on July i, 1887. As 
Mr. Godfrey's experience and temperament fitted him for a position 



54 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 



as special agent, he was accordingly assigned to the Underwriting 
Department with which he remained until his retirement about ten 
years ago. Having relatives in Seattle he then decided to make his 
home there, which he did until his death. 

Mr. Godfrey was possessed of a very genial disposition and has 
left a host of friends. He is survived by his wife and an adopted son. 



Personal. 

AT a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Hartford Steam 
Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, held on February i6th, 
1926, C. Edgar Blake was elected Assistant Treasurer. 
Mr. Blake came to the Company 
in December 1919 as Assistant Coun- 
sel. Previously he was a member of the 
law firm of Schutz and Edwards, of 
Hartford. He is a graduate of Yale 
College and Harvard Law School. Mr. 
Blake served with Troop B, ist Sepa- 
rate Squadron, Connecticut Cavalry, in 
the Mexican Border Campaign of 1916, 
and during the World War served as 
a Lieutenant with the 302nd Field Artil- 
lery. After the armistice he attended 
Emmanuel College, Cambridge Univer- 
sity, England, on detached service, be- 
ing one of a group selected from the 
A. E. F. by the United States Govern- 
ment to study in British universities. In 
January 1923 he became Assistant to the 

Treasurer, and his present promotion is in recognition of his services 
in that position. 




C. Edgar Blake 



J P. MORRISON, Chief Inspector of our Chicago Department, 
was "on the air" through station WOWO of Fort Wayne, 
* Indiana, on the evening of January 13, 1926. He spoke on the 
" Care and Operation of Steam Heating and Power Boilers," and the 
radio audience that tuned in was treated to an interesting and instruc- 
tive talk expressed in Mr. Morrison's characteristic style. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



55 



Summary of Inspectors' Work for 1925. 

Xiimber of visits of inspection made 

Total number of boilers examined 

Number inspected internally 

Number tested by hydrostatic pressure 

Number of boilers found to be uninsurable 

Number of shop boilers inspected 

Number of fly-wheels inspected . 

Number of premises where pipe lines were inspected 

Summary of Defects Discovered. 



Nature of Defects. 
Cases of sediment or loose scale 
Cases of adhering scale 
Cases of grooving 
Cases of internal corrosion 
Cases of external corrosion 
Cases of defective bracing 
Cases of defective staybolting 
Settings defective 
Fractured plates and heads 
Burned plates 
Laminated plates 
Cases of defective riveting 
Cases of leakage around tubes 
Cases of defective tubes or flues 
Cases of leakage at seams 
Water gauges defective 
Blow-offs defective 
Cases of low water 
Safety-valves overloaded 
Safety-valves defective 
Pressure gauges defective . 
Boilers without pressure gauges 
Miscellaneous defects 









246,520 








478,099 








180,933 








12,161 








1,462 








14,902 








52,351 








20.493 


Whole 


Danger- 


Number. 


ous. 


34,279 


2,586 


51,315 


2,052 


2,281 


274 


27,564 


1,072 


14,312 


1,852 


890 


229 


4,090 


785 


10,348 


1,219 


3,747 


665 


3,373 


519 


292 


yj 


1,839 


424 


14,497 


2,565 


22,836 


15,551 


5,783 


571 


4,897 


1,120 


4,920 


1,389 


451 


169 


1,275 


401 


2,279 


591 


7,999 


652 


672 


58 


8,3: 


I 


915 



Totals 



228,270 35,696 



Grand Total of the Inspectors' Work on Boilers from the Time the 
Company Began Business to January i, 1926. 



Visits of inspection made ...... 

Whole number of inspections (both internal and external) 
Complete internal inspections ..... 

Boilers tested by hydrostatic pressure 

Total number of boilers condemned 

Total number of defects discovered 

Total number of dangerous defects discovered 



6,125,693 

12,089,405 

4,701,885 

433,544 

34,546 

6,615,126 

745,502 



56 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



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1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



57 



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58 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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Be HaitlorlSteani Boiler Itispection and iprance Conipaiji 



ABSTRACTS OF STATEMENT, DECE^IBER 31, 1925 



Capital Stock, 



$2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in offices and banks 
Real Estate .... 
Mortgage and collateral loans 
Bonds and stocks . 
Premiums in course of collection 
Interest Accrued . 



$699,859-61 

271,757.16 

1,650,188.00 

11,233,196.67 

1,341,102.96 

141,983.25 



Total Assets 



$15,338,087.65 



LABILITIES 
Reserve for unearned premiums 
Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies . 
Capital Stock ...... 

Surplus over all liabilities .... 

Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities ..... 



$6,433,164.02 
283,273.98 
707,384.81 



$2,500,000.00 
5,414,264.84 



$7,914,264.84 



. $15,338,087.65 



.CHARLES S. BLAKE, President. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

E. SIDNEY BERRY. Second Vice-President. 

LOUIS F. MIDDLEBROOK, Secretary. 

J. J. GRAHAM, Assistant Secretary. 

HALSEY STEVENS, Assistant Secretary. 

C. EDGAR BLAKE, Assistant Treasurer. 

SHERWOOD F. JETER, Chief Engineer. 

KENNETH A. REED, Electrical Engineer. 

HARRY E. DART, Supt. Engineering Dept. 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



ATWOOD COLLINS, Hartford, Conn. 

LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Trustees, United States Security Trust 
Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAINARD, President 
j^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capevvell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 



JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 

Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 
EDWARD MILLIG.\N President Phoeni.x 

Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 
MORG.\N G. BULKELEY, JR., Vice- 
President and Treasurer ^tna Life 

Ins. Co., Hartford Conn. 
CH.'\RLES S. BL.\KE, President The 

Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 

Insurance Co., Hartford Conn. 
WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President The 

Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 

Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 
S.VMUEL M. STONE. President The Coifs 

Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 

Conn. . 

S.\MUEL FERGUSON, President The 

Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 

Conn. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS. DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SIONS OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 

ATLAXTA, Ga., 

110VI106 Atlanta Trust Bldg. 
BALTB[ORE, Md., . 

13-14-It Abell Bldg. 
BOSTON, Mass., . . 

4 Libertv Sq., Cor. Water St. 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 

404--405 City Savings Bank Bldg. 
CHICAGO, 111., , . . . 

209 West Jackson B'l'v'd 



CIXXINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 
CLEVELAND, Ohio, 

Leader Bldg. . 
DENVER, Colo., 

Q16-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 
HARTFORD, Conn., 

56 Prospect St. 
NEW ORLEANS, La., 

Hibernia Bank Bldg. 
NEW YORK, N. Y., . 

80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA. Pa.. 

429 Walnut St. 
PITTSBURGH, Pa.. . 

1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg 
PORTLAND, Ore., . 

306 Yeon Bldg. 
SEATTLE, Wash., . 

4It Dexter-Horton Bldg 
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., 

339-341 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 

319 North Fourth St. 
TORONTO, Canada, . 

Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Fr.'\xcis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 

James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. Lineburgh & Son, General Agents. 

A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

T. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

J. T. Coleman, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. W. ZiMMER. Ass't Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 

L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

IManager and Chief Inspector. 
F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
R. T. BuRWELL, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. C. Gardiner, Manager. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 
R. P. Guy, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 
Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 
Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents. 

J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

L. J. Reed, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. D. AsHCROFT, Manager. 

Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President, The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



The Hardest Way to Fire a B%^'^^'' 

■^'*.. ^^ 

Question: Which method of firing is the harde^ ^^^^ptk^ 
for the fireman? '' ' ''% 

Answer: '''The way they showed me when I started t& 
work here. . . . It was hard work but I did not 
know any better way then. Many old firemen fire 
that way yet that have been on the job for 15 or 20 
years.'' 

The above answer was given by a fireman student in the 
Hartford Correspondence Course for Firemen 

Another student, in commenting on the value of the Course, 
wrote — 

"/ have been firing for 14 years and carried a 
fireman's license for 5 years, and I can truly say I have 
learned more about firing since starting this course than 
I have in all my experience as a fireman." 

Hundreds of firemen who have completed this course 
have had their work made easier and are saving a lot of 
money for their employers. For further information about 
the Course, fill out and mail the blank below. 



THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION & INSURANCE CO., 
HARTFORD, CONN. 

Please send me further details of your Correspondence Course 
for Firemen 

Name 

Address ^ 



A-26. 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Vol. XXXVI. HARTFORD, CONN., JUL^ 1926. 



No. 3 



'COPYRISHT, 1926, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND IN8URAHCE CO. 




Hot W-vter Supply T.ank Explosion At Worcester, Massachusetts 

THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



66 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 



Hot Water Supply Tank Explosion At Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Ax explosion of terrific violence occurred early in the morning 
of March 30th, 1925 at the Worcester Square and Compass 
Club, Worcester, Mass. when the hot water supply boiler ex- 
ploded. No one was injured, due to the early hour of the explosion, 
but considerable property damage was done in the basement and on 




Fil; I. 

the first floor, as indicated by Fig. i and the picture on the front 
cover. The boiler was located in the front part of the basement and 
the explosion blew down a brick wall that supported the large front 
porch. Doors and windows, including several decorative leaded glass 
windows, in the basement and on the first floor were blown out and 
the floor was raised several inches. Windows in neighboring build- 
ings were also blown out. The property loss was c-timated to be 
$10,000. 

The tank that exploded was a copper hot water suppl> tank, 17 
inches in diameter by 4 ft. 6 inches long, and was const, net ed of 
approximately 3/64 inch sheet copper. The top head seam was riveted 
but all other joints were brazed. The tank is said to have been tested 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



67 



hydrostatically to a pressure of 200 lbs. per square inch; the usual 
operating pressure was 100 lbs. It was fitted with a i inch A. S. M. E. 
lock-up pop safety valve. The water was heated by a coal burning heater. 

The violence of the explosion would seem to indicate over-pressure 
produced by the generation of steam as the cause of the accident, though 
it is not clear what caused the pressure to build up to such a degree. 
The fireman in charge states that he banked the fire with hard coal 
in the usual manner about 9:40 p. m. and went home. In some way, 
perhaps due to misadjustment of dampers or perhaps to unusual 
weather conditions, the fire must have caught up brightly and heated 
the water to a steaming temperature, as the tank exploded about 3 a. m. 
The safety valve was afterwards recovered and tested by a state boiler 
inspector and found to be apparently in good operating condition in 
that it released at the specified pressure, 150 lbs. Slight corrosion, 
however, was noted and it is possible that this prevented the operation 
of the valve in time to avert the accident. 

As far as w-e are able to learn there was no insurance on this in- 
stallation. 



^S; 



Center-Crank Shafts. 

By H. J. VanderEb, Supt., Engine Department 

SHAFTS of reciprocating engines are of two general types, namely, 
side-crank shafts and center-crank shafts. As the name implies, 
a side-crank shaft (Fig. i) is a plain shaft to which the engine 

crank is fastened at 
one end, or there may 
be a crank at either 
A center-crank 
has the crank 
distance away 
its end, which 
makes its construction 
somewhat more com- 
plicated and usually 
involves a somewhat 
shorter useful life. 
With a side-crank 
shaft of the usual design only two bearings are necessary. This makes 
the maintenance of bearing alignment a comparatively simple matter 
and no undue bending stresses will occur in a side-crank shaft when 
one bearing wears down a little more than the other. 



end. 
shaft 
some 
from 



Fig. I. Center Crank Shaft (above), Side Crank 
Shaft (below). 



68 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 



The center-crank type of shaft as a rule requires for its support 
at least three bearings, which involves its own peculiar trouble. It is 
somewhat self evident that when more than two bearings are used 
it becomes harder to keep the bearings in proper alignment. When 
misalignment does occur, due to uneven wear in the three or more bear- 
ings supporting the shaft, there will be produced in the shaft structure 
certain extra bending 



stresses which may 
have a serious influ- 
ence on the life of the 
shaft. It is with this 
feature of extraordi- 
nary bending stresses 
that this article is in- 
tended to deal. 

The bending stress 



2^ 



i 1 



i 



Fig. 2. 

The Shading Indicates The Regions In Which 

Cracks AIay Be Looked For. 



in a shaft due to misalignment of the bearings is in addition to the 
normal bending stress produced by the load on the crank. The total 
stress thus created may in time be sufficiently high to cause gradual 
failure of the material. A shaft which has been subject for some time 
to excessive bending stress, if carefully inspected, is fairly certain to 
show surface cracks in certain critical portions. Such cracks generally 
occur in the shaded areas shown in Fig. 2. 



MkROM£T£K 




I \ 1 1 

Fig. 3. 

Crank Shaft Distortion Due To Poor Bearing Alignment (Exaggerated 

For Purposes of Illustration). 

When, due to high bending stress, a surface crack has once started 
in a center-crank shaft, the shaft has practically reached the end of its 
useful life and can only be further used at the risk of a serious general 
engine wreck. The great importance, therefore, of maintaining correct 
bearing alignment with center-crank shafts has long been appreciated 
by engine manufacturers. It has been customary for many years on 
certain makes of large multiple center-crank engines to make special 
provision for conveniently checking up from time to time how much 
each bearing wears down. This is done by removing the bearing caps 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



69 







Fig. 4. Broken Crank Shaft. 



and taking accnrate measurement between some fixed point on the 
engine frame and the top of each journal. If all the bearings show the 
same amount of downward wear, there is then fair certainty that no 
undue bending stresses take place in the shaft. 

There is another method for checking the bearing alignment in 
engines with center-crank shafts which is more easily applied and is 
more adaptable to all 
types of engines, both 
vertical and horizontal. 
This is done by measur- 
ing directly the dis- 
tortion of the cranks, 
which will occur when 
the bearings have worn 
unevenly and therefore 
are out of perfect align- 
ment or if the bearings 
have been misadjusted. 
In Fig. 3 is shown a condition of bearing misalignment which 
is frequently met with. The outboard bearing is too high due to the 
fact that the main bearings have worn down while the outboard bearing 
has not been subject to as much wear, with the result that the crank 
travels through a slight distortion during every complete revolution 
of the sliaft. 

When under these conditions the distance between the crank webs 
IS measured by means of a micrometer in four different positions of 
the crank, an appreciable difference is found between the measurements 

in these four crank 
positions. If the en- 
gine is operated with 
this condition existing, 
it is reasonably certain 
that the shaft will de- 
velop surface cracks in 
the critical areas shown 
in Fig. 2. If the 
misalignment of the 
bearings is serious 
enough, failure of the 
shaft may be quite rapid. In some aggravated cases such shafts have 
broken in less than a year from the time that they were first used. 




Fig. 5. , Broken Crank Web. 



70 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July. 



Distortion of center-crank shafts from other causes than the mere 
misalignment of bearings is also clearly shown up by this method of 
measuring between crank webs. For instance, the bending action on 
the shaft due to a too heavy overhung flywheel or the influence of a 
tightening device on the driving belt (Figs. 6 and 7) can be traced 
in this way, and a suitable correction for these wrong conditions de- 
termined on so as to 
prolong the useful life 
of the shaft. 

The difiference in the 
micrometer measure- 
ments as found at two 
opposite positions of 
the crank may be a 
few thousandths of an 
inch and sometimes is as 
much as several hun- 
dredths of an inch. The 
extra bending stresses 
in the shaft material are of course proportional to this difiference. 

As an example, Fig. 8 is a graphical representation of conditions 
found in a 7-inch single-crank shaft. In this diagram the distances 
between concentric circles represent two one-thousandths of an inch 
and the heavy circle denoted by zero is taken as a reference circle. 
Four positions of the crank are denoted by Top, Back, Bottom and 
Front. The graph A was obtained by drawing a line through points a, 
b, c and d. If the 
first measurement 
between crank webs 
is taken with the 




Fig. 6. 

(Deflection Exaggerated for Purpose of 

Illustration.) 




(Deflection 



PULLEY SUBjeCT TO 

excbssive belt t£usi» 

Fig. 7. 

Exaggerated for 

Illustration.) 



Purpose of 



crank in Top posi- 
tion and its posi- 
tion assumed to be 
on the reference 
(zero) circle, then 
the distance of .001 
inch that point b lies outside of the reference circle denotes that the meas- 
urement between crank webs, when the crank was set in position Back, 
was .001 inch greater that that at crank position Top. At point c the dis- 
tance between crank webs has become .004 inch greater and at point d the 
distance between crank webs is again the same as it was originally at 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



71 




Sort on 

Fig. 8. Graphical Representation of Crank Distortion. 

point a, or Top. 

The graph B shows conditions of distortion of the same crank just 
one year later. It will be noted that the distortion of the crank, as 
measured between crank webs, has become much worse, it being .010 inch 
when the crank is in bottom position, whereas the year before in that 
position the crank distorted only .004 inch. 

When the distortion, which of course is repeated during every 
revolution of the shaft, has reached such proportions, the surface 
stresses in the critical areas before mentioned become quite high and 
the formation of surface cracks is bound to occur. 

It is obviously impossible to lay down a fixed limit for the measured 
distortion at which it becomes necessary to make correction in the 
bearing alignment, since the diameter of the shaft and the length of 
the crank must necessarily be taken into consideration. For average 
conditions of crank design, however, it is a fair assumption that when 
the distortion of the crank as measured between crank webs reaches 



72 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

.005 inch the possibility for the formation of surface cracks in the shaft 
at the critical areas becomes quite great and it is then advisable to 
correct the bearing alignment. With stiff designs of cranks the amount 
of allowable distortion is necessarily less, and with long, flexible designs 
of cranks it is possible for a somewhat greater amount of distortion 
than .005 inch to do no serious harm. 

This method of keeping track of the distortion of center-crank 
shafts as outlined has proven to be of great value in getting the most 
possible use out of such shafts. Advice regarding it is one of the 
many important features of engine inspection visits by Hartford in- 
spectors. 



Pump Return Systems for Heating Boilers. 

CAST iron heating boiler explosions occur occasionally, but not 
nearly so frequently as that other type of heating boiler accident, 
the cracking of sections. The explosions are usually the result of 
over pressure, but the cracking of sections in cast iron boilers may 
be due to any of several causes such as scale, localized or too intensive 
heating, uneven expansion due to building a hot fire too quickly, or 
occasionally to defective material, but by far the greatest number of 
such failures are due to low water. Causes of low water are likewise 
many, and range from careless operation to features of the design of 
the particular system. It is one of the latter that is to be considered here. 
The usual type of steam heating installation is what is known as 
a gravity return system. The boiler is located in a part of the building 
that is lower than any of the radiators. The steam rises from the boiler 
to the various radiators where it is condensed and flows back by gravity. 
The amount of condensate returned is in proportion to the amount 
of steam going out, so the water level automatically remains approxi- 
mately constant. When this arrangement cannot be obtained, that is, 
if some of the radiators are low or at a distance from the boiler so that 
the condensate does not drain back properly but remains in the heating 
system, it becomes necessary to install a pump for its return. In 
fact, it is becoming common practice now when designing new heating 
systems, especially large systems, to depend upon a pump for the 
return of the condensate to the boiler. This enables the use of smaller 
piping thus reducing the first cost, and in addition gives a more positive 
action particularly on large systems where long horizontal runs are 
inclined to make the action sluggish. The installation of a pump 
has rejuvenated many old gravity return systems that were not giving 
satisfactory results. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



73 



In the operation of a pump return system, the condensate returns 
to a receiving tank installed lower than any of the radiators and is 
then pumped into the boiler. The operation may be continuous or 
intermittent, that is, the pump may be running and a vacuum main- 
tained on the return lines at all times, or the tank may be allowed to 
become filled to a certain height and the pump then started up to 
empty it. There would appear to be little difference in the operation 
whether all of the radiators are elevated above the level of the boiler 




Cracked Section in Boiler Rated at 16,800 Square Feet. Boiler Was Red 
Hot When Oil Burner Was Shut Off. 

or not, but the hazard of cracking of sections can be made less in the 

former case. 

The use of a pump return introduces an uncertain element in the 

system in that it may at some time fail to operate. Usually these pumps 

are electrically driven, and it is well known that any one of a number 

of minor accidents, such as a loose connection or adjustment or a blown 

fuse, may happen to prevent or delay proper operation of electrical 

machinery, particularly automatic machinery. Electrical storms quite 

frequently interfere with the operation of generating stations, and 

heavy rain storms often flood conduits or otherwise interfere with 

transmission, thus shutting ofi power for periods varying from a few 



74 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

minutes to hours. If the attendant is not aware that the current is 
off — and he is not Hkely to give thought to it where dependence has 
been placed on automatic starting — the pump, of course, will not 
operate. Even where the pump does not start automatically but is 
controlled by an attendant, the element of carelessness or inattention 
enters. The failure of the return pump, of course, results in low water 
unless other provision is made for the return water to enter the boiler. 
Low water if not detected in time will in turn result in cracked sections, 
necessitating expensive repairs if not complete replacement. 

When a steam heating boiler is located lower than the return line 
and there is a pump in the return line, it is usually advisable to provide 
an alternative way for the water to get back to the boiler by gravity 
through a by-pass in the event of failure of the pump. This by-pass 
carries the water around the pump and should be provided with a check 
valve but no stop valve, so that it will stand ready for operation at all 
times. Such an arrangement is not a sure safeguard for all systems 
against low water in case of failure of the return pump, for in many 
cases the pump has been installed because of real or anticipated difficulty 
with a gravity return, but it is an accident prevention measure that fre- 
quently comes to the rescue of the heating boiler. Insurance regula- 
tions formerly required the inclusion of such a by-pass around the pump 
before the boiler could be covered against the cracking of sections, and 
it is still recommended as good practice. It can be readily included 
when a new system is being installed at very little extra cost, and it 
would seem advisable for heating contractors to bring the matter to the 
attention of the owner of the premises, either when bidding on the job 
or at least before its completion, so that the plans may be altered to 
include a gravity return by-pass at little additional expense. Some 
manufacturers of pumps for heating returns furnish plans for the in- 
stallation of their equipment and show the proper manner of making this 
connection so that it is a simple matter for the steam-fitter to incorporate 
it. Frequently in the past the matter has been brought to the owner's 
attention through applying for insurance against cracking. Changes 
necessary before placing a new system in operation have resulted in 
criticism being directed at the contractor and in considerable misunder- 
standing and an unfriendly feeling that could have been avoided. 

Insurance against cracking of sections can now be obtained on any 
approved heating system whether the water is returned by gravity or 
pump. However, the greater hazard from low water with a pump re- 
turn system necessitates a higher premium rate than does a gravity re- 
turn system. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



75 



Brine Cooler Explosion At St. Louis, Mo. 

A BRINE cooler exploded in the basement of the Valentino Apart- 
ments, St. Louis, Mo., on the afternoon of September 4th, 1925, 
killing one man and injuring six other persons. Five of the 
injured were overcome by fumes, and a woman was injured in jump- 
ing to the ground from a third floor window in a frantic effort to 
escape from the fumes. 




Fig. I. 

The brine cooler consisted of a shell 20 inches in diameter by 12 ft. 
long with tubes running through from end to end. Brine was cir- 
cujated through the tubes for cooling, and ammonia surrounded the 
tubes. The shell was constructed in two courses of 5/16 inch plate, 
and all joints were autogenously welded. 

The exact cause of the accident is not known because of the death 
of the operator, but it is believed to have resulted from improper 
operation. The brine is said to have become weak and froze in several 
of the tubes of the cooler, and in an endeavor to thaw it, hot gas from 
the high pressure side of the compressor was turned into the shell of 
the cooler. In this way it was possible to build up a pressure of 175 



76 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[July, 



lbs. in the vessel, although the pressure attained at the time of the 
accident is unknown. 

While the direct 
cause of the accident is 
thought to have been 
overpressure, yet it is 
significant, as so fre- 
quently is found to be 
the case, that some por- 
tions of the welding 
were very poor. The 
failure was entirely in 
one course, as shown b}- 
Fig. I. and the rupture 
was confined to the 
welded seam. The 
course that failed was completely torn off and opened out flat, as shown 
in Fig. 2. Considerable damage was done to the piping and walls of 
the basement. 




Fig. 



Boiler Explosions vs. Boiler Inspections. 

AN accident that particularly emphasizes the necessity of expert 
boiler inspection occurred October i9tli, 1925, when the port- 
able sawmill boiler owned by Messrs. Walker and Graw exploded 
at Roxbury, N. H. One man was killed and four others injured, and 
two horses were blinded. The sawmill was completely destroyed. The 
front end of the boiler was torn off and projected about 500 ft. away. 
The main portion of the boiler traveled about 200 ft. in the opposite 
direction but was retarded in its flight by three large trees which it 
broke off. 

This boiler was of the locomotive firebox type, 48 inches in diameter 
and 17 ft. long. At the time of the explosion it had been in opera- 
tion but one day after being completely overhauled and repaired. 
The studs securing the door frame had broken off and so the frame 
was spot welded to the front head. As the throat sheet had become 
thin at the blow-off connection, a i^ inch standard flange coupling 
was welded to the sheet and the blow-off pipe screwed into this coupling. 
Likewise a ^ inch flange coupling had been welded over the fusible 
plug opening in the crown sheet, thus leaving a small pocket for mud 
or sediment to collect over the end of the plug. In addition, several tubes 
had been renewed, a new fusible plug inserted, and the boiler painted 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



77 



so that it looked to be in good condition. It was evidently the intention 
of the owner to have the boiler placed in first class condition. 

The failure of the boiler cannot be attributed to any of these 
repairs but rather to the failure of the staybolts. The staybolts in 
the boiler were originally of ^ inch diameter, having a net cross- 
sectional area of .288 inch. They were spaced on 5 inch centers ; hence 
the area supported by each bolt was 24.712 square inches. (Supported 
area minus area of staybolt.) The total stress allowed in a ^ inch 
staybolt by the A. S. M. E. Boiler Construction Code is 2160 lbs., which 
when divided by the area 24.712 square inches, gives an allowable operat- 
ing pressure of 87.5 lbs. At the time of the explosion the boiler is 
said to have had no lbs. pressure. The safety valve, which incidentally 
was too small, was set at 120 lbs. Under normal conditions, there- 
fore, the staybolts were overloaded, and this condition was seriously 

aggravated by the fact 
that they had materially 
wasted away. As shown 
in Fig. I, some of these 
staybolts had corroded 
to such an extent that 
not over one-third of 
the original diameter 
remained. This reduced 
the effective cross-sec- 
tional area to about one- 
sixth of normal and in- 
creased the unit stress 
in inverse proportion, 
thus effectually over- 
coming any reasonable factor of safety. During the overhauling, 
the hand-hole covers in the bottoms of the water legs are said to have 
been removed and the mud and sediment washed out, so it would seem 
as if these corroded staybolts must certainly have been seen at that 
time. However, the persons who did the work evidently failed to appre- 
ciate this to be a dangerous condition and so made no comment on it. 
An examination by an expert boiler inspector would undoubtedlv 
have revealed the overloading and wasting away of the staybolts and 
the insufficient size of the safety valve, and would have brought forth 
recommendations for suitable repairs to the throat and crown sheets. 
If there had been expert inspection it is very likely this accident would 
not have happened. 




Fig. I. 



78 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 



■•^-^'l l l|l||i | rtl4:iH^^H 

■ 1 i\ 




O'IFiL 



001 06 09 Ol, 09 OS OP 0£ Og 



•s3Ho/\// turner JO sniayu 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 79 

A Chart For Dished Head Computations. 

THE diagram on the opposite page was prepared by Inspectors 
Win. H. Cannon and W. F. Reisch of our Pittsburgh Department 
primarily for use in computing allowable pressures for boilers as 
determined by the construction of the heads. The diagram is based upon 
the A. S. M. E. Boiler Construction Code formula for determining the 
thickness of plate required: — 

5.5xPxL 

t = +1/8 

2xTS 

t = thickness of plate, inches. 
P = maximum allowable working pressure, 

lbs. per square inch. 
L = radius to which the head is dished, inches. 
TS = tensile strength, lbs. per sq. inch. 

This formula is for unstayed heads in which the head is a ; egment 
of a sphere with the pressure on the concave side, in other words a 
plus head. For minus heads — heads dished inward — the formula 
is modified so that the allowable pressure is but 60% of that allowed 
on a plus head of the same dimensions. This has been provided for 
in the accompanying diagram by separate pressure scales for plus and 
minus heads. The scale for minus heads is a great convenience but 
it should be noted, when reading intermediate pressures, that each 
division represents 1.2 lbs., a rather unusual value. It results, how- 
ever, from taking 60% of 2 lbs., the value of each division on the 
scale for plus heads. The chart was designed for boiler steel using 
a value of 55,000 lbs. per square inch for the tensile strength. 

The method of using the chart is simple. To obtain the maximum 
pressure allowed by the head construction of a boiler, start at the 
bottom of the chart on the left. Select a point on this scale representing 
the diameter of the head and follow up this vertical line until it inter- 
sects the curve corresponding to the height of the bump. (If the curve 
representing the height of bump is to the right of, and does not inter- 
sect, the vertical line, then stop at the intersection with the sloping 
line marked 80%). The horizontal line intersecting at this point gives 
the value which should be considered as the radius of the bump. Fol- 
lowing this horizontal line to the right until it intersects the curve 
corresponding to the head thickness, and then following down the 
vertical line passing through this intersection point, the allowable 
pressure is given by the proper scale at the bottom on the right. There 



80 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

are two scales for allowable pressure, one for plus heads and one for 
minus heads, the latter giving values 6o% of the former, as explained 
above. 

For heads with a manhole, use the curve for thickness i/8 inch 
less than the actual thickness. 

The solution of a sample problem may make the use of the diagram 
more clear. Let us assume that a safe working pressure is to be 
determined for a boiler drum having a plus head 54 inches in diameter 
with an 8 inch bump and made of 
58 inch plate. Figure i shows the 
course to be followed in solving this 
problem. Starting with point a at 
the bottom on the left, we follow > 
up the 54 inch diameter line to point 
c. the intersection with the curve 1 

I 

6(7 200 

0//9M. OF Pi US fte/IOS 




marked " h=8 inches." Following 1 " ; 

across the horizontal line through ^^ ^^ ^^^ 



this point (Which on the large dia- ^'.To-m. .7A%:.. 

gram shows the radius of curvature ^ 

'^ . Fig. I. 

of the head to be 50 inches) to 

point c, where it intersects the curve marked " t = 5/8 inch," then 
down the vertical line to point d we find the maximum allowable pres- 
sure based on the assumed head construction to be 200 lbs. per square 
inch. 

Had this been a minus head, we would have read the answer on 
the lower pressure line of the chart, which would give 120 lbs. 

Had there been a manhole in this head, we would have stopped 
at the curve marked "t=i/2 inch" and followed down to find our 
answer to be 151 lbs. for a plus head. 

The simplicity of this chart particularly recommends it, as the work 
of computation is expedited and made less irksome and the chance 
of error greatly reduced. 



Labor Saving on the Locomotive. 

THE locomotives of a few years ago, while much smaller than 
those of the present day, required far more physical labor to 
operate them than the large locomotives now in general use. 
There was once a time when one of the big locomotives of any road 
needed a crew possessing tremendous physique to run it efficiently. 
The job of firing fuel as locomotives grew in size became more severe 
and the work of the fireman became almost continuous during the run. 



1926.] T H E L O C O M O T I V K . Pl 



So arduous was this job that on the big freight locomotives two 
firemen were often required to get enough fuel in the firebox to keep 
up steam pressure at the high rates of consumption on heavy freight 
runs. 

Then too the labor of the engineer in " horsing over " the old 
Johnson bar when changing cut-ofT became greater with the increase 
in size of the locomotive and it could not be done safely at speed. 

But the last few years have changed considerably the work of 
running a locomotive. Steam and air are made to do the physical 
jobs and as the crew has been relieved of manual labor, they have 
more opportunity to use their intelligence in getting the utmost out 
of the modern locomotive. 

As the size of the locomotive increased additional equipment was 
installed to provide economies that were not considered on the older 
and smaller engines. With this additional equipment the railroads at 
the same time endeavored to provide other devices to off-set the new 
duties and relieve the engine crews of the unpleasant jobs which had 
formerly been theirs. 

Among the most prominent devices of this character which relieved 
the fireman, were the stoker, pneumatic fire doors and the power grate 
shaker. The use of these devices materially lightened his duties and 
gave him time to aid the engineer, observe signals and to acquire more 
k'nowledge of locomotive operation. 

Besides lightening the actual work of firing, Franklin Automatic 
Fire Doors make it easier for the fireman to keep up the steam pressure 
because they close between each scoop of coal, and thereby cut out a 
lot of fire-killing cold air that entered the fireboxes through the open 
hand swung door. 

One of the hardest jobs of a fireman is using the slice bar on a 
fire that needs stirring while the locomotive is running. This work 
is now done by steam through the use of the Franklin Steam Grate 
Shaker, and all of the work the fireman is called upon to do is to operate 
two control handles. The danger of personal injury to back and hands 
is eliminated. 

Among the other devices which benefit the engineer are the Franklin 
Power Reverse Gears and the Grease Lubricator for Driving Boxes. 
It is not so many years ago that the engineer had to be on the alert 
to keep driving boxes running cool. Today he hardly knows, as far 
as lubrication is concerned, that he has driving boxes on the engine. 

The Precision Power Reverse Gear makes it possible for the 
engineer to secure just the proper cut-off for fuel economy at an}- 



32 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

speed without the danger involved in changing cut-off while running 
with the old form of hand reverse lever. And when the engine is 
to be reversed the task is a matter of only a moment and requires little 
exertion. 

Not only has the labor of the engine crew been lightened, but 
the riding qualities of the large engines now in use have been con- 
siderably improved by the Lateral Motion Driving Box and the Radial 
Buffer. The Lateral Motion Driving Box eases the locomotive around 
curves and eliminates the sudden biting of the rails and side sway 
that constitute a real menace to safety and make the locomotive un- 
comfortable to ride. 

The Radial Buffer provides the action of a cylinder rolling on a 
sphere between the engine and tender so that the buffer cannot possibly 
bind and lift the tender from the rails which used to happen in the 
old days. 

The engine crews of today are fortunate. They are hauling heavier 
trains in less time and for better wages. The equipment that the 
railroads have provided on the large engines makes the work easier 
and leaves the crews in better condition physically and mentally when 
they leave their engines at the end of a run than the crews of the 
old time engine that pulled only a fraction of the tonnage now being 
hauled. — New York Central Lines Magazine. 



Fatigue Tests on Welded Joints. 

FATIGUE tests on butt-welded joints in steel tubes used in air- 
plane construction were made by the Engineering Division of 
the Air Service at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio, and the results, 
as reported in Mechanical Engineering, indicate such joints to be 
only about 50% as resistant to failure through fatigue as the original 
tubes. The rotating beam method was used. Results of static ten- 
sion tests on like specimens indicate 80% as the dependable tensile 
strength. 

The tests were made on both torch-welded and arc-welded speci- 
ments. No difference in strength between the two methods was shown, 
but the location of the fracture varied. With torch-welded specimens, 
the failure occurs in the tension tests about J/2 to i inch from the 
weld due probably to the softening of the tube at this point by the 
heat of the flame, and in the repeated stress tests the failure is in the 
weld. With arc-welded specimens, the failure is at the edge of the 
weld in both tension and fatigue tests. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 83 

Coffee Boiler Explosions. 

THE cheerful and companionable coffee urn such as one sees in 
every restaurant is an innocent looking piece of equipment, but 
it is nevertheless a pressure vessel and is subject to the hazards 
of such vessels. Four recent newspaper items tell of the failure of 
as many urns, one of which resulted in the death of the operator, 
two others resulted in cases of serious scalding, while the fourth caused 
a $3,000 fire. 

On August 5, 1925, the coffee boiler in the kitchen of the Edward 
W. Sparrow Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, exploded and seriously scalded 
a woman employed as cook. The lower head of the boiler separated 
entirely from it. Leaks had been observed around one side of this 
head seam, and on the day of the explosion the opposite side started 
to leak. Just prior to the accident the cook became alarmed at a 
bubbling noise and stooped over to close the steam valve. While she 
was closing the valve, the vessel exploded. 

On August 7, 1925, the coflfee boiler in the County Alms House 
at Blackwood, N. J. exploded, scalding the cook so badly that he died 
the following day. This accident was evidently due to over pressure. 
The cook had left the tank full of water with the steam turned on in 
the heating coils. When he returned, water was squirting out of the 
safety valve. He was attempting to shut off the steam and water 
valves when the explosion occurred. The safety valves were prob- 
ably inadequate. 

The explosion of two coffee boilers in the Sam De Barri Restaurant, 
Los Angeles, California, on September 28, 1925 resulted in the com- 
plete destruction of the interior of the restaurant by fire. The two 
cooks on duty escaped injury. The cause of the explosion was not 
given. 

On March 25, 1926 a coffee percolator exploded in the kitchen of 
a cafeteria on the eleventh floor of the American Bank Building, San 
Francisco, California, and seriously scalded the woman cook. Further 
details of the accident are lacking. 

It would appear that these coffee urns or boilers are usually not 
very substantially built, are frequently not properly protected, and are 
operated by persons giving little thought to the dangers of a steam 
pressure vessel. 



The Hartford Correspondence Course for Firemen covers the 
subjects of combustion and the care and operation of boilers. For 
details, address the Company at Hartford, Conn. 



84 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Qu.\rterq' 



Benj. C. Cruickshanks, Editor. 



HARTFORD, JULY, 1926. 

Single copies can be obtained free by calling- at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year -ii'ken tnailed from this office^ 

Recent bound voluTnes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars, 

Reprinting matter from this paper is pertniited tf credited to 

The Locomotive of the Hartford Steam Boiler I. & I. Co. 



THE possible breakdown of a large reciprocating engine is always 
a serious matter, for such accidents not only jeopardize the lives 
of persons in the vicinity but also result in large financial losses. 
However, by far the worst feature is the inconvenience and loss inci- 
dent to a shutdown. Engines are used primarily in mills and mills 
do not as a rule have duplicate units. Hence, when an engine accident 
is experienced, the portion of the mill depending upon that engine is 
entirely at a standstill pending repairs. The employees are usually 
laid ofif and there is a lOO per cent loss in production. 

Engine accidents are of many kinds but among the preventable ones 
is the failure of center crank-shafts. Such shafts usually have three 
or more bearings and any misalignment of these bearings, due either to 
wear or misadjustment. results in distortion. This bending action sets 
up stresses in certain critical parts of the shaft surface and these stresses 
are reversed at every revolution. Similar conditions are produced by de- 
flection of the shaft from other causes such as heavy overhung fly- 
wheels, or pulleys with excessive belt tension. If these reversals of 
'Stress are allowed to go on unchecked, the useful life of the shaft is 
likely to be greatly shortened. Twenty-five years is said to be the max- 



1926.] T H E L O C O M O T I V K . g5 



imum average life though some are known to have failed within lO 
years. This subject is considered at some length in the article of page 
67 and a method is given whereby the full possible length ^f life of a 
center-crank shaft mav be obtained. 



Obituary. 

AF. CHRISTIE, Inspector in our Cleveland department, died at 
his home in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, March 22nd, 1926 
after a brief illness. He was taken ill with pneumonia on 
Tuesday, the i6th, and died within a week. 

Mr. Christie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on September 5th, 
1888. He had been in the service of the Hartford Company but a 
short time, having been employed as an inspector on June ist, 1925. 
He had therefore completed less than ten months of service. 



A New Cast Iron for Engine Cylinders. 

A METAL attracting much attention abroad is Perlit, a cast iron in- 
vented and worked in the foundries of Heinrich Lanz, of Mann- 
heim. According to The Engineer, London, by subjecting the 
metal to careful metallurgical control as to its composition and by pre- 
heating the mold and core so that the rate of cooling of the castings is 
correlated with the thickness and the mass of the casting, it has been 
found possible to produce a pearlitic structure throughout all sections. 
The casting is tough and malleable and shows a marked difference in 
fracture as compared with that of ordinary cast iron. The gray iron so 
produced is remarkably low in its silver contents and is largely immune 
from growth when exposed to high temperatures, which gives Perlit 
iron a particular importance for oil-engine work. A considerable 
amount of development work in connection with the production of 
standard castings of Perlit iron has been carried out in England and 
Germany. 

The consistent qualities of Perlit iron are such as to render it to 
all intents and purposes a new metal. It is claimed that, for the first 
time in iron founding, a cast metal can be produced possessing prop- 
erties that permit of the strength and weight of any casting being pre- 
determined with an accuracy that up to now has been associated with 
mild-steel constructional work alone and lacking objectionable feature 
of growth encountered in cast irons under high-temperature condi- 
tions. — Power. 



86 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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CONCERN 


Theo. M. Barr 
Belke Mfg. Co. 
Old Spanish Trail 
H. E. Talton 
Alabama Water Co. 
Pittsburgh Plate Glass 
Crockett Hotel 
Geo. W. Foster Lease 
Adolf Eckstein 
Model Laundry Co. 
Fairmont Creamery Co 
Ashton Township 
C. J. Buchanan 
Lewis A. Park 
National Biscuit Co. 
Shand Builders Supply 
Fairmont Creamery Co 


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Western Ohio Railway 
Alex Porter Lumber Cc 
Shredded Wheat Co. 
National Biscuit Co. 


Quincy ]\Iining Co. 
Valentino Apartments 
H. J. Sontag 
Continental Eng. & Co 
Rider Packing Co. 
Yocum Ice Cream Co. 
Bowman-Hicks Lumber 


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THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



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THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



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Wilmington, Del. 
Meridian, Miss. 
Harrisburg, Pa. 
So. Chicago, 111. 
Forrester, Ala. 
Honesdale, Pa. 
Hartford, Conn. 
Allendale. R. I. 
New York, N. Y. 


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State Capitol 
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Gin & Grist Mill 
Textile Mill 
State Bldg. 
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Anchor Planing Mill 
Commonwealth of Pa. 
South Chicago Sash & Door Co. 
Morgan l\l. Smith Farming Co. 
Katz Underwear Co. 
State of Connecticut 
Mackie Worsted Yarn Co. 
Cons. Amusement Enterprises 


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NATURE OF ACCIDENT 


Tube ruptured 

Tubes ruptured 

Tube ruptured 

Blow-ofif pipe ruptured 

Crown sheet collapsed 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 


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92 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



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1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



93 



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Tlie ^artlordSteaniBollerliispeGtioiiaiiilliisiiiaiice Gonipaiig 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1925 



Capital Stock, 



Cash in offices and banks . 
Real Estate . . . . 

Mortgage and collateral loans 
Bonds and stocks 
Premiums in course of collection 
Interest Accrued ... 



$2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



$699,859.61 
271,757.16 

1,650,188.00 
11,233,196.67 

1.341,102.96 
141,983.25 



Total Assets 15,338,087.65 



LIABILITIES 

Reserve for unearned premiums 

Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 

Capital Stock 

Surplus over all liabilities 



2,500,000.00 
5,414,264.84 



6,433,164.02 
283,273.98 
707,384.81 



Surplus to Policyholders, $7,914,264.84 



Total Liabilities 15,338,087.65 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, President. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

E. SIDNEY BERRY, Second Vice-President. 

LOUIS F. MIDDLEBROOK, Secretary. 

J. J. GRAHAM, Assistant Secretary. 

HALSEY STEVENS, Assistant Secretary. 

C. EDGAR BLAKE, Assistant Treasurer. 

SHERWOOD F. JETER, Chief Engineer. 

KENNETH A. REED, Electrical Engineer. 

HARRY E. DART, Supt. Engineering Dept. 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Trustees, United States Security Trust 
Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAINARD, President 
.(Etna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HOR.-\CE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 



JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 

EDWARD MILLIGAN President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS, DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SIONS OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 
ATLANTA, Ga 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg 
BALTIMORE, Md., . 

13-14-IS Abell Bldg. 
BOSTON, Mass., 

4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 

404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg 
CHICAGO, 111., 

209 West Jackson B'l'v'd 



CINCINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 
CLEVELAND, Ohio, 

Leader Bldg. . 
DENVER, Colo., 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 
HARTFORD, Conn., 

56 Prospect St. 
NEW ORLEANS, La., 

Hibernia Bank Bldg. 
NEW YORK. N. Y., . 

80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., 

429 Walnut St. 
PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 

1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg 
PORTLAND, Ore., . 

306 Yeon Bldg. 
SEATTLE. Wash., . 

415 Dexter-Horton Bldg, 
SAN FRANCISCO. Cal., 

339-341 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo.. . 

319 North Fourth St, 
TORONTO, Canada, 

Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 
\V. M. Francis, Manager. 
C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 
Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 
James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 
Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 
W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 
W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
P. M. Murray, Manager. 
J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 
J. T. Coleman, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. W. Zimmer, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
W. E. Gleason, Manager. 
W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 
A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 
J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 
F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. C. Gardiner, Manager. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 
R. P. Guy, Ass't Chief Inspector, 
A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 
Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 
Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents, 

J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

L. J. Reed, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. D. AsHCROFT, Manager. 

Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President, The Boiler in- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



THE HARTFORD LINE 

BOILER INSURANCE 

Boilers^ Economizers^ Vulcanizers, Kiers, 

Digesters, Steam Driers, Jacketed 

Kettles y Etc. 

FLYWHEEL INSURANCE 

Flywheels, Fans, Blowers, Turbines, Water 

Wheels, Centrifugal Driers, Gear 

Wheels, Etc. 

ENGINE INSURANCE 

Engines, Compressors, Pumps, Refrigerating 
Machines, Etc. 

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY INSURANCE 

Generators, Motors, Synchronous Converters, 

Transformers, Switchboards, Etc. 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world* 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Vol. XXXVI. HARTFORD, CONN., OCTOBER, 1926. 



No. 4 



COPYRIGHT, 1926, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




A Recent Steam Pipe Explosion. 

THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



98 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 



A Recent Steam Pipe Explosion. 

THE explosion of an 8 inch steam pipe might not ordinarily be 
thought of as a very devastating type of accident but the ac- 
companying pictures show that such an accident may at times 
approach a boiler explosion in destructiveness. The explosion illus- 
trated occurred July 25, 1926. The property loss amounted to $17,- 




FlG. I. 

860. That no one was killed or seriously injured seems miraculous. 

The initial rupture is thought to have been in an elbow on an 8 
inch steam line connecting a vertical water tube boiler with a 14 inch 
steam header. The first break was followed, of course, by the general 
disruption of the steam piping. One piece of the pipe struck a water 
tank located in the rear of the boiler and knocked the tank over, at 
the same time tearing it through the middle. The tank, in falling, 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 99 

knocked over a Manning type boiler and the stacks of two other ver- 
tical boilers. Fortunately the Manning boiler was not in operation. 
The water tank was 17 ft. 6 inches in diameter and 67 ft. high, and 
was full of water. 

The three boilers that were damaged were of the self-contained 
type and stood, with the water tank, in an open space between the 
boiler room and the engine room. The adjacent walls and also the 
roofs of these two buildings were badly damaged. The maze of steam, 
water, gas and air piping located in the area of the explosion was com- 
paratively new. There were no employees in the immediate vicinity 
of the explosion but there were several in the boiler and engine rooms. 
Those in the boiler room were washed to one end of the room by the 
wave of water from the destroyed water tank. The men in the en- 
gine room were blown some distance but were not seriously injured. 
The closest to a fatality was a near drowning case in the boiler room. 

The cause of the explosion is not clear. A subsequent examina- 
tion of the ruptured pipe did not reveal any signs of a defect or of 
deterioration. It has been suggested that some dislocation of the 
supports might have thrown unusual stresses upon certain portions 
of the pipe and resulted in its failure. All of the outdoor piping was 
supported on standards with saddles under the pipe. About a month 
before this explosion considerable blasting had been done in excavat- 
ing the site for a new furnace. In the absence of more definite evi- 
dence therefore the theory appears tenable that the blasting had dis- 
turbed the supports. 

The loss was covered by a policy in The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Company indemnifying against damage due 
to the explosion of main steam pipes. 

Steam Pipe Explosion at New Britain, Conn. 

Another steam pipe explosion, with results quite different from 
those described above, occurred August 16, 1926 at the factory of 
Landers, Frary and Clark, New Britain, Connecticut. Four men 
were burned. The property loss was small as the failure occurred 
in a pipe tunnel. 

The failure was in a 5 inch flanged tee fitting which was used as 
an elbow. Early in the afternoon on the day of the accident the 
steam had been shut ofif and a new piece of pipe inserted in the line. 
The steam was then turned on. Later, it was shut off again and a new 
gasket put in at the flanged tee connection. The steam was once more 
turned on, and after nearly an hour had elapsed the tee exploded. A 
boiler room attendant noticed the unusual drop in pressure and as- 



200 THE LOCOMOTIVE. ' [October, 

sumed that something was wrong. He therefore shut off the steam 
and went in search of the break. This prompt action probably saved 
the Hves of the injured men. 

Examination of the ruptured tee after the accident showed it to 
have been a sound fitting. The possibihty of water hammer having 
developed on this occasion is unlikely in that the installation was not 
new but had been in use for years ; and furthermore, no one heard 
any sounds of water hammer preceding the failure. The accident 
was probably caused by strains from misalignment of the piping or 
by expansion strains. 



Electric Motors — Kinds and Applications. 

THERE are many types of electric motors, each type designed 
to meet some particular set of conditions, but all of them are 
broadly classed into either one of two classes, that is, alternating 
current motors or direct current motors. Of the two, direct current 
motors would probably be preferred in many cases because they are in 
general more easily adapted to various kinds of loads, but there are 
other conditions that operate in favor of the alternating current motor. 
The principal one is the matter of transmission losses. Direct current 
cannot be transmitted nearly so economically as alternating current be- 
cause it cannot be readily changed to and from high voltage. Hence, 
where power is purchased, it is usually alternating current. Of course 
this can be readily converted to direct current but there is an unavoidable 
loss in the operation, as no energy change can take place with lOO 
per cent efficiency. In a plant that generates its own power, distances 
are usually not so great, so that transmission losses are not such a factor 
and direct current may be found the more acceptable. With alternating 
current power circuits, on the other hand, the problem of maintaining a 
high power factor is an ever present one. 

Direct Current Motors. 
Direct current motors are divided into three general classes — series, 
shunt and compound wound — each of which has characteristics particu- 
larly adapting it to certain kinds of work. The series motor for instance, 
is almost invariably used for traction and hoisting work where 
frequent starting under heavy loads is the rule, because it can exert a 
maximum torque or turning effort when starting. There is only one 
circuit to such motors, as the armature and field windings are connected 
In series. All of the armature current therefore passes through the field, 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



101 



and as the torque or turning effort in a motor is proportional to the 
armature current multipHed by the field current, the torque in the series 
motor is approximately proportional to the square of the current — 
within certain limits. When starting or when the motor is slowed down 
due to load, less counter-voltage — or counter-electromotive force* as it 
is usually called — is generated and hence more current is drawn from 

the line. The torque 
therefore increases with 
the load. On the other 
hand, as the load falls 
off, the motor speeds up 
due to the decrease in 
the field current, and if 
the speed is not checked 
it will race to destruc- 
tion. Series motors 
ought, on this account, 
to be hand controlled. 

Fig. I is an illustra- 
tion of what may hap- 
pen to an automatically 
controlled series wound 
motor when the control 
fails to operate. This 
motor was used on a 10 
ton hoist and over- 
speeded, with the result 
that the commutator 
flew to pieces, the arma- 
ture wires were forced 
out of the slots and the 
field windings were 
completely destroyed. In 
fact the motor was so badly wrecked that it was not considered worth 
repairing and was replaced by a compound wound motor, which is not 
liable to this type of failure. 




Fig. I. 



*It is, of course, generally understood that a direct current generator and motor 
are practically the same. With current in the field windings, if the machine is driven 
by mechanical power — say by a belt — it will be a generator and generate a voltage 
in the armature circuit. Conversely, it current from some outside source Is caused 
to flow in the armature circuit, the machine will be a motor and drive the machine 
belted to it. In fact even when operating as a motor it is also creating a " counter- 
voltage." This is called counter-voltage because is opposes the line voltage, and the 
motor speed varies so that the load plus the counter-voltage always equals the impressed 
(line) voltage. 



102 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

The shunt wound direct current motor is characterized as a constant 
speed machine. The field winding is connected directly across the line, 
or in parallel with the armature, and as the line maintains an approxi- 
mately constant voltage, the field current remains constant. The varia- 
tion in speed between no load and full load will not exceed 5 or 10 
percent, the higher speed of course is at no load. In the shunt wound 
motor, since the field current remains constant regardless of the load, the 
torque or turning effort varies directly as the armature current. The 
shunt wound motor finds application wherever an approximately 
constant speed is desired. 

It would be well at this point to say a word about the control of 
direct current motors. In general there are two methods, first, varying 
the armature current, and second, varying the field current. The action 
of electricity and magnetism in electrical machinery is rather compli- 
cated, but a few moments consideration will help make clear the effects 
of different methods of controlling the speed of a motor. 

Control of Direct Current Motors. 

When the armature of a motor is connected across a line of constant 
voltage, a certain current will flow through the armature depending 
upon its resistance and also upon the counter-voltage developed after 
the armature starts revolving. Since the armature resistance is low, 
the first rush of current will be large, and in passing through the 
armature conductors it creates a magnetic field which, acting in conjunc- 
tion with the magnetic field created by the windings on the pole pieces, 
starts the armature revolving. As soon as the armature starts moving, 
the armature current decreases, due to the counter-voltage or-electro- 
motive force generated, until the current is a minimum for the load. 

The counter-e.m.f. depends on the speed of the motor and on the 
magnetic strength of its field. If resistance were placed in the arma- 
ture circuit, this would be the equivalent of reducing the impressed 
voltage ; the current flowing would be reduced and the motor would 
slow down in order to maintain the proper balance with the counter- 
e.m.f. It is readily apparent that the method of speed regulation by 
putting resistance in the armature circuit is uneconomical because of 
the large PR loss or the loss in heating the conductors, which in- 
creases as the square of the current. Thus doubling the current would 
increase the loss four times. Varying the armature resistance, how- 
ever, is the only means of regulating series motors since the field 
winding consists of a relatively few turns of wire carrying the full 
armature current. 

With the shunt motor, the field winding consists of many turns of 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. ]^03 

fine wire carrying a small uniform current. If resistance is cut into 
this circuit, the strength of the magnetic field is decreased, which results 
in a small counter-e.m.f. because fewer lines of force will be cut by the 
armature conductors. Hence the armature will speed up to make up 
for this deficiency. Because of the small amount of current passing 
through the field coils, the PR loss will be small and this is therefore 
the most desirable mode of speed regulation. It has the objection, 
however, that the weakened field reduces the power of the motor so that 
one must be sure the motor is of sufficient capacity to operate at the 
higher speeds. In general it is most satisfactory to operate at the normal 
speed of the motor without external resistance in either the field or the 
armature circuits. Where variable speeds are required, the armature 
method of control is more economical when slow speeds are required 
only occasionally or where the power demand falls off rapidly with 
the speed as in ventilating fans, and the field method is more economical 
where high speeds are required only occasionally. For long periods 
above or below the normal speed, a combination of the two will probably 
prove most efficient. 

We have said that the shunt wound motor is a constant speed ma- 
chine but at the same time admitting that there is a slight variation with 
a change in the load. This change is unavoidable in a shunt-motor — 
let us see why. A line voltage " E " is applied to the terminals of a 
shunt motor. This applied voltage however is not all effective in driving 
current through the armature because the machine, as soon as it starts 
in motion, also acts as a generator and develops a counter-voltage " e " 
opposing " E," as explained in the footnote on page loi. Hence the effec- 
tive voltage is really (E — e). Thus we have the equation (E — e) = 
IR, where " I " is the current flowing in the armature, and " R " is the 
resistance of the armature. When a heavier load comes on the motor, 
the " I " must increase to take care of it. This means that " e " must 
decrease. But " e " depends on the magnetic field and motor speed, 
so that since the field is constant the speed must decrease slightly. 

Compound Wound Motors. 

The shunt motor does not have the large starting torque that is 
characteristic of the series motor, and to meet heavy starting conditions 
with a uniform running speed under varying load, the compound wound 
motor was developed. This type of machine is very similar to the shunt 
machine except that a few extra turns of wire on the field coils are in 
series with the armature. The heavy starting current therefore 
strengthens the field and enables quicker starting. However, the varia- 
tion in speed between no load and full load in the compound wound 



104 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

machine is slightly greater than in the shunt but not nearly so great as 
in the series wound machine. 

It is possible to make the speed of compound wound motors increase 
with load up to a certain point by connecting the series field to oppose 
the shunt field windings. This is called differential winding, and the 
other method cumulative winding. Diflferentially wound motors have 
peculiar characteristics* and are seldom used. 

The three kinds of direct current motors mentioned above may be 
called essential types, the others are really modifications o^ these. For 
instance, there is the commutating-pole motor. The commutating- 
or inter-pole is a small pole piece located between the main poles of 
the machine to assist in sparkless commutation. The brushes are placed 
at a neutral point on the commutator, that is, where the particular con- 
ductors are not cutting any magnetic lines of force. But these neutral 
points shift slightly with changes in load and cause sparking. The 
inter-pole, however, serves to hold the neutral points steady regardless 
of changes of load. 

Where conditions are severe for good commutation, that is, where 
there is a wide variation in load combined with reversing, compensating 
windings are frequently used. These are in eflfect the same as inter- 
poles but with increased effect. The compensating windings are laid 
in slots in the face of the main pole pieces with one half of the coil in 
one pole face and the other half in the next pole piece, thus encircling 
the inter-pole. These coils are wound so as to be of the same polarity 
as the inter-poles, that is, opposing the magnetic field produced by the 
armature current. 

Alternating Current Motors. 

Alternating current motors are divided into two general classes — 
induction motors and synchronous motors. The induction motor is the 
more widely used particularly in smaller sizes. Its operating charac- 
teristics are very much the same as the direct current shunt machine. 
The squirrel cage induction motor is the simplest and cheapest and 
would usually be selected if adapted to the particular drive. In such 
motors the " armature " windings are in slots around the inner circum- 
ference of the stationary part, which is called the stator. The moving 
element, or rotor, is composed of copper bars laid in slots and short 
circuited at each end by a copper band. There are no electrical con- 
nections between this rotor and any outside circuit, in which respect 
the squirrel cage motor is unique. 

The action of the squirrel cage motor can be readily understood 



» The characteristics of a motor are the relations existing between speeds and loads. 
See Pig. 2. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 1Q5 

if one visualizes a rotor of this type in a motor having but two poles and 
these poles permanent magnets. There will be magnetic lines of force 
passing from one pole to the other through the rotor. Now imagine that 
these poles are caused to revolve around the rotor. The magnetic 
lines of force will then be cut by the rotor conductors, thus inducing 
a current in the conductors which in turn sets up its own magnetic field. 
The reaction of these two magnetic fields causes the rotor to turn, 
literally dragged along, and it would turn at the same speed as the 
magnets if there were no load on the motor. The load, however, causes 
a certain lag in speed in order to produce the necessary pull. 

The foregoing explanation contemplates the use of permanent 
rotating magnets but in an induction motor the stator winding, which 
produces the magnetic field, is stationary. The effect of the rotating 
field however may be produced by three phase alternating current. It 
is just as if we had three electro-magnets placed side by side, each 
connected to a separate source of electricity. With the current turned 
on the first one only, the center of magnetic force would be directly 
under that one. If the current is allowed to gradually die out in the 
first and increase at the same time in the second, the center of magnetic 
force will gradually shift to the second magnet. If the second is allowed 
to gradually die out w^iile the third is increasing, it will shift to the 
third. A like procedure would gradually shift it to a fourth, and so on. 
A similar action takes place in the stationary windings of the induction 
motor. Current rises to a maximum in a small group of conductors in 
the first phase, then as this fades it rises in the adjacent second phase 
group, followed by fading in the second and increasing in the third. 
Thus a rotating magnetic field is produced in stationary windings, the 
rate of rotation depending upon the frequency of the alternating current. 

Wound Rotor Motors. 

Squirrel cage motors can be started by putting them directly across 
the line. However, if the motor is large or is started under load, this 
method causes an excessive rush of current which is objectionable. 
Various means of starting have been tried such as two sets of rotor 
windings, one with high resistance for starting and the other for 
running, or the use of autotrans formers to cut down the voltage at 
starting. All of these methods however, reduce the starting torque. 

The best way out of the difficulty has been by a modification of this 
type known as the wound rotor induction motor. The general construc- 
tion is the same except that the rotor conductors are not bars short 
circuited by the end rings, but instead are insulated coils connected to 
collector rings and joined through some external resistance. By putting 



106 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[October, 



resistance in the rotor circuits the current is kept low during starting 
and the abihty to start under load is greatly increased. This is well 
illustrated by the curves in Fig. 2. Examining curve i, we see that 
beginning at zero speed the load (torque) is not very great, but it 
increases rapidly with increased speed. On the other hand, curve 4 
representing conditions with a large resistance in the rotor circuit. 
shows heavy load at low speeds. Curves 3 and 2 represent similar 
conditions with decreasing resistance. Hence with a wound rotor it is 
possible to start under load with a large resistance in the circuit which 
can be cut out gradually as the speed increases, thus passing from 
curve 4 to 3 to 2 to I. By working near the peaks of the curves, the 
maximum power of the motor is maintained. 

There is one other 
interesting point that 
is well shown by this 
diagram and which 
applies either to a 
squirrel cage motor 
or to the wound 
rotor motor with re- 
sistance short cir- 
cuited. Imagine the 
motor running idle. 
This condition is 
represented by the 
right hand end of 
curve I. If a load 
is gradually placed 

on the machine, we Fig. 2. Curves Showing Effect on Load of External 
1, , ^ ',. Resistance IN Rotor Circuit of Wound Rotor Motors. 
would be travelmg 

back along curve i from right to left, which shows very little drop in 
speed for greatly increased load. Hence the induction motor is prac- 
tically a constant speed machine. 

The synchronous motor is a much more efficient type of alternating 
current motor because it operates with a much higher power factor than 
does the induction motor. In fact, by over exciting the synchronous 
motor it can be, and frequently is, run idle simply to improve a low 
power factor on a line. The one serious handicap to the synchronous 
motor, however, is its low starting torque. Such motors operate at 
exactly synchronous speed and until that speed is attained they will not 
carry a load. Hence the necessity of starting without load, and this 
restricts their use almost solely to the generation of direct current. 




Z£/?C 



^P££D 



Sya/. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. JQT 

either driving a generator or else as a converter, though chitches are 
sometimes utilized for other applications. 

Even when starting light it is not often desirable to |hrow a large 
machine directly upon the line because of the enormous surge of current 
that would result. Starting must therefore be effected by autotrans- 
formers and by induction motor action. Autotrans formers temporarily 
step down the line voltage. Induction motor action is brought about by 
dampering grids. These grids are heavy copper bars imbeded in the 
pole faces of the field (rotor) and short circuited at the ends very much 
like the squirrel cage rotor. We have said that synchronous motors 
operate at exactly synchronous speed, but sudden increases or decreases 
in load cause temporary variations which may become serious. Such 
variations in speed induce currents in the dampening grids which oppose 
these " hunting oscillations " and hence steady the turning of the rotor. 
Since the grids are exactly like induction motor conductors, by not 
exciting the field but putting line current through the stator the motor 
can be started by induction motor action. 

Special Types of Synchronous Motors. 

The synchronous converter is a type of synchronous motor in which 
the rotor windings are also connected to an armature from which direct 
current may be obtained. Because of the absence of a mechanically 
connected load, converters are particularly inclined to " hunt ". 
Dampening grids are therefore usually present and are used for starting. 
It is interesting to note however that if direct current is available the 
machine may be started as a direct current motor and brought up to 
speed. Then when the alternating current is switched on, the machine 
starts feeding direct current back into the line. 

With every synchronous motor there is always a rheostat for regu- 
lating the field excitation because for each load there is a fixed value of 
the field current that requires a minimum line current. Hence, to obtain 
the greatest efficiency the field excitation must be adjusted for each 
change in load. 

The super-synchronous motor is a recent unique design whose 
object is to overcome the handicap of the low starting torque of the 
synchronous motor. As usual the rotor carries the field, but the stator 
is also arranged so that it may rotate for starting. The load holds the 
rotor stationary and the motor, without field current and functioning as 
an induction motor, starts the stator turning. When it is up to 
synchronous speed a brake is gradually applied which slows down the 
stator and causes the rotor to pick up speed. Thus not only is starting 
under load effected but also the pick up of the load is executed with 
srreater smoothness than where a clutch is used. 



X08 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

Removing Boiler Scale. 

By J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector, Pittsburgh Department. 

IF boilers could be run with perfectly pure water — for example, 
with water that had previously been distilled — many of the difficul- 
ties encountered in actual practice would never arise, and the fire- 
man's duties and responsibilities would be correspondingly lessened and 
simplified. Unfortunately, this ideal condition of things cannot often 
be realized. We cannot afford to use distilled water, and in most 
cases feed- water has to be taken in accordance with that mode of selec- 
tion which is known to the world at large as " Hobson's choice," that 
is, we have to take what we can get. In cities and towns, good water 
may usually be had from the city mains, but in sparsely populated 
districts the manufacturer has to depend upon wells or upon running 
streams. 

To remove the scale-forming matter from boiler feed water, there 
are to-day many systems, and to prevent scale forming on boilers and 
to remove that already formed, there are compounds, metal treatments, 
surface cleaners and appliances galore. Many are good, and some are 
better than others. Where the treatment is especially suited to the 
water conditions good results are obtained, especially so, as the old 
chief engineer said " if the engineer will use the proper amount of ' boss ' 
sense." 

Some years ago a rolling mill plant was induced to try a boiler 
compound. The instructions were to use a certain amount daily and 
not blow down the boilers nor clean them for at least thirty days. 
There was considerable scale forming matter in the feed water and 
after four weeks trial as directed the boilers were cooled and emptied 
for examination. The installation consisted of a battery of four boilers 
connected to common steam and mud drums. It was with great 
difficulty that the large hand hole plate was removed from the mud 
drum, but when this was finally accomplished it revealed that the 
drum was filled almost solid with scale and stifif mud, leaving a very 
poor circulating connection between boilers. It was with great difficulty 
that the mud drum and other parts of the boilers were cleaned. If 
the compound was loosening the scale the boilers should have been 
blown down more frequently than was the usual practice. Another 
week of operation of these boilers would probably have resulted in 
burning them, to be followed by expensive repairs. 

The water of the Monongahela River in the Pittsburgh district 
during the autumn season contains a high percentage of acid. One 
plant using water from this river in its steam boilers was troubled with 



1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



109 



considerable leakage during the fall season. Someone told the chief 
engineer to use lime in his boilers to prevent corrosion and leakage. 
He accordingly sent two barrels of lime to one of the boiler plants 
and told the water tender to use plenty of it as the water was bad. 
Three days later the plant was obliged to shut down, and parts of the 
bottoms of four boilers were cut out and patched by half sheets. Very 
large depressions had appeared on the bottoms of these boilers, and 
when the boilers were opened very heavy coatings of lime were found 
on the plates that were immediately over the fire. Entirely too much 
lime was used in this case. 







^4 ''ii" 


^^^^^^mm^^^^m^^^mm^m^s^^^^^^^^^K^^^KL 



Jagged Boiler Shell Result of Scale Deposit. 



The accompanying photograph shows a depression on the first 
course of a horizontal return tubular boiler. This boiler was 78 inches 
in diameter and 20 ft. long. The shell plates were 9/32 inch thick, 
the longitudinal joints having eight rows of rivets. The depression 
was down 7 inches and was about 18 inches wide at one point. A 
fracture i^^ inches long had opened at the apex of the bulge and the 
metal was drawn down to a knife edge at the fracture, and was con- 
siderably reduced at other places. 

There was scale in the boilers in this plant, and a scale solvent 
had been used for a short time to remove it. When the depression 
and leakage were noted the boiler was taken out of service and cooled; 
when opened, a heavy deposit of scale and sediment was found in the 



IIQ THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

depression and on the lower plates. The indications were that scale 
was loosened from the tubes and shell plates too rapidly in comparison 
to the rate of removing it from the boilers by cleaning. 

Nearly all boiler compounds, metal treatments and scale solvents 
are of some value when used in steam boilers, but care should be 
exercised when beginning the use of them. It should first be ascer- 
tained whether the one selected is suited to the boiler feed water, and 
further, if scale is removed rapidly from tubes or plates, it should 
likewise be removed from the boiler or overheating of plates and ex- 
pensive repairs may result. 



The Use Of Portable Electric Lights In Boilers. 

ALTHOUGH entirely aware of the dangers of electricity at high 
r\ voltages, nearly everyone has become so familiar with the usual 
no volt lighting circuits that little thought is ever given to the 
possibility of serious accidents from such circuits. Yet there are 
several cases on record in which shock from a no volt circuit has 
proved fatal. In the Syracuse Bulletin of May 14, 1926, there appeared 
an account of the death from electric shock of Ralph Merrill, a mill- 
wright at the Skaneateles Mill of the Oswego Falls Corporation. The 
man was working inside of a boiler preparing it for internal inspec- 
tion, and was using a lamp and extension cord from a no volt circuit. 
In some way, probably through a faulty connection and contact with 
the brass socket, he received a shock that resulted in his death. 

In the September 1925 issue of The Boiler Maker appeared a brief 
account of the death from electric shock of Michael O'Brien, while 
he was cleaning a boiler in the Administration Building, Montclair, 
N. J. Faulty insulation on the wire of a lamp which he held in his 
hand while in contact with the boiler is said to have allowed the 
current to pass through his body with fatal results. 

About two years ago an inspector called at the plant of the Detroit 
Brass and Malleable Co., Detroit, to make an inspection. Upon inquir- 
ing for the engineer, a helper set out to find him. The inspector soon 
received a call to the top of one of the boilers, and there on top of the 
tubes inside of the boiler lay the engineer. He had been dead about 
a half hour. The charge from a 220 volt lamp on an extension cord 
which he had taken into the boiler with him had burned a hole about 
the size of a five cent piece near his heart. 

Each of the above accidents happened with voltages such as one 
is likely to encounter in lighting circuits about an industrial plant. 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 121 

Whether a test was made to ascertain what voltage actually existed in 
each of the above cases is not stated, but in other somewhat similar cases 
tests were made but failed to show more than the normal voltage. It 
would appear then that even a circuit of "only no" volts may under 
certain circumstances be dangerous, and conditions under which boilers 
are inspected and cleaned are by no means the safest. In the first 
place the boiler has an excellent electrical connection with a feed 
water pipe and hence is well grounded. Furthermore the man work- 
ing in a boiler is usually perspiring rather freely so that his moist 
hand or any part of his body that touches the metal makes a fairly 
good connection. It remains only for a short circuit through the brass 
lamp socket or a frayed cord to send a charge through the man. 

Whether a shock from a no or 220 volt source will prove fatal 
depends likewise upon considerations other than merely good connec- 
tions. For instance, the body resistance of different persons varies 
over quite a range, just as do all other physical characteristics. Hence, 
a man having a low electrical resistance would receive a heavier 
current than a man of higher resistance. Since the action of an electric 
shock is a paralyzing or tightening of tlie muscles, the condition of 
the heart is also a governing factor. 

Still another factor is the matter of time or duration of the shock. 
If a person receiving a shock is in such a position that he immediately 
recoils or falls away and breaks the connection, serious injury is not 
likely to result from moderate voltages. However, if the paralyzing 
effect prevents voluntary action or causes the victim to fall in such a 
way as to maintain contact, then the prolonged action of the current, 
as would be expected, multiplies the effect. This is of particular im- 
portance to men working in boilers where much of the work is per- 
formed in tight places and in a recumbent position, sometimes even 
with the light resting on the body in order to free both hands for the 
work. 

It is advisable therefore when using portable electric lights around 
boilers, first, to use only such as have the socket encased with some non- 
conducting material, and second, to examine the equipment beforehand 
to be sure it is safe for use. 



Efforts to utilize the power of grain dust explosions in an in- 
ternal combustion engine have been made by the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture. A modified Ford engine was used, according to 
Poiver, and although a continuous run was not made, as many as 
twelve successive explosions in one cylinder were obtained. The results 
are said to have been very encouraging. 



112 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[October, 



Boiler Explosion at Chicago Heights, Illinois. 

A BOILER explosion of considerable intensity occurred at the 
plant of the Albert David Chemical Company, Chicago Heights, 
Illinois, on the morning of June 15th, 1926. One man was killed 
and property destroyed to the extent of nearly $18,000. Greater loss of 
life was undoubtedly avoided because of the early hour, as the employees 
were just beginning to arrive and but few of them were on the premises. 
A few minutes later several men would have been at work in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the boiler room. 




Fig. I. 

The boiler that exploded was of the water tube type and was located 
near the center of a large brick boiler room. This boiler house was 
situated in one corner of the plant with no buildings on two sides of it. 
On another side it was separated from a machine shop by a 13 inch brick 
fire wall. The boiler house was practically a complete loss. Only parts 
of the walls remained standing and some of these were so badly damaged 
as to necessitate tearing them down. One head of the boiler was blown 
through the brick fire wall, then across the engine room and through 
another 13 inch wall, coming to rest against the far wall of this room. 



1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



113 



The rest of the boiler traveled almost intact through the opposite wall 
of the boiler house, ploughed across a railroad spur and through a fence, 
and came to rest al)out 75 feet away in a field. The boiler was somewhat 
battered by contact with the wall and railroad track, but the only rupture 
was in the head. The setting of an adjoining horizontal tubular boiler 
was damaged, and the stack and all of the piping in the boiler room 
were torn down when the building collapsed. An air compressor and a 
large drill press in the engine room were completely destroyed, and 







Wl^i 








V 








'-*if ^Lir 






^^^^^^^^^H 


. .^^rf^^^^^^^^^^l 


^^^^^^^^^^^^H 



Fig. 2. 
laundry machinery, motors and other machinery located there were 
damaged. Sight damage was done to the roofs of some neighboring 
buildings, but the damage in general was not so widespread as often is 
found to be the case. This was due, first, to the fact that the boiler did 
not separate into many fragments to be thrown about, the head being the 
only portion that was torn loose, and second, to the fact that the adjoin- 
ing factory building of the plant had previously been destroyed by fire 
and had not been rebuilt. 

Fig. I is a view of the boiler room with the exploded boiler in the 
background. Fig. 2 shows the engine room (behind the leaning stack) 
and adjourning buildings. 



114 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October^ 



The cause of the ex- 
plosion was a cracked 
head. As can be seen 
from Fig. 3, the head 
was severed completely 
around its circumfer- 
ence along a line about 
2 inches from the row 
of rivets and just at 
the turn of the flange. 
Examination of the 
material along this line 
of rupture shows that 
a crack had developed 
extending almost com- 
pletely around the head. 
Cracks such as this in 
the heel of a flange are 
generally regarded as 
fatigue failure of the 
metal. The exact pres- 
sure of steam at the 
time of the accident is 
not known. 

The factory portion of this plant was totally destroyed by fire in 
December 1925, followed about two weeks later by a second fire in 
a pump house used in connection with a deep well water supply. 
Since then only a portion of the work has been carried on in the part 
of the plant that remained. 

The property loss from this explosion was covered by a Hartford 
policy. 

Rivetless Structural Steel Buildings. 

Contracts have been let by the Westinghouse Electric and Manu- 
facturing Co. for the erection of two arc- welded structural steel 
buildings on the company's property in Pittsburgh, according to the 
Pittsburgh Gazette Times. The two proposed structures consist of a 
one-story engineering laboratory building, and a five-story mill type 
building. Welding is expected to result in a considerable saving over 
riveting by the elimination of many plates and angles, and in some 
cases by the use of lighter structural numbers. The absence of the 
noisy riveting hammer is also a very desirable feature. 




Fig. 3- 



1926. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



115 



Explosion of a New Boiler That Had Never Been Fired. 

A CAST iron hot water supply boiler exploded io Baltimore, 
Maryland, on December 28th, 1925, under peculiar circumstances 
in view of the fact that it had never been fired up since it was 
installed. The boiler, which was constructed for a maximum water 
pressure of 60 lbs., was connected to a steel supply tank and also to a 
pipe heating coil in the firebox of a cast iron steam heating boiler, as 
shown by the accompanying sketch. 



^ 



h 



4^ 




O 



(£x/'LO£l£-oj 



^ 




I 



Orr h/^refi 



i 



^ 



■Sl/PPJLY 7?fAIK- 



°[ZD 




^ ^ ~^ 




C./.S. Sre/fM Bo/LEK^ 



II 



<& 



Fig. I. 

The heater was not equipped with the regulation water relief valve 
nor had it a pressure gauge, thermometer or temperature regulator. 
However, there was a relief valve fitted on the inlet pipe leading to the 
pipe coil in the firebox of the steam boiler. The relief valve was stamped 
to release at 125 lbs. pressure, while the normal city water pressure was 
85 lbs. It will be observed that stop valves are fitted in all pipe connec- 
tions between the boiler and the relief valve. 

The hot water supply heater was installed during the fall of 1925 
and, as previously stated, had never been fired up, for it was intended 
for use only during the summer months. During the winter months 
the water was to be heated by means of the coil in the firebox of the 
steam heating boiler. 

The valve in the feed line from the city water main to the hot water 
heater was kept open so that the cold water circulated through the heater 
{^Continued on page 118.) 



116 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 




Devoted to Power Plant Protectioin 



Plblisiied Qu.\rterl^' 



Bexj. C. Crl'ickshaxks, Editor. 



HARTFORD, CONN., OCTOBER, 1926. 

Single copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company s agencies. 

Subscription price SO cetits per year ■when mailed from tins office, 

Eeceni bound volumes otie dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted tf credited to 

The Locomotive of the H.^rtford Steam Boiler I. & I, Co. 



Three Score Years of Boiler Insurance. 

r>y TEAM boiler insurance was inaugurated sixty years ago with the 
^^ organization of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Company. The idea of steam boiler insurance was some- 
thing entirely new at the time. A movement had already been started in 
England to prevent steam boiler explosions by inspections, and the 
organizers of the Hartford Company appreciated the sound principles 
upon which it was based. The idea of backing up the inspections by 
insurance, an indemnity in case of explosion, undoubtedly originated in 
Hartford which has long been termed " The Insurance City." 

The formation of a business corporation is a matter that usually 
extends over quite a period of time so that the real birthday of such an 
organization is seldom as definite as that of an individual. The discus- 
sions that eventually resulted in the formation of The Hartford Steam 
Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company are said to have started 
about 1857, prompted no doubt by the rather numerous and disastrous 
boiler explosions resulting from a gradual increase in the working 
pressure of steam at that time. The Civil War is thought to have de- 
ferred the launching of the new organization, but the idea must have 
been fairly well developed for on May 2, 1866 a resolution incorpor- 



1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 117 

ating the Hartford Company was passed at a session of the General 
Assembly, held at New Haven, Connecticut. The charter was ap- 
proved June 30th. At a meeting of the organizers held in August it 
was voted that the stock subscription be set at $500,000. The month 
of October, however, really saw the Company come into being, for three 
meetings of the stockholders were held during the month. The minutes 
of the first meeting, on October 6, 1866, show that the stock had been 
fully subscribed for, and that a Board of Directors was elected. October 
6. 1866 may thus be considered the birthday of the Hartford Company. 
October 6, 1926 is therefore the sixtieth anniversary of steam boiler 
insurance. 

The Hartford Company has from the beginning maintained an in- 
spection department which passes upon the construction and safety of 
all objects offered to the Company for insurance. It also investigates all 
explosions to which it has access and if possible determines the cause, 
with the object of preventing recurrence. It has given publicity to 
faulty constructions, advocated legislative action to insure safe stan- 
dards of construction, and distributed thousands of blue prints show- 
ing approved methods of manufacture and installation. The experi- 
ence of the Hartford organization and its researches into the causes of 
boiler failures gradually crystalized into standards that were the fore- 
runner of the present day boiler codes. Today the phrase " must be ac- 
ceptable to the Hartford Company " is of frequent occurrence in spe- 
cifications, and the Company is often called upon by manufacturers 
for decisions as to the compliance of vessels of new design with a spe- 
cified code. When explosions have occurred in spite of the best in- 
spections, the Company has responded to its contract to indemnify 
the owner, frequently in such prompt and satisfactory manner as to 
create a record and draw unsolicited testimonials. In recent years the 
activities of the Company have been broadened so that insurance 
against the hazards incident to the operation of flywheels, engines 
and electrical machinery can now be obtained. 

The success of the Hartford Company of course attracted other 
companies into the field, and although today it has several competitors. 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company re- 
mains the outstanding company devoted exclusively to this line of busi- 
ness. Sixty years of specialization in steam boiler inspection and insur- 
ance have brought to the Company a prestige that makes its name the 
synonym for excellence in power plant insurance. 



118 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



[October, 



Summary of Boiler Explosions For 1925. 



Month. 


Number 'of 
Explosions. 


Persons 
Killed. 


Persons 
Injured. 


Total of 

Killed and 

Injured. 


January .... 


113 


8 


24 


32 


February 








76 


10 


37 


47 


March . 








74 


9 


20 


29 


April . 








64 


5 


15 


20 


May . . 








56 


9 


32 


41 


June . 








45 


5 


11 


16 


July . . 








44 


5 


18 


23 


August 








43 


66 


122 


188 


September 








58 


5 


11 


16 


October . 








99 


6 


16 


22 


November 








98 


8 


24 


32 


December 








100 


18 


23 


41 


Total for 1925 




870 


154 


353 


507 



Explosion of a New Boiler That Had Never Been Fired. 

(Continued from page iij.) 

to the supply tank and from there to the heating coil, thence returning to 
the supply tank. This valve was said to have been found open after the 
explosion. 

The cause of the explosion is thought to have been the freezing of 
the water in the feed pipe where it passed through the stable floor above. 
About 5 o'clock on the morning of the accident a quantity of hot water 
was drawn from the system to replenish an automobile radiator, and 
at the same time the fire in the steam heating boiler was freshened up. 
This generated steam in the heating coil and increased the pressure to 
such an extent that the weakest part of the system, which was the cast 
iron boiler, exploded about 7:00 a. m., the relief valve failing to func- 
tion at a pressure which would protect the hot water heater. 

This accident emphasizes the importance of equipping hot water 
heating boilers, and in fact all low pressure heating boilers, with the 
necessary safety valve connected directly to the boiler independent of 
any other connection and without intervening valves. x\n altitude or 
pressure gauge, a thermometer and a temperature combustion regulator. 
are also necessary appliances for this type of boiler. 



1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



119 



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120 



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THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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122 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 



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1926.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 123 



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124 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 





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Iton, Ga. 

rtford, Conn 
chanan, Mich 
ronto, Ont. 
ooklyn, N. Y. 

Wayne, Ind. 
ry, Ind. 
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Clark Equipment 
Walter Hunt Co 
Williamsburg Pc 
Superior Nickel 
Samuel Muscat 
L. S. Ryan 
First M. E. Chu 
Universal Garag 
Hotel La Salle 
Seeley & Co. 


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1926.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



125 



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Ut ^aitlo[ilSteaiiiBoileilpectioiiaiiilliisii[aiice.Coiiuiai!i 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1925 



Capital Stock, 



$2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in offices and banks 
Real Estate .... 
Mortgage and collateral loans 
Bonds and stocks . 
Premiums in course of collection 
Interest Accrued . 



Total Assets 



LIABILITIES 



Reserve for unearned premiums . 
Reserve for losses .... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital Stock ...... 

Surplus over all liabilities 



2,500,000.00 

5,414,264.84 



$699,859-61 

271,757.16 

1,650,188.00 

11,233,196.67 

1,341,102.96 

141,983-25 

15,338,087.6s 



6,433,164.02 
283,27398 
707,384.81 



Surplus to Policyholders, $7,914,264.84 



Total Liabilities 



15,338,087.65 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, President. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

E. SIDNEY BERRY, Second Vice-President. 

LOUIS F. MIDDLEBROOK, Secretary. 

J. J. GRAHAM, Assistant Secretary. 

HALSEY STEVENS, Assistant Secretary. 

C. EDGAR BLAKE, Assistant Treasurer. 

SHERWOOD F. JETER, Chief Engineer. 

KENNETH A. REED, Electrical Engineer. 

HARRY E. DART, Supt. Engineering Dept. 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 
JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 

Trustees, United States Security Trust 

Co., Hartford, Conn. 
MORG.^N B. BR.MNARD, President 

^■^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 

Conn. 
CHARLES P. COOLEY, President Society 

for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 
HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers. 

Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 



JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 

EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS, DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SIONS OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg. 
BALTIMORE, Md., 

13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 
BOSTON, Mass. 

4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St. 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 

404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg. 
CHICAGO, 111.. 

209 West Jackson B'l'v'd 



CINCINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 
CLEVELAND, Ohio, 

Leader Bldg. . 
DENVER, Colo., 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 
HARTFORD, Conn., 

56 Prospect St. 
NEW ORLEANS, La., 

Hibernia Bank Bldg. 
NEW YORK, N. Y., . 

80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., 

429 Walnut St. 
PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 

1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg, 
PORTLAND, Ore., . 

306 Yeon Bldg. 
SEATTLE, Wash., . 

415 Dexter-Horton Bldg 
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal, 

339-341 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 

319 North Fourth St. 
TORONTO, Canada, 

Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 

James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNNEBURGH & SoN, General Agents. 

A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

J. T. Coleman, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. W. ZiMMER, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 

L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 
F. H. Kennyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
R. T. BuRWELL, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. C. Gardiner, Manager. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 
R. P. Guy, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 
Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 
Bates, Lu'ely & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents. 

J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

L. J. Reed, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. D. AsHCROFT, Manager. 

Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President, The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 




THE HARTFORD 



Lin^^'% 



^ 



BOILER INSURANCE 

Boilers, Economizers, Vulcanizers, Kiers, 

Digesters, Steam Driers, Jacketed 

Kettles, Etc. 

FLYWHEEL INSURANCE 

Flywheels, Fans, Blowers, Turbines, Water 

Wheels, Centrifugal Driers, Gear 

Wheels, Etc. 

ENGINE INSURANCE 

Engines, Compressors^ Pumps, Refrigerating 
Machines, Etc. 

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY INSURANCE 

Generators, Motors, Synchronous Converters, 

Transformers, Switchboards, Etc. 



'A' 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world" 



% 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Vol. XXXVI HARTFORD, CONN., JANUARY, 1927. 



No. 5 



COPYRIGHT, 1927, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




Flywheel Explosion at Kalamazoo, Michigan. 



THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



130 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



[January, 



Flywheel Explosion at Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

THE front cover picture and other accompanying illustrations show 
some of the results of a disastrous flywheel explosion that oc- 
curred July 21, 1926, at the plant of the King Paper Company 
Division of the Allied Paper Mills, Kalamazoo, Michigan. There was 




Fig. I. 

a property loss of $26,000, and a use and occupancy loss of more than 
$10,000. Six persons were injured, but fortunately all injuries were 
of a minor character. 

The flywheel that exploded was really a double wheel, for it con- 
sisted of two wheels, each 18 feet in diameter and 26 inches wide, 
bolted together. The wheel was on the main shaft of a cross-corn- 



1927.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



131 



pound Corliss engine which was set in the midst of four other engines 
and two turbines in the same engine room. The wheel was so situated 
that two of the engines were directly in line with it, and when the 
accident occurred flying pieces of the wheel damaged both of them 
considerably. The frame and low pressure cylinder of one of these 
engines were badly damaged; and the steam pipe and separator of the 
other were knocked down, and the governor and numerous parts of 
the valve mechanism were broken. The engine to which the exploded 

wheel belonged was, of 
course, the most seriously 
damaged. This was a 900 
horsepower Corliss engine 
which drove 14 beaters, 2 
Jordans, and numerous 
pumps, agitators and other 
auxiliaries. The low pres- 
sure frame of this engine 
was cracked in numerous 
places, and both high and 
low pressure frames were 
torn loose from their foun- 
dations. The main crank 
shaft was also bent. The 
receiver between the high 
and low pressure cylinders, 
and also exhaust piping, 
reach rods, rocker arms, and parts of the valve mechanism were de- 
stroyed. The main driving belt, a leather belt 48 inches wide and 160 
feet long, was completely destroyed, as was also a leather belt 23 inches 
wide and 100 feet long on one of the other engines. 

Pieces of the wheel in going through the roof tore down and badly 
damaged a steel roof truss 6 feet high by 65 feet long. Other 
damage by flying pieces was done to a Venturi meter, a condenser 
pump, piping for a sprinkler system, steam and water piping, and to 
a paper machine in an adjoining room. This latter was damaged by 
a piece of the wheel estimated to weigh 1800 lbs. which came down 
through the roof of the machine room. 

In view of the extensive havoc wrought, evidence of the cause of 
the accident was not readily obtainable, but it is thought to have been 
due to a slipping governor belt. This engine furnished the power 
for all of the beaters in one beater room. A few minutes prior to the 




Fig. 2. 



132 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[January, 



explosion the men in the beater room noticed a perceptible slowing 
down of their machines, and thinking it to be due to an overload on 
the engine they hurriedly relieved the individual loads of their several 
Jordans and beaters. The attention of the engine room operatives was 
first attracted by a noise which is thought to have been due to water 
in the cylinders. The 
engine then started to 
race and several at- 
tempts were made to 
shut it down by tripping 
the governor. It ap- 
pears, therefore, that 
the engine first slowed 
down considerably and 
then speeded to destruc- 
tion. The indications 
are that the slowing 
down was a result of 
the boilers priming, and 
the speeding up due to 
the sudden release of 
the load by the beater 
room attendants. The 
governor, of course, 

was depended upon to regulate the speed, but because of the oily con- 
dition of its belt it was unable to pick up speed with sufficient rapidity. 
Many flywheel explosions can be traced more or less directly to oily 
governor belts. 

Fig. 2 shows a piece of the rim of the wheel as it landed near the 
Pennsylvania Railroad tracks 700 feet west of the engine room. This 
piece was estimated to weigh 2100 lbs. Fig. 3 shows portions of the 
rims of both wheels just as they landed on the right-of-way of the 
Grand Truck Railway approximately 800 feet east of the plant ; and it 
is interesting to note that these portions of the two wheels are still 
joined by a small bolt, which would indicate that the wheels failed 
simultaneously. It is also to be noted that the flange joints shown are 
still intact. 

The distances which pieces of the wheel traveled afford an oppor- 
tunity to calculate the minimum speed of the engine at the instant of the 
explosion. The formula used is the usual projectile formula: — 




Fig. 3. 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 133 

Range = — sin 2 (angle of elevation) 

where v = rim speed in ft. per second, 
g = 322 
range = horizontal distance travelled by flying piece, ft. 

In using this formula the angle of elevation is assumed to be 45°, 
that is, the angle that will give greatest range or slowest rim speed as 
there was no way of measuring the actual angle. Rearranging and 
substituting the value of sin 90° (equal to unity), we have 

V = V range x g 

= V800 X 32.2=160.5 ft. per sec. 
or=i70 r.p.m. (for an 18 ft. wheel). 

This speed necessarily must be somewhat below the actual speed at 
the instant when the wheel burst because no allowance is made in the 
calculation for the retardation of speed produced when the wheel frag- 
ment passed through the roof of the building. 

Another reason why the speed was possibly greater than the cal- 
culated speed, plus any allowance for retardation by the roof structure, 
is that the calculation is based on the assumption that the wheel frag- 
ment started on its flight at the most favorable angle for maximum 
horizontal distance. The actual angle at which the segment flew off 
may, of course, have been greater or less than 45° which would require 
a higher speed of the wheel to produce a range of 800 feet. 

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 
paid the limit of the direct policy ($20,000) for this accident, and paid 
a use and occupancy loss of $10,600. 



Refrigerating Systems. 

By Geo. H. Stickney, Supt. Boiler Department. 

THE ordinary steam power equipment is very generally under- 
stood by the engineers who work with it, and as a rule they 
thoroughly appreciate the functions of the various pieces of ma- 
chinery necessary to its operation. The process of mechanical re- 
frigeration, however, is not always so clear, possibly because the in- 
stallations are fewer in number and hence less opportunity is afforded 
to come in contact with them, but most likely because the temperature 
of the cycle is partly above and partly below normal, which is some- 
what confusing. An article explaining the theory of mechanical re- 
frigeration appeared in The Locomotive for July 1922. It is the 
purpose of the present article to consider the various vessels and 



134 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

machines essential to a practical system, having special reference to 
their safety and insurance. 

Rating of the System. 

In common with all other machines refrigerating systems are rated 
as to capacity in order that there may be some basis of comparison 
of different machines. They are susceptible to two ratings, that is, 
either their capacity is given in tons of ice they will produce in one 
day (24 hours) called ice making capacity, or they are rated equal 
to the cooling work done by one ton of ice melting per day (24 hours), 
called refrigerating capacity. 

The relation of ice making capacity to refrigerating capacity is 
dependent to a great extent upon the temperature of the water from 
which the ice is made and also to the heat exchangers that may be a 
part of the plant equipment. In plants operating under the most 
favorable conditions the relation is sometimes as low as i to 1.5 and 
the general average is about i to 1.65. For the purpose of quoting in- 
surance premiums it is arbitrarily taken as i to 2. 

The commercial unit of capacity, or " ton of refrigeration," is 
defined as the cooling effect produced (or heat absorbed) by the melt- 
ing of one ton (2000 lbs.) of ice per day (24 hours). The heat neces- 
ary to melt one pound of ice at 32°F into water at 32°F is 144 B. t. u. 
This value, 144 B. t. u., is the latent heat of ice. A ton of refrigeration, 
therefore, equals 2000x144 = 288,000 B. t. u. per 24 hours. The 
usual rating of refrigerating systems is the " refrigerating capacity " 
and is expressed in tons of refrigeration. It is, in other words, the 
number of B. t. u. which can be absorbed in 24 hours divided by 
288,000 to reduce the value to tons. 

In order to produce a ton refrigerating capacity it is necessary to 
compress (compression system) or generate (absorption system) an 
accepted amount of gas, and this is taken by the Joint Committee of 
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American 
Society of Refrigerating Engineers as 5^^ cubic feet per minute per 
ton of refrigeration in 24 hours with saturated gas at 5°F at the 
cooler and 86° F at the condenser. A 50 ton machine must therefore 
compress 5^ x 50 or 275 cubic feet of gas per minute. 

The volume of gas to be pumped per ton is dependent upon the 
brine cooler pressure and the condenser pressure. The volumes for 
corresponding pressures and temperatures can be found in hand book 
tables. 

Insurance premiums for refrigerating or ice making systems are 
based on the combined " ice making capacity " of all compressors or 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 135 

absorption generators connected with the system, such capacity to be 
determined from the manufacturer's rating stated on each machine. 
Where the rating is in refrigerating capacity it is of course to be con- 
verted into ice making capacity, the latter to be one half of the former. 
If the manufacturer's rating either in refrigerating capacity or ice 
making capacity cannot be ascertained the capacity of the system is 
determined for insurance rating purposes from the cylinder displace- 
ment of its compressors on the assumption that 15,000 cubic inches 
per minute equal one ton of ice making capacity. 

By the term " refrigerating system " is meant the pipes, coils and 
vessels of the system which contain ammonia, from the discharge end 
of the compressor to the suction end of the compressor, but excluding 
any compressor, and if the system is of the absorption type, the term 
shall include its generator. The compressor can be covered under 
an engine policy. 

Compression System. 

A compression system of mechanical refrigeration consists primarily 
of a compressor, condenser, receiver, expansion valve, and expansion 
coils. A driven compressor takes the low pressure anhydrous am- 
monia gas, compresses it to a higher pressure, and passes it on through 
an oil separator to the condenser. In the act of compressing, the 
temperature is increased, and the heat so generated is absorbed in 
the condenser by bringing the hot gas in contact with surfaces cooled 
usually with circulating water. 

The ammonia changes from a gas to a liquid in the condenser 
because although the pressure is about the same as when leaving the 
discharge end of the compressor, the temperature has been brought 
down to nearly that of the condensing water. The change is due to 
the combination of high pressure and moderately low temperature. 
The liquid ammonia flows downward in the condenser to a tank known 
as a receiver located below the condenser. The receiver acts as a 
storage vessel and keeps the expansion valve supplied with a constant 
supply of liquid ammonia. 

In the line from the receiver is an expansion valve which regulates 
the flow of ammonia to the expansion coils. Expansion valves may 
be either of the needle, disc or plug type and the disc and plug types 
are commonly used in large installations. When the liquid ammonia 
passes the expansion valve the pressure drops and the ammonia evap- 
orates into a gas during the time it is in the expansion coil. It is at 
this point that a decrease in temperature occurs and production of 
cold created. Anhydrous ammonia has two principal qualities which 



136 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[Januarj', 




sent-STeei. OHSresL 
Sree-L 



LC.AO ANTIMOrtr CO»POSlTlO/t 




L£AO AflTIHOtlY 

Cornposirioti 



SEMI-STEeu Of* STEEL 

Spec/ A L rton-ojRRosivE 



'^i' Pipe Plus 



l"PiPEi Tap 

Massachusetts Standard Ammonia Safety Valve. 

make it a desirable commercial refrigerant, first, its low temperature 
of evaporation ( — 28°F at atmospheric pressure), and second, its high 
latent heat. 

Before the liquid anhydrous ammonia can evaporate or boil into 
a gas it must be supplied with heat, and this heat must come from the 
brine, or air in the refrigerating rooms. If the expansion coils were 



1927.] l- 1 1 i: L O C O M O T I V E . 1 37 

under a gage pressure of 23 lbs. each pound (weight) of ammonia 
evaporated would require the absorption of about 564 B.t.u. 

The expansion coils are either immersed in brine and the brine 
circulated in pipes in the cold storage rooms (indirect system), or 
else the coils are installed directly in the rooms to be cooled (direct 
system). After the ammonia has evaporated in the expansion coils 
it is pumped back into the suction side of the compressor and the 
cycle begun over again. 

Protection of System. 

The compressor should be protected from over pressure by an 
automatic by-pass from the discharge to the suction side, or by a spring 
loaded by-pass through or around the discharge stop valve, or 
else by a safety valve of proper size piped to discharge into the atmos- 
phere at a safe place. These means of safeguard prevent the breakage 
of compressor parts in case an attempt were made to start the com- 
pressor with the discharge valve closed or in case of an abnormally 
high pressure during operation. 

A great many compressors are provided with spring loaded or 
false heads beneath the main cylinder head. The purpose of such 
construction is to prevent broken compressor parts by furnishing a 
relief in case a considerable quantity of liquid anhydrous ammonia 
were taken into the cylinder. 

It is desirable especially with high speed compressors that the dis- 
charge stop valve on compressors be so installed that the valve opens 
in the direction of the flow of the gas, in other words, that the pres- 
sure tends to open the valve. The object of this is to avoid sudden 
over pressure on the compressor cylinder and serious overstrain on 
other parts of the compressor which would occur if the valve should 
get loose from the stem and thereby act as a check valve. 

When the automatic compressor by-pass valves discharge into the 
system the system should be protected from over pressure by a safety 
valve the size of which corresponds to the capacity of the machine. 
It should be set at a pressure not exceeding the safe working pressure 
of the vessels and should discharge into the atmosphere. 

In determining the proper setting of such a safety valve it should 
be considered whether or not it is possible for the pressure in the 
discharge side of the system to act on top of the compressor safety 
valve so as to increase the pressure required on the lower side of the 
valve to make it operate. Due to the design of the Massachusetts 
Standard ammonia safety valve it is impossible for pressure from the 
discharge side to act on top of the valve disc in such a way as to increase 



138 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

the opening pressure. On the other hand, pressure from the discharge 
side would tend to lift the valve due to the shoulder of the valve 
disc. A number of other kinds of safety valves have this feature 
where pressure from the discharge side tends to lift the valve. 

Receivers, shell type condensers and evaporators, which can be 
isolated by stop valves, should be protected by at least y^-'mch safety 
valves set at pressures not exceeding the safe working pressures of the 
vessels protected, and these safety valves should discharge into the 
atmosphere. 

Safety Valve Sizes. 

The State of Massachusetts stipulates the size of safety valves for 
ammonia compressors based on 5 cubic feet of gas per minute per ton 
of refrigeration at a normal suction pressure of 10 lbs. gage and a dis- 
charge pressure of 275 lbs. 

Sise of Safety Valve Tons of Ref. Capacity 

M 56 

1 100 
i}i 166 
i>4 ' 240 

2 424 

If the suction pressure were less, it is obvious that smaller valves 
would be ample, and with a greater suction pressure larger valves 
would be required. 

Within the last few years two-stage compressors and low pressure 
boosters have come into use, and for the booster and the low pressure 
side of the two stage compressors, particularly with higher suction 
pressures, the allowance of 5 cubic feet of gas is not considered suffi- 
cient for computing safety valve sizes. It is also felt that for by-pass 
valves, larger sizes should be used than those based on 5 cubic feet. 
Machines are now being built for as low as 75 lbs., whereas formerly 
300 lbs. was the usual designed working pressure. 

The ammonia compressor is subject to the complication of dealing 
with a suction pressure varying from 10 to 15 inches of vacuum, to 30 
to 40 lbs. pressure, and the discharge pressure being a function of the 
condensing water temperature, may by anything from 70 lbs. in the 
winter to 275 lbs. in the summer; this may be further increased by 
air and uncondensable gases in the system. 

Safety valves should be specially designed for ammonia service 
and in no case should a safety valve intended only for steam or water 
service be used. If any parts are of brass they will waste away 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 139 

rapidly due to the action of ammonia on metal of this kind. The 
Massachusetts Standard ammonia safety valve is as good a design as 
Ave know of. 

It is always advisable to use a diffuser on the end of an escape 
pipe from a safety valve so that as much air as possible will mix with 
the ammonia fumes. The discharge from the safety valve escape pipe 
should be at a suitable location so that the fumes will not endanger life 
or become a public nuisance. 

Absorption System, 

An absorption system of mechanical refrigeration consists of a 
generator, analyzer, rectifier, condenser, receiver, expansion valve, ex- 
pansion coils, absorber, pump and exchanger. The general principle 
upon which this system is based is the property of water to absorb 
ammonia gas, forming aqua ammonia. The colder the water the more 
gas it will absorb. After the water has absorbed as much gas as 
possible the gas can be driven from the water by application of heat. 
A simplified system is shown on page 140 and is described below. 

Ammonia gas is driven from the strong aqua ammonia liquor in 
the generator by the heat of steam coils. The gas mixed with steam 
vapor rises under pressure and passes to an analyzer. The mixture 
passes upward through perforated trays over which strong liquor 
trickles downward to the generator. The descending strong liquor 
cools the rising vapor and partially condenses the steam. The final 
removal of steam and water vapor is completed in a vessel known as 
a rectifier, installed between the analyzer and condenser. All such 
condensation is returned to the generator. 

Ammonia gas passes out of the top of the analyzer through the 
rectifier and into the condenser in which it strikes the cold surface of 
the pipe coil through which cold water is circulated. The ammonia 
is here condensed to a liquid and flows into a receiver and then to an 
expansion valve, passing thence to the expansion coils in the brine 
tank or refrigerating rooms where it vaporizes. 

At this point, resemblance to the compression system ceases. The 
evaporated ammonia passes to a vessel known as an absorber where 
it mingles with and is absorbed by the weak ammonia liquor which is 
forced from the bottom of the generator. In the process of absorption 
heat is produced and in order that the weak liquor may readily absorb 
the gas, this heat together with some of the heat remaining in the 
weak liquor must be absorbed. This is done by a cooling coil through 
which cold water is circulated. 

Due to pressure produced by the continuous evaporation in the 



140 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[January, 




2 

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CO 

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1927. \ TilK LOCOMOTIVE. 141 

generator, the hot weak liquor is forced from the bottom of the gen- 
erator and passes through a coil in the exchanger, after which it enters 
the top of the absorber. The cold strong liquor is pumped from the 
bottom of the absorber through the exchanger and into the top of 
the analyzer, where it falls to the generator. In the exchanger, the 
hot weak liquor gives up a large proportion of its heat to the cold 
strong liquor thus saving both cooling water in the absorber and steam 
ill the generator. 

The absorber and generator together with the parts lying between 
them take the place of the compressor of the compression system, 
without having any moving parts except the pump. It will be seen 
from the foregoing that there are two complete cycles, the course of 
the anhydrous gas and the liquid ammonia forming one, and the weak 
and strong aqua ammonia forming the other. 

Protection of System. 

Since the pressure and amount of ammonia gas driven from the 
generator are dependent on the steam coils in the generator it will be 
necessary to limit the pressure of steam by a reducing valve on the 
line to the coils and a safety valve between the reducing valve and 
coils. The pressure of steam or amount of heating surface of the coils 
should not exceed that necessary to obtain the designed capacity of 
the system. 

The generator should be protected from over pressure by an 
ammonia safety valve of a size corresponding to the capacity of the 
system and set at a pressure not exceeding the safe working pressure 
of the vessel, and this safety valve should discharge into the atmos- 
phere. The safety valve on the generator may discharge into the 
absorber provided the absorber is protected by a safety valve of proper 
size set at a pressure not above the safe working pressure of the 
absorber and discharging into the atmosphere. 

In determining the proper setting of the safety valve on the gener- 
ator, it should be considered that the pressure in the absorber acts 
on top of the safety valve and may increase the pressure required 
on the lower side of the valve or in the generator to make it operate. 
This condition may be somewhat different as previously explained. 

If the remaining shell constructed vessels of the system can be 
isolated from the generator by stop valves they should be protected 
by at least ^-inch safety valves discharging into the atmosphere or 
into the absorber provided the absorber is properly protected. 

In case all safety valves discharge into the atmosphere the absorber 
nevertheless should be protected from over pressure by an ammonia 



142 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

safety valve of a size corresponding to the capacity of the system and 
set to discharge into the atmosphere at a pressure not exceeding the 
safe working pressure of the vessel. 

The best practice is to provide atmospheric relief for all ammonia 
vessels and compressors and where by-pass valves are used it is 
advisable to have them set at about 25 lbs. less than the valves re- 
lieving to the atmosphere. This enables excessive pressure to be re- 
lieved to the low pressure side, thus preventing the loss of ammonia, 
but the atmospheric relief valve is ready to function in case of failure 
of the by-pass valve. 

Carbon Dioxide. 

Carbon dioxide is a refrigerant frequently used in compression 
systems and the principles of operation are similar to the ammonia 
compression system except that the head pressure is much higher ; 
usually about 1000 or 1200 lbs. The compressor is usually driven 
by an electric motor and the vessels of the system are of pipe con- 
struction. The compressor should have a safety valve installed on the 
discharge pipe between the stop valve and compressor and set to dis- 
charge into the atmosphere at a pressure not exceeding the safe work- 
ing pressure of the system. An automatic pressure limiting device 
should be installed which will stop the compressor before the safety 
valve begins to lift. 

H any of the vessels of the system are of the shell type and can 
be isolated by stop valves they should be protected by at least J^-inch 
safety valves of proper construction. Over pressure rupturing devices 
would be considered the equivalent of safety valves on shell type 
vessels. 

Sulphur dioxide, ethyl and methyl chloride are other refrigerating 
mediums frequently used. Systems using these chemicals are in- 
surable and they should be protected in about the same manner as 
carbon dioxide systems. The pressures in such systems are much 
lower than in the carbon dioxide systems. 

Inspections 

Owners should plan to let the insurance company know when 
vessels of shell type construction are to be opened for repairs and 
cleaning, and internal inspections at those times can be arranged for. 
Be certain that vessels are thoroughly ventilated and valves tightly 
closed when the vessels being inspected are connected with others 
under pressure. Ammonia gas has a specific gravity considerably 
less than air, and therefore it has a tendency to rise. Do not use an 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 143 

open flame light for inspection purposes. A hand flash light is ad- 
vised. 

Ammonia is generally not corrosive to iron or steel and although 
wasting away of metal is not common, the remaining defects as found 
in unfired pressure vessels can be looked for. 

Test gage connections should be installed so that gages can be 
corrected. 

No fires, open flames or flashing electric contacts should be allowed 
around ammonia apparatus, because a mixture of the proper propor- 
tions of air and ammonia gas may be inflammable and explosive. 

Make sure the condensing water is cool, sufficient in quantity and 
from an unfailing source. 

Broken fittings are often the cause of shut downs which usually 
are expensive due to the escape of large quantities of ammonia and 
the spoiling of brine, spoiling of material in storage, and loss of produc- 
tion, to say nothing of the possibility of the injury or death of persons. 
The engineer should investigate the possibility of ice cans striking am- 
monia pipes in the brine tank as this is a frequent cause of broken 
fittings. The practice of standing on ammonia pipes and fittings has 
been also frequently noted and such practice advised against. 



European Rotary Economizer. 

MAINLY from the standpoint of saving in floor space, according 
to the Zeitschrift of the Steam Boiler Inspection and Insur- 
ance Company of Vienna, Austria, a new piece of power plant 
apparatus has been designed which functions both as economizer and 
induced draft fan. 

In outward appearance and size this fan-economizer looks like an 
ordinary fan, but the rotor consists of a circular nest of short tubes 
fastened in two hollow-disk headers through which the feed water is 
pumped by way of the hollow shaft. The tubes are provided on their 
outside surface with sheet metal fins similar to those on air-cooled 
compressor cyhnders. No cast iron is used in the construction of the 
economizer as it is intended for high boiler pressures. 

The results obtained with this apparatus are reported as remark- 
ablv ffood. 



Learn to laugh. A good laugh is better than medicine. When 
you smile or laugh, your brain for a moment is freed from the load 
that it ordinarily carries. — Selected. 



144 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[January, 



Explosion of a Steam Turbine Casing Due to Overpressure. 

THE presence of a stop valve in the exhaust line of a turbine is 
in some cases a necessity as, for instance, when two or more tur- 
bines utilize the same condenser or exhaust into a common low 




Fig. I. 

pressure supply line. Such a valve, however, introduces a hazard 
that is not always appreciated, for where there is a valve there is 
always the possibility of its being closed at the wrong time. The 
presence of this stop valve in the exhaust line presents the possibility 
of the low pressure end of the turbine being subjected to full boiler 
pressure. Since the low pressure casing is not designed to withstand 



1 927-] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



145 



high pressures, it should be protected against over pressure by an atmos- 
pheric relief valve. 

The explosion of a 50 kvv. turbine, the. results of which are shown 
in the accompanying picture, was due to the closing of a valve in the 
exhaust line under rather unusual conditions. The turbine had been 
in operation as usual for several hours when it suddenly lost its load 

and was tripped out by an 
overspeed safety device. 
This occurred during the 
early hours of the morning, 
and the plant being in dark- 
ness due to the shut down, 
the fireman on duty made 
an effort to start up the tur- 
bine again. He first closed, 
or endeavored to close, the 
throttle valve, but appar- 
ently became confused in 
the dark and closed the ex- 
haust valve instead. Upon 
opening the valve that had 
been closed by the over- 
speed mechanism, full 
boiler pressure was thrown 
upon the turbine casing be- 
cause the throttle valve had 
remained open. The cas- 
ing was so completely 
wrecked and the shaft so 
badly sprung that the tur- 
bine had to be replaced by a 
new one. The direct con- 
nected generator suffered damage to several coils. Greater damage 
would undoubtedly have resulted if the machine had been in motion. 

This turbine casing was not protected by an atmospheric relief 
valve but it did have an interlocking device connecting the steam and 
exhaust valves which it was thought made a relief valve unnecessary. 
The construction of this device is shown in the diagram, Fig. 2. A 
vertical sliding rod was supported by guides and contained two hori- 
zontal arms, one of which terminated in a downward projecting fork, 
and the other in a downward projecting cap. The cap fitted over the 




146 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 

rising stem of the exhaust valve so that the whole arrangement moved 
lip or down as the exhaust valve was opened or closed. When the 
valve was closed, the rod was in its lowest position and the fork pro- 
jected between the spokes of the wheel on the throttle valve, thus pre- 
venting it from being opened. When the exhaust valve was opened 
the fork, of course, was withdrawn. 

Such an arrangement at best is really only a reminder to the 
operator, for it is quite evident that the exhaust valve could be manipu- 
lated at will regardless of the position of the steam valve, and this 
completely nullified the arrangement as a safety device. To be really 
safe there is one feature that every safety device should have, — it 
should be completely automatic and not dependent upon thought or 
action of an attendant. An atmospheric relief valve on the exhaust 
connections without intervening stop-valve is a practical and safe means 
of preventing overpressure on a turbine casing. Such a relief valve 
would no doubt have prevented this explosion. 



Steam-Boiler Development. 

WITH the rapid developments in steam-boiler practice during 
the past few years, many problems have arisen that appear to 
give concern not only to the boiler manufacturer, but also to 
the inspection departments responsible for the safety of boilers and 
pressure vessels. The increasing demands for heat economy, particu- 
larly in connection with the large power stations now coming into use, 
have boosted operating steam pressures up from former maximums 
of 350 and 400 lb. to 600, 900, and 1200 lb. The critical pressure of 
steam, 3300 lb., is also suggested. 

The grave questions concerning pipe connections and fittings, 
gaskets, packing, etc., for these higher pressures appear capable of 
satisfactory solution. The several installations operating at 1200 lb. 
or more have apparently overcome such problems with a reasonable 
degree of satisfaction, and research concerning the effect of the ex- 
tremely high temperatures encountered at such pressures is developing- 
a tremendous amount of valuable information concerning the char- 
acteristics of metals and alloys that are most suitable for the various 
classes of service. 

One of the most striking features of this development is the fact 

that with drums of relatively small diameters these high pressures 

demand shell thicknesses that exceed the practical limits of riveting- 

g for the joints. This has influenced the use of forged seamless drums 



1927-] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 147 

and here the valuable experience developed in heavy forging of large- 
bore rifles, hydraulic cylinders, etc. is turned to the advantage of the 
boiler manufacturer. This development has, it may be stated, re- 
vealed the necessity of introducing a new specification for the material 
required for such forgings, but the Boiler Code Committee in co- 
operation with the American Society for Testing Materials has been 
able to meet this need of industry. Such a specification has just been 
approved for publication as an addendum to the Material Specifications 
Section of the Code .... 

With drums of such great shell thickness the attachments of 
nozzles or other fittings for outlet connections and the like have de- 
manded treatment that is relatively new in steam-boiler practice. 
In some instances it has been found possible to forge down an end 
of the drum and machine directly upon it a pipe flange for connection 
to header or main stop valve. In others where a nozzle at the side 
is desired it is found more satisfactory to fasten the flange plate or 
nozzle fitting with studs instead of rivets, the thickness of the shell 
affording ample depth of thread. It has even been proposed to insert 
the end neck of a long-bodied nozzle through a drilled hole in the 
shell of such a thick drum and expand it at the inner end like a boiler 
tube, and it is of course generally recognized that such a plan has merit.. 

Not alone in the problem of shell construction are difficulties en- 
countered in high pressure boiler design — all fittings and attach- 
ments require special treatment and in many instances different ma- 
terials of construction. Feed connections and piping, blow-off piping 
and valves, and steam and water gages all require special design as 
well as special materials. Brass and bronze are frowned upon by the 
Boiler Code for use at pressures in excess of 200 lbs. per sq. in., as at 
the temperatures accompanying such pressures a pronounced weaken- 
ing of the material is to be noted. Almost a new art has been developed 
in water-gage, steam-gage and safety-valve construction. 

Broadly viewed, the art of boiler construction seems to be inclined 
to depart from its accustomed channels of practice for many years 
past, and it is indeed a study of the greatest interest to observe the 
tendencies toward which it is drifting. It is a general impression that 
important new developments are still to appear in this field. 

— Mechanical Engineering, 



S-MlLES 



He bought some tires that " smile at miles," but they burst out 
laughing. — Selected. 



148 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[January, 




iiw 



Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



PlBLlSllED Ql..\RTERLY 



Bexj. C. Cruickshanks, Editor. 



HARTFORD, JANUARY, 1927. 

SlKGL£ COPIES ccM be obtained free by calling at any of the company's asenciet^ 

SuO^cription price SO cents per year ivhen mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volum.es one dollar each. Earlier ones t-ivo dollars, 

Reprinting fnatler from this paper is permitted tf credited to 

The Locomotive of the Hartford Steam Boiler I. & I. Co. 



President Blake's Anniversary. 

ON Saturday, November 20th, 1926, occurred the tenth anniver- 
sary of President Blake's election as the head of this Company. 
At the next meeting of the Board of Directors on November 
24th, this event was noted by a review of the progress which the Com- 
pany had made in the previous ten years. In recognition of this anni- 
versary and of the wonderful growth and development shown by this 
review, the- Board of Directors unanimously passed the following vote: 

" At a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Hartford Steam 
Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, of Hartford, Connecticut, 
held November twenty- fourth, nineteen hundred and twenty six, it 
was unanimously A'OTED : That in commemoration of the tenth 
anniversary,, — on November twentieth, nineteen hundred and twenty 
six, — of the election of Charles S. Blake to the presidency of this 
Company, the following minute be entered on our record, and that 
a suitable engrossed copy of it be prepared, signed by each Director, 
and presented to President Blake as a testimonial of our high regard 
for him. 

" W'e deeply regret that the illness of President Blake prevents 
our expressing to him personally our hearty congratulations on the 
occasion of the tenth anniversary of his election as head of this 



19^7-] THE LOCOMOTIVE. ;[49 

Company and on the wonderful progress the Company has made 
under his administration. But in his absence, perhaps with less 
embarrassment to him, we may record more freely and frankly 
our appreciation of him and of his service to the Company. 

" During these last ten years the steady gain which our Com- 
pany has made in business and financial strength has been a source 
of deep satisfaction to us, but the report which has been submitted 
today, comparing current business statistics with those of ten years 
ago, makes us realize more than ever how great has been our 
progress. The figures in it evidence the material prosperity our 
Company has attained and now enjoys under President Blake's 
leadership but they imply even more, for so substantial a growth 
must mean increasing public recognition of the usefulness of our 
institution. Other statistics of today's report confirm this and show 
that by broadening the field of its activities to meet the needs of 
industrial development The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Company has maintained its paramount position in the 
face of growing competition as the largest insurer of those hazards 
which threaten the production of mechanical power. 

" That the efforts of the ofificials and the employees of the Com- 
pany and their loyal devotion to its interests have had an important 
part in this growth and prosperity we have no doubt, but we recog- 
nize that it is President Blake who has co-ordinated their work ; 
directed their activity ; inspired their enthusiasm, and whose char- 
acter is reflected throughout the organization and that he, there- 
fore, is primarily responsible for the splendid results attained, 

" We desire to express our deep satisfaction that ten years ago 
we elected Mr. Blake our President. We extend to him our affec- 
tionate greetings and our earnest hope, encouraged by his already 
improved condition, that he will be speedily restored to complete 
health and strength." 



/"> INCE our last issue, two new members have been added to the 
!^ Board of Directors of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Company. At a meeting of the Board held October 25th, 
1926, Shiras Morris, President of the Hart and Hegeman Manufactur- 
ing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, was elected to fill the vacancy 
caused by the death of the late Morgan G. Bulkeley, Jr. ; and at a 
meeting held November 24th, 1926, His Excellency, John H. Trum- 
bull, Governor of Connecticut and President of The Trumbull Electric 
Manufacturing Company of Plainville, Connecticut, was elected to 
fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late Atwood Collins. 



150 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [January, 



Mechanical Refrigeration. 

ytT a popular lecture on the subject of refrigeration the speaker 
/"A opened his talk with the statement that ice contains heat and that 
a stated number of pounds of ice contained enough heat to make 
the auditorium comfortable on a cold day. This, of course, is true, but 
unfortunately ice is at such a low temperature that its heat is not 
of any use to us at moderate temperatures. Hence we are not much 
interested in the heat content of ice, but we are very greatly interested 
in the fact that it will absorb heat from its surroundings. Heat flows 
down hill, that is, from a substance of higher temperature to one of 
lower temperature; and as ice is at a subnormal temperature and 
absorbs considerable heat in melting, it is the focus of heat flow from 
all objects near it. These objects are thus cooled or refrigerated. 

At first all ice was natural ice and was harvested in winter from 
rivers and ice ponds and stored in special ice houses until needed. 
This method was, and still is, fairly satisfactory in the northerly lat- 
itudes where the production of natural ice is abundant, but it involved 
long hauls and repacking for use further south where refrigeration 
is required to a far greater extent. Under such conditions the de- 
velopment of mechanical refrigeration and the manufacture of arti- 
ficial ice were inevitable, and the process has been so improved that 
artificial ice economically competes with natural ice even where the 
latter is abundant. Artificial ice can therefore be produced in any 
climate in quantities proportional to the local demand. Hauling even 
from nearby ice ponds is eliminated by the erection of manufacturing 
plants within cities, the centers of demand. 

Not many years ago mechanical refrigerating systems were built 
only in fairly large units, but with the development of smaller units 
the market has expanded so that today the small store or soda 
fountain depending upon ice packs for its refrigeration is becoming 
the exception. The office building or industrial plant of fair size 
is almost certain sooner or later to have its own refrigerating system 
if only for cooling drinking water. The operating engineer will thus 
come more and more into contact with such equipment and will be 
expected to know how to operate and to care for it. The safety of 
the system is, of course, paramount, and this requires a thorough 
understanding of the manner in which each piece of equipment should 
function. An interesting and helpful discussion of the subject will 
be found in this issue. 



1927] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



151 





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152 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[January, 



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1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 257 



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Tlie HartforH Steani BoUei Uispectioii \mw Gonipais 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1923 

Capital Stock, . ' . $2,500,000.00 

ASSETS 

Cash in offices and banks $699,859.61 

.Real Estate 27i,7S7-i6 

^Mortgage and collateral loans 1,650,188.00 

Bonds and stocks 11,233,196.67 

Premiums in course of collection ....... 1,341,102.96 

Interest Accrued 141,983-25 



Total Assets 



LIABILITIES 
Reserved for unearned premiums . 
Reserve for losses .... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 

Capital Stock 

Surplus over all liabilities . 

Surplus to Policyholders, 



15.338,087.6s 

6,433,164.02 
283,273.98 
707,384.81 



2,500,000.00 
5,414,264.84 



$7,914,264.84 



Total Liabilities 15,338,087.65 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, President. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President and Treasurer. 

E. SIDNEY BERRY, Second Vice-President. 

LOUIS F. MIDDLEBROOK, Secretary. 

J. J. GRAHAM, Assistant Secretary. 

HALSEY STEVENS, Assistant Secretary. 

C. EDGAR BLAKE, Assistant Treasurer. 

SHERWOOD F. JETER, Chief Engineer. 

KENNETH A. REED, Electrical Engineer. 

HARRY E. DART, Supt. Engineering Dept. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Trustees, United States Security Trust 
Co., Hartford, Conn. 

.\10RG.\N B. BRAINARD, President 
.^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



n 



DR. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, Vice-President The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford 
Conn. 

SHIRAS MORRIS, President The Hart 
&- Hegeman Mfg. Co., Hartford, Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., 
Plainville, Conn. 



Incorporated 1866 




Ch:irter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS, DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SIONS OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg 
BALTIMORE, Ud., . 

13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 
BOSTON, Mass. 

4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 

404-405 City Savings Bank Bid 
CHICAGO, 111., 

209 West Jackson B'l'v'd. 



CINCINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 
CLEVELAND, Ohio, 

Leader Bldg. . 
DENVER, Colo., 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldj 
HARTFORD, Conn., 

56 Prospect St. 
NEW ORLEANS, La., 

Hibernia Bank Bldg. 
NEW YORK, N. Y., . 

80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., 

429 Walnut St. 
PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 

1807-8-9- 10 Arrott Bldg 
PORTLAND, Ore., . 

306 Yeon Bldg., 
SEATTLE, Wash., . 

415 Dexter-Horton Bldg, 
SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., 

339-341 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 

610-618 Security Bldg. 
TORONTO, Canada, 

Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 

James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents. 

A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

J. T. Coleman, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. W. ZiMMER, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. G' ENNON, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 

L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 
F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 
R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
C. C. Gardiner, Manager. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 
R. P. Guy, Ass't Chief Inspector. 
A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 
Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 
Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents. 

J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

L. J. Reed, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 

Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 

soection and Insurance Company of 

Canada. 



^t 



tUM ilia 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world" 



ELECTRICAL-^^^Jxi^M^ 

MACHINERit^^"'^^' 
INSURANCE iwi 

Inspections made by HARTFORD ELECTRICAL 
INSPECTORS are of the same thorough character as those 
that have made HARTFORD BOILER INSPECTIONS 
the standard for comparison. 

A Hartford Electrical Policy 

PROTECTS against loss due to 
Burnouts 

Short Circuits 
Lightning 

Mechanical Breakage 

Explosion from overspeed 
Etc. 
INSURES 

Rotating Machinery 
Transformers 
Switchboards 
', Etc. 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Qu^uiterly 



Vol. XXXVI 



HARTFORD, CONN., APRIL, 1927. 



No. 6. 



COPYRIGHT, 1927, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




Steam Turbine Explosion at Chillicothe, Ohio. 

THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



162 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 



Steam Turbine Explosion at Chillioothe, Ohio. 

THE disruption of a disk in the third stage on the rotor of a 3,000 
kw. turbine Friday morning, August 20th, 1926, at the plant of 
the Mead Pulp and Paper Company, Chillicothe, Ohio, resulted in 
a property loss of $43,000 not counting the use and occupancy loss. 
Two men were injured, but fortunately their injuries were not serious 
despite the fact that one of the men at the time of the accident was 
standing beside the machine that exploded. A view of the turbine after 
the explosion is shown on the front cover. 

The property damage was heavy but was confined almost entirely 
to the turbo-generator unit itself. The steam end of the unit was a 
complete loss, and in addition considerable damage was done to the 
electric generator. The bell end of the generator casing was cracked, 
the shaft sprung, and the field winding damaged to such extent that it 
eventually had to be rewound. About three hundred condenser tubes 
were destroyed by pieces of metal falling into the condenser, and a 
20 inch expansion joint for the extraction connection of the turbine and 
a 48 inch expansion joint for the exhaust connection were destroyed. 

The ruptured disk separated into three pieces in addition to the 
portion that remained on the shaft. One piece that flew off could not 
be located, and another piece was found beside the machine. The third 
piece, weighing 117 lbs., went out through the roof of the turbine room. 
It made a big hole in the roof, partly wrecked a roof truss, and came 
down through the roof of the residence of a prominent physician 
approximately one half mile away, passed through the attic floor and 
a second story bedroom, and came to rest on an expensive davenport 
close to a grand piano in a music room on the first floor. Besides 
damage done to the building there was considerable damage to the 
Doctor's costly furniture. His loss was about $2,500. 

The piece of the wheel that traveled this distance was heard in its 
flight by a number of people in the neighborhood. They all agree that 
it made a noise very similar to that of an airplane, so much so that 
they were sure an airplane had struck the house. 

Nothing unusual had been observed in the operation of the machine 
just prior to the accident. It had been in continuous operation for 
several days, carrying little more than one half its rated load. Some 
difficulty had previously been experienced due to vibration such that 
the machine was not allowed to carry its full load, and arrangements had 
been made to have an inspection by a factory representative the follow- 
ing week-end. The inspector arrived the afternoon of the day of the 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 163 

accident in accordance with previous arrangements and without knowl- 
edge of the accident. 

The failure occurred just after the operating engineer had made an 
entry in the log and had returned to the turbine, where he was 
standing performing some minor duty. He was slightly injured but 
retained his presence of mind. He immediately ran around to the 
throttle valve and shut off the steam. It later appeared, however, that 
this had been done by the automatic stop which was caused to operate 
by a piece of the disk striking it. Practically no steam escaped into 
the engine room. 

The Hartford Company paid $49,500 for loss caused by this 
accident. 



Steam Jacketed Kettles.* 

By J, P, Morrison, Chief Inspector, Chicago Department 

ONE identified with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Company derives great pleasure from attending a 
meeting of this kind, for we have been engaged in " safety 
first" work for something over sixty years. In fact, I am sure we 
may confidently say that we were the pioneers in that field. Our 
first policy of insurance, issued about sixty years ago, and subsequent 
policies carry the provision that our inspectors have reasonable access 
to the boiler, steam jacketed kettle, or other insured object, for the 
purpose of making inspection, to prevent loss of life, injury to persons, 
and damage to property. 

When the inspection work was inaugurated, the steam boiler was 
looked upon as the source of energy most likely to get beyond control 
and wreck the surrounding property, but as industries developed, and 
changing living conditions resulted in the establishment of immense 
food preparing plants in which the old fashioned preserving kettle, 
which the housewife had used on the kitchen range, was replaced by 
vessels of much greater capacity, using steam instead of the direct 
action of the fire as the heating element, the safety of such equipment 
naturally became one which concerned not only the owner of the 
establishment, but the public in general, as the explosion of a jacketed 
kettle or rendering tank was quite likely to be disastrous. 

The things having a direct influence on the safety of steam 
jacketed kettles, retorts, rendering tanks, and pressure vessels of most 



*A paper presented before a meeting of the Food Section of the National Safety Council 
at Detroit, Michigan, October 26, 1926. 



164 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[April, 



every description, may be grouped under the classification of material, 
design, construction, installation and operation. 

The material should be suitable for the purpose intended. Many 
of the acids and gases which result from food preparing processes 
have a rapidly corrosive effect upon iron and iron alloys, while they 
may affect to a less extent such material as copper and aluminum. 
On the other hand, the vessel of copper and aluminum may not 
safely withstand the pressure which could be carried upon a similar 
vessel constructed of steel. 



"D- artier af-DoHom ^ ■■ 




-D^?ry^ 



Z 'Ou/Ze/ 



Fig. I. 



Assuming the material and design of the vessel is all that it should 
be, the methods of construction employed by the manufacturer may 
be such that the vessel is irreparably damaged, and does not possess 
a sufficient margin of safety when it reaches the purchaser. Such 
imperfections may be so concealed by other parts of the structure 
that they cannot be detected until failure takes place. A means of 
avoiding methods of that kind is to provide in the specifications for 
rigid shop inspection by an expert representing the purchaser. We 
frequently encounter the excuse — " That's good enough," when 
material or workmanship is criticised by the shop inspector. I know 
of nothing which will undermine and destroy the workman's judgment 
more rapidly. The man who is continuously being satisfied with 
inferior goods because it is " good enough," soon loses the power to 
judge and appreciate perfect work. 

You will recognize this slide (Fig. i) as representing a hemispherical, 
jacketed, copper kettle, such as is used in the majority of food 
preserving plants. The outside shell of the jacketed section is exposed 



1927.] THE L O C O ^T O T T V E . 265 

to stresses tending to pull the copper sheet apart, while the inside 
shell is subjected to collapsing stresses, which copper, as a material, 
is poorly equipped to resist. The small cross section illustrated gives 
an idea of the manner in which the material was stretched during the 
process of manufacture. This reduction in thickness could not be 
detected after the parts were assembled, so the vessel continued in 
operation without its weakness being suspected, until it failed quite 
violently, causing the deaths of two men. The manufacturer of such 
equipment should know if his finished product possesses but one third 
the thickness and one third the strength the material had before 
fabrication was commenced. 

We encounter a great variety of methods of connecting up food 
cooking equipment. In some cases there is a safety valve on one 
steam line leading to the kettle although there may be two or more 
such steam lines without any pressure regulating device. Again, the 
safety valve intended to protect the vessel from an overpressure may 
be located directly on the vessel, which, in the case of rendering tanks 
and objects used in kindred service, is prohibited, as the contents 
of the tank are quite likely to obstruct the safety valve if it has 
occasion to operate, so future operations will be seriously interfered 
with, if not absolutely prevented. 

The food preparing plant should be equipped with a sufficient 
number of steam headers so that each vessel of a certain pressure 
classification may be connected to the header carrying that pressure, 
and the steam header should be provided with a stop valve, regula- 
ting valve, safety valve and pressure gauges of sufficient capacity 
to meet the requirements of all of the vessels connected to it. A 
jacketed kettle intended for but twenty pounds pressure should not 
be connected to a steam line carrying eighty or one hundred pounds 
pressure - — with the thought that the attendant will regulate the steam 
flowing to the jacketed kettle with such precision that the twenty 
pounds pressure will not be exceeded — unless the branch line leading 
from the higher pressure header to the lower pressure object is 
equipped with the proper safety devices, consisting of a stop valve, 
pressure regulating valve, safety valve and steam gauge. 

In our inspection work we are frequently confronted with the 
statement that a certain condition which has been criticised has existed 
for weeks, or months, or years, and an accident has not occurred. If 
such reasoning is carried to its logical conclusion, we might be just 
as sure that we will never die because we never have. I was impressed 
with a news item under a Washington, D. C, date line, which appeared 



166 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

in the daily press recently. A blacksmith — a horse shoer — is said 
to have had twenty-five years' experience at his trade, and during that 
time is estimated to have put on one hundred thousand horse shoes, 
which would correspond to shoeing three horses as an average day's 
work. He had been quite fortunate, and had never suffered injury. 
However, a few days preceding the date of the news item, the horse 
shoer entered his chicken yard. His Plymouth Rock rooster jumped 
up and kicked him. The spur entered the knee between the joint and 
the knee cap. The blacksmith is on crutches, with the probability of 
being a cripple for life. So do not let anyone tell you that because 
an undesirable condition has existed for a number of years, it should 
not be remedied. 

There seems to be abroad in the land the idea that steam at eighty 
pounds pressure contains twice as much heat, and will do twice as 
much work in one half the time, as will steam at forty pounds 
pressure. So the plant superintendent, anxious to increase produc- 
tion and reduce production costs, is inclined to carry a higher pressure 
on the jacketed kettle than that for which it was intended. I have in 
mind the chef of a large kitchen which was equipped with quite a 
variety of food cooking vessels upon which one hundred pounds 
pressure was carried, although the margin of safety required by good 
practice would limit the pressure to forty pounds. In fact, one of the 
kettles was tested to disruption, and failed when the hydrostatic 
pressure exceeded one hundred pounds but slightly. The chef would 
not agree to a reduction in pressure, but when a pressure gauge was 
so adjusted that it traveled from zero to one hundred pounds while 
the pressure was increasing from zero to forty pounds, and the 
regulating devices were set to control the pressure at forty pounds, 
the chef was entirely satisfied. He could not tell the difference 
between forty pounds and one hundred pounds by results, but depended 
entirely upon the pressure gauge, which in this case had been purposely 
calibrated to deceive him. 

Before considering seriously any plan to exceed the safe pressure 
on a jacketed kettle, tank or retort, try setting the pressure gauge a 
few pounds ahead, and see if the results are just as satisfactory. The 
increase in presstire from fifty pounds to one hundred pounds increases 
the stress in the material one hundred per cent and reduces the margin 
of safety by fifty percent, while the heat content of the steam at one 
hundred pounds pressure is but approximately one per cent greater 
than of steam at fifty pounds pressure. Just by way of emphasizing 
how little thought is given to even primary safety requirements by 



1927.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



167 



some i)coi)lc operating pressure vessels, I would nieiUion a recent ex- 
perience of one of our Michigan ins-pectors. He visited a food prepar- 
ing plant. As a matter of fact, it was a cheese factory* He was to 
make the preliminary inspection of a boiler which had previously been 
uninspected and uninsured. Aside from a number of defects resulting 
from operating conditions, the boiler appeared to be an average risk. 
Rut the inspector could not locate the safety valve. Upon inquiring 




Fig. 2. 

of the engineer he learned that the factory inspector had visited the 
premises but a short time before and that during the visit the safety 
valve of the boiler operated automatically. When it did so, a consider- 
able cloud of soot was discharged from the boiler room into the cheese 
making department. Quite naturally the factory inspector objected to 
the preparation of food in just that way. Those in charge interpreted 
his objection as being directed at the safety valve, and proceeded to 
remove the offending member just as soon as the boiler could be taken 
from service. They explained to our inspector that the Factory In- 
spection Laws of Michigan do not permit the use of a safety valve on 
a boiler in a cheese factory. It had apparently not occurred to them 
that the safety valve could be adjusted to discharge in some other 
direction. 

" Familiarity breeds contempt." The truth of this old saying 
appears to us quite frequently. The man who has observed a certain 



268 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

pressure on a certain vessel daily for a number of years soon becomes 
of the opinion that everything is safe and serene, and that there is no 
cause for uneasiness. Forty or fifty pounds pressure is quite low when 
compared to the twelve or thirteen hundred pounds pressure now 
being carried in some of the central stations, but those boilers and 
turbine casings subjected to that pressure possess a relatively larger 
margin of safety than does the ordinary jacketed kettle or rendering 
tank carrying forty pounds. This slide (Fig. 2) pictures the result 
of the explosion of a rendering tank when carrying forty pounds 
pressure. The failure resulted in damaging a considerable part of 
the plant, as well as in the death of one man, who was decapitated, and 
the serious injury of another. The investigation which followed 
developed the fact that the rendering tanks in the establishment had 
been examined thoroughly during the month of June. Several of them 
were found to be so badly corroded they were considered unserviceable, 
and accordingly were disconnected from the steam header. The tank 
which exploded, and the one adjoining it, were criticised, but it was 
estimated they could be continued in service until the first of the year, 
a term of possibly five or six months. The inspector understood that 
those tanks which were immediately removed from service would be 
replaced with new ones, but such was not the case. The balance of 
the tanks were continued in service approximately twenty-four hours 
a day, so the deterioration was twice as rapid as the inspector estimated 
it would be. The explosion occurred on November 13. 

It is logical that some means be devised to detect the deterioration 
which takes place in cooking vessels so plans can be perfected for 
replacing the old ones with new before the point of failure is reached. 

The next slide (Fig. 3) is intended to represent a vertical rendering 
tank with which our packing houses are equipped by the thousand. 
In the sectional view you will note the manner in which the internal 
surface has been corroded until the tell-tale holes have been reached, 
resulting in slight leakage, to be taken as a warning of the decrease 
in thickness which has taken place. Under ordinary operating condi- 
tions, the tell-tale hole may be closed by a wooden plug until the 
"cook" is completed, and after the tank has been emptied, may be 
permanently closed by the use of a one-quarter inch rivet driven cold. 

These tell-tale holes are one-quarter inch in diameter, and drilled 
one-quarter inch deep from the outer surface of the shell of the average 
size vessel, say 72 inches in diameter, and are located opposite the 
region of greatest wear, which occurs on the inside surface of the 
tank. This plan, with certain modifications, can be applied to pressure 



1927. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



169 



vessels of all descriptions where the operation is likely to cause a 
reduction in thickness with corresponding weakening of the vessel. 
The operation of a pressure vessel, such as a jacketed kettle, rendering 
tank, retort or compressed air tank, may not in every case present a 




90999 O • 9999 



■ r 



^ + 



Corroded 
Av 





k dia Hole 
■^['deep. 



- — Original 
Thickness 



Renderiwg Tank 



Fig. 3- 



hazard equal to that encountered with the operation of a steam boiler, 
for the steam boiler has temperature stresses and is subjected to the 
changes which result from the use of impure feed water; but the 
cooking vessel is subjected to some temperature stresses, may be 
afifected by acids and gases, and, in general, is operated by men having 



170 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 



little or no mechanical training, undependable in an emergency, and 
properly enthusiastic in catering to the needs of the inner man. So I 
would urge that some competent authority be consulted when new 
equipment is purchased, and that you have a survey made of that now 
in use to determine if life and property are being needlessly exposed 
to danger. 



Failure of a Water Wheel Generator. 

THE accompanying picture shows some of the damage resulting 
from the failure of' a 937 kw. generator at the plant of the Keith 
Paper Company, Turner's Falls, Mass., on June 11, 1926. The 
property loss amounted to $2,700, and the use and occupancy loss ex- 
ceeded $16,300. Xo one was injured. 




Fig. I. 

The accident occurred about 12:10 a. m. when this hydraulic 
turbo-generator and a steam turbo-generator were carrying jointly 
a load of 1200 kw. The initial trouble w^as a short circuit or ground 
in the stator winding which resulted in the destruction of approxi- 
mately 47 coils. Fire resulted, and it was necessary to call the city 
fire department to extinguish it. As a result' of the fire, all of the 
stator coils were ruined and a complete new stator winding was 
required. This rewinding was estimated to take six weeks time. 
Through inability to use this machine production at the mill Avas 
curtailed, other generating units not being of sufficient capacity to 
carry the total load. 

The assured had 'T^artford Steam Boiler " Electrical Machinery 
insurance, direct and use and occupancy, on the loss from the burning 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 171 

out and other electrical damage of this machine, in addition to fire 
insurance on the loss from the ensuing fire. 



A Few Notable Discoveries by Hartford Inspectors. 

IN response to an application for insurance on twelve water lube 
boilers in a traction company's plant, an inspector was detailed 
to make the first internal inspection. The boilers were of the two- 
drum horizontal type, and nothing unusual was observed in the first 
drum entered. Upon examining the second drum of this boiler, a 
slight rust streak was observed in the coating of scale along the turn 
of the flange at the bottom of the rear head. This led the inspector 
to suspect the presence of a crack. 

The scale was removed and some light grooving was found to 
extend for about one third of the circumference of the head. Feeling 
confident that cracks existed at the bottom of the grooving, the inspector 
applied the alcohol and chalk test and found faint indications of their 
presence. The following day several slots ^ inch deep were cut across 
the external surface of the turn of the flange and a hydrostatic test of 
175 lbs. was applied, but no leaks were visible. Feeling, in spite of 
this test, that the head was dangerously cracked, the inspector advised 
the assured to replace it with a new one. The chief engineer, after 
some discussion, finally decided to have this done. 

While the boiler makers were driving out the head after the rivets 
had been removed, the crack opened up for a distance of 76 inches 
around the flange of the head so that the defect was easily visible. The 
extent of the failure is clearly shown in Fig. i, but it should be 
explained that the flange was struck a few blows with a sledge before 
the photographic exposure was made in order that the cracks would 
be visible in the picture. Later, with a few blows of the sledge, the 
flange was broken ofT around approximately one half of the circum- 
ference of the head, and the cracks were found to have penetrated half 
way through the plate for a good part of this distance. The fracture 
outside of the cracks had the usual crystalline cast iron appearance 
so familiar to fatigue failures. 

Following this alarming discovery, the other heads in this boiler 
and another one of the same make and age were carefully examined, 
and as several of them showed indications of the presence of cracks, 
it was decided to replace all of the heads. Subsequent examination 
revealed one of these heads to be in an even worse condition than the 
one first discovered. Although the cracks extended around only 52 



172 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 



inches of the circumference, yet in several places they penetrated to 
within 1/16 inch of the full thickness of the plate. Three other heads 
had cracks extending for 32, 36 and ^2 inches, respectively, in a cir- 
cumferential direction. The remaining three heads, while showing 
slight grooving, seemed to be free from cracks. These drums were 
48 inches in diameter, and previous to Hartford inspection, the 
boilers had been op- 
erated between 185 and 
200 lbs. pressure al- 
though they were de- 
signed for but 175 lbs. 

Upon another occa- 
sion an inspector called 
at a large central sta- 
tion for the purpose of 
taking data on such of 
the boilers as were 
available, at this was a 
new risk. These were 
water tube boilers of 
the inclined, bent tube 
type, and two of them 
were found available 
for internal inspection. 
While examining the 
mud drums, the inspec- 
tor noticed some very 
fine lines which 
appeared to be hair line 
cracks in the front row 
of tube hole ligaments. 
The boilers were 
headed up and a hydro- 
static test pressure applied, although the chief engineer jokingly told the 
inspector that the heat must be afifecting him when he suggested the 
presence of cracks. The te&t resulted in the exposure of seven cracked 
ligaments in the mud drum of one boiler and five cracked ligaments in 
the other. The boilers were again emptied and the inside surface 
carefully scraped and re-examined. It was found that these hair line 
cracks extended almost the full length of the drum between the front 
row of tubes and the longitudinal seam. They varied in length between 




Fig. I. 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. I73 

Yi inch and 4 inches, and the distance from the end of one crack to the 
beginning of the next varied between J/2 inch and 3 inches with the 
majority of these intervals less than i inch. These boilws were well 
on their way to a most violent explosion, that is, such an accident as 
results where the shell fails along a longitudinal line. The defective 
drums were immediately discarded. 

Another notable discovery of the approaching failure of an in- 
clined, bent tube type of water tube boiler was made by an inspector 
under quite difficult conditions. The front side of the mud drum 
was inaccessible because of the close proximity of the bridge wall and 
the flooded condition of the pit. However, the inspector thought he 
saw signs of leakage and corrosion along the front side of the drum. 
He again entered the furnace and removed a few bricks from the 
bridge wall, but this was not very satisfactory. A request was 
made to have a sufficient amount of the bridge wall removed to expose 
the seam for its entire length and to then prepare the boiler for a 
hydrostatic test. Two days later the inspector returned and made 
the test, with the result that leakage was noted at several points along 
the seam. It was also observed that a majority of the rivet heads 
in this seam were almost completely wasted away. The rivets were 
removed and the rivet holes examined with a magnifying glass for 
cracks. Although no cracks were found it was easily seen that the 
plates were seriously reduced in thickness by corrosion. The plates 
were drilled and found to have wasted to a scant 7/32 inch, the orignal 
thickness having been 3/8 inch. Under the circumstances, the boiler 
was discontinued from service. 

Each of the foregoing incidents happened to a water tube boiler 
of the type usually found in large modern power plants, but the 
horizontal return tubular boiler, which is found in so many industrial 
plants, is still a fertile field for latent defects. In a recent inspection 
of a lap seam boiler, the inspector had just finished' his examination 
of the head and braces at one end of the boiler and was working along 
on top of the tubes examining the seams when he noticed an irregular 
mark showing against the scale. The cause of it was not clear, but 
after some of the scale had been chipped away, a crack approximately 
10 inches long and running parallel to the axis of the drum was un- 
covered. The crack was just below the seam and immediately above 
the rivets of the supporting lug, and it was open wide enough to 
permit the insertion of part of the blade of a sharp pointed knife. 
The master mechanic of the plant satisfied himself of its presence 
by merely looking in through the manhole while the inspector held a 



274 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

lamp so as to make the crack visible. Removal of the brick work on 
the outside of the boiler failed to uncover the crack because it was 
behind the supporting lug. The boiler, of course, was discontinued 
from further use. 

The portable locomotive firebox type of boiler is one that is usually 
badly mistreated and neglected, and it is not surprising that an inspector 
should occasionally discover a latent defect in one of this type. In 
this instance the inspector happened to be in the vicinity of a boiler 
that he was scheduled to make an internal examination of on the 
following day, so he stopped by to make sure that it would be available 
the next day. Looking over the boiler while it was under pressure, 
he observed a rust stain on the lagging under the boiler near the smoke 
box end. Prying open the lagging a little, further signs of leakage 
were noted. A considerable amount of lagging was then removed 
and the sheet cleaned, which resulted in the discovery of a longitudinal 
crack 5 inches long. The boiler was in operation under 115 lbs. 
pressure and so the inspector recommended that it be removed from 
service immediately and cooled for further examination. The inspector 
returned the following day and definitely established the presence of 
the crack. 

The foregoing are merely a few of the numerous dangerous defects 
in boilers that inspectors are finding every day. Boiler inspection, the 
pioneer " safety first " movement, is still a vital factor in the saving of 
human life and of wealth. 



Scale in Cast Iron Sectional Boilers. 

SCALE is well known as a prolific source of trouble for the operator 
of power boilers as it usually results in overheating of the plates 

or tubes. Overheating is just as disastrous, and perhaps more so, 
to cast iron as to steel, but, fortunately, serious scale is not of frequent 
occurrence in heating boilers. This is due to the fact that heating 
boilers operate on a closed system and at low pressure. Hence there 
is little loss of steam or condensate and an extremely small amount of 
make-up water is required. Furthermore, water at low pressures 
is also at a temperature lower than that at which serious deposition 
of scale takes place. Such are the usual conditions found in connection 
with heating boilers. 

Occasionally, however, an installation is found where there is 
some modification that is certain to cause trouble. For instance, there 
may be a return line with a serious leak, and if this leak is near a floor 
drain or if the water is absorbed by the ground or accumulates in some 



1927.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



175 



trench or pit from whicli it evaporates, the leak may go unnoticed for 
a long time ; or water may be drawn off from the system at frequent 
intervals for domestic purposes. Water lost from the* return lines 
of a steam system is distilled water, and although hot water drawn 
directly from the boiler or from the flow main of a hot water system 
is not distilled, yet it is considerably purer than the fresh feed water. 
Voiding water from the system requires continual addition of raw 
water which carries with it all of the natural scale and sludge forming 




Fig. I. 



materials that may be in it. Operators of heating equipment seldom 
give this a thought usually because of lack of appreciation of the 
cause and effect of scale formation. 

The accompanying picture shows an extreme case of scale deposit 
in a sectional cast iron boiler. This boiler had been installed in a 
restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, for heating purposes, but it had been the 
practice for some time to draw off water from the system whenever 
hot water was needed for scrubbing or general cleaning. As a result 
it was necessary to add raw water at frequent intervals, with the result- 
ing deposition of scale shown. It is remarkable that this deposit could 
attain such a degree of development before causing trouble. 



176 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[April, 



HP! 



An Epidemic of Bulged Boilers. 

^HE accompanying pictures show the progress toward destruction 
■ of several boilers under conditions that appeared at first to justify 
the use of the word " mysterious."' The installation consisted of 
a battery of four horizontal two-drum water tube boilers. One drum 
ruptured, followed shortly by the rupture of a drum in another boiler. 
Examination of all of the boilers then revealed that five of the eight 
drums were badly bulged, as shown in the photographs. 

It was quickly realized, of course, that the trouble was the result of 
overheating due to the peculiar design of the setting of the boilers. 
The brick arch did not close in on the sides of the drum at about the 




Fig. I. 

lowest safe water level, as customarily is the case, but instead was 
carried above and suspended entirely clear of the drums, leaving a space 
of about 12 inches between the tops of the drums and the arch. The 
hot gases direct from the fire went upward among the tubes of the 
first pass and then surrounded the drums before going downward in 
the second pass. This was probably designed to provide drier steam. 
The heat from the gases in contact with the drums caused overheating 
of the plates in the steam space of the boilers, as would be expected. 

The peculiar feature of this case is that the boilers had been operated 
for years with this same arrangement and had not given any previous 
trouble except that a slight bulge had been observed in one drum. This 
bulge had been carefully watched and had not appeared to grow worse. 
The rupture of two of the drums in rapid succession then led to the 
discovery of the bulged condition of the other drums. 

Investigation brought out that the stokers on these boilers had 
been changed shortly before the development of this trouble and the 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 177 

new stokers increased the rate of combustion. This, of course, meant 
hotter furnace gases and caused overheating of the plates which were 
not in direct contact with water. 



Ri 


I 


\ 

N 


JP^T^ 


mJ 




VH 


■ 



Fig. 2. 

The pictures are also of interest from another point of view in that 
they well illustrate the reinforcing cfTect of the girth seams of a boiler 
shell. Although in this case the seams were overheated equally with 
the immediately adjacent plates, and perhaps even to a greater degree 
because of the greater mass of metal concentrated here, yet it can be 
seen that the seams did not yield to the pressure as did the plates. 



Hot Water Boiler Explosion. 

A HOT water boiler exploded in the basement of the Powers 
Theatre Building. Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October i8th, 
1926, and resulted in the death of one man. Considerable prop- 
erty damage was done to the basement of the building and to a concrete 
paved arcade beneath which the boiler had been located and through 
which it was blown, so violent was the force of the blast. The accident 
was investigated by the State Chief Inspector of Michigan, and in his 
report to the State Commissioner of Labor he points out the necessity 
of a water relief valve on all hot water heaters. In this case it 
appears that the relief valve was of insufficient size, and furthermore 
was inoperative because the spring had been compressed so that the 
coils were too close together. This report in full is given below : 

" I wish to report that I have made an investigation into the cause 
of the explosion of a hot water boiler in the basement of the Powers 
Theatre building at 133 Pearl St.. Grand Rapids, Mich., on the 
morning of October 18, 1926, and find as follows: 



178 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

" The boiler which failed by the collapse of the furnace of the 
boiler, killing a man named Michael Wirth, an employee of the 

building management, said to be Company, was bought from 

the Company of Chicago by the Company of Grand 

Rapids, Mich., on January 29th, 1921, and installed by them in the 
Powers Building. 

" The boiler was 29 in. diameter and 40 in. high and had an 
unstayed furnace 25'' diameter by about 36" high. All plates were 
3/16 inch thick, joints single riveted and lapped. The trade name of 
the heater was * No. 30 Tobasco Surface Burning Water Heater,' and 
was rated as having a capacity for heating 500 gallons of water per 
hour. 

" The valve used for relief of pressure was a Crane ' Snifter ' 
type of relief valve and not a regular safety valve. The failure oc- 
curred by the collapse of the furnace sheet of 3/16 inch plate due 
to excessive pressure. 

" A calculation shows that the outer plate or shell would fail at 
the riveted joint at about 400 pounds, while the furnace would fail 
at a pressure of about 200 lbs. This pressure depending on how close 
the furnace was to a true circle. The lap joint, of course, was source 
of weakness because of the low crushing strength in front of the 
rivets and inherent deformation due to the lap of plates. 

" The relief valve was taken to Detroit and tested and found to 
be inoperative at a pressure of 400 lbs. It would be impossible for 
this valve to operate because the coils of the spring were forced 
together. 

" The boiler is built in violation of the A. S. M. E. boiler code 
which limits plates to not less than ^ inch for either steam or hot water 
boilers. See Section IV, H-ii of A. S. M. E. Code relating to low 
pressure heating boilers. 

" The relief valve used was an unsafe type and not approved by the 
code. 

" Section H-44 reads : Water relief valves shall be connected to 
all hot water boilers. The valve shall be the diaphragm operating type, 
without guide wings below the seat, set to open at or below the 
maximum allowable working pressure. No water relief valve shall be 
smaller than one half inch standard pipe size._ The outlets of water 
relief valves shall have open discharges in plain sight. 

" This boiler could not be lawfully sold or used in Michigan because 
of its thin plates. In any event a pressure over 35 lbs. could not be 
allowed on such a boiler under engineering practice. 

" The immediate cause of the accident was the use of the boiler 
with a defective and improper relief valve. 

" The dead man. Michael Wirth. 69 years old. lived at 716 Sixth 
St.. N. W., Grand Rapids." 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 179 

Big Engine Goes Out at Power Plant. 

WITH a crash and a roar of defiance in its last hour on this 
earth, the big Atlas engine that pulls the generator at the Power 
House, slipped a pin last night, pushed the piston through the 
cylinder head and then died. 

The end came unexpectedly while the engineer, Guy Banks was 
in the boiler room looking after his fires. 

The engine had been in poor health for some time and had only 
recovered from a severe attack of a burnt out bearing suffered a week 
ago and it was thought that it had fully gotten over its troubles. 

According to Banks the accident occurred without warning. All 
at once he heard an explosion and the roar of escaping steam and imme- 
diately the plant was plunged in darkness. 

Going into the engine room was out of the question and he was 
forced to climb to the top of the boiler before he could shut oflf the 
steam, which was swiftly getting away from him. 

By this time a crowd, which had heard the noise, began to gather 
and in a few moments the auxiliary engine was started up returning 
electricity to the lines once more. 

Parts of the cylinder were scattered all over the south side of the 
engine room. The piston, a massive steel rod had been bent, seem- 
ingly as easily as a hairpin could be bent and according to those who 
know, the machine is a total loss. 

It was lucky for the engineer that he was absent from the vicinity 
when the blow up occurred as it most certainly would have killed him 
or at least dealt him some injuries. 

Chairman Abecrombie and Superintendent Jack Treadwell left 
early this morning for Joplin in an effort to secure another engine im- 
mediately. In the meantime they are depending on the little machine 
to furnish the juice to the town but the people are warned that it also is 
liable to go up at any minute under the overload. — The Daily Register, 
Siloam Springs, Ark. 



Diesel-Electric Ferryboats on the Hudson. 

The first electrically operated ferryboats to ply across the Hudson 
River at New York City went into operation between Twenty-third 
Street, Manhattan, and Weehawken, N. J. These are the Governor 
Moore and Charles W. Culkin, for which Diesel engines generate 
electric motive power. They are operated by a private company, 
Electric Ferries, Inc., which hopes to hold its own against the Holland 
vehicular tunnel now under construction. — Electrical World. 



180 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[April, 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



Published Qu.vrterly 



Benj. C. Cruickshanks, Editor 



HARTFORD, APRIL, 1927. 

Single copies can he obtained free by calling at any of the company's ag^encies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year li'lien mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars, 

Reprinting- matter from this paper is per?nitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of the Hartford Steam Boiler I. & I. Co. 



Company Elects New Officers. 

AT a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Hartford Steam 
Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company on February 8th, 1927, 
several important changes were made in the official staff of the Com- 
pany with the view of lightening the duties of Charles S. Blake as its 
head, and with the view, too, of promoting to executive rank several 
of its personnel who are administering its departments. In accordance 
with this purpose, the positions of Chairman of the Board of Directors 
and three additional vice presidents were created and the following 
officers were elected : 



Chairman of the Board of Directors 
President and Treasurer 
Vice President and General Counsel 
Vice Presidents 



Secretary 

Assistant Secretaries 



Assistant Treasurer 



Charles S. Blake. 
Wm. R. C. Corson. 
E. Sidney Berry. 
Curtiss C. Gardiner. 
John J. Graham. 
Sherwood F. Jeter. 
Dale F. Reese. 
Louis F. Middlebrook. 
Halsey Stevens. 
Harry E. Dart. 
C. Edffar Blake. 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. Jgl 

As Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Blake will continue to 
lead the Company and direct its policies as he has during the past ten 
years during which, under his administration as president, the Com- 
pany has enjoyed such a large measure of growth and prosperity. Mr. 
Blake is now recovering from a long and serious illness and his return 
to his duties with the Company is looked for at an early date. 

WM. R. C. Corson, who becomes president and treasurer of the 
corporation, has been with The Hartford Company since 
1907 when he entered its Engineering Department. He has 
successively held positions of assistant secretary and secretary, and 
since 1921 has been vice president and treasurer of the Company. 

E. Sidney Berry heads the list of vice presidents. Since 1922, 
as 2nd vice president and general counsel, he has had charge of the 
Claim and Legal Departments of the corporation and will continue in 
charge of them. 

Curtiss C. Gardiner entered the employ of the Company in 1894 as 
an office boy in its St. Louis office. Six years later he became the 
Company's manager in that city, and in 1905 was transferred to be the 
manager of its New York Department. It has come about as a result 
of modern conditions that a large proportion of the business of the 
country is placed in New York and thus the New York Department 
has attained a position of great importance in the Company's structure. 
It is, in fact, in conformity with the practice of other insurance 
companies, that the Hartford has made its metropolitan manager a 
vice president. 

John J. Graham joined the Company's forces in its Cleveland 
Department in 1906. Later he was transferred to Pittsburgh as 
branch manager. In 191 7 he came to the Home Office, assuming the 
duties of superintendent of agencies and in 1922 was elected assistant 
secretary of the Company. As vice president of the Company he will 
continue to have charge of business production and general supervision 
of the Company's field organization. 

Sherwood F. Jeter came to the Company as an inspector in 1898. 
He advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in the 
Inspection Department and in 1915 was appointed chief engineer. As 
vice president he will have full charge of the Engineering and Inspec- 
tion Departments of the Company. Mr. Jeter graduated from the 
Georgia School of Technolog}^ in 1893. He is a member of the Ameri- 
can Society of Mechanical Engineers and has been a manager and vice 
president of that Society. He has continuously served on its Boiler 
Code Committee since 1913 and has had an important influence in 



182 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [April, 

establishing its standards of safe boiler construction now recognized 
throughout the country. Mr. Jeter is a past president of the Hartford 
Engineers Club and a member of several other technical associations. 

Dale F. Reese comes as a new man to the Hartford organization. 
He was educated at Cornell University, from which he graduated in 
1905 with the degree of mechanical engineer. In 1906 he entered the 
employ of The Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation as an 
assistant underwriter in its Steam Boiler Department. In 1909 he 
was given charge of the department and in 1918 became superintendent 
of the Ocean's Engineering Department, in which was combined the 
Boiler Underwriting and Inspection Department. He leaves this posi- 
tion to come to the H.^rtford where he will aid in developing and 
extending the underwriting activities of the Company. 

Harry E. Dart graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology in the class of 1901. After several years with the engi- 
neering firm of Buck and Sheldon of Hartford, in 1913 he was secured 
by the Hartford Company to head its Consulting Engineering Depart- 
ment with the title of superintendent. He has held that title until now 
though, due to changed conditions, his attention has been given less to 
engineering and more to underwriting matters, and for the past four 
years he has had general supervision of the Company's Statistical 
Department. It is in recognition of his changed responsibility and 
broader duties that the directors elected him assistant secretary. 



Appointments. 

Thomas P. Hetu, who has been connected with the Inspection 
Departments of the Hartford and Philadelphia offices for several 
years, has been appointed Assistant Chief Inspector at Philadelphia. 

James P. Kerrigan, Jr., who has been connected with the Claim 
Department at the Home Office since 1922, has been appointed Chief 
Adjuster. 



Steam Jacketed Kettles. 

<<fT~> HE hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," is a saying that 
I might have been amended a few years ago to further read, " and 
also puts up the family preserves, pickles and ketchups, in addi- 
tion to performing multitudinous duties about the home." But times 
have changed. The cradle is no longer in fashion. Its rockers have 
been removed in favor of wheels, perhaps to earlier accustom our chil- 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 183 

drcn to life in this " nation on wlieels ;" and the liousehold duties have 
been greatly lightened l)v the modern genii of the lamp socket, 
electricity. The preserving and pickling activities to a large extent 
have shown a trend toward that ideal set forth by students of our 
social problems, the removal of the kitchen from the home. 

Not many years ago every family owned its large copper preserving 
kettle, but these are now taking their places in the list of antiques. 
Conserving fruits and vegetables during the season of plenty for use 
during the winter is now conducted upon a mammoth scale and to an 
increasing degree by large commercial kitchens. In the home the 
cooking was done usually by direct action of the fire, but in the com- 
mercial kitchen, steam under pressure is the source of heat. Jacketed 
kettles are used and the steam is circulated in the space between the 
inner and outer shells. A steam pressure vessel, however, retains 
its inherent hazards whether it is located in boiler room or kitchen, and 
a high standard of safety for these cooking vessels should be main- 
tained at all times. In a paper on this subject printed elsewhere in 
this issue, J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector of our Chicago Depart- 
ment, gives able consideration to the problems involved in the use 
of this type of vessel. 



Three Score Years of Boiler Insurance. 

IT IS with pleasure that we reprint below a very gracious tribute 
to the Hartford Company that appeared under the above heading 
in the editorial columns of a recent issue of Power, our well known 
contemporary. 

" Our congratulations to The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspec- 
tion and Insurance Company wdiich completed in October of this 
year sixty years of useful existence. The practice, already 
established in England, of avoiding boiler explosions by inspec- 
tion was backed up by an indemnity in case of failure and boiler 
insurance became a fact. 

" The Hartford has, however, been much more than an under- 
writer of losses from boiler explosion. It has led in the estab- 
lishment of safe practice in design, construction and operation. 
Its experience and practice are writteen into the codes of today 
and its requirements are controlling factors in boiler specification. 
Its inspections are accepted in lieu of those of government 
officials in most, if not all, of the states where boiler inspection is 
compulsory. We wish for it many years of continued 
prosperity." 



184 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[April, 



Summary of Inspectors' Work for 1926. 



Number of visits of inspection made (boilers and engines) 

Total number of boilers examined .... 

Number of boilers inspected internally 

Number of boilers tested by hydrostatic pressure 

Number of boilers found to be uninsurable 

Number of shop boilers inspected .... 

Number of premises where pipe lines were inspected 

Total number of engines and wheels examined 

Number of uninsurable engines and wheels 



267,118 

493,636 

181,674 

12,080 

1,187 

23,560 

22,510 

55,266 

194 



Summary of Defects Discovered. 

Nature of Defects. 

Cases of sediment or loose scale and adhering scale 
Cases of grooving and internal and external corrosion 
Cases of defective bracing .... 

Cases of defective staybolting .... 

Settings defective . . . . 

Fractured plates and heads .... 

Burned plates ....... 

Laminated plates ...... 

Cases of defective riveting .... 

Cases of leakage around tubes, and defective tubes or fines 
Cases of leakage at seams .... 

Water gauges defective ..... 

Blow-offs defective ..... 

Cases of low water ..... 

Safety-valves overloaded or defective 

Pressure gauges defective or missing 

Miscellaneous defects in boilers 

Flywheels found overspeeded 

Cases of cracks found in engine parts and wheels 

Defective governors ..... 

Miscellaneous defects in engines and wheels 

Totals ....... 



Whole 


Danger- 


Number. 


ous. 


80,480 


3,817 


45,267 


2,372 


1,046 


202 


3,712 


769 


9,194 


837 


3,372 


592 


3,367 


492 


308 


40 


1,688 


469 


31,822 


7,498 


6,108 


480 


3,679 


700 


5,236 


1,429 


490 


205 


2,934 


711 


7,962 


643 


8,133 


653 


61 


24 


584 


220 


356 


188 


56 


20 



215,8= 



22,361 



Grand Total of the Inspectors' Work on Boilers from the Time the 
Company Began Business to January i, 1927. 



Visits of inspection made ..... 

Whole number of inspections (both internal and external) 

Complete internal inspections 

Boilers tested by hydrostatic pressure 

Total number of boilers condemned 

Total number of defects discovered 

Total number of dangerous defects discovered 



6.381,009 
12,583.041 

4,883.559 
445,624 

35,733 

6,829,924 

767,411 



1927. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1926 

Capital Stock, . . $2,500,000 00 

ASSETS 

Cash in offices and banks 

Real Estate .... 

Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and stocks 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest Accrued 

Total Assets 



^,103.09 

267,631.53 

1,523,106.20 

12,646,007.33 

1,290,539.98 

150,884.92 

$16,562,273.05 



LIABILITIES 

Reserved for unearned premiums 

Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital Stock ...... 

Surplus over all liabilities 

Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities .... 



$2,500,000.00 
5,521,447.21 



$7,318,478.72 
452,318.90 
770,028.22 



$8,021,447.21 

. $16,562,273.05 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer. 

BO.\RD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, .'\ttorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 

Trustees, United States Security Trust 

Co., Hartford, Conn. 
MORGAN B. BRAINAltD, President 

JEtna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 

Conn. 

CH.^RLES P. COOLEY, President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., 
Plainville, Conn. 

CURTISS C. GARDINER. Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SIONS OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga., 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bid 

BALTIMORE, Md.. . 
13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON. Mass. 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 
404-405 Cit}' Savings Bank Bldg 

CHICAGO, 111., . _ . 

209 West Jackson B'i'v'd. 

CINCINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. 

DENVER, Colo., 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bids 

HARTFORD. Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., 
Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK, N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. . 

PORTLAND, Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg., 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
415 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., . 
114 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., 
610-618 Security Bldg. 

TORONTO. Canada, . 
Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

L.wvFORD & McKiM, General Agents. 
James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

\\.\RD I. Cornell, IManager. 
W. A. B.WLiss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEBUEGH & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

V'^'. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. Burvvell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Manager. 

E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wickham, Manager. 

S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. • 

Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. AIann & Co., General Agents. 
J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts. President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



'M^f£"i LIBRARY 



THE HARTFORD LINE 

BOILER INSURANCE 

Boilers, Economizers, Vulcanizers, Kiers, 

Digesters, Steam Driers, Jacketed 

Kettles, Etc. 

FLYWHEEL INSURANCE 

Flywheels, Fans, Blowers, Turbines, Water 

Wheels, Centrifugal Driers, Gear 

Wheels, Etc. 

ENGINE INSURANCE 

Engines, Compressors, Pumps, Refrigerating 
Machines, Etc. 

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY INSURANCE 

Generators, Motors, Synchronous Converters, 

Transformers, Switchboards, Etc. 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world" 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 

Published Qliarterly 



Vol. XXXVI 



HARTFORD, CONN, JULY, 192; 



No. 7. 



COPYRIGHT, 1927, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




ExGiNE Accident at Williamsport, Pa. 

THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE. 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



194 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July. 



Engine Accident at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

THE accompan}ing" pictures show the manner in which a large 
CorHss type engine was wrecked on February 7, 1927. at the plant 
of Sweet's Steel Company. Williamsport, Pa. The engine was 
practically a total loss, the direct property loss amounting to $io,oco. 

The failure occurred while the engine was operating at its normal 
speed of 100 r. p. m., and there were no advance indications of its 
imminence. Both cylinder heads were knocked out ; the one from the 
head end traveled a 
distance of 65 feet and 
landed on the mill floor. 
All parts of the piston 
were broken, and the 
piston rod bent, two 
valve port bridges 
broken, the crosshead 
and shoes broken and 
bent, connecting rod 
bent, eccentric disks 
and governor belt pul- 
ley on shaft damaged, 
and the bed plate 
broken beyond repair. 
The engine was housed 
in a structure built 
closely about it, and 
further expense was in- 
curred incident to the 
repair work because 
this structure had to be 
torn down, in order to ^^^- ■'• 

install the large engine parts, -and then rebuilt. 

The cause of the accident was the gradual failure of the crank 
shaft due to continued reversals of internal stress. The failure 
occurred close to, and partly inside of. the face of the crank disk, at 
a place where a reduction in diameter of the shaft occurred. The 
absence of a fillet at this shoulder probabl\- superinduced the break. 
The front cover picture is a view of the initial break in the shaft, and 
Fig. I is a view of the head end of the cylinder. 

A HARTFCRn engine policy indemnified the owners for the direct 
property damage $10,000. 




1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. |95 

Vapor Heating Systems. 

IN recent years the use ol " vapor "' heating" sy.stenis, sometimes 
called " modulation " systems, has hecome quite widespread, and 

several of these are now well recognized, .\lthough often referred 
to as vapor systems, essentially they are merely low pressure steam 
systems, operating in some cases below atmospheric pressure. The 
advantages claimed for the vapor systems are better regulation of the 
heat in proportion to the requirements, lower operating pres.sure which 
enables regulation and apportionment of heat in moderate weather, 
and the absence of noise and the disagreeable results of discharging 
moisture and foul air from radiator air valves into the room. 

There are two essential features that distinguish this- type of instal- 
lation from the ordinary steam system ; first, the method of venting 
the air from the system through the return line instead of at each 
individual radiator, and second, the presence of a well designed steam 
valve on the inlet of each radiator, by means of which the heat can 
be modulated. These are the two features that really make for the 
success of the type, although there are other incidental differences. 

Operation of the System 

In explaining the operation of a vapor system it would perhaps 
be best to assume the ideal condition, that is, a constant difference in 
pressure between the steam and return mains, or what is really the 
same thing once the system is in operation, a constant pressure in the 
steam main. The steam is caused to enter the top of a radiator, and 
it then descends, forcing the air ahead of it out of the return con- 
nection, there being no atmospheric air vent on the radiator. The 
iiir thus forced into the return main is vented by various means from 
a point near the boiler. Sometimes there is a short vertical pipe 
giving access directly to the atmosphere ; sometimes this pipe is con- 
nected into the chimney, the draft thus creating a slight decrease 
in pressure below that of the atmosphere; in perhaps a great majority 
of installations there is some form of vent trap. The water is returned 
to the boiler by gravity, assisted in some cases by a boiler return trap. 

With a constant pressure on the steam main and the return line 
open to the atmosphere, it is a simple matter to adjust the valve on 
the radiator to obtain just the required degree of heat, particularly in 
moderate weather when very little heat is required. It is pointed out 
"by advocates of this system that the graduated valve in the handy 
position at the top of the radiator is conducive of better attention. 
The radiators are usuallv designed with an excess of radiating surface 



196 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

so that even with the valve wide open the steam will all be condensed 
before reaching the outlet. In order to further insure no steam 
entering the return line, an orifice is often placed at the outlet to 
restrict the flow. Other systems use a thermostatic valve on the 
radiator outlet which will permit of the passage of air and the com- 
paratively low temperature condensate, but which will close immediately 
upon the attempted issuance of steam. Where the return main has 
complete access to the atmosphere, it is, of course, essential that no 
steam enter the return, for this would be wasted. 

Venting The Air 

The air that has been forced into the return line from the radiators 
and other parts of the system must be eliminated, and this is frequently 
done by having the return line open to the air. The usual arrangement, 
however, is through the medium of a vent trap. This trap is placed 
in the return line in such a way that the water will ordinarily pass 
around it on the way back to the boiler, but the air goes to the trap 
and escapes through the vent in the vessel. Should the water in the 
return line rise abnormally high, it will then enter the vessel and cause 
a float therein to rise and close the vent, thus preventing the escape 
of water from the system. On many systems the vent trap is further 
equipped with a non-return mechanism which prevents the return of 
air to the system when the pressure drops below that of the atmosphere. 
It is in this type of system that a slight vacuum is usually maintained. 

The difference in level between the normal water level in the 
boiler and the lowest point of the overhead return line is sometimes 
referred to as the " static head," as indicated in Fig. i, and is the 
head of water that ordinarily returns the condensation to the boiler 
under normal conditions. If the static head at any time becomes 
insufficient to return the water to the boiler, a low water condition 
may be brought about with consequent cracking of sections. There 
are several conditions which may arise whereby the static head will be 
insufificient to return the condensation, and these may be summarized 
as either a rise of pressure in the boiler, or a reduction of pressure in 
the return line. 

A rise in pressure above normal may be caused by the kind of fuel 
used. Highly inflammable fuel creating a sudden, intense heat, ma}- 
be the cause ; or perhaps the zeal of the attendant in getting up a quick 
heat may result in improper methods of firing, with similar results. 
At times, inexperienced operatives may attempt to force circulation by 
raising the pressure against some obstruction in the steam or return 
line, as, for instance, a dirty strainer or a damaged radiator valve or 
orifice. 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 197 



If the size of supply mains has been skimped in the installation, or 
if additional radiators have been added, there is the possibility that a 
pressure in the boiler greater than the static head may be required 
at times to obtain the required flow of steam through the radiators. 
Such a condition might exist in almost any system in very severe 
weather. 

When steam is drawn from the system for purposes other than 
heating, there is always the possibility of maintenance of a pressure 
greater than the static head in order to satisfy such demand. In cases 
where an arrangement of this kind has been in successful operation 
for some time, a dangerous condition may be brought about by a 
gradual increase in the outside demand. 

A reduction of pressure in the return line below that which should 
exist may be brought about by the sudden closing off of a large 
amount of radiation. Under such a condition the abnormal vacuum 
produced may cause considerable condensation to accumulate in the 
return line before a sufficient head is acquired to force any water 
into the boiler. 

Boiler Return Traps Aid in Returning Water 
To overcome the possibility of an excessive pressure difference pre- 
venting the return of the water, a number of manufacturers have de- 
veloped special boiler return traps which are designed to return the 
condensation to the boiler regardless of the boiler pressure, provided it 
is not in excess of 15 lbs. Fig. i shows an installation that is typical of 
vapor systems of the kind under consideration and illustrates how the 
vent trap and the return trap are connected to the system. 

The boiler return trap contains a float which controls two valves 
within the trap, one for the steam supply from, the boiler, and one 
for the vent or balance line to the return pipe. Assuming that the 
float in the return trap is downi, the steam supply valve will be closed 
and the valve in the balance pipe to the return line will be open. The 
condensation can then flow by gravity through check valve A and up 
into the trap. As water accumulates in the trap, the float rises until 
it finally closes the valve in the balance line and opens the steam 
connection, thereby imposing boiler pressure on the water in the trap 
and releasing it to flow by gravity through check valve B into the 
boiler. When the trap has emptied itself, the float, of course, again 
reverses the valve positions and permits the trap to fill with another 
charge of returning condensation. It is to be noted that, when there 
is a low pressure in the boiler, the condensation may flow directly 



198 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 




tu 



1927] THE LOCOMOTIVE. ]99 

throuj^h the two check valves A and 15 without causinj^f the rctuni 
trap to fuiu'tioii. 

When a boiler return tra]) of this nature is used, the valves marked 
*' C " in Fi<^. I. are sometimes installed to facilitate removal of the 
trap in case it needs to be repaired. Ihe closing of any one of these 
valves will i)revent the operation of the return trap. Therefore, valves 
C. when used, should be locked or sealed open, it is considered 
advisable that tlie check valves shown v.) tlie dia!.,M-am should be of the 
45°, or swing, type rather than of the ordinary lift type. 

Return tra])s should be installed at such a height that there will 
be sufficient head of water above the water line in the boiler to insure 
a positive and rapid How of water from the trap into the boiler. The 
recommended minimum distance between the normal water line in the 
boiler and the bottom of the trap varies with tiie different makes. In 
all cases it is advisable to occasionally check up on the operation of 
the trap to see that it does promptly return the water to the boiler. 

Height of Vent Trap Important 

The height of the vent trap above the water line of the boiler is 
also an important item, more especially so in those systems whicli do 
not have a return trap than in those that do. It is always advisable 
to have the end of the discharge line from such a vent in a conspicuous 
place so that should any flooding of the trap or other faulty operation 
occur, the fact will be promptly brought to the attention of the operative 
by the overflow. 

Oftentimes automatic feed water devices are used in connection 
with systems of this kind. In such cases means sliould always be 
])rovided for feeding the boiler should the automatic feeder become 
inoperative. 

When a stop valve is installed in the steam main from the boiler 
in multiple boiler installations, there is the possibility of a low water 
condition occurring in the boiler by reason of the water being forced 
out through the pipe marked in Fig. i, "drips from steam main," 
sometimes referred to as the " wet return line." In such cases a 
check valve should always be required in this line. 

The water line return connection* can be used on all vapor systems 
(jf which we have knowledge, and, in fact, is recommended by some 
nrinufacturers. Whereas such a connection will not overcome the 
difficulty of water being held out of the boiler' by an unduly high 
steam pressure, it does prevent the for^-ing out of the water below a 
safe level. 



*.See The Locomotive, July 1920. 



200 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



[July, 



Boiler Explosion at Ninety Six, S. C. 

THE approximately simultaneous explosion of two boilers occurred 
August 14, 1926, at the plant of the J. H. Self Lumber Company, 
Ninety Six, S. C. Seven persons were killed and three were in- 
jured. The property loss was estimated to be $15,000. A general 
view of the scene is given in Fig. i. 

The circumstances leading up to the explosion are interesting. 
The mill had started up in the morning as usual, but had to shut down 
temporarily, after running for about an hour, in order to make some 




Fig. I. 

minor repair. With practically no load on the boilers during this 
interval, it is stated the fire'men continued to pile on wood waste fuel 
with the result that the safety valves soon began to blow. These 
valves were said to have been set to relieve the pressure at no lbs. 
In spite of the relief afiforded by the safety valves, the pressure on the 
boilers continued to rise, 140 lbs. having been noted shortly before 
the explosion by one of the survivors. A few moments after this 
observation both boilers exploded. The foregoing evidence, together 
with the violence of the explosion, would seem to indicate over-pressure, 
resulting from insufficient safety valve capacity, as the cause of the 
accident. As all of the mill employees were at work at the time, the 



iy27. 



THE 1. O C O M O T 1 \' E , 



201 



casualties were heavy. Four men were practically instantly killed. 
one of them a minor son of the superintendent of the mill and another 
a 12 year old negro boy, and six men were injured, three of them so 
seriously that they died later. 

The boilers that exploded were of the horizontal return tubular 
type, 6o inches in (Hameter and, respectively, 14 and t6 ft. loncc, of 




double riveted lap seam construction. One of them was said to have 
been 43 years old and the other one 25 years old, although they had 
been in the present location but three years. The 43 years boiler 
failed along a row of rivets in the longitudinal seams of the rear and 
middle courses, much the same as in the case of a lap seam crack 
failure. In this instance, however, there was no sign of a crack, the 
entire break being fresh. These two courses opened out flat and, 
together with the rear head, moved only a few feet from the site of 
the boiler room. They are shown in Fig. 2. The rear course and 
head, intact, traveled about 100 feet in the opposite direction. The 
dome of this boiler was blown a distance of approximately one-half 
mile. 

Boiler number 2, said to have been 25 years old, failed by shearing 
all of the rivets in the girth seam between the middle and rear courses. 
The front and middle courses and front head, with most of the tubes, 
moved about 100 feet forward, while the rear course and head were 
blown about 600 feet to the rear. There was no dome on this boiler, 
and the boiler itself did not suffer general disruption. The boiler 
room, of course, was leveled, but the nearby engine room fortunately 
suffered little damage. The property loss might very easily have 
reached a far greater figure had any of the projected parts of these 
boilers gone in the direction of a nearby cotton mill, as the machinery 
of such mills is delicate and expensive. So far as could be learned, 
there was no insurance on this installation. 



202 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 



The accident calls to mind a boiler explosion that occurred about 
three years previously at Greenwood, S. C, which is only nine miles 
from Ninety Six. The explosion at Greenwood was in the plant of a 
cotton mill, and considerable additional damage to the cotton machinery 
and products was done by a rain storm in progress at the time. The 
rain entered holes made in the roof of the main mill building by 
flying grate bars and tubes. The property damage resulting from that 
explosion, which was reported in The Locomotive for October 1923, 
exceeded $53,000. 



Cooling Boilers for Cleaning, Repairs, or Inspection. 

By J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector, Pittsburgh Department 

aLL steam boilers should be periodically cleaned and inspected, the 
r\ frequency depending upon the condition of the feed water and the 
usage of the boiler. Owing to changes in personnel from time to 
time, with new engineers and firemen taking charge of the steam 
boilers, some instructions regarding the best methods of cooling and 
otherwise preparing a boiler should be of value. 

The ideal method of cooling any type of boiler, especially those with 
brick settings, is to close all openings to the setting and allow the 
boiler to stand several days after drawing the fires without emptying it. 
By thus giving ample time, the cooling is very slow and uniform, 
the material contracts uniformly, and the riveted joints and tube ends 
accommodate themselves to the change without distress. Unfortu- 
nately, industrial conditions seldom permit of sufficient time for this 
ideal way of cooling, and so some modification of it must be adopted. 
But it should be remembered that boilers are abused when emptied 
immediately after having the fires drawn, especially when under steam 
pressure. The heat of the setting is quite likely to burn the boiler, 
but even if this should not occur, the sudden, unequal cooling of 
different parts, and consequent non-uniform contraction, causes a 
decided shock to the structure, particularly the joints and tube ends. 

When the fires have been burned out and drawn or dumped, all hot 
ashes should be removed from the grate, ash pit, and combustion cham- 
ber. Hot ashes in the ash pit and hot soot in the combustion chamber 
cause the boiler to hold its heat for a longer time. Furthermore, sup- 
posedly cool soot in combustion chambers has been known to cause 
severe, and even fatal, burns to workmen. The soot should also be 
cleaned from the tubes and plates while the boiler is being cooled. This 
cleaning is essential if the boiler is being shut down for inspection or 



1927] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 203 

repairs, and it is advisable to perforin it immediately upon shutting down 
because the soot delays cooling by acting as heat insulation between 
the tubes and the cool air which later may be drawn through the gas 
passages. After removal of the fire, the steam valve may be closed, 
and the boiler should then be blown down several times for the pur- 
pose of clearing the blow-ofT passages to avoid diflficulty in emptying 
the boiler by gravity when cold and not under pressure. If it becomes 
necessary to add any water to the boiler while it is still hot, this should 
not be cold water. Cold water in a hot boiler is never helpful, although 
moderate amounts likewise may not be very harmful, but in shutting 
down a boiler there is always the possibility of becoming too enthusi- 
astic in this respect in an endeavor to expedite cooling. 

Special care should be taken to see that cold water is not thrown 
or splashed on hot furnace brickwork, as it will cause the refractory 
to crack and spall. 

Dr.vft Effects Rapid Cooling 

When the temperature of the boiler and setting becomes fairly low. 
cooling may be safely expedited by letting air pass through the gas 
passages. In order to do this, the damper is opened and all openings 
to the setting closed except the ash pit doors. Cool air thus takes the 
place of hot gases and further safely reduces the temperature of boiler 
and furnace. The mistake is frequently made of opening the door at 
the base of the stack, but this kills the draft through the boiler and, 
therefore, has a reverse effect from that desired. It is during this 
period of cooling that a coating of dust or soot on the boiler surfaces 
will have a retarding effect, as mentioned previously. 

In opening a boiler, the top manhole cover should be removed first 
and then a lower manhole or handhole cover. If this order is reversed, 
the moment the top opening is cracked there will be a current of air 
set up from the lower opening to the upper, and this will carry hot 
vapor about the hands and face of the person removing the top man- 
hole cover, thus seriously handicapping him in the work. Attention 
to this detail will lighten an otherwise disagreeable task. 

Before entering a boiler for any purpose, one should make sure 
that the vessel is well ventilated so that the air will be fit to breathe. 
Working in an atmosphere deficient in oxygen may, in extreme cases, 
he dangerous, but it is always uncomfortable and distressing and 
greatly reduces the efficiency of the workman. A boiler can readily 
he ventilated by taking off manhole or handhold covers, such that 
there will be openings inside and outside of the setting, and then closing 
all doors or openings to the setting. In horizontal tubular boilers, for 



204 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

instance, there is usually a manhole above the tubes in the shell plate 
and one below the tubes in the front head. The upper one is accessi- 
ble from outside of the setting and the lower one must be reached from 
inside the setting. There are certain types of water tube boilers that 
can be ventilated by having the manhole plate removed from the stream 
drum and also several of the lower tube-hole plates or caps at the 
rear end. With the damper open, the stack will draw air into the 
setting by way of the boiler, thus introducing a continuous current of 
fresh air into that vessel. 

Often it is necessary to work in a boiler before it can be brought 
to a comfortable temperature. Under such conditions a workman 
can never do his best work, but electric fans and air hose can be used 
to good advantage to make conditions more endurable. 

Suggestions Apply to All Types 

Locomotive, firebox, and vertical tubular boilers, large or small, 
should have approximately the same treatment as far as may be 
applicable. The soot should be blown from the tubes and all asbes and 
dust removed from the grate and ashpit. When the boiler has 
sufficiently cooled for safety, it may be further cooled to a comfortable 
working temperature by opening the damper and the ashpit door and 
allowing cool air to be drawn through the tubes. 

When boilers are emptied they should be immediately washed out 
with a hose under strong pressure for the purpose of removing sludge 
and soft scale before it hardens on the boiler surface. Incidentally 
it may be pointed out that when boilers are emptied while still hot, 
much of the scale is baked onto the surfaces so that it is much more 
difficult to remove than it would have been had the boiler cooled before 
being emptied. 

Briefly, regardless of the type of boiler, take as much time as 
possible in cooling it, and expedite cooling only by drawing air through 
the gas passes from the ashpit. All other openings to setting or stack 
should be closed. 



Over the Chief Inspector's Phone: "This is the Engineer at 
the Slippery Elm Soap Company. In the inspection report just re- 
ceived your inspector reports finding a hair line crack at the turn of 
the head flange, and recommends that the head be slotted and the 
boiler tested hydrostatically. What I want to' know, ' Is this a serious 
matter or just a funny crack?' " 



192/] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 205 



Why Metals Fail Under Influence of Steam Once Superheated.* 

THE history of all power-plant equipment that coni^ in contact 
with superheated steam indicates that a serious problem still con- 
fronts us, even though certain metals have been developed that will 
greatly ameliorate the deterioration that formerly took place, partic- 
ularly in cast-iron fittings. 

There is great need at the present time for throwing more light 
on the cause and nature of metal failure where the metal has been 
subjected to superheated steam on a commercial scale in power plants. 
The purpose of this article is to present some deductions on the cause 
of metal failures, from observations extending over a period of thirty 
years of power-plant practice combined with some recent observations 
of the nature of superheated steam as produced in modern power 
plants. 

Many failures have been attributed to high temperature, but failures 
of the same nature in turbine blades, valves and valve fittings do not 
occur under saturated steam conditions regardless of temperature; 
therefore one must look for some condition in the superheated steam 
that caused the prevalent failures. 

Some Free Hydrogen Probably Produced by Catalytic Action 

Tests made on the air exhausted from turbine condensers clearly 
indicate the presence of hydrogen, the amount varying from i to 2 
per cent by volume of the air removed. The effect of free hydrogen 
on metals will be discussed later; first let us see where it comes from. 
Steam dissociates at temperatures of from 1,500 to 1,800 deg. C. This 
is, of course, much higher than the maximum temperature possible in 
power-plant practice. If some outside agent or catalyst were present 
with the steam, the dissociation temperature could be lowered well 
within the range of power-plant temperatures. For instance, 
steam will dissociate quite rapidly when brought into contact 
with red-hot iron at, say, 1,100 deg. F. While superheater tubes do 
not ordinarily attain such a temperature, it is not at all an uncommon 
phenomenon for superheater tubes to be red hot, nor is it reasonable to 
suppose that if steam dissociates rapidly in contact with red iron it will 
not dissociate at all at slightly lower temperaures. 

The steam temperatures in the plants will average 500 to 700 
deg. F. In consideration of the comparatively low critical velocity of 
steam, it is hardly to be doubted that there is turbulent flow rather 



'By Bert Houghton and D. C. Weeks in Power. 



206 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

than well defined stratification through the superheater tube. However, 
there are two facts concerning superheaters and the steam flowing 
through them that indicate that average steam temperature does not 
represent the maximum temperature that any small portion of the 
steam may attain. A recent investigation has shown that some of the 
steam of an indicated average superheat of 200 deg. F. had a quality 
of only 98.6 per cent at its superheater tube outlet. In such a case, 
with an average steam temperature of over 600 deg. F. and 200 deg. 
F. superheat, a maximum temperature of well over 600 deg. must have 
been attained by a portion of the steam. With the present design of 
several of the widely used types of superheaters, it is well known that 
the flow of steam through the tubes is not equalized. Some tubes 
carry much more than their share of the steam, while others carry 
correspondingly less. 

Free Gases Act Upox Intercrystallixe Cement 

A great many investigations have been made in recent years as to 
the causes of intercrystalline fractures, and it has been abundantly 
shown by various investigators that if a metal is permeated with a 
gas that will react with the intercrystalline cement along the crystal 
boundary lines, the bond is weakened and the resulting fracture is 
along the boundaries and not through the cleavage planes. Many 
gases will act in this way, among the most common of which are 
hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Should a portion of the steam dis- 
sociate or should the steam react with the iron of the piping, thereby 
releasing hydrogen, a gas or gases would be present which would 
cause the deterioration of the character found. This has been shown 
to be the case. 

Miscroscopic photographs of some metals that had long contact 
with superheated steam verify the fact that the intercrystalline struc- 
ture of bronze reaction turbine blades, a cast-iron pipe flange, a cast- 
iron valve flange, a cast-brass valve bushing, and a bronze seat of a 
turbine throttle pilot valve were all subjected to the reactions mentioned 
in the preceding paragraph. The failures in each case appeared as 
cracks. In the case of the turbine blades they, as a whole, were not 
brittle. However, there was a brittle case around each blade. . . . 

The polished and etched specimens showed under the microscope 
a well defined intercrystalline weakness. In some of the bronze tur- 
bine blades, the deterioration of the intercrystalline cement was so 
pronounced near the surface of the blade that it was surprising that 
the crystals held together. 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE, 207 



111 the case of the cast iron the failure of the grain I)Oundaries 
was not as pronounced as in the turbine blades. The widening of the 
grain boundaries was sufiicient to indicate clearly that ifftercrystalline 
weakness was the cause of failure. We have two cases in the cast 
iron, one of a pearlitic iron (iron and carbon) and one of a ferritic 
iron (pure iron.) The failure in one ca.se was from the bolt hole 
out ; in the other, througli the entire cross-section. The intercrystalline 
weakness in each case was apparent through the entire cross-section. 
The cracking from the bolt hole out simply meant that the weakened 
metal broke where the greatest stress was applied. In determining the 
cause of each failure, we considered the most likely causes of inter- 
crystalline weakness. The usual types of failure are accompanied b\- 
trans-crystalline fractures. 

Other than as a statement of observed facts in power plants in 
combination with the reports of metallurgists' investigation.S'. no attempt 
is made to present the foregoing comments as a finished solution for 
some of our most urgent power-plant problems, but at the same time 
the remarks focus attention on a condition in commercial superheated 
steam and the metals associated with it which must be overcome before 
further advances in the art of power plant practice can be made with 
complete assurance of the elimination of trouble. 



A Fatal Diesel Engine Accident. 

A rather unusual accident to a Diesel engine occurred Sunday, 
April lo, 1927, at the plant of the Louisiana Shell Isle Products 
Company, Happy Jack, La., of which, however, we have indefinite 
information. The engine, it appears, was new and was being tested 
or demonstrated in the presence of company officials when the accident 
occurred. A cylinder exploded, and a portion of it weighing nearly 
a ton was projected through the roof. The occupants of the room 
were uninjured and made a hurried escape, but the engineer, realizing 
that the explosion was over, returned to the vicinity of the engine 
just in time to be crushed by the descending cylinder. He was killed 
almost instantly. 

The cause of the explosion could not be learned, nor is it likely 
that more information will be forthcoming in view of the death of 
the operator and the fact that the engine was shortly afterwards sub- 
merged in six feet of water by the unprecedented floods in the Missis- 
sippi River basin. 



208 



THELOCOMOTIVE, 



[July, 




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1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 209 

Engine Accident at Bogota, N. J. 

BOILER and flywheel explosions are characterized bv the wide- 
spread havoc which they create, whereas damage from engine 
accidents is usually confined to the engine itself and its immediate 
surroundings. An engine accident that departs from the usual, how- 
ever, occurred March 30, 1927, at the plant of the Federal Paper 
Board Company, Inc., Bogota, N. J. Fragments of a piston and 
cylinder head of one engine flew around the engine room and damaged 
three other engines and two electrical machines. 

The accident is thought to have been due to the absence, of a 
cotter pin from the crosshead key, as the pin would have retained the 
key in its proper position. In the absence of a cotter, the key worked 
from its proper position and was sheared off. The piston and piston 
rod thus released were driven through the cylinder head, and flying 
particles of the piston and cylinder head damaged three other engines, 
an electric generator, and a motor. The widespread damage seems 
all the more remarkable when it is noted that the damaged units were 
not distributed around the engine that failed, but were located one 
behind the other so that each one partly shielded those beyond it. The 
apparent paths of the various pieces are indicated by the dotted lines 
in the accompanying sketch. 

The engine that failed first was a constant speed engine known as 
No. I. It furnished power for the beater room. The next adjacent 
engine was Xo. 2, also a constant speed engine. Its valve gear was 
damaged, the 5 inch throttle valve fractured, and a portion of the 5 
inch steam pipe flattened. Beyond engine No. 2 was a variable speed 
engine. No. 3. The frame of its speed-changing mechanism was 
destroyed, also a chain by which the speed changes are effected. The 
lubricating lines of this engine were also damaged. 

Beyond engine No. 3 was engine No. 8, directly connected to an 
electric generator. One flying fragment broke the frame of this 
engine, another fragment struck and destroyed a fitting in the main 
steam line just ahead of the throttle valve, and a third piece did slight 
damage to the lubricating equipment. Still another fragment damaged 
five coils in the electric generator. A fan motor, in the farthest 
corner from the engine that first failed, had its commutator junction 
bars slightly damaged. 

An engine breakdown policy relieved the owners of the direct 
property loss incident to this accident. 



210 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [July, 

Fatigue of Welds. 

IN the July 1926 issue of The Locomotive brief mention was made 
of the results of fatigue tests on welded joints in steel tubes such 
as are used in the construction of airplanes. In a recent issue of 
Pozver appeared an abstract of a report on similar tests presented by 
R. R. Moore at the annual meeting in April of the American Welding 
Society. The tests in this investigation were also made on i inch and 
3/2 inch steel tubes such as are used in airplane construction, but the 
results of the tests are nevertheless of general interest. Gas, metal 
arc, and atomic hydrogen processes were used, likewise various kinds, 
of filler rods. Test specimen bars were also made up by depositing, 
filler rod material by the several methods of welding. The rotating- 
heam type of testing machine was used for the fatigue tests. 

Tensile tests were made of all welded tubes, the fracture in every 
case being outside of the weld, approximately i inch distant. The 
location of the fracture is thought to be due to softening of the adjacent 
metal by the heat of the torch, and to the increased cross-section at 
the weld. The tubes showed a tensile strength of 50,500 to 62,500 
ll)s. per square inch. 

The endurance limit was determined by plotting stress-cycles curves,, 
the stress determined by the regular beam formula, and the cycles by 
counting the revolutions of the specimen. The endurance limit was 
taken as the stress at which the curve became flat, that is, the specimens 
failed to break under an infinite number of reversals of stress. In the 
endurance tests the fracture occurred either in the middle of the weld 
or very close to it. The location of the break in both the tensile 
strength and fatigue tests bears out the results previously reported. 

It would be expected that the deposited metal, which is cast and not 
worked, would be more brittle than the mild steel tube and hence 
would be the weak spot in the endurance tests. Of particular interest, 
therefore, are the tests on specimen bars made from filler rod material 
deposited by the torch. The Norway iron sample deposited with a 
gas torch showed a tensile strength of 50,500 lbs. per sq. inch with 
26 percent elongation, and a fatigue test of 24,000 lbs. per sq. inch. 
The latter is about 48 percent of the tensile strength, a ratio said to be 
exceeded by only a few steels. The endurance limit on these filler 
rod bars exceeded that on any of the welded tubes. 

The gas welded specimens using chromium molybdenum filler rods 
gave the very low endurance limit of 8,000 lbs. per inch, due to poor 
welding. Tension tests on these samples, however, gave results equally 
as high as others, and the rupture did not occur in the weld. The 



1927-] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 211 



poor tusit)!!, therefore, was not detected by tensile tests Ijut became 
readily apparent in the endurance tests. 

Arc welded samples of the tubes showed similar results to the torch 
welded samples, but tests on tlie bars of deposited mcial gave a tensile 
strenj^th of 62,500 lbs. per sq. inch and only 1.5 percent elongation. 

The atomic hydrogen process of welding, in which fusion takes place 
in an atmosphere of hydrogen and thus prevents formation of metallic 
oxides and in which strips of the original tube metal were used for 
filler rods, gave results not essentially different from the others except 
that the tube seemed to be softened to a greater extent, which resulted 
in a lower tensile strength. 

The author points out that the tensile efficiency of the welded tubes 
was better than 75 percent, but the fatigue strength was as low as 
13 percent and never higher than 35 percent of the tensile strength of 
the weld. Furthermore, poor fusion will show up much more quickly 
in fatigue endurance tests than in the tensile strength tests. 



Caught In the Separator. 

Who's Got Mine? 
The rain though raining every day 

Upon the just and unjust fella. 
Falls chiefly on the just because 

The unjust has the just's umbrella. 

The Eagle 



" Sorry," said the constable, " but Fll have to arrest you — you 
were speedin' along at a 50 mile clip." 

" You are wrong, my friend," said the motorist. " I say I wasn't, 
and here's a ten dollar bill says I wasn't." 

" All right," returned the constable, as he folded up the money, 
" with eleven against me I ain't a-goin' to subject the county to the 
expense of a trial." 

— Selcched 



Magistrate — And did you strike the policeman ? 

Prisoner — The answer is in the infirmary. — Selected 



Diner — Waiter, there's a button in my soup. 

Waiter (ex-printer) — Typographical error, sir; it should be mutton. 

— Selected 



212 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[July, 




Deyoteb to Power Plant Protection 



Published Quarterly 



Bexj. C. Ckuickshaxks, Editor 



HARTFORD, JULY, 1927. 

Single copies can be obtained free by callmg at any of the company' s agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year in'hen ?natlcd from this office.. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones tivo dollars. 

Reprinting ?natter frotn this paper is permitted tf credited to 

The Locomotive of the Hartford Steam Boiler I. & I. Co. 



KNOWLEDGE arouses interest and creates enthusiasm. A man 
may work at some task for years and give little thought to the 
whys and wherefores, simply contenting himself with a faithful 
performance. But explain to him the reasons for certain things and 
his interest is usually aroused. Questions invariably follow and, per- 
ceiving the real object of his work, aimless methods give way to more 
efficient ones. 

Excellent illustrations of this are frequently found in the cases of 
certain students enrolled in the Hartford Correspondence Course for 
Firemen. There are many engineers and firemen who enroll because 
previous study has accustomed them., to seek further knowledge, but 
there are also a great many who are persuaded to enroll yet who have 
never taken up any particular line of study since leaving off with the 
" three R's." Interest in study is at an ebb. However, a few interest- 
ing explanations of phenomena already observed about combustion are 
given in the first few lessons of the course, and these stimulate interest 
and cause the work to proceed more satisfactorily and more rapidly. 
Often a request for additional lessons is made in order to expedite the 
work. Questions pertaining to the particular installation show that the 
man is thinking about his work and applying what he has learned. It 
is then only reasonable to assume that with a clear understanding of 
what he is doing and how it is best done, definite results in the way 
of better firing will ensue. 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 213 

THE matter of a heating system for a Iniilding is a subject that 
should receive full consideration before installation for it is one 
that bears considerable inertia. Once a system is^in operation 
and is found to be ample for cold weather, there is little likelihood of 
any changes being made except when necessary. Yet the simple 
steam-heating system is open to the criticism that satisfactory control 
of the amount of heat in accordance with the need, particularly in 
moderate weather, is practically impossible. Rather than have in- 
sufficient heat under such conditions, too much is supplied, which means 
poor economy. The vapor system of heating, really an adaptation of 
the simple steam system, is a type that lends itself admirably to such 
regulation. How it is done is told briefly in an article elsewhere in 
this issue. 



No Man is Indispensable. 

I care not what your place may be — 

A job that's most laborious 
With a mightly little salary. 

Or one that's fat and glorious ; 
But, be your labor great or small, 

Of this you must be sensible — 
Some other chap can do it all ; 

No man is indispensable ! 

When you begin to swell with pride 

And cater to the gallery. 
And put on lots of " dogs " and " side " 

Because they've raised your salary ; 
Why then's the time you'll tumble quick, 

Such ways are indefensible; 
Some other chap can do your trick : 

No man is indispensable ! 

It's well enough to know your worth 

And know just what to do with it, 
But don't imagine that the earth 

Will quit when you are through with it : 
No, it will roll upon its way. 

And — what seems reprehensible — 
Some other chap will draw your pay : 

No man is indispensable ! 

— Xcii' York Central Lines Magasine. 



214 



THE LOCOMOTI\E 



[July. 




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216 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 



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THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



217 




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218 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[July, 



O 

X 
H 

O 



z 
o 

o 

o 


iViiddletovvn, Ohio 
Gcnesco, N. Y. 
Trinidad, Texas 
Ogden, Utah 
Glassboro, N. J. 
Clifty, Ark. 
St. Paul, Minn. 
X'iagara Falls, N. ^ 
Springfield, Mass. 
VVichrta Falls. Tex 
Trinidad, Texas 
New York, N. Y. 
Amite. La. 
N'ashville, Tenn. 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Higdon, Mo. 
Hopewell, Va. 
New York, N. Y. 
Trinidad, Tex. 
Rdxlniry, Mass. 
Lowell, Mass. 
Hartford, Conn. 
Oak Park, 111. 
Rochester, N. Y. 
Courtland, N. Y. 
Mildred, Texas 




Trinidad, Texas 
Fairport, Ohio 
VVhiipany, N. J. 
St. Louis, Mo. 
Delanco, N. J. 
Alliance, Ohio 


CO 

CO 

UJ 

z 

CO 

33 
OQ 


Paper Mill 
Canning Factory 
Power Plant 
Canning Factory 
Canning Factory 
Sawmill 
Store Rldgs. 
Apts. & Stores 
Ice Cream I'cty. 
Oil Refinery 
Power Plant 
Office Bldg. 
Power Plant 
Sawmill 
Apt. House 
Sawmill 

Pulp & Paper Mill 
-Apt. House 
Power Plant 
Lunch Room 
Office Bldg. 
Foundry 
Creamery 
Steel Plant 
Pumping Sta. 
Oil Well 




Power P'ant 

Alkali Plant 

Paper Mill 

Apt. House 

Railroad 

Cold Storage Pit. 


CONCERN 


Paul A. Sorg Paper Co. 
Geneseo Canning Co. 
Texas Power & Liglit Co. 
Ogden State Bank 
Keough Canning Co. 
George Todd Sawmill 
Theo. Ilamm Brewing Co. 
A. B. H. Moore 
Eastern Dairies, Ire. 
American Refining Co. 
Texas Power & Light Co. 
Heatherton Realty Associates 
Central Louisiana Power Co. 
Flihu Reeves Sawmill 


a 
c 

c 
c 

o 


HummelLRoss Fibre Corp. 

Klion Plolding Corp. 

Texas Power & Light Co. 

Clark's Spas, Lie. 

Mongeau Bldg. 

Capitol Foundry 

.Matoma-Hurit'.ey Pairy Co. 

McKinney Steel Co. 

Board of Water Commissioners 


rt 

o 

X 




Texas Power & Light Co. 

Diamond Alkali Co. 

McEwan Bros. 

A. H. & F. E. Holt 

Pennsylvania Railroad 

Alliance C"'fl Storage & Pack, Co. 


p8jnfu| 


— N 




M IH l-l 


r<i 




N 


NATURE OF ACCIDENT 1 


HH 


Boiler ruptured 
Cooking tank exploded 
Tube of superheater ruptured 
Tube ruptured 
Boiler exploded 
Boiler exploded 

Section of heating boiler cracked 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Boiler ruptured 
Tubes failed 

Superheater tube ruptured 
Section of heating boiler crac'.ed 
Tubes ruptured 
Boiler exploded 


Heating boiler exploded 

Boiler exploded 

Boiler bulged and ruptured 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Superheater tubes ruptured 

Sections of heating boiler cracked 

Hot water supply heater exploded 

Air tank exploded 

Boiler bulged and ruptured 

Boiler exploded 

Tube ruptured 

Boiler exploded 

Superheater tube ruptured (2nd acci- 


_dent) 

Six headers cracked 

Pube ruptured 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Boiler of locomotive exploded 

Tube ruptured 


No DAY 


« N r<-) ■* "1 vO 




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O^O^C3^cy^C^O^OO^OOOOOOOOOO — "--■— -,«►-►<„ 


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1927] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



219 



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220 



THE LOCOMOTIVE, 



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The Harif ord Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT. DECEMBER 31, 19-^6 

Capital Stock, . . $2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in offices and banks 

Real Estate ... 

^Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and stocks 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest Accrued 

Total Assets 



$684,103.09 

267,631.53 

i>523,io6.2o 

12,646,007.33 

1,290,539.98 

150,884.92 



LIABILITIES 



Reserve for unearned premiums 
Reserve for losses .... 

Reserve for taxes and other conting^encies 
Capital Stock ..... 

Surplus over all lialjilities 

Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities 



. $16,562,273.05 



$7,318,478.72 
452,318.90 
770.028.22 



$2,500,000.00 

5,521,447.21 



$8,021,447.21 

. $16,562,273.05 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
W^I. R. C. CORSOX, President and Treasurer. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBIXSOX, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS. Chairman Board of 
Trustees, Fartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BR.\IN.\RD, President 
^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CII.NRLES P. COOLEV. President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Chenev Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

n. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE r. F. WILLIAMS. Presi- 
de-it The Cape-.vell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIG.VN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Insnection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The 
Colt's Pat'nt Fire Arms Mfg. Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

S.\MUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford E'ectric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. TOFN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., 
Plainville, Conn. 

CURTISS C. G.\R DINER. \ice-President 
The Hartford Stfam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



INSURES AGAINST LOSS FROM DAMAGE TO PROPERTY 
AND INJURY TO PERSONS DUE TO THE EXPLO- 
SION OF BOILERS OR FLYWHEELS OR 
THE BREAKDOWN OF ENGINES OR 
ELECTRICAL MACHINERY 



Department 

ATLANTA. Ga., 

IIO3-U06 Atlanta Trust 1 

BALTIMORE, Md . . 
13-14-15 Abell Blclg. 

I50ST0N, Mass., 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Wat 

BRIDGEPORT. Conn.. 
z;o4--i05 City Savings Uanlc 

CHICAGO, III., 

209 West Jackson BTv'i 

CTNCINNATI, Ohio, 
First National Bank Bid 

CLEVELAND, Ohio. 
Leader Bldg. 

DENVER. Colo., 
916-918 Gas & Electric Bl 

HARTFORD, Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., 
Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORTs:. N. v.. 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.. 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg, 

PORTLAND, Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg., 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
415 Dexter-Horton Bid 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal.. 
114 Sansome St. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 
610-618 Security Bid,.;. 

TORONTO. Canada. 
Federal Bldg. 



■ St 

n.i 



Representatives 

W. M. Er.xncj.s, INTanagxT. 

C. R. Summers, Chief In.spcctor. 

Lawford & McKiM, General .Agents. 
James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 
W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEBURGH, & So.v, General Agents 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Gi.ennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

xManager and Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenvon. General Agent. 
.\. E. BoNNETT, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. BuRWELL, Mgr. and Chief inspector 
E. L^NSwoKTH, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gakdiner, Vice President. 
E. Mason P.a.rry^ Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

Geo. S. Reyno'.ds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 
C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

C. B. Paddock, Chief Inspector. 

H. R. Mann. & Co., General Agents. 
J. B. Warner, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft. Manager. 
Eugene Wedb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. RoiiFRTS. President The Boiler In- 
spe:tion and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



:i. 



THE HARTFORD LINE 

BOILER INSURANCE 

BoilerSy Economizers, Vulcanizers, Kiers, 

Digesters, Steam Driers, Jacketed 

Kettles, Etc. 

FLYWHEEL INSURANCE 

^Flywheels, Fans, Blowers, Turbines, Water 
'^ Wheels, Centrifugal Driers, Gear ' 

Wheels, Etc. 

ENGINE INSURANCE 

Engines, Compressors, Pumps, Refrigerating 
Machines, Etc. 

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY INSURANCE 

Generators, Motors, Synchronous Convertors, 

Transformers, Switchboards, Etc. 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world" 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 



PifBLiSHED Quarterly 



Vol. XXXVI. 



HARTFORD, CONN., OCTOBER, 1927. 



No. 8. 



COPYRIGHT, 1927, BY THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 



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Amisionia Generator Explosion at Philadelphia, Pa. 

THERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION 

FOR YOUR ENGINEER IN THIS MAGAZINE 

PLEASE LET HIM SEE IT. 



226 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[October, 



Explosion of Generator in Absorption Refrigerating System 

AN autogenously welded generator in the absorption refrigerating 
^system at the Stenton Park branch of the Scott- Powell Dairies, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, exploded July 29, 1926. Four persons 
were injured, one of them fatally, and the portion of the building that 
had housed the refrigerating plant was razed. The property loss was 
estimated at $15,000. A general view of the scene shortly after the 
accident is shown on the front cover. 




Fi.,. I. 



The tank that exploded was 43 inches in diameter by 10 ft. long, 
and was 7/16 inch thick. The heads were of the convex, or plus, 
type, approximately 17/32 inch thick. They were flanged and fitted 
inside of the shell, the turn of the flange being then welded to the end 
of the shell. Figure i shows a duplicate of the exploded vessel that 
was part of a standby unit. The exploded vessel was of autogenously 
welded construction throughout, all longitudinal and girth seams hav- 
ing been made by that process. It had been installed about five years 
previously. It was equipped with a safety valve. The operating 
pressure varied from 150 to 225 lbs. 

The cause of the accident is not known, but it is believed to have 
been due to failure of a welded seam at ordinary working pressure. 
One head blew out, the separation taking place entirely in the weld. 



1927.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



227 



The explosion occurred about 4:50 a. m., approximately half an 
hour after twenty-five or thirty drivers had loaded their milk wagons 
and left the plant with the morning delivery. Because of this, the 
refrigerator was empty, and the plant was not operating at its full 
capacity. Yet the explosion was extremely violent, as can be observed 
from the picture. The refrigerating machinery was located in the 
basement at the left-center of the picture, under the debris at the edge 
of the partition which is lying flat in the foreground with pipe coils 
attached. The building was completely destroyed, and the 500 gallon 
water tank on the roof of the adjacent building was left in a pre- 




FlG. 2. 

carious position such that it had to be immediately removed to over- 
come the danger of its falling. Heavy steel beams were blown 200 
ft. away, into the park across the street, and telephone and electric 
wires in the adjoining streets were carried away. The shell of the 
generator was driven through an 18 inch stone basement wall and into 
the earth embankment beyond. 

Explosion of Ammonia Condenser in Compression 
Refrigerating System. 
The failure of another autogenously welded ammonia vessel oc- 
curred July 18, 1927, at the plant of the Seventh District Ice & Man- 
ufacturing Co., Ltd., New Orleans, Louisiana. One man was seriously 
injured, and a property loss of approximately $15,000 was sustained. 
Fig. 2 shows part of the damage to the building. In addition, four 
nearby residences were damaged. 



228 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



[October, 



The vessel that exploded was a shell type ammonia condenser, 
part of a 40 ton compression type refrigerating system. It was 38 
inches in diameter by 18 ft. long, and was constructed of 1/2 inch 
plate, in two courses. The heads were connected by a number of 2 inch 
tubes. An idea of the general construction of the condenser may be 
obtained from Fig. 3. Cooling water passed through the tubes and 
ammonia surrounded the tubes. One course of the shell was blown 
off, the rupture fol- 
lowing the longitu- 
dinal and girth 
seams so that the 
plate opened out flat 
without any tearing. 
The rest of the vessel 
remained practically 
intact. Fortunately 
it had been installed 
out-of-doors, so the 
property loss was not 
as great as it un- 
doubtedly would 
have been had the ^' 

condenser been located inside of the building. 

The cause of the accident is not definitely known. The vessel is 
said to have been operating under normal conditions when the ex- 
plosion occurred, about 4 o'clock in the morning. The engineer, who 
was seriously injured, was standing nearby. It has been suggested 
that the circulating- water pump might have stopped or gotten out of 
order and thus cut oflf the water supply, allowing an excess pressure 
to build up in the condenser shell. Another possible cause, in view of 
reported condition of the welded seams, is that the failure started in 
one of these seams. The vessel had been in use for 12 years. The 
operating pressure was 170 pounds. 

Neither of these tanks was insured with The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Company, which has always questioned the 
advisability of depending on autogenously welded seams in vessels 
subjected to such high working pressure. 



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1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 229 

Prevention of Air Tank Explosions. 

By Geo. H. Stickney, Sup't. Boiler Department. 

AIR tank explosions are due to a great variety of causes, some of 
which arc common to all pressure vessels, while others are peculiar 
to compressed air systems. The fault may have been in the 
original design, or a defect that gradually appeared, or the result of 
improper operation, but whatever the cause, frequent inspections would 
go a long way toward reducing the number of such accidents. The 
services of an inspection-insurance company are of inestimable value 
in this work, but its efforts should be backed up, first, by proper instal- 
lation, and afterwards by care and observation on the part of the men 
who are operating the system. 

The air tank or receiver is most frequently the seat of the explosion, 
but attention to this vessel alone will not greatly reduce the hazard. The 
system as a whole must be considered — tanks, compressors, and piping 
— and when any part of the system is dismantled for repairs, the op- 
portunity of examining that part should be taken full advantage of. The 
internal inspection of a tank should be as thorough as possible and 
should include complete dimensions for computing the maximum safe 
working pressure. Should the system be in operation and the tank under 
pressure, it may not be possible to obtain these necessary data, but at 
least some approximation should be made and checked against the ob- 
served working pressure to ascertain the probable factor of safety. 

Internal Examination Essential. 

If the tank can be entered or the inside seen through openings, the 
interior of the shell should be carefully examined for evidence of cracks, 
general corrosion, pitting, and the presence of oil, water, or other de- 
posit. If there are no openings and no pipe fittings of sufficient size that 
can be dismantled for the purpose of interior examination, hand holes of 
ample size should be cut into the vessel, the number of holes depending 
upon the size of the tank. Special attention should be paid to the 
l^ossibility of finding internal corrosion on the bottom of the vessel, or 
cracks at the turn of the head flanges. The bottom heads of vertical 
tanks and the lower portions of heads of horizontal tanks should be 
given particular attention. 

All air tanks should have a blow-off connection fitted to the lowest 
part of the vessel, and it should be used at least daily in order to pro- 
vent the accumulation of oil and water. Vertical tanks should be in- 
stalled with the " plus " head at the bottom to afford complete drainage. 
A safety valve, or valves, of proper construction and size and set 



230 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 



at the maximum allowable pressure should be installed so as to properly 
protect the tank or system. A device commonly known as an unloader, 
which governs the pressure by controlling the air supply, is not by itself 
considered sufficient protection against overpressure. 

Safety valve sizes are based on the allowable pressure and the maxi- 
mum commercial rating of the compressor in cubic feet per minute of 
free air at sea level. This capacity is reduced about 3% for every 
1,000 feet increase in altitude. The maximum commercial rating is 
taken as the displacement in cubic feet per minute at the maximum 
speed of the compressor. In a multiple stage compressor the capacity 
of the large or low pressure cylinder, handling free air taken from the 
atmosphere, is alone considered. 

The following table showing maximum air compressor ratings in 
cubic feet per minute for different sizes of safety valves at stated 
pressures is taken from the Massachusetts Air Tank Regulations and 
can be used in the absence of local regulations : 

Maximum Air Compressor Ratings for Different 
Sizes of Safety Valves. 

Diameter of Gage Pressure (Pounds) 

Valve (in.) .... 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 

Va — — — — — — — 53 

^ 20 32 42 51 59 ^y 74 III 

Va 37 59 78 96 112 127 141 176 

1 58 94 124 152 178 202 224 248 

iYa 84 135 180 221 259 293 325 — 

i^ 114 186 248 302 354 400 444 — 

2 189 306 410 501 592 668 741 — 

2.y2 282 457 613 750 880 998 1114 — 

3 393 638 856 1050 1230 1398 1557 — 



Diameter of 
Valve (in.) 



500 



Gage Pressure (Pounds) 
600 800 1000 1200 1600 2000 2400 






61 
129 

224 
286 

374 
472 



70 

147 
232 

324 



84 97 109 128 147 160 



177 
242 
390 
509 
634 



205 230 270 304 330 
346 386 423 474 5t8 
450 500 586 — — 



Close investigation should be made for improper repairs, particularly 
by the autogenous method of welding. The welding of the seams should 
be in accordance with the Unfired Pressure Vessel Code of the American 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 231 

Society of Mechanical Engineers. Brazed seams are quite generally 
used with apparent freedom from failure. It is believed, however, that 
brazing of plates over )^ inch thick should not be practiced. Brazed 
seams can be distinguished by the brassy appearance of the surface 
when scraped. 

Compressed air tanks should never be buried under ground or in- 
stalled in inaccessible locations. At least 12 inches of space should be 
left all around the tank to facilitate inspection. 

The use of the proper kind and amount of oil in the compressor 
cylinder has a very important bearing on the prevention of explosions 
in air tanks and connecting pipe lines. Mineral oil only should be used, 
and the proper grade of such oil for service in an air compressor should 
be specified by some reputable oil company making that particular kind 
of oil. It should be borne in mind that much less lubrication is required 
in air compressors than in steam engine cylinders. Too much oil may 
lead to greater difficulties than an insufficient amount. The subject of 
Air Compressor Lubrication was considered at some length in the April 
1924 issue of The Locomotive. 

Control of Air Temperature Important. 

Aside from over-pressure in the tank (due to poor design, cracks, 
corrosion, lack of safety valves or inoperative safety valves), tempera- 
ture control of the air leaving the compressor is perhaps most important 
for the prevention of explosions. Many explosions in compressed air 
systems have been attributed to the high temperature of the air, causing 
ignition of combustible matter in the pipe lines or receivers. It is es- 
sential to have sufficient clean cooling water from an unfailing source 
circulated through the coolers and jackets of the compressor cylinders so 
that the temperature of the discharge air is not materially above that of 
the surrounding atmosphere. With multiple stage compressors, inter- 
coolers between the cylinders and an aftercooler between the high pres- 
sure stage and the tanks are usually found necessary, not only to reduce 
the temperature of the air but also to condense any water vapor and 
create a dry condition of air for service. 

Other causes for high temperature are leaky compressor suction 
valves and pistons, mud or other deposit filling up the jacket space or 
adhering to the walls of the cylinders and coolers, hot and dirty inlet 
air, and high speed of compressors too small for the service required. 
Still another cause is operating with the jackets only partly filled with 
water. The pipe lines leading to the water jackets and coolers are. 
usually fitted with stop valves on both the inlet and outlet connections 



232 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 



and the flow is often regulated by the inlet valve, but this is poor prac- 
tice. If the inlet valve is only slightly opened and the discharge valve 
opened wide, it sometimes happens that the coolers and jackets are only 

,coys/? /Afs/Jff OF /vTy^/rs irV/rf/ 

H£AVyfM£SH tV//?£ 0// 3 SID£^ 
NAIL STJi/PS /M CO/ifl/£/iS 

MAff£/?£MOV/)eL£ F/!/IAr£:3 C0V£K£S 
W/TM €»££•$£ CiOTH C/f /.OOSS WOlf^A/ 

corro//£/./fA/f/£l /ivu sfr £/fAM£.5 
w/r// ciOTf^ yt(/y^//^'Sr iv//e£, hi>ii> 
rff/f/^£s mr//Mcafi sorrows /^a/tMsr 

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AMO£NO AS SHO IVA/ 




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From Trade Standards of the Compressed Air Society 

Fig. I. 



partly filled with water due to the water running out faster than it is 
fed. On the other hand, if the inlet valve is kept wide open and the 
discharge valve used for regulation, the cooling spaces will be completely 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 233 

filled with water, lower air temi)eratures will be maintained, and, by 
keeping the air out of these spaces, corrosion will be reduced. Of course, 
where there is an open jacket, the jacket is full of water at all times 
and the regulation must be by means of the inlet valve. A good 
way to make sure that a constant flow of water is passing through the 
cooling system is to have the discharge in the open where it is readily 
and conveniently visible. 

The end of the compressor air intake pipe should be located in a 
place where clean suction air is available. It is advisable to install an 
air filter or screen over the end of the pipe for protection against the 
drawing in of dust, smoke, and other material which may be combusti- 
ble. Air filters should be regularly cleaned and otherwise maintained 
in good condition. A simple form of air cleaner recommended by the 
Compressed Air Society is shown in Fig. i. Quoting from Trade 
Standards of the Society: — 

"[It] consists of a wooden frame box made with removable panel 
frames covered with heavy ^ inch mesh wire to which cheese cloth or 
loosely woven cotton flannel is tacked. The cheese cloth takes up all 
the heavy particles of dust and foreign matter, and when the cloth gets 
completely covered it should be renewed with new cloth. Ample screen 
area should be provided, at least i square foot of surface per 25 cubic 
feet per minute free air capacity of the compressor. With this amount 
of surface there will be no appreciable loss of pressure in the air going 
to the compressor." 

Use of Water Tanks for Air Receivers is Dangerous. 

The ordinary kitchen variety of hot-water-supply tanks, sometimes 
called " range boilers," are frequently used as air tanks particularly in 
garages. As these tanks are intended for water containers only, they 
are not constructed with a sufficiently high factor of safety for use with 
compressed air, and should not be so used. 

Since it is hoped this article will come to the attention of many users 
of compressed air, it may not be amiss to call attention to a misuse often 
made of air under pressure, that is, the initial testing of tanks with air 
instead of water. Tanks, particularly when they are to hold valuable 
liquids such as gasoline, are specified to be air tight at a certain pressure. 
This necessitates testing the tank under air pressure, but the air test 
should not be made before the tank is hydrostatically tested for strength. 
Explosions of tanks while under test pressure are not infrequent, 
especially in boiler shops, and they are usually attended by fatalities 
because workmen are in close proximity to the vessel looking for, or 



234 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

caulking, leaks. Several such cases have been previously reported in 
The Locomotive. 

It is not uncommon to find kerosene oil used for cleaning compressed 
air systems. This practice should be discontinued because the volatility 
and ease of ignition of kerosene predisposes toward a combustion ex- 
plosion. Full details of a recommended method of cleaning the system 
by use of a soap solution are given in the article previously mentioned 
as appearing in the April 1924 issue. 

Fusible plugs are recommended, and one should be installed on the 
receiver and one on the discharge pipe as near the compressor cylinder 
as possible. 

The states of California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, and the 
cities of Detroit, Chicago, and Omaha have air tank laws and rules. 



State Boiler Laws. 



THE extreme complexity of boiler legislation throughout the vari- 
ous states can hardly be appreciated by one who has not made a 
study of the subject as a whole. Most boiler manufacturers are 
well posted, particularly with regard to the states in which they find a 
market for their product, but persons or firms not directly interested in 
the manufacture or sale of boilers, though interested as users, are not 
always aware of existing boiler legislation and may sooner or later run 
afoul of the law. This is particularly true of contractors, who are 
moving portable equipment from state to state as the need may arise, 
and of purchasers of second hand boilers. Used boilers that meet the 
standards of one state do not necessarily meet those of another. For 
instance, some states do not permit the installation of used boilers from 
outside territory unless the boilers are built and stamped in accordance 
with the A. S. M. E. Power Boiler Code, or are built to the particular 
rules of the state, as in the case of Massachusetts. Great expense may 
at times be incurred in moving such equipment only to find on its ar- 
rival that it cannot be operated, due, perhaps, to some detail of its con- 
struction. Incidents of this kind are of more frequent occurrence than 
one is likely to credit oft'hand. 

This article is offered as a suggestion — one might almost say as a 
warning — to the firm contemplating the removal of a pressure vessel 
from one state to another that steps be taken to obtain in advance 
authoritative approval for operation of the particular vessel in the de- 
sired state. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and action contrary to 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 235 

law always carries with it the stigma of probable intentional evasion. 

It is impossible to lay down in a brief and general article of this 
kind the detailed steps to be taken to receive approval of state ormuni- 
cipal authorities, because the procedure varies in the case of almost 
every state. In some jurisdictions compliance with a certain code is 
necessary, a matter that can be checked up by a qualified person. In 
others it is a matter of the judgment of one man or of a governmental 
bureau or commission. One way to obtain the necessary information 
is to address an inquiry to the Chief Boiler Inspector of the state or 
municipality into which tiie boiler is to be moved. Such ofificial is 
usually located in the Municipal Building, in the case of a city, or in 
the State Capitol, in the case of a state. A trip of inspection by an 
official inspector may be necessary before receiving the desired approval 
for operation. 

The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors is an 
organization of state and municipal* inspectors which has for one of its 
objects the promotion of interchangeability of such vessels between the 
political subdivisions of the United States. National Board stamping is 
acceptable in many states and cities, and often facilitates obtaining ap- 
proval for operation. 

The easiest way to arrange for the transfer of a pressure vessel is 
to put the matter up to your boiler insurance company. If such com- 
pany has a well distributed corps of boiler inspectors, the expense of 
securing definite approval or disapproval will be a minimum, time will 
be saved, and the details in connection with the transfer will be lifted 
from the shoulders of the owner. 

For convenience, a list of the cities and states having boiler laws at 
the present time is given below, but this list, of course, is subject to 
change at any time. All of these, with the exception of the State of 
Massachusetts, have accepted the American Society of Mechanical 
Engineers Boiler Construction Code. Massachusetts has adopted its 
own code. 

States That Have Adopted Boiler Laws 

Arkansas Missouri Rhode Island 

California New Jersey L'tah 

Delaware New York Washington 

Indiana Ohio \\'isconsin 

Maryland Oklahoma District of Columbia 

Massachusetts Oregon Panama Canal Zone 

Michigan Pennsylvania Territory of Hawaii 
Minnesota 



236 "^HE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

Cities 1 hat Have Adopted Boiler Laws 

Chicago, 111. Memphis, Tenn. St. Joseph, Mo. 

Detroit, Mich. Nashville, Tenn. St. Louis, Mo. 

Erie, Pa. Omaha, Neh. Scranton, Pa. 

Kansas City, Mo. Parkersburg, W. Va. Seattle, Wash. 

Los Angeles, Gal. Philadelphia, Pa. Tampa, Fla. 



Boiler of the Steamship " Beaver ". 

THE accompanying picture shows an ancient marine boiler which 
will undoubtedly be of interest to many of us, particularly those 
of maritime inclinations, because of the history of the vessel in 
which it saw service. As can be observed by the sign displayed in the 
photograph, the vessel known as the " Beaver " is credited with a 
trans-Atlantic trip and is further credited with being the first steam- 
ship to round Cape Horn and the pioneer in the Pacific Ocean. 

The vessel was built in Blackwall, London, England, in 1834. The 
engines and boilers were installed by Bowlton & Watt, weighed 63 tons, 
and cost $22,000. As the early log of the vessel speaks of "wooding 
up ", it was undoubtedly a wood burner, externally fired, probably with 
a Dutch oven such as we encounter today. It is further interesting to 
note the superheater section, which formed a part of the uptake and is 
quite prominent in the photograph. The length of the " Beaver " was 
loi ft. 4 inches ; the breadth was 20 ft. inside of the paddle wheel boxes 
and 33 ft. over all ; the depth was 11 ft. 6 inches. The vessel was 
registered as of 109 tons, and is said to have carried a crew of 26 men 
and to have been armed with 5 nine pounder guns. 

The " Beaver " sailed from England August 29, 1835, for the 
Pacific Ocean by way of Cape Horn, arriving at the Island of Juan 
Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe's Island) on December 17, 1835, and at 
the mouth of the Columbia River on April 4, 1836. The vessel evi- 
dently had a long career on the Pacific for it is reported to have sunk 
in Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, B. C, on July 26, 1888. The boiler re- 
mained in salt water until September, 1906, when it was raised and 
brought to the Washington State Historical Society at Tacoma, where 
it is now on exhibition. 

The first trans-Atlantic steam vessel was the " Savannah," which 
crossed the ocean in 1819, requiring 26 days for the trip. The " Savan- 
nah," however, is generally discounted as the first " steamship " because 
the engines were merely for auxiliary power in quiet waters and in 
docking. Her paddle wheels could be rapidly disassembled and brought 
on deck when not in use. It is of interest to note in passing that the 



1927.] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



237 



" Savannah " was entirely an American vessel, having been financed, 
built, and engined in the United States, and sailed on this historic 
voyage ivou^ the j^ort of Savannah, Georgia. 




Boiler of Steamship 



The " S. S. Curacao " of the Royal Netherlands Navy is said to 
have sailed, or rather steamed, from Holland to the Dutch West Indies 
in April, 1827, and to have made additional trips in 1828 and 1829. 

In 1833 the Canadian steamer " Royal William " left Quebec for 
England, and by continuing the service became the first trans-Alantic 
liner. Because of indifferent financial returns, the vessel was later sold 
and the service discontinued. 



238 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

In 183S the " Sirius " made a trip from London to New York in 17 
days, and was followed shortly after by the " Great Western," which 
made the trip from Bristol, England, to New York in 15 days. 



Well Water Used to Cool Minneapolis Auditorium. 

i*T some period in our youth we have all doubtless been amused, and 
/~\ perhaps perplexed, by the story of the man blowing " hot " to 
warm his hands and blowing " cold " to cool his soup, but man is 
no more versatile than is ^lother Nature, for we now read that well- 
water is used to heat one building and to cool another. In a previous 
issue of The Locomotive it was noted that, according to TJie Valve 
World, the high school building at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is heated 
with natural hot water from an artesian well 350 ft. deep. The temp- 
erature of the water was not stated, but it was explained that it was 
not as high as would ordinarily be used in a heating system and there- 
fore approximately double the usual amount of radiation surface 
would be required. 

We now read, in Ice and Refrigeration, that the new Alinneapolis 
^Municipal Auditorium, with a combined seating capacity of over 18,000 
people, is to be cooled in summer with well water. The water is to be 
pumped from two artesian wells 800 ft. deep, its temperature being 
50° F. The refrigerating effect that will be obtained from the cold 
well-water used in the air supply systems, aggregating 413,000 cu. ft. 
per minute capacity, will amount to the equivalent of 1,000 tons of ice 
melting per day, an astounding quantity. Quoting from the article : — 

" It is difficult to comprehend the significance of this figure until one 
stops to think that if ice had to be used to maintain the spray water at 
50° F., instead of drawing upon the bounty of Nature, the amount of 
ice required would be sufficient to supply the normal requirements of 
a population of 250,000 people, or the combined population of the fol- 
lowing Illinois cities : Peoria, Springfield, Joliet, Oak Park and Evan- 
ston, in extreme summer weather. 

" The volume of water pumped from the wells will be at the rate 
of 3,000,000 gallons per day ; a quantity sufficient for the water supply 
for a citv the size of Belleville, Illinois. It might be remarked in pass- 
ing that it would take the entire output of ten ice plants of the size 
needed to meet the requirements of the same city in hottest weather." 

This auditorium is of further interest because of several other un- 
usual features, such as the use of ozone to maintain the visibility and 
freshness of the air by clarifying it of the smoke and odor of burning 



192/.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 239 

tobacco, and the arrangements for tempering and humidifying or de- 
humidifying the air so as to at all times have a comfortable " elTective 
temperature " depending upon outside conrlitions, such that the contrast 
of entering or leaving the building will not be unnecessarily distressing. 



The Early History of Iron and Steel. 

BECAUSE of the rapid strides made in recent years by the iron and 
steel industry, we are likely to think that the discovery of the 
methods of working this indispensable metal is of comparatively 
recent origin. It is now generally conceded, however, that the use of iron 
may have antedated that of copper and bronze. Many have ascribed 
the comparative absence of iron implements in the uncovered ruins of 
ancient civilizations to its great susceptibility to corrosion, but others 
maintain that some evidence of its presence should remain even though 
the original implements have disappeared. Alany Biblical and ancient 
historical references indicate that iron was a very valuable substance, 
highly prized, the spoil of conquering monarchs, and comparable in 
value to gold, silver, and bronze. It was necessarily very rare at first, 
and what was available was undoubtedly put to use as tools, particu- 
larly for implements of war and other outdoor uses and not hoarded in 
treasure houses, which probably accounts in part for its absence from 
tombs and other sources of relics. 

The first historical reference to iron or steel is, undoubtedly, that 
made in the fourth chapter of Genesis to Tubal Cain as the instructor 
of every artificer in brass and iron. Bearing in mind the recent im- 
provements in the manufacture of iron and steel, it is interesting to con- 
sider what small progress was made in the intervening centuries since 
this member of the sixth generation in descent from Adam plied his 
trade. 

Source of First Iron Unknown. 

There is a question as to the source of the earliest iron. By some 
it is thought to have been of meteoric origin, while others maintain that 
such iron is not malleal)le and therefore could not have been success- 
fully forged. At some very early date, however, it was unquestionably 
extracted from the ores as indicated by the w^idespread knowledge and 
use of this metal, and it is interesting to ponder on the accidental way in 
which the source and methods of extraction must have been discovered. 
Most likely a fire built on a bed of ore, or perhaps the accidental in- 
troduction of a lump of ore in a fire, resulted in a lump of iron. It is 
said that the natives of the island of Crete learned from a forest fire 
in the 15th century, B. C, that the ores of their island would make iron. 



240 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

The earliest workers of iron on an appreciable scale are believed to 
have been the Assyrians of Western Asia, the Ethiopians of Eastern 
Africa, and the Hindoos of India. Egyptian relics and paintings in the 
tombs indicate that this people was familiar with its use, and even in- 
dicate that a bellows was used in forging as early as 1500 B. C. In- 
direct evidence of this knowledge on the part of the Egyptians is given 
by their works in granite and porphyry, as it is held by authorities that 
these hard stones could not have been worked without ferrous alloy 
tools. The Egyptians, however, are believed to have obtained their 
Icnowledge and perhaps most of their tools from neighboring peoples, 
probably through the Phoenicians. It is not clear whether the Phoe- 
nicians were artificers to any extent or whether they merely secured 
their products in trade, but this maritime race is credited with spread- 
ing the knowledge of the uses of iron if not of its processes of manu- 
facture, as practically all of the peoples of Asia and Northern Africa 
are known to have been acquainted with it long before the Christian 
era. In fact, the origin of the iron bed industry might be credited to 
Og, King of Bashan, about 1450 B.C., who history records owned such 
a bed. Just what form the famous bedstead of this monarch took is nol 
clear, but it is safe to assume it was nothing like the imitation walnut 
of today, nor even the white enameled, barred afifair of yesterday. 

Greeks and Romans Practiced Steel Treating. 

In Homer's time about 900 B. C, steel must have been in wide use 
among the Greeks and its hardening and tempering well understood, for 
the poet makes use of a simile that must have been generally under- 
stood when he likens the hissing of the stake that Ulysses drove into 
the eye of Polyphemus to that of the steel which the smith quenches in 
water, and he incidentally mentions the strengthening efifect of this 
quenching. The Romans likewise were workers in iron, using it to a 
large extent in their military equipment. They are further credited 
with a knowledge of the relative values of different baths for hardening 
steel. 

The steels of India, Persia, and Spain have at different periods been 
famous. The traditional blades of Damascus were made of Indian and 
Persian steels, while Hannibal's victory over the Romans at Cannae was 
attributed to superior Spanish swords. The Catalonian forge, used for 
centuries in many parts of the world for the reduction of iron ores, ob- 
tains its name from the province of Catalonia, Spain, where it origi- 
nated. 

Samples of the ferrous metals produced in ancient times are rare, 
but some are in existence. Explorations in 1837 around the Great 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 241 

Pyramid of Gizeh revealed a small piece of iron used in one of ihc 
inner joints of the structure, which dates back to approximately 4000 
B. C. It is said to have been preserved because iron rusts very slowly 
in the dry climate of Egypt. 

Delhi Pillar a Metallurgical Mystery. 

In India the science of the metallurgy of iron must have attained a 
high degree of perfection, probably because the lack of copper caused a 
certain amount of specialization. At Delhi there still stands an iron 
pillar that has stood for 1600 years, seemingly rustless. This pillar is 
approximately 12-3^ inches in diameter at the top and 16-^ inches in 
diameter at the bottom, is 24 ft. high, and weighs nearly 7 tons. The 
upper section, for a distance of 4 ft. from the top, is elaborately carved 
and fluted. This memorial to the metallurgical skill of the third century 
A. D. has caused much speculation as to how it was manufactured 
without the heavy machine tools and steam hammers of today. Further- 
more, its resistance to corrosion is very much of a mystery. Sir Robert 
Hadfield recently secured a sample of the pillar for analysis and to have 
microphotographs made, the results of which were reported in the No- 
vember 26, 1925, issue of the Iron Trade Reviezv. The analysis shows 
the following composition : — Carbon, 0.08 ; silicon, 0.046 ; sulphur, 
0.006; phosphorus, 0.114; manganese, nil; and nitrogen, 0.030 per cent; 
total 0.276 per cent ; iron 99.700 per cent ; total 99.976 per cent. 

In the article in the Rcviezv mention is made of a possible reason ad- 
vanced for the resistance of the pillar to corrosion — that the natives 
each year hold a religious ceremony at the pillar and anoint it with a 
fatty, edible substance known as "butter." This point, however, was 
still subject to verification. It is interesting to note, in passing, that a 
portion of the fragment obtained for analysis failed to rust but re- 
mained bright when exposed for days to the atmosphere of the labora- 
tory, though when a drop of water was allowed to stand on it over- 
night a rust spot resulted. 

Another similar pillar of about the same age, according to a Hull 
(England) Board of Trade Bulletin, is in existence at Dhar, Central 
India; and the Black Pagoda at Kanarak, dating back to the 13th cen- 
tury A. D., contains twenty iron beams, the two largest of which are 
respectively 23 ft. 6 inches long by 10-^4 inches square, and 35 ft. long 
by 7-^ inches square, weighing respectively 8,000 and 6,000 lbs. 

An extremely interesting description by an eye-witness of what an 
ancient iron extraction plant must have been like is given in an article 
in Engineering (London), volume 79, page 28, entitled "A West 



242 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

African Smelting-House," by C. V. Bellamy. The article describes, 
with many illustrations, an iron industry carried on by a primitive 
people which shows no evidence whatever of outside influence and 
which must employ methods very similar to those of the ancients. 



Hardened Copper. 

A Recovered Art. 

THERE exists, on the part of those not intimately connected with 
the working of copper, a belief that the ancients had a method of 
hardening that metal, with which art we today are not familiar. 
The fact of the matter is that our present-day metallurgists not only 
understand how the ancients hardened their copper and bronze, but also 
know how to produce copper and bronze products that are even harder 
than those left to us and which represent the evidence of the so called 
lost art of hardening copper. 

Cutting edges developed on swords, daggers, knives and other im- 
plements by the ancients were obtained by hammering the metal, or, in 
other words, cold-working. Those old metal-workers not only hand 
hammered their copper implements but also used the same means to 
harden their bronze articles. The heating of many of these products in 
open fires resulted in the formation of considerable copper oxide, which 
alloyed with the copper and hardened it. One of the most common 
mistakes of persons claiming to have rediscovered " the lost art of 
hardening copper " is to heat it in a forge and in this way saturate it 
with copper oxide, which combines with the copper to form a much 
harder and much more brittle product. 

There are really two methods of hardening copper that are regularly 
practised nowadays, just as centuries ago. One consists in alloying the 
copper with some other metal or several other metals such as zinc, tin, 
nickel, cadmium, chronium, cobalt, silicon, aluminum, iron, beryllium 
and arsenic. The second method consists in cold-working the metal or 
copper alloy. In fact, it is possible to work the metal to such a stage of 
hardness that a slight amount of additional work will cause it to break. 
The explanation of all copper hardening may be attributed to one of 
these methods or a combination of them. 

Alicrophotographs of an ancient copper spearhead indicated that 
it was extremely hard and that apparently this hardness had been, 
obtained by cold working. 

Copper scissors, knives and other cutting tools may be. obtained. 
Unless, however, a special reason exists for their use, they offer no 



1927.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 243 

advantages over tools made from steel. Occasionally, however, it be- 
comes necessary to use copper or bronze tools, such as knives. Around 
a powder plant, for instance, where all sparks must be avoided, bronze 
knives are almost essential. 

The actual hardness of annealed commercial copper as determined 
by the Brinell machine (an instrument for measuring the hardness of 
substances) is from 40 to 50. The hardness of cold-worked pure cop- 
per probably does not ever exceed 120 Brinell. The hardness of cop- 
per that has been alloyed with some other metal or a number of metals 
but rarely exceeds 250 Brinell, although a hardness just over 300 has 
been attained as an upper limit. As a basis of comparison for readers 
unfamiliar with measurements of the hardness of metals, it may be 
stated that the Brinell hardness of very " soft " iron is around 80 and of 
steel used in common cutlery, such as in a finished pocket knife, about 
420 Brinell. 

Not only do many persons spend a short while endeavoring to re- 
discover an art that never was lost, but some of them devote a whole 
lifetime to this elTort. The tragedy, or rather, the denouement, occurs 
when they have evolved a hard copper. They next endeavor to find 
some use for it and then learn that, unless it has some special properties, 
no market exists. Copper wire, hard drawn, has a tensile strength of 
about 65,000 pounds per square inch and an elongation in 10 inches of 
about one per cent, with a conductivity of about 97 per cent. This 
aflfords some basis on which to work when endeavoring to develop the 
hardening of copper. If, for example, it were possible to harden cop- 
per so that the tensile strength were materially increased above that 
just stated, without reducing the conductivity, a worthwhile discovery 
would have been made. 

.Some recent methods of hardening copper by alloying have, to a 
certain extent, come about as near to actually " tempering " copper as 
would seem possible. In these methods the metal, silicon, plays a most 
important part because it forms silicides with other metals which in 
turn form eutectics with the copper. The deoxidizing effect that silicon 
by itself exerts plays no unimportant part in finally allowing the metal 
to be worked and by heat treatment to develop a high strength, with a 
relatively high conductivity. This latter, however, is considerably be- 
low that of pure copper and second only, speaking of alloys from the 
standpoint of both strength and conductivity, to those of copper and 
cadmium. Alloys of copper wnth cadmium give, for a stated conduc- 
tivity, higher strengths than those with silicon. — Research Narratives 
No. 128, Engineering Foundation. 



244 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



[October, 




Devoted to Power Plant Protection 

Published Quarterly 
Benj. C. Cruickshanks, Editor. 
HARTFORD, OCTOBER, 1927. 

Single copies can be obtained free by callins at any of the company's a.^mcKS. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year -when mailed frotn this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones t~ji.'o dollars, 

Peprmting Tnatter from this paper is pertruiied tf credited to 

The Locomotive of thk H.^rtford Ste.^m Boiler I. & I, Co. 



Our Sixtieth Anniversary 

ON the opposite page appears a reproduction of the first page of 
the first issue of The Locomotive, from the date of which it will 
be noted that the present issue marks its sixtieth anniversary. 
The Locomotive, we beHeve, is the oldest house organ that was 
started as such and has been continuously published without inter- 
ruption. The first issues contained but four pages, approximately 
letter size, and appeared monthly. In 1880, however, the page was 
reduced to its present size, the number of pages increased, and the 
volume renumbered Volume i. New Series. Later the magazine 
became a quarterly, and the issues lor each two years constituted a 
volume. 

On the editorial page of the first issue the "' raison d'etre " is set 
forth as follows : 

The object of this paper is to bring before the public from 
time to time, information of a' scientific and practical nature 
that will be both entertaining and useful, and although we 
shall aim in each number to furnish our readers with at least 
one good article in some one of the branches of natural science, 
our chief object will be to discuss practical questions, and more 



1927.1 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



245 




\xOtomotj^ 




e 



HERTFORD 

STEAM BOIIERIMCFIOH^D IE W. 

I^r^fcrattd *> Sl^utt Aft »/ 0,4 Ltflti.ilurt qf (>■»• 
«#t<u-«/. to /itf-rf rr#p»r1y against 

Xjoasi ox> X3axxi.ase, 

StttioDary, Warineind Locomotive Boilers. 

tKI ^DTBKTISKMEXI 0,V LAST PAOJS. 



|.r<»luctil ISO lon» of Iroo t wMk. Sereiil loco- 
motivM wtre bulll tl Ihem In the intcrraU bctwctn 
1D34-I840. The fumaccn li«ve now lj«n l,low» out 
for > conplc of ywir», but there U lorac probability 
tlint Uiej will icon be lighted »goin. It nuj be in- 
ferred fiuni wh«t hM l«5en ulretdy lUted th«t WyUm 
is not devoid of MKciationi of a very pleaaing and 
inteit«ling choracter. Beaide iti connection with 
the Bret aucccsaful locomotiTC, it claima to be the 
I binliplacc of George Stephennon, wh.jac parenU re- 

™ • . 1 r. 1 .>.. .,ll,o.l.m ,.f ulirel >idcd lor lonie years in a cotuge alill atanding clow 

Tietral proved •uccrmful, the a<llic8ion ol » heel ""™ ■ J " , , . t^t 

to rail -a.' quite enough to enable the machine to to the Wylam wagon-way, «.d only a few hundred 
be propelled without dipping. By 1813, the e.peri- yard. dlaUnt from the v.llage. In a baaement room 
ment. Ll .ucce«led. and a p.Unt for a locomotive "f th.. u„pr.te„dmg dwell.ng 
wa, taken out in Hodlcy'. name, dated March I3lh, -on bom, on June », 178 . It 
in that year. That .te.m engine, which ran for k»own a. High Stnxt lIou»e. 
8fty yea™ l^tweenWylam and Lemington,«.dwa. ling alx>ut the wooden wagonw.y 
called indifferently by the country people " Puffing 



«,.„ 1IW7 aji.l mil. Kr"iu l"n 1" 1"13 ?""'■•■• 
I,. 111. ted eiperinienu at Wylam under the auplr- 
,1. ndence of Mr. Blackett an<l Mr. William Hedley, 
ll. then viewer of the colliery, having for their end 
ind aim the aulmUluUon of ateani for horse power 
>o the wagon way. It waa at that period that the 
•ntire auffieiency of runooth wheela on jmooth raiU 
n aa demonrtratcd. Kon.tor plac«l a wagon, smooth, 
ttlieelwl, on the way, properly ballasted it, an<l set 
iiiL-n to work the wheels by means ( 



WTLAM, THE CRADLE OF THE 
LOCOMOTIVE. 
There are not many villages on Tyneside that 
preaentso uninviting an aapect at ftrst view as Wylam. 
A ttroU np and down its streets, for it can boast 
ctreeta, and a High Street too, does not mend mat- 
ten. What the village is to-day it has always been, 
except perhaps during the short interval when the 
blast furnace and ironworks were fully employed. 
Then the place presented a livelier appearance, 
though at the best of times there have not been, 
perhaps, a hundred more residents in it than now. 
It may not be uninteresting to present our rtaden 
with a few particulars of Wylam — the cra<lle of tht 
locomotiva— which we extract from a recent article 
in the Nfrtien Kiprtu. Wykm is distant from 
Kewcaatle about eight miles, and lies close to th 
north bank of the UiverTyue. A wooden bridg. 
oillars, between which the streai 



Billy " and " The Dilly," is now laid up as a curiosity 
in Kensington Museum. But a second was built soon 
after the first, and this " Dilly" has regularly ran on 
the Wylam wagonway till within these couple of 
yeara, and now stands in the centre of the village 
ready to get up steam at a moment's notice. 

Wylam Colliery, for which these engines were 
constructed, is one of the oldest concerns in the 
North of England, and it waa here that George 
Stephenson's lather worked as engineman for seven 
or eight years. Formerly there were more than a 
score of pits worked in the immediate vicinity, but 
only two are now used— the Ann Pit and the Haugh 
Pit, and these have been in operation as sea-sale 
collieriej since the yenr 1751. The John Pit, on the 
south ride of the river was sunk in 1830, but soon 
abandoned, as it was found much cheaper to con- 
vey coals underground to the north tide of the river 
than to bring them directly to bank. The seams 
now workable are the high 

Tilley, the five-quarter, the six-quarter, the yard, 
and the Horsley-wood or Brockwell. Fire-clay is 
also found in abundance. The colliery produces 
100,000 tons of coal annually, of a kind much prized 
in the London market. For heat-producing power 
they are not excelled, and are greatly in request at 
potteries, and at the Government rifie works at En- 
field. Wylam Colliery is occasionally 



as George Btephen- 
as then, and is yet. 
Here, and wander- 
front of the houses, did George spend several yoara 
of his eariy Imyhood, doubtless unconsciously imbib- 
ng a liking for all that concerned engines and rail- 
waya from what he was brought into constant con- 
tact with in the locality. The Wylam wagonway 
is constructed with a gauge of mils three inchea 
wider than common, and is somrthing like five miles 
in length, running along the banks of the river from 
Wvlam Colliery to the village of Lemington. Until 
two years ago, both Mr. Blackett and Mr. Bates used 
this line for their respective colleriea, but an unfor- 
tunate Uw-6uit anent way-leaves laid it idle, and so 
it has continued till now. To the north of this line 
stands Close House, the handsome mansion of the 
Bewickes, and on the side of an adjoining hill the 
Throckley Coal Company are just now sinking for 
coal. 



oublcd 1 



year, coonecU the village with the opposite bank, f^^^^ f^„„ ,ije gurface, requiring pumping engines 
of immense power to keep the workings clear of 
water. One of the engines in use is supposed to lie 
the first built by Bolton & Watt for the North 
country. It is of SO-horse power, but latterly it has 
been supplemented by another of lOO-horse power, 
built by Coulthard & Co., of Gateshead. The two 
combined free the colliery of 1,200 gallons of water 
per minute, but are capable of pumping 3,000 gab 
Ions of water. 

The iron-works, which occupy a prominent posi- 
tion in the centre of the village, were formerly 
worked by Messrs. Bell, Br-hers, aud at one time 



and with the Wylam station of the Newcastle 
CarUale Railway. This bridge was built in 1834, 
by Mr. Thompaon, who also erected the adjacent blast 
furnaces. Mr. BlscHock was the engineer. The 
atmctute is the property of the Wylain Bridge Com- 
pany. Across it r\m« a single line of rails for the 
convenience of the WjUin Colliery, on either side 
of which rails is accomniclation for foot passengers. 
Wylam is chiefly notable M possessing the first rail- 
road over which a locomotive steam engine succeas- 
foHy travelletl. Jonathan Foreter, engineer of Wyl; 
Colliery, re-laid tli 



the interval be- 



The first steam Toy»ge acrasB the Atlantic waa 
Townelcy, the [ made by the "Savannah" from New York to Liver- 
pool, iu 1818. She ran from here to Liverpool, and 
thence to St Petersburg, making the entire trip in 
twenty-six days. 

The Bridgeport Standard says that a native of 
Weston, Conn., named Daniel Treadwell. invented 
railways in 1818. Mr. Treadwell owned a peat bog, 
and constructed a tram-way of logs, and a car with 
flanged iron wheels to bring his peat from the bog 
to his drying ground. This car was drawn by hand. 

The Chicago TrSmnt hints that the commercial 
supremacy of New York is not so assured but tJiat 
a new and shorter line of transit to the seaboard 
might affect it seriously. It calls attention to a pro- 
posed route to the James river, below Richmond. 

The cost of the nearly completed stone bridge of the 
Hartford and New Haven Railroad over the Farm- 
ington River, at Windsor, Conn., is over |60,0OO, 
and work will soon be begun on two more near 
Berlia 



First Page of First Issue of The Locomotive 
particularly, steam pozver and its applications. We propose to 
keep a careful record of all Steam Boiler Explosions, together 
with such facts and circumstances attending each, as we are 
able to obtain, and the various theories of Steam Boiler Ex- 
plosions, with all the obtainable information bearing upon the 
subject, will be placed in our columns. The range of scientific 
investigation is so wide, and the f^eld over which it extends, 
so large, that there can always be found something to interest 



246 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

and instruct. ]\Iany valuable suggestions by practical men are 
entirely lost to the public from the want of some medium by 
which to communicate them. We hope to make this a paper 
that will recommend itself to every intelligent person under 
whose notice it may come, and if we succeed in furnishing 
light to any, our labors will be amply repaid. 

Analyzing this pronouncement it is surprising to see how closely 
it has been followed even down to the present time. The " chief 
object " of discussing " practical questions, and more particularly, 
steam power and its applications " has certainly been followed in the 
principal articles. Other articles have set forth " the various theories 
of Steam Boiler Explosions, with all the obtainable information bear- 
ing upon the subject"; and still others, we hope, have been "enter- 
taining and useful." The " careful record of Steam Boiler Ex- 
plosions " has likewise been continuously compiled, and so far as we 
can learn, this explosion list is the only compilation of such statistics. 
Letters from our readers would seem to indicate that we have fur- 
nished " light " to some. 

The name of the publication was undoubtedly derived from the 
seal of the Company, which had been adopted a year earlier. A loco- 
motive was selected for the seal probably because it was the most 
picturesque type of steam boiler and represented the most advanced 
form of steam engineering. Also, on the first Board of Directors were 
two railroad presidents, a railroad secretary, and a railroad superin- 
tendent, and one of the large stockholders was ]Mr. M. Baldwin, founder 
of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, all of which may have had an 
influence in the selection. 

As the official publication of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, The Locomotive has often been quoted as 
an authority on the subject of steam boilers, and it is hoped to attain 
the same standing in its recently enlarged field which now includes 
engines and electric machinery. 



Pacific Coast Division. 

TO more expeditiously and efficiently handle its growing business 
in the extreme western section of the country, the Company will 
on October ist of this year group its present two departments at 
San Francisco and Portland into what will be called the Pacific Coast 
Division. Messrs. H. R. ]Mann & Company will continue General 
Agents of the Company for California, Arizona and Nevada as here- 



19-27.] THE LOCOMOTIVE. 247 

tofore and the firm of IJates, Lively and Pearson will be responsible 
for the production of business in Oregon and, for the present, in 
Washington and Northern Idaho also. Later, the Company plans to 
open a branch office at Seattle for direct service to the latter two 
states. The whole coast territory, however, will be under the supervision 
of a Company official, who, with the title of Superintendent, will have 
general charge of its interests and activities ; will co-operate with its 
agents in the development of business, and will have authority to 
promptly decide the many underwriting, adjustment and inspection 
problems which hitherto have had to be referred to the distant Home 
Ofiice. It is felt that thus the Company's service to its assured and 
to its agency organizations will be materially l^enefited and improved. 

The Company has selected Mr. C. B. Paddock for this important 
position. ]\Ir. Paddock has been Chief Inspector in the Northwest for 
the past nineteen years, during which he has proved himself not only 
a capable administrator but also a competent and intelligent under- 
writer of all branches of engineering insurance. His appointment 
as Superintendent of the Pacific Coast Division recognizes his ability 
to serve the Company in a broader field of usefulness and responsi- 
l^ility. Mr. Paddock's headquarters will be at 114 Sansome Street. 
San Francisco, but the many friends in his old territory may expect 
"his frequent visits to it. 

Other changes in the official personnel are announced at this time. 
Mr. J. B. Warner, who for forty-two years has been our Chief In- 
spector at San Francisco, retired from that position on July ist, 1927. 
During those years he has made many friends for The Hartford 
and himself among the power users of his territory. His reputation 
as an expert in the safeguarding of steam boiler operation was early 
•established and has been constantly reflected in the volume of boiler 
insurance entrusted to his Company. The affection and respect in 
which he has been and is held by his associates and subordinates is 
shown in the presentation by them of a gold watch at a dinner tendered 
him in July in commemoration of his long service. It is a service that 
has earned relief from arduous duties and responsibilities and, freed 
from those of his chief inspectorship, it is hoped that many years of 
useful association with this Company are still before him. 

Mr. Lon J. Reed succeeds Mr. \\'arner as Chief Inspector, the 
appointment to date from October ist. 1927. Mr. Reed joined "The 
Hartford's " inspection force in 1909. Three years ago he was 
made Assistant Chief Inspector at San Francisco and in that position 
has been well prepared for the duties he now assumes. 



248 THE LOCOMOTIVE. [October, 

John Bull, Oldest Of Locomotives Steaming Again, 

Leaves Smithsonian Museum After 34 Years 
TO Aid B. & O. Celebration. 

AFTER 34 years of unbroken rest John Bull is under steam again. 
The old locomotive, which began his career in 1831, has been re- 
moved from the Smithsonian Institution to take part in the cen- 
tenary celebration of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Halethorpe, 
Md., from September 24 to October 8. To get the creak out of his 
joints and feel the steam in his lungs, he has been taken to the Penn- 
sylvania shops at Altoona. 

John Bull is the oldest complete locomotive in xA.merica today. He 
was built in the shops of George Stephenson & Son in England for the 
Camden & Amboy Railroad, one of the units of the present Pennsyl- 
vania system. He did continuous service from 1831 till 1865. In 1885 
the Pennsylvania presented him to the Smithsonian Institution for 
exhibition in the National Museum. Seven years later he ran under his 
own steam from Washington to Chicago to appear in the World's 
Columbian Exposition, a so-called " last appearance." But like those 
of actors, John Bull's last appearance refused to be final. The B. & O. 
has constructed a five mile circular track at Halethorpe and on that the 
old locomotive will take his place with the other curiosities, ancient and 
modern, assembled for the exposition. — Hartford (Conn.) Courant, 
August 22, IQ2J. 

[For further details and picture of the above locomotive, see The 
Locomotive for January, 1922. — Editor.] 



" Verboten " is Right. 

IN a recent issue of the Zeitschrift of the Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company of Vienna, Austria, appears an account of 
the serious scalding of a fireman due entirely to his own thought- 
lessness. It was in a pulp mill, and the boiler blow-off pipe had become 
stopped up, possibly by some of the pulp having gotten into the boiler. 
The blow-off pipe was in a trench, and the fireman was in the trench, 
with the pipe partly dismantled and the valve removed, poking at the 
pipe with a wire to try and clear it. He was directly in front of the 
end of the pipe, with pressure on the boiler and no valve in the line. 
When he suddenly succeeded in poking through the stoppage, the fire- 
man, of course, was very badly scalded. The item concludes with a 
statement to the effect that repairing pipes in trenches (while they are 
under pressure) is " verboten." 



1927. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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Hutchinson, Kans 
Wyandotte, Mich. 
Detroit, Mich. 
Wickliffe, Ky. 
Omaha, Nebr. 
Denver, Colo. 

Jnctn. City, Kans 
Smackover, Ark. 
Sleepy Eye, Minn 
N. Chattanooga, 

Tenn. 
Forest City, Iowa 
Beatrice, Nebr. 
Wilmot, Ark. 
Chicago, 111. 
Newton, Mass. 
Indianapolis, Ind. 
San Antonio, Tex 
London, Ont. 
Sarah, Miss. 
Harrison, Ark. 


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Publishing House 
Quarry 
Paint Factory 
Office Bldg. 
Apts. & Stores 
Church 

Hospital 
Refinery 
Garage 
Paper Mill 

Tire Shop 

Hotel 

Pumping Station 

Restaurant 

School 

Sales Room 

Sash & Door Fcty. 

Residence 

Cotton Gin 

Canning Factory 


CONCERN 


The News Company 
Michigan Alkali Co. 
Rinshed-Mason Company 
Ballard County 
Greenburg & Weinstein 
Bishop & Diocese of Colorado 

Junction City Municipal Hos. 
Cross Refining Co. 

Tennessee Paper Mills 

Richardson Tire Shop 

S. F. Nichols 

Standard Oil Co. 

Dr. J. Ablio 

J. H. Lowell, Trustee 

Hutchison Realty Co. 

.Steves Sash & Door Co. 

Five Fifty Six Wellington St. 

Crescent Cotton Oil Co. 

Bear Creek Canning Co. 


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NATURE OF ACCIDENT 


Section of heating boiler cracked 
Steam outlet nozzle failed 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Section of heating boiler cracked 
Eight sections heating boiler cracked 
Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Four sections heating boiler cracked 
Boiler exploded 
Air tank exploded 
Staybolts pulled out 

Boiler exploded 

Tube failed 

Boiler exploded 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Two sections heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Blow-off pipe ruptured 

Heating boiler exploded 

Boiler bulged and ruptured 

Boiler exploded 


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1927] 



THE LOCOMOTIVE. 



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The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1926 

Capital Stock, . . $2,500,000.00 

ASSETS 

Cash in offices and banks 

Real Estate . . . . " 

Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and Stocks 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest Accrued . . • . 

Total Assets 



^,103.09 

267,631.53 

1,523,106.20 

12,646,007.33 

1,290,539-98 
150,884.92 

$16,562,27305 



LIABILITIES 



Reserve for unearned premiums 
Reserve for losses .... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital Stock ..... 

Surplus over all liabilities . 



$7,318,478.72 
452,318.90 
770,028.22 



^2, 500,000.00 

5,521,447.21 



Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities 



8,021,447.21 

$16,562,273.05 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WM. R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Trustees, Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAINARD, President 
j^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY. President Society 
for Savings, Hartford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The 
Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., 
Plainville, Conn. 

CURTISS C. GARDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga., 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg. 

BALTIMORE, Aid., . 
13-14-15 Abcll Bldg. 

BOSTON, Mass., 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 
404-405 City Savings Bank Bldj 

CHICAGO, 111.. 

20Q West Jackson B'l'v'd. 

CINCINNATI, Ohio. 
First National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. 

DENVER, Colo.. 
916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 

HARTFORD, Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS. La., . 
Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK, N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS, MO., . 
610-618 Security Bldg. . 

TORONTO, Canada, 
Federal Bldg. 



Representatives 

W. M. Fkaxcis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawkord & McKiM, General Agents. 
James G. Reiu, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 
W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEiiURGH & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chestnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. BuRWELL, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice President. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



PACIFIC COAST DIVISION 

C. B. Paddock, Superintendent 

114 Sansome St., San Francisco, Cal. 



PORTLAND, Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg., 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
415 Dexter-Horton Bldg 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., 
114 Sansome St. 



Bates, Lively & Pearson, Gen'l Agents. 



H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents. 
L. J. Reed. Chief Inspector. 



THE HARTFORD LINE 

BOILER INSURANCE 

Boilers^ Economizers^ Vulcanizers, Kiers, 

Digesters, Steam Driers, Jacketed 

Kettles, Etc. 

ELY WHEEL INSURANCE 

Flywheels, Fans, Blowers, Turbines, Water 

Wheels, Centrifugal Driers, Gear 

Wheels, Etc. 

ENGINE INSURANCE 

Engines, Compressors, Pumps, Refrigerating 
Machines, Etc. 

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY INSURANCE 

Generators, Motors, Synchronous Convertors, 

Transformers, Switchboards, Etc. 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



'The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world" 



She J0t0m0tice 



OF 



THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 




Vol. XXXVII 



PUBLISHED BY 
THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER INSPECTION AND INSURANCE CO. 



HARTFORD, CONN. 

1928-1929 



INDEX TO VOL. XXXVII.-1928-1929 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 
Referen-ces Marked with a Star (*) are to Illustrated Articles 



Accident, Fatal, Stresses Need for Caution, October 1929, 249. 

*Air Tank, Exploding, Kills 7 men, (Stone Mountain Granite Corp.) July 1929, 

194. 
*Apprentice, The Company's Youngest, July 1928, 87. 
Atom, Getting Closer to the Elusive, October 1928, 119. 
*Baltimore & Ohio R. R., Centennial of, January 1928, 7. 
Barrel, Wooden, Explodes and Scalds Man, January 1929, 157. 
*Big Corliss, "Splicing Bone'' on, by Inspector C. Burton, January 1928, 12. 
*Blow-ofif Valves, Proper Selection and Maintenance, January 1929, 144. 
" Blue " Gas Not a New Discovery, January 1929, 152. 
Boiler Accident List, Announcement in re, July 1928, 85. 
Boiler Book, New Edition of, April, 1928, 43. 

Boiler Explodes and Kills Boy, (New Orleans, La.) January 1929, 154. 
♦Boiler, Exploding, Kills 26 in Mexico, October 1928, 124. 
♦Boiler Explosion, British Empire Steel Corp., Glace Bay, N. S., January 1929, 

130. 
♦Boiler Explosion, Hodgson Bros., January 1928, 2. 
♦Boiler Explosion at San Antonio, Tex., April 1929, 178. 
♦Boiler Explosion Too Near for Comfort, October 1928, 106. 
Boiler Explosions, Forestalling Potential, January 1928, 14. 
Boiler Explosions, List of, for Nov. and Dec. 1926, January 1928. 25-29; for 

December 1926, April 1928, 59. 
Boiler Explosions for 1926, Summary of, January 1928, 24. 
Boiler, Steam Auto in 1832 Had Remarkable, October 1929, 250. 
♦Boiler Without Safety Valve Explodes, October 1928, 124. 
♦Boys Escape Death in Engine Room as Wheel Bursts (French & Hecht, Inc., 

Springfield. Ohio) April 1929, 171. 
♦Broken Belt Deranged Safety Devices, October 1929, 239. 
Butler, J. F., Advanced, October, 1929, 246 
♦Cast Iron Boiler Burned Up. April 1929, 184. 
Cast Iron Boilers, Avoiding Cracking of, April 1928, 52. 
Cast Iron Steam and Hot Water Boilers, Important Points in the Maintenance 

and Safe Operation of, July 1929, 196. 
^^^^^aught in the Separator, January 1928, 18; April 1928, 58; July 1928, 92; July 
^^ 1929, 220 ; October 1929, 252. 

\, ♦Caustic Embrittlement, Accelerated by Wrong Feed Water Treatment, Ruins 4 
^ Water Tube Boilers, October 1929, 237. 

V ♦Caustic Embrittlement, Causes and Characteristics of the Cracking of Boiler 
^ Plate by, October 1928, 98. 



THE LOCO ^iOTIVE — INDEX 



*Caustic Embrittlement, Experts Differ on Theory That, Caused Violent Explo- 
sion at Crossett, Ark., October 1929, 226. 
*Caustic Embrittlement, at Minnesota Paper Mill, January 1929, 134. 
Chemical Reaction Caused Explosion, Think, October 1928, 123. 
Coal, Looking at in a New Light, January 1929, 149. 
Combustion, Damage by Secondary, April 192S, 53. 
Compressed Air Engine Operated by Wave Power, July 1929, 214. 
*Corroded Boiler Kills 6, Injures 4, April 1929, 167. 
*Corroded Head Flange Wrecks Boiler, April 1928, 54. 
Corroded Staybolts, Thought a New Design, by Inspector T. E. Connery, July 

1929. 205. 
*Corrosion (Internal) of Boiler, Cause and Prevention, by W. D. Halsey, Mech. 

Eng., April 1929, 162. 
Crack, Lap Seam, Demolishes Boiler, October 1928. 107. 
Crane Rings, New Method of Making, January 1928, 6. 
*Crank Pin, Cast, Proves Stronger than Disc, January 1929. 153. 
*Crossett, Ark., Experts Differ on Theory that Caustic Embrittlement Caused 

Violent Explosion at, October 1929, 226. 
*Cut-off, Old Mechanism for Varying, April 1928, 41. 
Cutting Alloys, New, Speed Manufacturing Processes, April 1929, 185. 
Cylinder Head, Bursting, Kills Two, July 1929, 200. 
Dangerous Conditions, Detection of, April 1929, 168. 
Dead Air, Beware of When Entering Boiler, January 1929. 140. 
Detection of Very Dangerous Conditions Frequently Accomplished by Study of 

Small Symptoms, April 1929, 168. 
Detroit Department, New, April 1928, 53. 
Diesel Enters Airplane Field, Jxily 1929, 217. 
Diesel Explosion, German Court Decision on, April 1929, 188. 
*Discarded Feed Pipe Furnishes Clue, January 1929, 134. 
*Edison's Boiler at Menlo Park, July 1929, 208. 
Editorial : Boiler Accident List, Announcement, July 1928, 85 ; 

Cast Iron Boilers, Avoiding Cracking of, April 1928, 52 ; 

Compressed Air Engine, Plan to Make Ocean Run, July 1929, 214; 

Detroit Department, New, April 1928, 53 ; 

Furnace Explosion Coverage (Announcement) April 1029, 180; 

Fusible Plug Undertakes New Role, October 1928, 116; 

Getting Closer to the Elusive Atom, October 1928. 119; 

Gleason, W. E., Retires as Cincinnati Manager, July 1929, 212; 

Gregg, L. T., Made Chief Engineer of The Boiler I. & I. Co., April 1929, 181 ; 

Hornblower, Josiah, Erect Tablet to, July 1929, 213 ; 

Hower, F. L., Made Manager of Cincinnati Dept., July 1929. 212. 

Hunt, J. F., Made Chief Ins. of Cleveland Dept., April 1929, 181 ; 

Looking at Coal in a New Light, January 1929, 149; 

New San Francisco Branch Ofifice, July 1928, 85 ; 

Power Interruption Insurance, October 1929, 244. 

Returning to an Old Smelting Principle, January 1929, 148; 



THE LOCOMOTIVE — INDEX 



Secondary Combustion, Damage by, A(>ril 192S. 53 ; ^ 

Shut-down Loss. Reducing, January 1928, 20; 

" Stourbridge Lion," Centennial of, July 1929, 213 ; 

Terroy, P. E., Advanced to Chief Inspectorship, October 1928, 119; 

Watson, E. G., Appointed Manager and Cliief Inspector at Seattle, July 1928, 
86; 
Editorial StaflF. Announcement of Change in, January 1928, 21. 
*Electric Steam Generators, July 1928, 69. 

Electric Voltages. Even Low Ones, May Cause Burns, July 1929, 211. 
♦Engine, Old. Being Dismantled After 70 Years of Service in Printing Plant, 

Atril 1928, 34. 
Entering Boiler, Beware of Dead .Air When. January 1929, 140. 
Erie City Completes 80.000th Boiler. April 1929, 189. 

♦Experts Differ on Theory That Caustic Embrittlement Caused Violent .Explo- 
sion at Crossett, Ark., October 1929, 226. 
Exploding Gas Tank Rocks Pittsburgh, January 1928, 6. 
♦Explosion Caused by Tubes Pulling Out. Af>ril 1928, 42. 
Explosion Hazard, Removing, from Electrical Equipment, October 1929, 249. 
Fatal Accident Stresses Need for Caution, October 1929, 249. 
♦First Central Station Turbine. April 1929, 176. 
Flywheel Explosion, French & Hecht, Inc., April 1929, 171. 
Furnace Explosion Causes Extensive Damage, July 1929, 195. 
Furnace Explosion Coverage, Announcement in re. April 1929, 180. 
Fusible Plug Undertakes New Role, October 1928, 116. 
Gleason, W. E., Retires as Cincinnati Dept. Manager, July 1929, 212. 
Glycerine Evaporator Explosions, January 1928, 17. 

Gregg. L. T., Made Chief Engineer of Boiler I. & I. Co., April 1929, 181. 
Hartford Inspector Saves Motorist's Life, April 1929, 189. 
♦Head Flange, Corroded, Wrecks Boiler, April 1928, 54. 
Heater (Open) Explodes When Vent Clogs, July 1929, 219. 
♦Heating Boiler Explosions Cause Extensive Damage, July 1929. 201. 
♦Heating Boiler Explosions in Apartments and Homes, Several Fatalities 

Involved in Recent. October 1929, 228. 
♦Hell Gate Station Turbine, April 1929, 175. 
♦Hodgson Brothers. Boiler Explosion. January 1928, 2. 
♦Hoist Motors, Failure of. April 1929, 176. 
Hornblower. Josiah, Erect Tablet to, July 1929. 213. 
♦Hot water Tank Grazes Sleeping Man, July 1928, 88. 
Hower. F. L.. Made Manager of Cincinnati Dept., July 1929. 212. 
Hunt, J. F.. Made Chief Inspector of Cleveland Departmei^t, April 1929, 181. 
Hydrogen Ion Interests Doctors, Too, April 1929. 170. 
♦Indianapolis Power & Light Co., Turbo-generator accident. July 1928, 80. 
Inspectors' Work. Summary for 1927, /»/v 1929, 221. 
Insurance Inspectors. Recognition of, January 1928, 13. 
♦Iron Horse, Saddling & Breaking The. January 1928, 7. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE — INDEX. 

Kier and Auto Clave Explosions, July 1928, 76. 
" Live " Steam Line, Working on, is Dangerous, July 1928, 75. 
Locomotive, Centennial of First One Operated in U. S., July 1929, 213. 
*Low Pressure Steam Overspeeded Turbine, July 1929, 206. 
McGlannan, Walter Austin, obituary, October 1928, 117. 

♦Minimum Safe Thickness Drill Test Holes in Shells of Unfired Pressure Ves- 
sels. G. H. Stickney, Supr. Boiler Dept., January 1929, 136. 
Morrison, J. P., Named for New Post, October 1929, 245. 
♦Motors, Protecting Against Overload, July 1928, 78. 
Need for Caution, Fatal Accident Stresses, October 1929, 249. 
Obituary: Walter Austin McGlannan, October 1928, 117; 

Thompson Parish Ware. October 1928. 118. 
Oil Engine Explosion Kills Man, At^ril 1928, 45. 
*Oil Poor ^Medicine for Boiler Scale, January 1929. 142. 
♦Owner of New Factory Victim of Boiler Blast, April 1929, 178. 
Periodic Inspections, Value of January 1929, 157. 
♦Portable Boilers & Tanks, Positive Identification of, by J. A. Snyder, Chief Ins. 

at Pittsburgh. January 1929, 151. 
Power Interruption Insurance, October 1929, 244. 
Prall, G. H., Appointed Editor of The Locomotive, January 1928. 21. 
Pressure Tanks, Improvised, Prove Dangerous, April 1928, 51. 
♦Public Health Endangered by Turbo-Compressor Explosion, January 1928, 4. 
Railroad Speed Records Made Years Ago Survive in Spite of Better Engines 

and Roadbeds, October 1929, 246. 
♦Relief Valve, Absence of Proves Costly, April 1928, 44. 
Removal of Safety Devices Results in 2 Deaths, October 1929, 251. 
Removing Explosion Hazard From Electrical Equipment, October 1929, 249. 
Resuscitation by Prone Pressure Method, January 1928, 22, 32. 
♦Return Line Hook-up, an Improved, April 1928, 46. 
Riding the Gauge from 5 Pounds to 1,400, January 1928. 22. 
♦Rolls, Breakage of Cast Iron Steam, July 1928, 66. 
" Rooster Controls Street Lights ", July 1929, 207. 
Rust and Iron, Volumetric Relation of, January 1928. 23. 
Safety Devices, Removal of, Results in 2 Deaths, October 1929, 251. 
San Francisco Branch Office, New, July 1928, 85. 
Seattle, New Branch Office at, January 1928, 19. 
Smelting, Returning to Old Principle, January 1929, 148. 

♦" Splicing Bone " on a Big Corliss, by Inspector C. Burton, January 1928. 12. 
Stationery Steam Engines, Suggestions for Safety and Preservation of, by H. J. 

VanderEb, Supr. Eng. Dept., October 1928. 108. 
Steam Auto in 1832 Had Remarkable Boiler, October 1929, 250. 
Steamboat Race, Recent, Recalls Stories of Early Days on Mississippi & Ohio 

Rivers, January 1929, 155. 
♦Steam Generators, Electric, July 1928, 69. 
Steam Stages a Comeback to Regain Its Status as the Most Economical Source 

of Mechanical Power, October 1929, 234. 



THE LOCOMOT I VE— I N DKX 



*Stone Mountain, Granite Corp., Air Tank Explosion, July 1929, 194. 

♦Surface Cleaner, Dependence on Was Costly, Af>nl 1929, 187. 

Taps from the Old Chief's Hammer, January 1928, 18; April 192H, 56; July 1928, 

83; October 1928, 120; January 1929, 146; April 1929, 182; July 1929, 215; 

October 1929, 241. 
Terroy, P. E., Advanced to Chief Inspectorship, October 1928, 119. 
*"Too Near for Comfort", October 1928, 106. 
*Tubes Pulling Out, Explosion Caused by, April 1928, 42. 
*Turbine Overspecded by Low Pressure Steam, July 1929, 206. 
*Turl)ine-compressor explosion at Indianapolis, Ind., Sewage Disposal Plant, 

January 1928, 4. 
*Turbo-generator Accident at Indianapolis Power & Light Co., July 1928, 80. 
*Turbo-generator Units, Immense New, April 1929, 173. 
♦Unapproved Designs, " Failures Show Up Weakness of, October 1929, 233. 
*Unfired Pressure Vessels, Minimum Safe Thickness Method of Drill Testing, 

by G. H. Stickney, Supt. Boiler Dept., January 1929, 136. 
Wallace, W. P., Advanced, October, 1929, 246. 
W'are, Thompson Parish, obituary, October 1928, 118. 
*Waterwheel and Diesel, Teaming Up, July 1928, 91. 

Watson, E. G., Appointed Manager & Chief Inspector at Seattle, July 1928, 86. 
Wheel Bursts During Test Run of Stand-by Unit, October, 1929, 232. 
Zimmer, C. W., Made Chief Inspector, October 1929, 245. 



Vol. XXXVII No. I 



January 1928 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

Published continuously since 1867 

by The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Company 



Please show to your Engineer 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 



" Into Such a Peaceful Scene " 

RUNNING through the southeast corner of Pennsylvania and 
into the state of Delaware is a stream of water known as Brandy- 
wine Creek — sometimes glorified by being called a river. Before 
it empties into the Delaware River at Wilmington it traverses historic 
country — country made famous in the Revolution by the Battle of 
the Brandywine. Though a comparatively small stream, there may be 
found along its banks the ruins of old time mills — ■ many of them 
probably grist mills — where the quiet farmer folk of years gone by 
would take their grain. Later, there grew up on the banks of this 
stream numerous small villages supported by textile mills, many of 




which still exist, whose workers for three, four, and even five genera- 
tions had come from the nearby countryside. 

Such was the mill of Hodgson Brothers in the little village of Henry 
Clay, just outside of Wilmington, Delaware. It wasn't a large mill but 
it had been in existence for 150 years, and it afiforded employment to 
half a hundred women and girls — some of them, undoubtedly, the 
mainstays in struggling families — secure in the belief that a mill as 
old as this one had weathered every possible storm. 

In those little villages some of the mill workers can go home to 



1928. THELOCOMOTIVE 3 

their mid-day meal while others carry a lunch and at noon, weather 
permitting, they may be seen in sociable groups, eating, chatting, and 
at times entering into friendly banter — laughing and happy. 

October 25, 1927, brought a warm sun — a welcome chance to enjoy 
the outdoors before winter closed in. A score of girls who had brought 
their lunches could be found during the noon hour on the sunny side 
of the mill or strolling nearby. 

Into such a peaceful scene — a rest in a busy day of toil — there 
burst a deafening roar. Wreckage of all sorts and sizes came hurtling 
through the air. Screaming, terrified girls fled across the fields. From 
that hail of metal and stone they considered themselves lucky to escape 
with their lives. 

The full import of just what had happened dawned on them when 
they straggled back, timidly, to view the wreckage. What they saw 
was the spectre of unemployment, for even to an untechnical eye it was 
evident that the plant would have to close down for an indefinite period. 

But more than this, and requiring immediate attention — two men 
were injured and had to be cared for. Volunteers picked them up 
and placed them in an ambulance that had hurried down from a 
Wilmington hospital. 

Turning to the ruins, it was apparent that the cause had been 
centered in what had been the heating plant, housing two horizontal 
tubular boilers, one of which had exploded. Built originally to carry 
a pressure of 100 pounds and operated frequently at a pressure of per- 
haps not more than 20 pounds, these two boilers had been in service 
for twenty-one years. So long had they served their purpose, perhaps 
many thought they would never wear out. But hidden defects had 
developed. Although the Hartford Company had neither inspected nor 
insured these boilers, one of its inspectors determined, in examining the 
remains, that a lap seam crack had weakened a construction prone to 
develop such a defect, and furthermore, exterior corrosion under the 
covering bricks had wasted away the upper surface of the shell. 

And so an old and trusted servant, through undiscovered bodily 
ills, failed when least expected — as sometimes seemingly hale and 
hearty men are struck down, leaving many suddenly dependent to 
weather the blow as best they can. 

Happily for the owners of this mill, they had been foresighted 
enough to secure protection against just such an occurrence as this; 
they were insured and were reimbursed for their direct property loss, 
but for weeks after no laughter from happy groups was heard — even 
though a warm sun shone on many a later day. 



4 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 



Public Health Endangered by Explosion 

NEWSPAPER reports of a turbo-compressor explosion, Sep- 
tember 20, 1927, at the sewage disposal plant of Indianapolis, 
Ind., stressed the claim that health of persons living there and 
in other cities below it on White River was jeopardized when the 
break-down paralyzed part of the disposal process and necessitated 
turning millions of gallons of partially treated sewage into the river. 
The compressor unit was used in connection with the sewage 
aeration system. At about 9:30 on the night of the accident the en- 
gineer discoverecf a leak in the oil pipe and immediately prepared to 
shift the load to another unit, so as to effect repairs. After warming 




up Unit No. 4, he put it on the line and attempted to shut down No. 
5, the defective unit, by tripping the emergency governor. Instead 
of slowing down, the machine seemed actually to gain speed. He then 
tried to close the throttle valve by hand, but found it jammed. As a 
last resort he started for the opposite end of the room to get a ladder 
by means of which he could reach the valve on the branch line from 
steam header to turbine. The explosion occurred while he was at 
some distance from the machine. This fact probably saved him from 
injury. 

While examination of the wreckage confirmed the assumption that 
the machine failed by over-speeding, it did not determine, to the satis- 



^0^ 1^ HE L Q C Q M O T I V E 5 

faction of all parties concerned, the actual cause of the runaway. The 
oiler stated that when the engineer tripped the emergency governor 
he (the oiler) closed the discharge valve on the air line to relieve the 
machine of its load. He heard a sound similar to that caused by 
rushing air and, noting the turbine's increasing speed, left the vicinity 
as quickly as possible. 

The plant's aerating equipment consisted of three similar turbo- 
compressors. At the time of the accident one of them was dismantled 
for repairs. Flying metal damaged its delicate internal mechanism 
so badly it was necessary to send the rotor back to the builders. The 
accompanying photograph gives some idea of the extent of the wreck. 
Direct damage, amounting to $21,000, was covered under a policy 
by the Hartford Company. 

Air May Reverse Turbine's Rotation 

The fact that the plant had three compressor sets connected in 
parallel to a common air line and that two of them were sometimes 
operated at the same time, prompts a discussion of another type of 
hazard incident to this class of apparatus. 

With one turbine running, an attempt to put another on the line 
has been known to reverse the direction of rotation of the second ma- 
chine by air pressure backing up into the rotary compressor through 
the discharge line. When non-return valves are not provided in 
systems of this kind there is always a possibility of disaster from this 
cause, providing, of course, the operation of cutting in a second turbine 
is not done with extreme skill. 

It is interesting to consider just what could take place in a case of 
this sort. Assuming one machine to be supplying pressure to the line 
and another compressor unit has been brought up to speed and is ready 
to cut in, the moment the discharge valve of the second machine is 
opened the pressure in the line drives air back into the rotary com- 
pressor, tending to operate it like a turbine — but in a reverse direction. 
As soon as slowing down occurs, due to the influx of air into its com- 
pressor, the governor of the machine will tend to open the steam valve 
and the steam will act as a powerful brake against the tendency toward 
backward motion caused by the air. It is possible, however, for the 
air to overcome the effort of the steam. This would cause the turbine 
to come down to zero speed and then to operate in the wrong direction. 

While approaching zero speed the turbine governor would open 
wide and would remain so until the machine picked up speed in the 
wrong direction. But as the speed increased in the wrong direction 



THE LOCOMOTIVE J^^^^'-y. 



the governor would commence to shut off steam and from that point 
on the steam's resistance to the action of the air would diminish rapidly. 
It is conceivable that disastrous over-speeding would result in case the 
operator did not act quickly. 

In the light of what is known of these systems of turbo-compres- 
sors discharging into a common line, it would seem to be good practice 
to equip each discharge line with a non-return valve. 



New Method of Making Crane Rings 

SUPERINTENDENTS of foundries and machine shops using 
cranes for heavy lifting will be interested in a new type of sling- 
chain ring for which the developers claim distinct advantages over 
the welded rings of refined bar iron now in general use. 

In lifting a heavy part it is customary to pass a sling-chain around 
it and fasten the ring over the crane hook. These rings have been 
known to fail, even under apparently safe loads, because of incomplete 
welding or because metal was crystallized by the heat of welding. 

The new type of ring is said to be free from these weaknesses. 
It is made by winding many turns of wire around a spool to form 
a blank which, after heating, is formed into a homogeneous mass by 
means of dies and a powerful press. 



Exploding Gas Tank Rocks Pittsburgh 

An explosion of a 500,000 cubic foot gas container on November 
14, 1927, at the plant of Equitable Gas Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., 
caused the collapse and burning of two other tanks, one of almost 
equal size and the other smaller. Newspaper reports placed the death 
list at twenty with several hundred injured. According to the news 
report workmen were using blow torches on top of the huge vessel, 
supposed to have been empty, when it tore loose with a violence that 
rocked the city and made 5,000 persons homeless. The tank was said 
to be the largest natural gas container in the world. 



19^8. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



Saddling and Breaking the Iron Horse 

PRESENTED in a manner that provoked public interest to an 
extent that could not have been approximated by volumes of 
printed history, " The Fair of the Iron Horse/' held in Baltimore, 
Aid., September 24 to October 16, 1927, served to commemorate the 
first hundred years of service by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and 
at the same time depicted the development of an industry on which 




The Baltimore & Ohio's First Engine 

our present complex and prosperous civilization is based. Mechanical 
transportation — the industry by which commodities are moved swiftly 
across desert, mountain, and stream from producer to consumer — 
preceded and paved the way for industrial growth, made possible the 
division into metropolitan and rural areas and, by annihilating the 
barriers of distance and time, exerted an almost incalculable influence 
on every phase of modern existence. 

The Baltimore & Ohio's Centenary Exhibition did not confine itself 
merely to presenting original locomotives or accurate reproductions of 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 




. The " York," Winner of $4,000 Prise 

early models along with their modern grandchildren. In a Hall of 
Transportation and a Trafific Building were all sorts of devices con- 
tributing to railroad service, as well as visual exhibits of almost every 
industrial enterprise in which the railroad has had a part. Volumes 
could be devoted to their description and still warrant criticism be- 
cause of inadecjuacy. For obvious reasons this article must limit 
itself to a very few of the most interesting high lights. 

Probably the most entertaining part of the exhibit was the parade 
of the iron horses around an oval track, the grotesque little engines 
of early vintage being followed in slow procession by the huge, power- 
ful space annihilators of the present day. Behind all this, however, 
is the story of how the B & O was formed and the factor that led 
to the adoption of the steam locomotive for drawing trains. 

Recognized in Colonial days as an important sea port, Baltimore 
prospered and grew until the construction of the Erie Canal threatened 
to divert Western commerce to rival cities along thp Atlantic. The 
fact that the Allegheny Mountains lay between Baltimore and the 
territory it sought to tap prevented the city from meeting the challenge 
by digging a canal of its own. So a group of prominent merchants 
pooled their resources to build a railroad extending 300 miles west- 
ward to the Ohio River. Their idea was to draw cars by horses on 
level stretches and to overcome steep grades by means of an engine- 
driven cable drag. A charter was obtained on February 28, 1827; 
construction started on July 4, 1828. 

By 1830 a double line of track stretched to Ellicott's Mills, four- 
teen miles away, and during the year horse-drawn trains started 
operation. But Peter Cooper, a New York merchant with large 



1928. 



TH E LOCO MOT I V K 



holdings in Baltimore, was not satisfied to accept the limitations im- 
posed by dependence on horses for motive power. He called the 
directors' attention to the use of steam on English roacft and, failing 
to find them ready to experiment with the new, unproven device, set 
himself the task of demonstrating its practicability. 

Cooper designed and built the Tom Thumb, the first engine built 
in America for a practical railroad. This little fellow, weighing less 
than a ton, convinced the directors of the futility of clinging longer to 
the horse of flesh and blood. They advertised a competitive test to 
produce the best type of locomotive for their road and five engine 
builders responded. The York, produced by Phineas Davis of York, 
Pa., won the judges' approbation and prize of $4,000.00 and was 
immediately put into service. 

Following the York came the Atlantic, the Traveler, the Arabian, 
the Mercurv, and in a few vears, the Lafayette, first of the road's 




The " ^-ItUuitic '" and hnlay Coaches 

horizontal boiler engines. In the meanwhile trackage had been creeping 
westward until on November 5, 1842, the line reached Cumberland. 
Then followed a period of discouragement and delay, but at last the 
trail of iron reached its objective, the eastern bank of the Ohio River 
at Wheeling, twenty-five years after the first tie was laid in Baltimore. 
Thus firmly established, the road has since been a pioneer in the 
evolution to the present standards of railroad practice, this advance 
being shown vividly in the parade of engines around the fair ground 
track. 

Led by Tom Thumb, the actors in the drama of the last hundred 
years of railroading moved slowly past the grand stand. In the van- 



lO 



THE LOCOMOTIVE ^^""^'•y' 



guard were creations which today must be looked upon as mechanical 
monstrosities but which, when they were built, represented perhaps 
an even greater scientific revolution than is embodied today in man's 
conquest of the air. Following them came engines of the Civil War 
period; after these came types of locomotives most of us can still 
remember having seen in actual service. In the rear ambled the huge 
Mallets, Pacifies, Hudsons, and all their colossal brethren, representing 
the last word in motive power and economy. 

Throughout the exhibit there was evidence of the highest sort of 
ingenuity applied to the development of devices and methods to solve 
what were once unfamiliar engineering problems. Steps in the evolu- 
tion of roadbeds and. rails were worthy of more study than most per- 
sons had time to give them. Another outstanding example of early 
engineering skill was shown in a model of the combination railroad 
and highway bridge across the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. That 




Winan's Famous " Camelback " 

bridge had a railroad junction in its center. For years it was con- 
sidered one of the most difficult bits of railroad location in the world. 

The railroad reached a point on the Potomac opposite Harper's 
Ferry on December i, 1834. To cross the river it built a bridge on 
timber arches, but so rapidly did the size and weight of equipment 
increase that in 1851 the railroad started to reconstruct the bridge in 
iron. One span was completed about a year later. Probably because 
lack of previous experience ofifered no satisfactory answer to the ques- 
tion whether or not the span was strong enough to stand the moving 
load, the engineers decided to test the bridge for deflection. This 
test was described in the " History and Description of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Rail Road," published in 1853. 

" Three first class tonnage engines with three tenders were first 
carefully weighed and then run upon the bridge, at the same time nearly 
covering its whole length, and weighing in the aggregate 273,550 



i9.'8 THE LOCOMOTIVE ii 







i f r^iswia?.^" 


» ^H 


'UM'^ ^ '^^mZijaB "^ ' "r 


1 1 i~r,:r5f».^ ^a|t*' 


— 3j^.^S^:^p, '^'^ 






-' -*-*"-» -'^ 





" President Washington " 

pounds, or 136.775 tons net, being over a ton for each foot in length 
of the bridge. This burden was tried at about eight miles an hour, 
and the deflections, according to gauges properly set and reliable in 
their action, were at center post i 3/8 of an inch, and at the first 
post from abutment 9/10 of an inch." 

Work of rebuilding the entire bridge proceeded slowly and was 
greatly hindered by the Civil War, in the course of which it was 
damaged several times. It was eventually completed in 1869 and 
served until 1893 at which time railroad traffic was diverted to another 
bridge and the old one assigned to highway use. 

While the exhibit served to commemorate the hundredth anni- 
versary of a particular railroad, it must be looked upon as a pageant 
of the developing of railroading and industry in all parts of the world. 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, whose 
birth was back in a day when mechanical power was in its infancy, 
congratulates the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad both because it has 
passed the century mark and because in observing its birthday cen- 
tennial it contributed greatly to the knowledge of a feature of history 
which is of interest to both ensfineer and lavman. 



Frozen Water Pipes Cause Accidents 

Reports of several recent explosions of domestic hot water tanks 
serve as a reminder of a common cause of accident to these familiar 
kitchen appurtenances. In Kensington, Ga., a man and his wife were 
fortunate in having left the kitchen a few seconds before the gal- 
vanized tank gave way. At Memphis, Tenn., a mother and son were 
badly scalded in a similar accident. In both cases news reports at- 
tributed the cause to frozen water pipes that cut off the intake of cold 
water and thus allowed the heaters to build up tremendous pressure 
within the tanks. 



12 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^n^^ry, 



" Splicing Bone " on a Big Corliss Engine 

By Inspector C. Burton 

OPERATIONS at a large paper mill came to an abrupt halt at 
6 o'clock on the morning of November 2, when the engineer dis- 
covered a serious crack in a casting of the large Corliss engine 
on which the plant depended entirely for light and power. The Hart- 
ford's nearest branch office was notified and immediately sent a 
representative to survey the situation. 

The inspector found the big engine, of 22-inch cylinder and 36-inch 
stroke, utterly unsafe because of the crack which extended over ap- 
proximately the lower half of the neck of the flange connecting the 
guide barrel with the steam cylinder. Due to the extreme need of 
getting the unit back into operation as quickly as possible it was 
necessary to select and undertake immediately a practical method of 
repair. 

The metal in the vicinity of the crack was cleaned thoroughly. 
Along both sides of the fissure were placed rows of 3^" studs, two 
inches apart and projecting a quarter of an inch. Electric arc- welding 
was then applied over the entire length of the crack and on each side 
suf^ciently to cover the studding. 

The original fastening of the cylinder to the guide barrel consisted 
of sixteen i^" studs. Nine of these, covering the extent of the crack, 
were removed and replaced by long studs projecting about ten inches 
beyond the flange. Nuts were fitted to keep tight the gasket between 
the two castings. 

At the bottom of the guide barrel casting a reinforcing web was 
incorporated, one inch thick and four inches deep. Two bosses which 
originally held drains for removing oil and water from inside the 
guide barrel were tapped and fitted with i" studs, projecting half 
an inch. Then the reinforcing web was fitted with two ^'^ studs 
which were allowed to project half an inch on each side. These, to- 
gether with the studs in drain bosses, formed a triangular pattern 
around the nuts of the two lower cylinder-studs. (See Sketch) 

These two long studs were then welded to their respective pro- 
jecting studs, and the space between studs and web filled in with 
welding material. As the next step the seven remaining long studs 
were screwed into place and around the end of each were placed three 
^'' studs, projecting half an inch and located so as to form a triangular 
pattern. Nuts were screwed onto the long cylinder-studs and welded 



1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



13 



Side View Showing 2 Long Studs. 




Web^ V 0055 



'CYLirSOER 



@ 



^WEB 




Crack 



Guide Barpel 



View From Below. 

to the surrounding studs in the guide barrel. The shape of the 
finished weld resembled the triangular foot of a boiler brace. 

When the engine was started at 8 A. M., November 4, it was found 
to be as rigid as before the accident, and so far as strength and re- 
liability are concerned it is doubtful whether a better job could have 
been done even by replacement with a new casting. 



Recognition of Insurance Inspectors 

Los Angeles (Cal.) City Council has passed a new boiler and 
elevator ordinance which recognizes licensed safety engineers of casu- 
alty companies and empowers them to make inspections with the same 
legal standing as those made by the city board of mechanical engineers. 



14 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 

Forestalling Potential Boiler Explosions 

THE idea uppermost in the mind of a boiler inspector is to pass 
by no seam, joint, tube, plate, or brace until he is satisfied it 
contains no defect that might result in an explosion. His concern 
is as much for the interests of the boiler owner as for those of the in- 
surance company which employs him. In spite of this it happens 
now and then that a factory manager protests against what may appear 
to him to be an over-zealous investigation of parts which, to a layman, 
would seem to be in good condition. A case of this kind was en- 
countered recently by a Hartford inspector. 

Sent out to inspect externally two horizontal tubular boilers, this 
inspector found that a third boiler had been installed and connected 
to the two boilers already insured. The additional unit was of the 
same type, having been used in one of the company's other plants. A 
heavy coating of insulation covered the top of this third boiler and 
the only external evidence of anything suspicious was a wisp of steam 
seeping out between the insulation and the dome. 

Faulty Welding on Dome Flange 

The inspector advised the plant manager to remove some of the 
covering for a thorough investigation of the leak. At first the man- 
ager demurred on the ground the covering had been applied but a 
short while before. The leak was undoubtedly a minor one, he ex- 
plained, for when the boiler was relocated repairs had been made to 
the dome riveting. Another inspector (not a Hartford representative) 
had pronounced the job O. K. 

By employing tact the inspector eventually secured consent for 
the removal of the lagging. He discovered that welding had been 
done around the dome flange where it was riveted to the shell. On 
one side of the dome a weld extended for a distance of sixteen inches ; 
on the other side were four similar welds, ranging in length from 
four to eight inches. 

The inspector concluded that the welding had been done in an 
effort to repair cracks and he insisted that the dome be removed. 
Again the manager hesitated and again the inspector carried his point. 
A fully developed crack was found along the inner edge of the inner 
row of dome flange rivet holes. This fissure extended through six 
consecutive holes, from two of which were other cracks extending 
radially inward. A condition somewhat similar was found on the other 
side of the dome. Welding was only skin-deep and while it checked 



'92S. THE LOCOMOTIVE i^ 

most of the leakage it added little to the strength of the defective part. 

In his report the inspector said : " There is no question but that 
cracks would have increased in length until a failure occurred which 
no doubt would have resulted in a disastrous explosion." Needless 
to say, the assured were very thankful the dangerous condition was 
found. 

At another plant an equally serious defect was uncovered by a 
Hartford inspector's perseverance and alertness. Refusing to be satis- 
fied with . an internal inspection that disclosed no apparent serious 
condition, this inspector made it a point to be present when the boiler 
was next fired up and on this second trip he located a crack that almost 
certainly would have caused a violent explosion. 

The first investigation satisfied the inspector that although there 
was some slight pitting, beading had broken away from several tube 
ends, and there was exterior corrosion due to water seeping down 
through the brick work on top, these things in themselves were not 
serious defects. However, he suspected that the tube ends were not 
strong enough for service and, inasmuch as no other boiler or pump 
was available for a hydrostatic test, he arranged to be present when 
the boiler was next put under steam pressure. 

Crack at Longitudinal Seam 

Two weeks later this inspector was on hand when the fire was 
lighted, and when the gauge showed fifteen pounds pressure he climbed 
atop the boiler to see whether the manhole cover was tight. A thin 
feather of steam coming out through the brick work near the horizontal 
seam attracted his attention. He had part of the brickwork removed and 
there he found a longitudinal crack running for nine inches parallel 
with the caulking edge and about ^" from it. He ordered the fire 
drawn immediately and advised the owner against any effort either 
to operate or repair the boiler. 

While using a sounding hammer on a Stirling type water tube 
boiler in an ice plant another Hartford inspector located thin metal 
on the front side of the rear drum. He cleaned off the scale and 
found that corrosion had thinned the metal to a serious degree. The 
owners were notified, but at first the inspector could not convince 
them the condition was dangerous. In fact they vetoed his suggestion 
that the plate be drilled to determine its remaining thickness. 

So the inspector resorted to a hammer test and showed the assured 
that in places the sheet could be dented. After that he was given all 
assistance necessary and by rneans of the drill test it was found that 



i6 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^n^^ry, 



a strip along the water line on the front side of the center drum was 
corroded from end to end until only y^" of metal remained. 

Inasmuch as the plant had another boiler operating under similar 
conditions the inspector investigated it for the same defect. His 
suspicion was confirmed. 

These boilers were operating at 125 pounds pressure, wdiich, with 
the shell thickness so reduced, left but a small factor of safety. An 
explosion would have been the inevitable result had the corrosion not 
been detected. 



Caught in the Separator 

Old Bill Logic says : " These fellows who are always belly-achin' 
about the world owing 'em a living could make themselves useful by 
figgerin' out a way to collect that and other bad debts." 



Inertia Complex, Maybe 

" Doctor,-" said he, " if there's anything the matter with me don't 
frighten me half to death by giving it a scientific name. Just tell me 
what it is in plain English." 

" Well," said the doctor, " to be frank with you, your trouble is 
just plain laziness." 

" Thank you, doctor," said the patient. " Now give me a scientific 
name for it, so I can tell my wife." 



Persons who suppose magazine editing to be devoid of hazards 
associated with other occupations should consider the plight of the 
editor who dropped eleven stories into a wastebasket. — Selected and 
revised. 



Keen Work, Boys 

Two Negroes were telling about their ability to see and hear. 
The conversation was something like this : 

" Does you see dat house ober dar on de horizon?" 

" I sees it." 

"Well, can you see dat fly walkin' round on de roof?" 

" Can't say as I kin, but I heahs de shingles crack when he steps on 
'em." 



^02S. THE LOCOMOTIVE 17 

Glycerine Evaporator Explosions 

f"!^ HERE recently came to our attention in formation ^bout tlie ex- 
I plosion of a glycerine evaporator at a plant in Kansas City, Kan- 
sas, which resulted in the death of one man and serious injury to 
another, and which further resulted in a property loss of several thou- 
sand dollars. 

The vessel that exploded was 72 inches in diameter and 10 feet 
high, the lower portion of which contained a steam chest and tubes. 
The vessel was constructed entirely of steel except for the bottom head, 
which was made of cast iron. Crude glycerine would be charged into 
the vessel and steam then turned into the steam chest. The glycerine 
would thus be evaporated and pass off through a 14-inch diameter 
header to a glycerine condenser. As there were two of these evapor- 
ators supplying the same condenser, it became necessary to close a stop 
valve in the glycerine vapor line whenever a vessel was shut down for 
cleaning, and this was of frequent occurrence as the residue from the 
crude glycerine merely settled to the bottom of the vessel from whence 
it would be taken by manual labor. 

The failure was in the lower cast iron head and was due to over- 
pressure. The vessel had just been cleaned and recharged and the steam 
turned on shortly before the explosion, but the operator neglected to 
open the stop valve in the glycerine vapor line. There was no safety 
valve on the vessel and so the pressure rapidly built up, as shown by the 
chart of a recording thermometer on the evaporator. The pen of this 
instrument had gone entirely off the scale before the explosion. 

A safety valve, of course, is essential on every pressure vessel unless 
some other means of restricting the internal pressure is provided. It 
is claimed that safety valves on vessels of this type would be of no 
avail because they would rapidly become stuck fast due to impurities 
carried into the valve by the more or less impure vapor. Such being 
the case it would seem advisable to control the temperature and pres- 
sure in the vessel by controlling the temperature of the steam. The 
strength of the vessel could be readily computed and the maximum al- 
lowable pressure determined. The incoming steam could then be con- 
trolled so that its temperature would not exceed the boiling point of 
glycerine at the maximum allowable pressure on the evaporator. The 
objection will undoubtedly be raised that this would curtail production, 
but if the heating surface is made ample, this would probably compen- 
sate for a lower pressure steam. Safety should never be sacrificed for 
production. 



l8 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 



T'aps From the Old Chieps Hammer 

SOME of these days St. Peter will get hand-shakers' cramp while 
welcoming a squad of new arrivals whose passports have been vised 
by a neglected steam boiler," began the Old Chief. " He'll empanel 
a Celestial grand jury and dig out some facts that are going to queer 
the .chances of a lot of fellows who otherwise might go to heaven when 
they die." 

The lesser lights at the inspectors' table straightened up from 
their writing and leaned back in attitudes suggesting a desire to hear 
the rest of it. The Chief pointed to a sheaf of papers in front of him. 

" Take this bunch of first inspection reports, for example. We 
can't issue a dollar's worth of insurance on these fellows. Most of 
these applications are from owners of seasonally-operated mills, and 
as far back as I can remember the steam generator in many of these 
mills has been the one thing the manager cared less about than any 
other. You know the kind I'm thinking about. There are plenty of 
them. 

" Usually, when we are called on to insure one of these boilers the 
inspector visits it during the ofif-season when the plant is shut down. 
After you've been in this game as long as I have you boys will find 
that a seasonally-operated plant in the off-season is something that 
has to be seen to be appreciated. With few exceptions these old 
vessels are left in exactly the condition one would expect to find them 
at the end of the operating season — except now and then the boiler 
room is piled so full of riff-raff that the inspector has to go outside 
for a peek at the smoke stack before he knows which end of the boiler 
room to look into. 

" I have a keen recollection of one that was typical of this class. 
After we had drained the water out we had a sweet job trying to locate 
the man-hole cover. Apparently the owner had had a hunch his boiler 
was getting ready to ask for a pension and had tried to keep the old 
fellow in harness a little longer by the simple expedient of covering 
the plates and rear head with a good, husky reinforcement of concrete. 
What we discovered when we dug down to the shell accounts for some 
of my gray hair." 

" Badly cracked, I suppose," ventured the junior member of the 
group of inspectors. 

" Listen, son," said the Chief, " when we got that concrete picked 
off and saw what was underneath, it started me figuring a problem 
I haven't solved yet. For the life of me I can't explain why that 



1928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 19 

rust-eaten shell didn't collapse of its own weight. That old steamer 
was about set to cash in its checks. The chances are it would have 
taken a couple of innocent boiler room hands along for company. 

" Sooner or later St. Peter is going to subpoena the owners of 
such boilers and his ultimatum will read something like this : ' Look 
here, boys. You've been getting away with murder long enough. Get 
that? I called it MURDER. These killed-by-uninspected-boiler cases 
have got to stop or there won't be the customary harps and wings 
waiting for you when you apply for entrance.' " 

"You think that'll bring 'em to time?" the junior member wanted 
to know. 

" Darned if I know," grunted the Chief, turning again to his work. 
" Some of those fellows are almost hard-boiled enough to tell St. Peter 
where to get of? at." 



A New Branch at Seattle 

JANUARY I, 1928, the Company opened a Seattle Branch Ofifice 
at 423 Dexter-Horton Building, to operate as part of the newly 

created Pacific Coast Division under the general supervision of Mr. 
C. B. Paddock, superintendent. 

Mr. E. G. Watson, resident agent, who is in charge of the new 
branch, was at one time an inspector and later a special agent at 
Syracuse, N. Y. His wide experience has rendered him especially 
fitted for the important post to which he has been promoted. 

Hereafter the Company's business in the states of Washington and 
Oregon, and in Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, Latah, Clearwater, and 
Nez Perce counties of Idaho, will be handled by the Seattle Branch. 
The change does not afifect the status of the firm, Bates, Lively and 
Pearson, which will continue as General Agents in the state of Oregon. 



Score Another for the Flivver 

Add to the compendium of unusual explosions the following news 
story from Juliette, Ga : "A large rattlesnake was recently exploded 
by air pressure from the tire of a Ford car in the swamps of a creek 
near here. It is reported that while the construction gang of a power 
company were putting in posts for a line through the swamps the 
rattlesnake struck the tire of the workmen's car. The air pressure 
was transmitted through the hollow fangs of the reptile, blew it up and 
exploded it." 



20 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 

DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

George Hargis Prall, Editor 

Copyright 1928 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



HARTFORD, CONN., January i, 1928 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this ofifice. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. 



Reducing Shut-down Loss 

MOST factory owners and managers understand thoroughly the 
seriousness of a breakdown involving main power units. In 
many cases failure of an engine necessitates complete stoppage 
of factory processes and at such times it is to the interest of both the 
plant and the company underwriting the use and occupancy insurance 
to get the machine back into safe operating condition as quickly as 
possible. 

The orthodox method of effecting repairs, and the one which must 
be used in many cases, is to replace the part. But sometimes this 
entails laborious dismantling and reassembling as well as expensive 
delay while a new part is being cast, machined, and shipped by the 
engine builder. Meanwhile, production schedules are knocked galley 
west and each blow of the repair gang's hammers sounds to the plant 
manager like the tinkle of a cash register ringing up dwindling profits. 
Insurance inspectors have .been known, not infrequently, to devise 
methods of repair that cut several days from the time it would take to 
secure and fit a new part. They know from experience what can and 
cannot be done in bringing a broken part back to a safe condition, and 
factory managers have often had occasion to thank them for suggestions 



1928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 21 

that saved thousand of dollars of shut-down damage. An ingenious 
repair of this kind was accomplished recently at a plant insured by The 
Hartford Company. The story is told elsewhere in thfS issue in an 
article by Inspector C. Burton. It should be of interest to both plant 
executives and engine room chiefs. 



Announcement 



IN Septeml)er 1927 — to our great regret but with our best wishes 
— Mr. Benjamin C. Cruickshanks, the editor of this publication, 

left us to accept an appointment on the faculty of his alma mater, 
George Washington University. Before doing so, however, he had 
completed preparation of the October issue, so that number made 
its appearance on time. 

The editorship of this little publication of ours is a somewhat 
difficult position to fill, requiring as it does a combination of en- 
gineering knowledge and literary experience. Those of our own stafif 
who possessed these dual qualifications were too much loaded with 
regular and important duties to undertake the preparation of the Janu- 
ary issue, so that number has had to wait until we found outside our 
organization one who would meet these requirements. I am very glad 
now to announce that our quest has been successful and that we have 
secured such a man in Mr. George H. Prall, who joined our organiza- 
tion in January of this year and with this number takes editorial 
charge of The Locomotive. Mr. Prall, following his graduation 
from the mechanical engineering courses of Rutgers College in 19 19, 
was employed in engineering work for several years. Then opportunity 
offered to try his hand at journalism and led to his becoming editor 
of a weekly paper at Woodbridge, N. J., a position he resigned to take 
up his present work with us. With this experience we feel he is 
especially well equipped for that work. 

I trust that the readers of The Locomotive in view of this ex- 
planation will excuse the late appearance of this January number, and 
that they will find in it evidence of our purpose to make even more in- 
teresting a*nd valuable this publication which for more than sixty years 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company has pub- 
lished for the benefit of its assured and power-users generally. 

W. R. C. CORSON, 

President. 



22 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^n^^'-y. 

Resuscitation Method 

MECHANICAL appliances for resuscitating victims of suffoca- 
tion, asphyxiation, or electric shock are useless, of course, when 
such an accident occurs at a place where a resuscitating device 
is not available. For that reason safety departments of some industries 
have undertaken to school employees in a method that requires no 
apparatus. 

When, from any one of the causes mentioned above, respiration has 
been checked, the victim's chance of recovering depends a great deal 
on how quickly he is placed under treatment. The obvious advantage 
of a method involving no apparatus lies in the fact that fellow work- 
men who have learned the method may commence treatment im- 
mediately, 

A description of the Schafer Prone Pressure Method, reprinted 
from Public Service News of PubHc Service Corporation of New 
Jersey, appears on the back cover. 



Riding the Gauge from 5 Pounds to 1,400 

STEAM pressures that only twenty years ago would have been 
regarded by engineers as dangerously high, now are accepted 
as not only practical but desirable in power production. 
Early attempts by pioneers to apply steam to useful work were 
handicapped not alone by the mechanical inadequacy of their crude 
boilers safely to withstand pressures greatly above atmosphere, but also 
by a skeptical and timid public which, one writer tells us, besought the 
British Parliament to pass a law limiting pressure to five or six 
pounds. While boiler accidents still occur, particularly where equip- 
ment is allowed to deteriorate for want of inspection, public confidence 
in the science of engineering has increased in the last hundred years 
to a point where pressures up to 1,400 pounds in industrial installations 
cause no great alarm and the traveling public raises no protest in the 
name of community safety at the announcement of a new locomotive 
which will use a pressure of 400 pounds. 

When engineers determined that by the use of tb£se higher pres- 
sures more work could be accomplished by a given weight of engine, 
boiler designers met their challenge by producing equipment capable 
of enduring the greater stress and at the same time giving greater 
fuel economy than was ever before dreamed of. And in the early 
stages of this evolution the name of one Richard Trevithick, a 



1928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 23 

Cornish mine forctnaii, must be given a prominent place, for it was 
he who in 1802 evolved the Cornish boiler, regarded by some as the 
ancestor of the present type of boiler construction, ana was among 
the first to apply high pressure steam alternately to both piston faces. 

The historic condensing or atmospheric engine had the dis- 
advantage of necessitating a bulky machine for even a small amount of 
useful work. It used steam propulsion on only one face of its piston and 
€ven then the pressure was ridiculously low. After steam had forced the 
piston the length of the stroke the steam was condensed and atmos- 
pheric pressure called on to drive the piston back. Trevithick built 
an engine in which steam actuated the piston through both strokes, 
thus discarding a principle limiting piston pressure on one side to 
14.7 pounds and giving us in its stead the fundamental idea on 
which reciprocating engines still are built. 

Unfortunately, Trevithick's contribution to civilization brought 
him no material benefit ; he died in poverty. But modern engineers 
owe him at least a vote of thanks, for he helped prepare a field from 
which they have reaped a rich harvest of efficiency and economy. 



Relation of the Volume of Rust to Iron 

IN connection with the corrosion of cast iron boilers, the question as 
to the relation of the volume of rust to the volume of the iron from 

which the rust was formed has often arisen. Interest in this question 
was aroused also because of trouble experienced by an electric power 
and light company in the breaking of porcelain insulators on their 
transmission lines. These insulators were supported by iron pins in 
wooden cross arms. Some of the transmission lines were located ad- 
jacent to the sea shore and considerable corrosion of the iron pins 
occurred on these lines, while the lines further inland were less affected. 

It was thought that the breaking of the porcelain insulators might 
be caused by the pressure exerted as a result of an increase in volume 
of the rusted pins. Definite information was desired as to the actual 
increase in volume of rust compared with clean iron. 

The chemical reaction taking place in the formation of rust was 
considered by the writer by comparing the specific gravity of iron with 
that of iron oxide (the most important constituent of rust). One 
cubic centimeter of iron weighing 7.4 grams will combine with oxygen 
to form 10.6 grams of iron oxide. Now one cubic centimeter of iron 
oxide weighs 5.18 grams or conversely i gram of iron oxide has a 



24 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 



volume of 1/5. i8, or 0.193 cubic centimeters. Then the 10.6 grams 
of iron oxide made by i cubic centimeter of iron will occupy a volume 
of 10.6 X 0.193 or 2.04 cubic centimeters. Therefore, the ratio of the 
volume of iron oxide to that of iron is as 2.04 to i or approximately 
rust occupies twice the volume of the iron from which it was formed. 

Actually, rust will occupy more than the volume given above, as 
besides the oxygen, there will be some water of crystallization and 
hydroxide present. With this increase in volume in mind, it is easy 
to see how iron rust developing in restricted spaces such as in the 
water spaces of cast iron boilers or between the pins and insulators 
mentioned above can cause considerable pressure to develop. 

This increase in the volume of iron by rusting may also account for 
some failures of riveted joints where rust forming between the rivet 
plates may exert sufficient pressure under certain conditions to burst 
the rivets apart. 



Summary of Boiler Explosions for 1926. 



Month. 



Number of 
Explosions. 



Persons 
Killed. 



Persons 
Injured. 



Total of 

Killed and 

Injured. 



January . 






84 


9 


16 


25 


February 






88 


4 


12 


16 


March 






98 


9 


19 


28 


April . 






88 


4 


13 


17 


]\Iay . 






63 


4 


13 


17 


June . 






53 


9 


31 


40 


July . . 






63 


10 


27 


37 


August . 






54 


19 


32 


51 


September 






72 


11 


29 


40 


October . 






88 


6 


14 


20 


November 






129 


20 • 


23 


43 


December 






149 


7 


35 


42 


Total for 1926 


1029 


112 


264 


Z76 



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28 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 



o 

o 

o 


Brooklyn, N.Y. 
Wilmington, Del. 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 
Columbus, Ind. 
Doucet, Quebec 
Tullos, La. 
Sea ford, Del. 
Providence, R. 1. 
O'sage, Wyom. 
Olean, N. Y. 
New York, N. Y. 
Hartford, Conn. 
New York, N.Y. 
Boston, Mass. 


BUSINESS 


Residence 

Paper Mill 

Real Estate Office 

School 

Railroad 

Oil Pump Station 

Saw Mill 

Power Plant 

Oil Well 

Laboratory 

Miscellaneous 

Mercantile Bldg. 

Studios & Apts. 

Lunch Room 


4 CONCERN 


Rayfield Matalon 

Jessup & Moore Paper Co. 

R. C. Taylor, Trustee 

School Trustees 

Canadian National Rwys. 

Wooten Oil Co. 

John Willoughby 

Narragansett Elec. Lt. Co. 

Thos. Donn 

Mountain Clinic Laboratory 

Brenshil Realty Corp'n 

J. Lyons & Sons 

Sixty-seventh St. Studio Bldg. 

Waldorf System, Inc. 


vO 04 f» ro 


P8||!)l 


«o — 


NATURE OF ACCIDENT 


Boiler exploded 

Header cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Sections of heating boiler cracked 

Boiler exploded 

Boiler exploded 

Boiler exploded 

Two tubes ruptured 

Boiler exploded 

Oxygen tank exploded 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Four sections heating boiler cracked 

Five sections heating boiler cracked 




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Nadine, Pa. 
Indianapolis, Ind. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 
New York, N.Y. 
St. Louis, A^o. 
So. Hanson, Mass. 
Bronx, N.Y. 
New York, N.Y. 
Cleveland, Ohio 
Dallas, Tex. 
New York, N. Y. 
Cincinnati, Ohio 
Detroit, Mich. 
Brooklyn, N.Y. 




Pumping Station 

I'actory 

Boarding House 

Stores 

Apt. House 

Apt. House 

Hospital 

Theatre 

Apt. House 

Theatre 

Office Bldg. 

Rooming House 

Creamery 

Factory 

Church 


H 

PQ 
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o 

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O 


Pennsylvania Water Co. 

Western Newspaper Union 

Mrs. E. B. McMonigle 

George H. Earle, Jr. 

Great Northern Apts. Corp'n 

West End Realty Const. Co. 

Plymouth County Hospital 

Bronx Plaza Theatre Corp'n 

Hooper Realty Corp. 

Savoy Realty Co. • 

Wilson Syndicate Trust 

Two Ninety Six W. 137th St. 

The Merchants Creamery Co. 

Reo Motor Car Co. 

Reformed Protest. Dutch Church 


H 


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O 




Tube failed 

Matrix table cracked 

Hot water supply heater exploded 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Pipe flange cracked 

Five sections heating boiler cracked 

Three sections heating boiler cracked 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Twelve headers cracked 

Hot water heating boiler exploded 

Blow-off pipe failed 

Section of heating boiler cracked 

Tliree sections heating boiler cracked 




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1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



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The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street, 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1927 

Capital Stock, . . $2,500,000.00 

ASSETS 

Cash in offices and banks $522,484.21 

Real Estate 283,421.23 

Mortgage and collateral loans ' 1,366,072.48 

Bonds and Stocks 15,023,458.3; 

Premiums in course of collection 1,363.003.55 

Interest Accrued 152,728.70 

Other Assets 54,678.59 

Total Assets $18,865,847.10 

LIABILITIES 
Reserve for unearned premiums ........ $7,710,752.66 

Reserve for losses ......... 346,047.69 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies ..... i,593>077-45 

Capital Stock $2,500,000.00 

Surplus over all liabilities $6,715,969.30 



Surplus to Policyholders, 



. $9,215,969.30 



Total Liabilities $18,865,847.10 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WM. R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Directors, Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAIN.XRD, President 
.^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, Chairman Board 
of Trustees, Society for Savings, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk INIanufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford", Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

S.VMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., Plain- 
ville. Conn. 

CURTISS C. GARDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg 

BALTIMORE, Md., . 
13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON, Mass., 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.. 
404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg 

CHICAGO, 111., 
209 West Jackson B'l'v'd. 

CINCINNATI, Ohio, 
First National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. 

DENVER, Colo., 
916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg 

HARTFORD, Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., . 
Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK, N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 
610-618 Security Bldg. 

TORONTO, Canada, 
Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 
James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chestnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice President. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. WicKHAM, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

Geo. S. Reynolds. Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



PACIFIC COAST DIVISION 

C. B. Paddock, Superintendent 

114 Sansome St., San Francisco, Cal. 



PORTLAND, Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg., 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
423 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., 

114 Sansome St. 



Bates, Lively & Pearson, General Agents 

E. G. Watson, Resident Agent. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents 
L. J. Reed, Chief Inspector. 







Rules foi^''^l^usQ|tatio]^ by 

Prone Pre^yre Method 

' '■■■^•# 

Immediately begin actual resuscita- sary, four hours or longer) without 

tion. Every moment of delay is interruption, until natural breathing is 

serious. Proceed as follows: restored, or until rigor mortis has 

. , set in. If natural breathing stops 

Lay the patient face down, one arm ^^^^^ ^^j restored, use resuscitation 

directly extended, the other bent at ^^^^^ 

elbow and with face to one side rest- == 

ing on the forearm, so that nose and Give the patient fresh air, but keep 

mouth are free for breathing. him warm. When patient revives, 

,^ . , ... , ^. ^ •., keep him Iving down, on his back. Do 

Kneel, straddling the patient with ^^^ ^^-^^ j-^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ j^ ^^^^^^ 

knees just below the patients hip j^^^ ^^^^ arrived, give patient one tea- 
bones, place the palms of your hands spoonful of aromatic spirits of am- 
on the patient with fingers on the ow- ^^^^^-^^ -^^ ^ ^^^^^ gl^ss of ^^^^^^ if he 
est ribs, the little fingers on the low- ^^,^ swallow. Do not give any liquid 
est ribs, the thumb alongside of your stimulant until the patient is fully 
fingers. conscious. 

While counting one, two, three, q^^^.^ q,^ resuscitation at closest 

four (about one second intervals) and possible point to the accident. Do not 

with arms held straight, swing tor- ^^^^ patient until he is breathing 

ward slowly so that the weight ot normally without assistance. Do not 

your body is gradually, but not vio- stop or interrupt resuscitation for an 

lently brought to bear upon the pa- j^stant. 
tient. Thi.3 act should take from three 
to four seconds. IN CASE OF DROWNING 

On the count of four remove your Lay the patient face down, head 

hands quickly from patient's body, so lower than feet if possible, straddle 

releasing the pressure. Swing back- the body, facing patient's head, with 

ward, sit up straight, count i, 2, 3, 4- your feet opposite patient's hips, lean 

. . , forward and clasping your hands un- 

Replace hands on victims body as ^^j. patient's belly, straighten up, lift- 
before and counting as before, swing jj^g middle of patient's body several 
forward and backward so as to estab- inches from the ground, permitting 
lish respiration. head to hang down; this will cause 

Repeat deliberately twelve to fif- the water to run from patient's nose 
teen times a minute the swinging for- and mouth. Then immediately begin 
ward and backward— a complete res- resuscitation, and continue as in other 
piration in four or five seconds — un- cases. 

til patient breathes, or rigor_ mortis INHALATION OF GAS OR 

(stiffening of the body) sets in. SMOKE 

As soon as this artificial respiration Resuscitation must be done in at- 
has been started, and while it is being ^^^g ^ere free from gas, smoke, etc. 
continued an assistant should loosen q ^^ jf necessary break open, all 

tight clothing about the patient s neck, ^^^^^ ^^^^ windows ; or drag patient 
chest or waist open patients mouth, ^^g shortest possible distance into 
removing any foreign body that may f^.^^^ air; then immediately begin re- 
be in It (tobacco, false teeth, etc.), suscitation, and continue as before. 
Place ammonia near the nose, deter- 
mining safe distance by first trying If alone with victim, do not neglect 
how near it may be held to your own. immediate and continued resuscitation 
Hit patient's shoe heels about twenty in order to call a doctor, or for any 
times with a stick or something simi- other reason. Start at once; the first 
lar and repeat every five minutes un- few minutes are valuable. If other 
til breathing commences. persons are present, send one of them 

Continue resuscitation (if neces- for a doctor. 



^ 



Vol. XXXVII No. 2 



April 1928 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 



Published continuously since 1867 

by The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Company 



Please show to your Engineer 



34 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

Old Engine Being Dismantled After 70 Years 
of Service in Printing Plant 

RETIRED three years ago after seventy years of active serA^ce. 
an engine which is claimed to be the oldest variable cut-off 
machine in the country, outside of those using the Corliss type 
valve movement, is being dismantled at the printing plant of The 
Case, Lockwood and Brainard Co. at Hartford, Conn. During its 
long career the old prime mover was charged with only two weeks of 
breakdown idleness. This is remarkable, in view of the frequency 
with which engine accidents occur, as shown by The Hartford Com- 
pany's records. 

In 1925 the printers decided to build a new plant. It was their 
intention to supplant the engine and its system of shafts and pulleys 
with individual electric drive, using current purchased from an electric 
company. As if the thought of such reward for its long, faithful 
service was more than it could bear, the old machine developed a crack 
in its steam chest. Repairs would have entailed considerable expense, 
so during the last few months in their old plant the printers used a 
motor to drive the main shafting. 

Built in iSjj by Hartford Concern 

The engine was designed and built in 1855 at the foundry and 
machine shop of Woodruff & Beach at Hartford. It had a cylinder 
diameter of 18 inches, a stroke of 36 inches, and ran at the rate of 55 
revolutions a minute. For a boiler pressure of 75 pounds it was rated 
at 80 horsepower. 

The accompanying reproduction of a photograph taken in 1905 
shows many of the details of construction. Of especial interest are 
the poppet valves with quick closing device and variable cut-off. A 
rotating shaft capable also of lengthwise motion — shown in the photo- 
graph as running from the governor post to the valve gear boxes — 
carried a device to control the time at which cams tripped the steam 
valves. This shaft was worked back and forth by the flyball governor 
and so sensitive was the arrangement that the' engineer, by a slight 
pressure of the hand on the above mentioned shaft, could change the 
speed of the engine. 

As stated above, the engine was designed to develop 80 horsepower. 
The assumption that actuall}- it was turning anywhere near that much 
into useful work was challenged on several occasions by persons who 
sought to have the owners discard the engine, belts and shafting and 
install electric motors. Tests to determine the total power required 



ig2^. 



THE LOCO M O T I V E 



35 




TJicy Served Together for j/ Years 



to drive the printing machinery seemed to show that 28 horsepower was 
sufficient. The figure was obtained by indicating the engine while 
running under load and without load, and assuming the difiference to 
be the power delivered to the machinery. For some reason or other 
this method did not give accurate results. When the old engine broke 
down and a 40-horsepower motor undertook to do its work they had to 
throw some of the equipment off the line to keep from stalling the 
motor. 

In spite of an apparently inefficient arrangement of shafts and 
belting — made necessary because the engine room stood at an angle 
to the rest of the plant — the transmission loss seemed moderate. 
Failure of the 40-horsepower motor to handle what was considered 
a light load for the engine is significant in view of the fact that at one 
time the engine ran a machine for making rivets from cold steel, and 
a large sausage grinder, in addition to the full equipment of the print 
shop. Up until the time of its retirement, in fact, it supplied a con- 
siderable amount of power to other tenants. 

Although the owners credit the builders with having turned out a 



36 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

remarkably durable engine, they attribute the machine's extraordinary 
longevity and freedom from breakdowns to the care given it by the 
late Charles H. Lynch, who was engineer from 1865 until ill health 
forced his retirement in 1922. His carefulness is attested by the fact 
that the original crank pin brasses lasted forty-one years, and were in 
good condition when replaced. Cross-head slides, in use seventy 
years, showed very little wear. 

Lynch, a Connecticut Yankee, enlisted in Company C, i8th Con- 
necticut Volunteers, at the age of sixteen. After serving for three 
years in the Civil War he was given an honorable discharge and re- 
turned to his home in Norwich. Seeking work, he went to Hartford, 
where he was hired, in a temporary capacity as a helper in The Case, 
Lockwood & Brainard Co. engine room. He had been there only a 
few weeks when the regular engineer left the job. The young man 
was given the position on trial and from that day until his death in 
1924 Lynch lived but for his engine. As a member of the firm ex- 
pressed it, " He loved every revolution of its old fiy-wheel." 

Engineer Kept Close Eye on Wear 

Lynch kept a log book or diary of important events in the engine 
and boiler rooms. Many of the entries are interesting because of 
Lynch's pointed sense of humor while others, dealing with devices 
and practices long since superseded, may be recognized by old-timers 
as typical of their own experiences in the old days. 

It appears that Lynch had a very reasonable theory that a worn 
part should be replaced before it broke. As a consequence his diary 
shows that cross-head gibs were renewed at periods of from 6 to 12 
years. New gibs were fitted six times during his regime. The 
cylinder was rebored twice and on both occasions new pistons and 
rings were fitted. Two sets of governor arms and valve rods were 
worn out and, in 1897, replacements were secured for exhaust chest, 
valves and cams. 

After fifty years the cylinder casting cracked and was replaced. 
While the job was being done the owners had the machinists replace 
valves, valve rods, piston, piston rod, rebabbit pillow block bearings, 
shrink a new crank arm on the shaft, and smooth up the crank and 
main shaft bearings. This work cost $1,574.79, according to the diary. 

Lynch had no hesitancy in writing frank estimates of things and 
people. Under date of November 18, 1874, is this entry: "Mr. 

N of N. B. puts in a new patent (feed water) pump to try to 

beat the K • — . The N pump is no good." A month later 

he wrote: "N pump taken out. Mr. N and his pump 



1928. TME LOCOMOTIVE 37 



a nuisance." On the other hand, when anything pleased him he was 
quick to say so. Under an entry in 1875 the diary says : " A new 

improved valve motion put on pump by the K Pump Co. No 

charge. Thanks." 

Only the real old-timers can hark back to the days when it was not 
common practice to lubricate the piston by injecting oil through the 
steam line. Lynch seemed to regard the idea as something new when 

in 1877 he wrote: "The H Lubricator put on engine. Oils 

piston through steam line." For years, in fact until steam heat was 
installed, Lynch preferred to kindle the furnace each morning rather 
than bank the fire over night. His diary mentions a fire in the pile of 
kindling wood, ignited by a spark from the furnace. " Have been 
using hemlock and spruce," wrote Lynch. " Xo more. It throws too 
many sparks." Hard coal must have been the fuel in those days for, 
at a much later date, the diary tells of substituting bituminous for 
anthracite because a strike at the mines made it impossible to obtain 
the latter. 

Tried Using Commercial Steam 

In 1 88 1 the company decided to find out whether steam could be 
purchased from an outside source more cheaply than it could be pro- 
duced in its own boilers. The diary records that on June 10, a steam 
heating company ran a steam main into the building and commenced 
supplying the engine. In reading what Lynch wrote one gathers the 

idea that the old timer did not approve of this innovation. " B 

L • now running the engine, a man who thinks he knows all about 

steam," he said. Five days later this appeared : " Too much water in 
city steam, not lit to run engines. Cylinder working loose on bed. 
Obliged to put in a new set of dowels." For several months Lynch 
maintained a discreet silence on the subject, but on April 11 of the 
next year he showed he still retained his poor opinion of ' bought ' 
steam by writing: "Running engine by the city (water) steam. 
Below speed every day. A leak in steam pipe filled pit and destroyed 
belt." 

How gratified must Lynch have been when, in the following laconic 
announcement on October 2, he was privileged to record the return 
to steam generated by his own boilers and under his own supervision. 
He dismissed the situation thus : " Shut oil the city steam. Boiler 
started up this morning. Engine running O. K. Steam heating com- 
pany a big failure. A big loss to the C. L. & B. Co. B L 

also another big failure." 

In 1892 Lynch came upon a period of poor health. He obtained 



38 THE LOCOMOTIVE Apdi, 

a leave of absence for six weeks and, with Mrs. Lynch, went to Kansas 
and Colorado. On the eve of departure he wrote : " Andrew D. Scott 
in charge of engine and boilers." He returned to work after " having 
the best vacation of my life and in good health." The generous side 
of the old timer's nature was displayed in the following brief tribute 
to Scott : " Boilers and engine in good condition. Scott was all 
right." 

In 1895, a twenty-nine year old boiler was condemned by Frank S. 
Allen, whom many of our readers will recall as chief inspector of The 
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. It was 
replaced by a new lOO-horsepower boiler made by H. B. Beach & Son, 
successor to the old Woodruff & Beach Company. The remarkable 
feature of the installation, as recorded by Lynch, was that the maker's 
bill was only $1,000 for the boiler and $195.04 for the fittings. 

The methodical old fellow, to whom the proper care of equipment 
amounted to an obsession, must have been perturbed when he arrived 
at work one morning " to find the blow-off valve partly open and no 
water in the boiler." He drew the fire and sent for an inspector of 
The Hartford Company. What a relief it was when " Inspector Cum- 
mings found the boiler O. K." 

Amusing Entries in Diary 

Lynch did not confine his diary comments to affairs of his depart- 
ment. He felt free to express an opinion on the worth or worthlessness 
of anything used in the plant. When " the old Jumbo press was taken 
out of Mac's room " perhaps " Mac " himself requested the old man 
to herald its departure with this blighting epitaph : " Never was any 
good." 

Man or machine, if either was " no good " Lynch minced no words 
in saying so — in his diary. In speaking of a gang of masons who 
were pointing up the building he made this comment : " Boss Mason 

R no good. Mr. Brainard soon got sick of that man's way of 

working." 

Cause and effect were chronicled in reverse order in this thumb- 
nail sketch of a man's downfall: " George L , machinist, finished 

work for this company. Too much rum." Another rather upside- 
down arrangement in so far as news value is concerned is evident in 
the following: "Great toe on my right foot badly jammed. Had to 
call a doctor. At 10:30 this morning a 16-year old boy named Willie 
Jahne working over the engine room got caught on the main shaft. 
Was whirled around the shaft to his death. Knocked the sash and 
glass all out. making a hole in the ceiling . 



'_9^ THE LOCOMOTIVE 39 

More than likely no one gave much tlioiight to the danger of using 
boiler pressure steam in office radiators until in the Spring of 1907 a 
radiator exploded and scattered pieces in all directions. ** No one was 
hurt," said Lynch. A later entry indicates that before steam was 
turned on in the Fall " three new reducing valves and low pressure 
steam gauges were installed to control the pressure on the buildings." 

The greatest of print-shop tragedies is told of in this brief way: 
" The railroad time table form all ready for the press, was pied or 
destroyed by some malicious cuss. No clue." It takes a printer to 
appreciate the extent of such a catastrophy. Preparation of the form 
may have entailed a week or two of work by several compositors, 
make-up men, and proof readers. " Pieing " it meant knocking it 
apart in such a way that the work had to be done over again from 
start to finish. No doubt Lynch was deeply impressed by the loud 
and expressive language that must have reverberated through the 
composing room when the dastardly work of the " malicious cuss " 
was discovered. 

The last entry in Lynch's diary was made on April lo, 1919, but 
he served as engineer for several years after that and the engine con- 
tinued in use for some time after his death. The things to which Lynch 
devoted his life's work now are giving way to the crow bars and wedges 
of a wrecking company. The old engine, insured for many years by 
The Hartford Company, is destined to end its career in some junk 
man's yard, while the boilers — comparatively youthful — have been 
sold for use elsewhere. Electrical insurance now covers the equip- 
ment by which the printers drive the presses in their new plant. 

Inasmuch as we believe a detailed description of the engine's 
unusual valve mechanism will be of interest to our readers it is made 
the subject of another article in this issue. 



Pride Goeth Before a Fall 

The self-confident golfer smiled pityingly at his caddie. 

"A driver for this hole? Only 160 yards? Why it's just a mashie 
and a putt for me !" 

Confidently he stepped up to the ball, mashie in hand. " Chug !" 
The ball dribbled ofif the tee amid an eruption of clods. There was an 
instant's silence, and then the caddie murmured : 

" Now for a real long putt." 



40 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 





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^928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 41 

Old Mechanism for Varying Cut-off 

IX devising a mechanism to govern the old W'oodrul't & Jjeach steam 
engine (described elsewhere in this issue) by varying the cut-oflf, 
instead of by throttling the steam, the designers used a device as 
effective as it was ingenious. A fly-ball governor was driven positively 
by gearing. Through a bell crank the upward and downward motion 
of its collar was transmitted into lengthwise motion of a shaft which 
ran from the governor post to a valve-gear box over the steam chest 
at the cylinder. This shaft had also a rotary motion, imparted by 
gearing. As it rotated it carried a cam on which rode a toe or valve 
lifter connected to the valve stem. Up and down motion of the toe 
opened and closed the poppet valve. Lengthwise motion of the shaft 
was made to vary the time at which cut-off took place. How this was 
accomplished is shown in the diagrams. 

Varied Timing and Valve Lift 

Views 4 and 5 are taken from photographs of the parts. The 
eccentric (5) rode on the governor shaft and was keyed to it by a 
through-key. Its lengthwise position was fixed but the shaft could 
slip back and forth through it. View 4 shows the sleeve which fitted 
over the eccentric and rotated with it — driving force being imparted 
by a helical key which rode, of course, in a helical keyway on the inner 
surface of the sleeve. A hole in this key fitted over a button on top 
of the through-key. Thus both eccentric and sleeve rotated w^ith the 
shaft, the sleeve carrying the cam (shown in View 2) which raised the 
poppet valve. A spring returned the latter to its seat when the cam 
reached the point of cut-off and allowed the toe to descend. 

It will be seen that when the shaft from the governor was moved 
lengthwise by governor action it .carried with it both the through-key 
and the helical key. Inasmuch as neither the eccentric nor the sleeve 
was capable of endwise motion the result was a change in the angular 
position of the sleeve on the eccentric. This either advanced or re- 
tarded the cut-off, according to the direction of movement of the key 
in the helical slot. It also decreased or increased the valve lift in that 
it brought the cam toward either the long or short radius of the ec- 
centric. 

Fine performance was obtained by this mechanism, as was shown 
by indicator cards taken by The Hartford Company in 1920 when it 
was called upon to replace a fractured main bearing. 



42 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 



Explosion Caused by Tubes Pulling Out 

AN explosion that started when eight tubes in the lowest row of a 
water tube boiler were pulled from the front header, damaged 
not only the boiler but destroyed its setting, tore loose all pipe 
connections, parted the breeching, and blew a hole in a brick wall of 
the boiler room of Consolidated Ice Company, Inc., at Monroe, La., 
September 6, 1927. Fortunately, no one was near the boiler when it 
let go. 

The explosion was cumulative in effect, in that when the bottom 
row of tubes pulled loose the energy released by escaping steam and 




water raised the boiler from its setting and allowed it to crash down- 
ward four feet in such a way as to throw its full weight onto tubes which 
fell across a brick baffle wall about midway the furnace. Needless to 
say, this added considerably to the damage. 

Both chief engineer and watch engineer had left the boiler room a 
few seconds before the explosion. They succeeded in closing the stop 
valve to prevent another boiler on the line from discharging steam 
through the damaged header. 

While the boiler was twenty years old it was apparently in good 
condition before the accident. Within the past two years it had been 
completely retubed and neither headers nor drums showed defects 



1928. THE LOCO M O T I V E 43 



when inspected. However, the lowest row of tubes had been the last 
to be replaced and, when installed, their ends had not been flared. This 
is believed to have allowed them to blow out under pressure. 

Direct property damage, covered by a Hartford policy, amounted 
to $3,708.60. This included rebuilding the boiler room wall, 23' high 
by 30' long, retubing the boiler, repairing the setting and connections. 

The plant uses natural gas as fuel. Inasmuch as there were no 
actual eye-witnesses to the explosion, the investigators took cognizance 
of the possibility that instead of being caused by steam pressure the 
damage might have been the result of a gas explosion within the fire 
chamber and breeching. 

In plants using gas as fuel, care must be taken to guard against 
combustion chamber detonations by so regulating the relative amounts of 
fuel and air as to assure complete combustion. In lighting such a fur- 
nace great care should be exercised, a piece of burning waste or paper 
being thrown into the chamber before the gas is turned on. Attempts to 
light the gas after it has had a chance to accumulate in the chamber 
may result disastrously. Even when tossing lighted waste into a 
supposedly empty furnace the fireman should not stand directly in 
front of the fire door. Leakage may have allowed enough gas to ac- 
cumulate to form, with air, an explosive mixture. 



New Edition of " The Boiler Book " 

"riMHE Boiler Book" was first published by The Hartford Com- 
I pany about six years ago for the purpose of presenting, in con- 
venient form, some of the data most frequently required for the 
design, manufacture, and installation of boilers and other pressure 
vessels. The fact that the first edition was so soon exhausted seemed 
to indicate that the book was playing a useful role and led to the 
decision to publish a second edition with certain changes and addenda 
necessary to bring it up to date. This second edition is now ready 
for distribution at a nominal charge of $i.oo a copy to cover the cost 
of printing and mailing. 

The book confines itself strictly to the field of design, manufacture, 
and installation and is not intended to serve as a handbook for boiler 
operators. 



Cumulative Fatigue 

Lady (to tramp) — " Why don't you work if you are hungry?" 
Worn-out Willie — "I tried that ma'am, and it made me hungrier. 



44 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 



Absence of Relief Valve Proves Costly 

NOT only was a residence in Fremont, Ohio, deprived of heat at 
a cold season of the year, but the cellar walls and furnishings 
of the first floor were damaged by steam and dust when over- 
pressure blew a piece out of a cast iron hot water boiler, on December 
8. The accompanying photograph gives an idea of the destructive 
force exerted by water when an attempt is made to constrain its 
natural expansion while it is being heated. 

The working of a hot water system depends on having the whole 
system, including heater, piping, and radiators, completely filled with 
water. As heat is imparted by the furnace the hot water tends to 

rise, causing cir- 
culation through 
the radiators and 
back to the heater. 
Should the system 
not be filled com- 
pletely it is evi- 
dent that circula- 
tion would fail. 
To avoid this con- 
tingency these 
systems are pro- 
vided with an ex- 
pansion tank, lo- 
cated above the 
level of the high- 
est radiator and 
connected to the 
heater by means 
of a riser or ex- 
pansion pipe. This acts as a water column to give a static head or 
pressure to the system. When water stands in the tank the boiler 
operator knows that the system is completely full, assuming, of course, 
all air to have been ejected. 

Either an altitude gauge or a return pipe from the expansion tank 
is provided to tell the level of the water. In case a pipe is used it 
is run down to the boiler room where, by opening a cock, the operator 
learns whether or not water stands to the required level. It is well, 
when this tank is located in an unheated part of the house, to provide 




^928^ THE LOCOMOTIVE 45 

connections to both supply and return mains so as to insure circula- 
tion sufficient to prevent freezing. The riser mentioned above may be 
considered the connection to the supply line. It should be taken from 
the main supply line as near the boiler as possible so that air bubbles, 
liberated when fresh water is fed into the boiler, may rise to the ex- 
pansion tank instead of going through the system and becoming trapped 
in the radiators. 

Means of Pressure Relief Necessary 

Inasmuch as water expands considerably under heat the system 
must be provided with some means to take care of its increase in 
volume. Frequently this is accomplished by running an open pipe from 
the top of the tank to the roof of the house, or back to the basement 
where it discharges into a drain. In the system mentioned in the first 
paragraph the relief pipe w.ent to the roof where it was exposed to 
the cold. Vapor passing up through it gradually froze and formed 
a plug which closed the pipe completely. Thus constrained, the ex- 
panding water broke a casting. 

A better method of relieving expansion is to provide a relief valve 
at a point in the system where circulation is always assured and where 
there will be no danger of failure because of freezing. A valve con- 
structed on the diaphragm principle will be found more satisfactory 
than the ordinary springloaded valve, because the former gives more 
positive action and is not so liable to failure by reason of the valve 
disc sticking fast to the seat. 

Had the owner of the boiler at Fremont followed the Hartford 
inspector's advice to install a relief valve, no doubt the accident would 
have been avoided. Damage, amounting to $177.40, was covered by 
insurance in this company. 



Oil Engine Explosion Kills Man 

An explosion of the center cylinder of a three-cylinder oil engine 
near Potosi, Mo., on October 11 of last year, cost the life of the operat- 
ing engineer. The man was starting the engine by compressed air, and 
when he admitted a charge of oil to the center cylinder the resulting 
explosion tore the cylinder from the base plate. As far as is known, 
the customary precautions had been taken the night before, when 
shutting down the engine, to free the cylinders of excess oil. Cylinder 
cocks were open and free before the engine was started. The most 
probable explanation would seem to be that an overcharge was admitted 
and the engine fired prematurely before it came up to speed. 



46 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

An Improved Return Line Hook-up 

DEV'ISING a piinng system to return condensate from radiators 
to low pressure heating boilers is a problem as old as the art of low 
pressure heating itself. Improperly designed systems have been 
the direct cause of many a cracked section in cast iron boilers, through 
failure to maintain a safe water level. This subject was treated at 
length in the July, 1920 issue of The Locomotive but since then there 
has been at least one refinement. Inasmuch as few of our readers may 
be in a position to refer to the old files of the magazine the current 
article will treat the subject as a whole, rather than confine itself to 
the improvement made since the previous article was published. 

Stated briefly, what happens in these low pressure heating systems 
is that steam, at a pressure from a few ounces to 10 pounds above 
atmosphere, flows from the boiler to the radiators where it gives up 
much of its heat and is condensed into water. This water then flows 
by gravity back through the return pipe into the boiler and is turned 
again into steam. The only water lost from the system is the small 
amount of leakage from valves and fittings but when this is taken into 
account the water level in the boiler should not change appreciably in 
several weeks of running. Yet in actual practice it has been found 
that some steam heating installations contain features that may lead to 
the water in the boiler falling to a dangerously low level. When this 
happens the highest parts of the evaporating surface become over- 
heated. Then, when the level is brought back to normal, relatively 
cool water comes into contact with the overheated iron. The result is 
usually a cracked casting. 

Figure i shows the layout of a two-boiler installation connected 
to a common steam pipe and receiving return water through a single 
return pipe. To prevent exchange of water between the boilers of such 
a system it is nfecessary to use check valves as shown at " a ". With no 
check valves present the slightest difl^erence in pressure on the water 
surfaces of boilers No. i and No. 2 will drive some of the water from 
the boiler under higher pressure into the other boiler. This condition 
carries with it the possibility of dangerously low water in one of the 
boilers. 

To some it may seem almost unbelievable that any pressure differ- 
ence can exist between two boilers connected to a common steam main. 
Nevertheless, experience has shown that this- condition is possible. 
The explanation lies in the fact that the balance of temperatures and 
pressures in these low pressure systems is so delicate that it may be 



1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



47 



upset by friction of the steam passing through pipes. Should boiler 
No. I be fired harder than No. 2 it will generate more steam. The 
increased flow of vapor through its steam ])ipe will create greater pipe 
friction, thus building up more pressure at the boiler's water surface. 
A very slight pressure difference between the two boilers, caused in 
this way, is sufficient to bring about considerable variation in their 
respective water levels. Assuming a water temperature of 220 degrees 




Boiler No. i 



Boiler No. 2. 



Figure i 



Fahrenheit, a pressure difiference of only a quarter pound would cause 
a variation of approximately 7^ inches in water level. It can readily 
be seen that this could uncover the highest part of the evaporating sur- 
face of the boiler having the higher pressure, cause overheating, and 
lead to cracking. 

With a pipe arrangement to bring return water in at the lowest part 
of the boiler — the most common arrangement — a check valve will 
serve to prevent this exchange of water. It will also prevent water 
being forced backward from the boiler into the heating system. But 
inasmuch as safety valves on many heating boilers are not adequate 
to relieve the great pressure that would be created by the accidental 



48 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 




^928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 49 

closing of the stop valve, it is easy to conceive of a situation in which 
this action of the check valve would be a disadvantage, rather than 
an advantage. It would be clearly desirable, in case of extreme over- 
pressure, to have no check valve at all, in order that the pressure might 
be reduced by the steam escaping through the return line to the radia- 
tors where it would be condensed. 

In practical operation a certain amount of head is necessary to 
cause a check valve to lift, so that operation of the valve involves a 
certain amount of unbalance in the system. Both check valves in such 
a system will remain on their seats until the pressure in the return line 
becomes somewhat greater than the boiler pressure. Since it is practi- 
cally impossible to have two check valves act at exactly the same pres- 
sure, one will open before the other, and in so doing will further 
postpone the latter valve's opening. In that way one boiler gets less 
than its share of the return water, thus bringing about a gradual drop 
in its water level. Thus it is evident that while check valves prevent 
exchange of water from one boiler to the other, they may bring about 
a dangerously low water level in another way. 

Having shown the difificulties encountered in this system, we are 
now prepared to describe another arrangement that avoids these 
troubles. Figure 2 shows the preferable arrangement which, while 
avoiding the use of the troublesome check valves, retains the advantage 
of allowing return water to enter at the lowest part of the boiler instead 
of at the top, where the introduction of comparatively cold water is 
not desirable. 

Examination of Fig. 2 shows that the return water piping is so 
arranged as to form a water column to balance the boiler water at 
the safe water level. But this, in itself, would not prevent steam 
pressure from backing water out into the system. To counter- 
balance this boiler pressure, a steam equalizing pipe is provided, as 
shown at " C ", to produce static balance of the water in the boiler and 
that in the outside column. Should the reader have difficulty in under- 
standing just how this is effected, the principle may be made clearer 
by considering the equalizing pipe " C " and riser " B " as just an 
extra section added to the boiler with free access to both the boiler's 
steam and water spaces. With this pipe arrangement water cannot be 
backed out below the safe level. It is important to note that the equal- 
izing pipe must be of ample size and must have as few turns as possible, 
so as to avoid the effect of steam friction. 

In laying out the system it is important that the following table be 
used in selecting the size of equalizing pipe " C " : 



50 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 



STOP VALVE. 
\f ANY, 



Operating 
water. level 



STOP Valve, 
ir ANY.- 




Figure j. 



Grate Area Size of Pipe " C " 

4 square feet or less i-J^" 

4 square feet to 15 sq. ft. 2-^" 

15 square feet or more ' 4" 

The return pipe and pipe " B " should be of the size prescribed by 
modern practice for return lines. 

Fig. 3 shows how this system may be applied to a single-boiler 
installation. 



1928. T H E L (3 C O M O T 1 V E 51 

It will be noted that even though the boiler stop valve should be 
closed inadvertently — or should the valves on all steam radiators be 
closed — there would be an outlet to relieve the pressure. The steam 
would escape through the equalizing pipe and the return pipe where 
it would produce a rattling sound warning the operator that something 
was wrong. The proper procedure for him would be to stop evapora- 
tion by checking the fire. 

The principle of this layout has been well tested in actual practice, 
so we have no hesitation in commending it to owners of cast iron boilers. 
While this Company has made no effort to give the system a name, 
engineers and steamfitters often refer to it as " The Hartford Loop " 
or " The Hartford Water Level Return Connection ". 



Improvised Pressure Tanks Dangerous 

USING an old metal oil barrel as a pressure tank for an oil- 
spraying device cost the life of a mechanic at Denver, Colorado, 
a few weeks ago. The victim's head was crushed when the end 
of the tank blew out. Though warned by fellow workmen against the 
danger of subjecting his home-made apparatus to pressure of 150 
pounds a square inch, the man refused to delay the job until the 
safe working pressure of the tank could be determined. 

This accident, as well as others of similar nature, should serve as 
a warning against the tendency to improvise high pressure containers 
from makeshift equipment not designed for that purpose. The ordi- 
nary oil drum, built only strong enough to withstand handling without 
opening its seams, is nowise suited to contain a fluid under pressure. 
Instances come to light now and then of garages and factories rig- 
ging up galvanized hot water tanks — intended for domestic use — 
as compressed air containers. While some of these tanks when new, 
are able to withstand considerable pressure, many of these installations 
are second-hand vessels weakened by interior corrosion. Such in- 
stances occur because the garage keeper or factory foreman has no idea 
of the tremendous force exerted on a tank by pressures no greater 
than fifty or sixty pounds a square inch. 



No Bigotry Here 

" Dearest, will you marry me?" 

" Doug, I must tell you I'm a somnambulist." 

" That'll be all right. I'm broad minded about religion." 



52 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 

DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

Georgpe Hargis Prall, Editor 

Copyright 1928 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN., April i, 1928 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. 



Avoiding Cracking of C. I. Boilers 

USERS of steam and hot water heating systems will be interested 
in reading in this issue articles on " An Improved Return Line 
Hook-up " and "Absence of Relief Valve Proves Costly ". The 
article first mentioned above presents a well-tested arrangement by which 
steam heating plants may be rendered less liable to the most common 
type of failure, namely the cracking of a section because of low water. 
When from any cause the surfaces producing evaporation in a cast 
iron boiler are not in contact with water, those parts are subject to heat 
expansion. While this in itself may not cause cracking, there is great 
danger of breakage when the water level returns to normal and the 
comparatively cool water causes sudden contraction of the metal. With 
two boilers discharging into a common steam line and receiving con- 
densate through one return line it has been found that a difference of 
steam pressure can exist between the two boilers — paradoxical as it 
may seem — and that this phenomenon can force water from one boiler 
into the other through the return line. Check valves in the return line 
will prevent this but their use may produce the same ultimate results 
by reason of their inability to divide the return water equally between 
the two boilers. 



1928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 53 

The piping layout described elsewhere in this issue avoids the use 
of check valves. It substitutes in their stead a static balance that serves 
their function with greater certainty and without their disadvantages. 
Though the system was described in The Locomotive as far back 
as 1920, since then there has been developed a refinement to reduce 
water hammer. For that reason it is presented here again for the pur- 
pose of giving our readers what we consider a most satisfactory 
method of avoiding some of the hazards incident to the operation of 
their boilers. 



New Detroit Department 

GROWTH of the Company's business in Michigan and North- 
western Ohio has led to the establishment of the Detroit Depart- 
ment with headquarters at 2401-7 First National Bank Building, 
Detroit, ]\Iichigan. This change, intended to expedite the Company's 
service to its assured in that territor}', went into efifect April i. 

Mr. L. L. Coates, for many years resident agent at the Detroit 
branch of the Chicago Department, has been appointed manager. ]Mr. 
Coates is especially well-fitted by experience to handle the district now 
in his charge. He has with him, as chief inspector, Mr. Thomas P. 
Hetu, who has been Assistant Chief Inspector of the Company's 
Philadelphia Department. With the exception of a few changes neces- 
sitated by readjustment of districts, Mr. Hetu's staff comprises the 
same trained men who have in the past handled inspections in the 
district. 



Damage by Secondary Combustion 

TN February an explosion of oil-permeated soot in the base of a 
large refinery smokestack shook the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Several weeks ago a fireman at a Springfield, Mass., charitable insti- 
tution, narrowly escaped injury when an explosion blew the heavy iron 
door from the smoke box of a heating boiler. In both cases the 
furnaces were using oil as fuel. 

When, for any reason, combustible gases are allowed to leave the 
furnace space unburned, there is a chance of their igniting later, either 
in the last pass of the furnace in proximity to the upper boiler plates 
or in the smokebox, breeching, or stack. Bulged plates have resulted 
from such secondary combustion. Under certain conditions — and 
where oil is the fuel — ignition of this gas may cause an explosion. 



54 THE LOCOMOTIVE April. 

Secondary combustion and explosion have been found to occur 
where the mixture of fuel and air is not in correct proportion and 
where the furnace space is not large enough to allow complete burning 
— as where a boiler is being forced far beyond its rating. In burning 
oil it is important to guard against unburned gases being allowed to 
pass beyond the furnace space, both as a safeguard against damage 
and, of course, as a means of securing the maximum amount of useful 
heat from the fuel. 



Corroded Head Flange Wrecks Boiler 

AVERY destructive boiler explosion on October 31 at the 
plant of Austin Manufacturing Company, Harvey, 111., is 
believed to have been caused by corrosion at the knuckle of 
the blind head in a mud drum. The boiler that exploded is shown at 
the center of the accompanying illustration. As may be seen, one head 
was torn out completely. The force of the explosion threw three 
other boilers from their settings, destroyed the boiler room, and 
damaged engine room, machine shop, and blacksmith shop. A fire- 
man was injured. 

At the time of the accident the plant was obtaining feed water from 
a lake, but up until shortly before that the feed water was pumped 
from a deep well. Analysis showed this well water to contain 91 grams 
of solids to the gallon and to be strongly acid. It was not surprising, 
therefore, when examination of the wreckage disclosed serious cor- 
rosion at the knuckles of the drum heads. At some points only 3/16" 
of metal remained. 

Lack of Dish Allowed Breathing 

Inasmuch as the boiler was of an old type, having heads that lacked 
the dish required in modern construction, it is probable that these 
heads were subjected to excessive breathing. In this w-ay the metal 
would have become fatigued at the section thinned by corrosion. 

The boiler was operated at 155 pounds pressure and was rated at 
300 h.p. Damage amounting to about $50,000 was covered by insur- 
ance although not in The Hartford Company. 

Fluctuation of pressure inside a vessel acts on the head as though 
the latter were a diaphragm, causing it to move in and out — or breathe. 
As most bumped heads are constructed with a relatively sharp bend 
where they join the boiler shell, breathing aggravates the stress at 
that point and subjects the metal to bending fatigue. 



1928. 



TH E LOCOMOTIVE 



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It has long been known that metal at the heel of the head flange 
seems to be especially subject to corrosion, but it was not until recent 
years that a theory was developed to give a satisfactory explanation of 
this phenomenon. This theory, in brief, is that in a structure such as a 
boiler, those parts under the most severe stress fall easy prey to the 
€lectrochemical action of the water. Fatigue due to bending increases 
rapidly as the thickness is reduced by corrosion and, unless the condi- 
tion be discovered, the outcome will be an explosion. 



Power of Advertising 

Card in Florida paper : " Thursday I lost a gold watch which I 
valued very highly. Immediately I inserted an ad in your lost and 
found column, and waited. Yesterday I went home and found the 
watch in the pocket of another suit. Thank you very much." 



First Burglar — " Come on, Lefty, let's figure up what we made 
on this haul." 

Second Burglar — "I'm too tired. Let's wait and look in the 
morning papers." 



56 THE LOCQiMOTIVE April, 

Taps from the Old Chiefs Hammer 

HA\'E you ever noticed the tendency of writers to pick out queer 
beliefs, inhibitions, and habits of outstanding men and write 
about them as though they were marks peculiar to genius? As 
a matter of fact, I doubt whether these so-called geniuses are a whole 
lot queerer than the rest of us. According to my way of thinking 
we're all queer in some respects. Our minds may be precise and logical 
on most subjects but each one of us has a few pet theories on which 
his brain shows a blind spot. I suppose that's what makes us act 
like human beings. 

Lots of fellows will never light a cigar from the butt of another; 
neither will they be the third to take a light from one match. They 
figure it's hard luck, and so it is — for the match manufacturers. But 
why should we worry about the match manufacturers? 

I went up to a cigar counter in Denver a few years ago and the girl 
clerk told me that folks out there insisted on getting at least part of 
their change in cartwheels. She said they figured they could help the 
silver mines by keeping the silver dollars in circulation and wearing 
them out. I wasn't so keen on taking my change in that form and I 
said so. " I'm afoot today," I explained, " but I may be riding a horse 
within a day or two and then you can give me a few." She came back 
at me with a caustic remark to the effect that out there, where men 
were men, they didn't have to use horses to carry around a few pieces 
of silver. So I paid for a can of tobacco with a ten-dollar bill and took 
my change in the form of seven cartwheels, two bills, and some 
quarters, dimes and nickels. I didn't want her to think me queer. 

Not long ago the cotton growers down South figured that if they 
could get the society belles to wear cotton stockings it would be a great 
thing for local industry. But the girls couldn't see it that way and 
eventually the men had to admit that the whole thing was just another 
one of those queer ideas. 

Strange fancies are not confined to one section nor to one class 
of people. If a fellow sat down to write out a list of odd habits, 
customs, and beliefs — including his own — he could fill a book. As 
far as I'm concerned I don't challenge the right of anyone to believe 
anything about any subject — except steam boilers. That's one thing 
about which an amateur has no right theorizing, yet there's a queer 
theory among users of low pressure heating plants that the boilers 
never break. 

As to their safety, some folks regard their heating plants in a class 



1928. THELOCOMOTIVE 57 



with vacuum cleaners and waffle irons. Maybe they are safe enough 
when everything goes right, but the trouble is that dangerously high 
stresses can be created when things go wrong. For instance, if the 
water runs low there is good chance of cracking a section. A pressure 
capable of causing explosion may be brought about by a stopped or 
frozen pipe, by failure of the safety valve to function, or by accidental 
closing of a valve that should be open, to say nothing of the various 
ways an incompetent repair man can gum the works. 

Speaking of the last named contingency, a hotel owner in Alabama 
— who thought his steam heating plant as safe as a vault full of first 
mortgage bonds — had his idea altered by a couple of blundering steam 
fitters. 

When one of our inspectors visited Garibaldi (that's not the name 
of the town) last September, he stopped at the Snowden Hotel (that 
name is likewise fictitious). During the evening he talked with the 
owner about boiler insurance and learned that Mr. Snowden con- 
sidered the risk of boiler accident so slight that he wasn't going to 
waste his money carrying insurance. 

In December the same inspector visited the town again and Mr. 
Snowden met him with a sad story of the cracking of five sections in 
his boiler — caused by low water. Steam fitters had made repairs by 
means of wrought iron patches and three cans of " dope ", for which 
job Mr. Snowden had to pay $225. Had he known that was going 
to happen he would have taken out a policy and saved that much, he 
said. 

During the night the temperature dropped to 35 above. When 
the inspector turned out in the morning he found Mr. Snowden in 
the lobby, tearing his hair. At the host's behest he went downstairs 
for a look at the heating equipment. Water was shooting out of 
various parts of the system and the " repaired " cracks were leaking 
like a sieve. 

By questioning the fireman the inspector found out what was 
wrong. When the steam fitters were reconnecting the return pipe they 
evolved the brilliant idea that it would be a waste of efi'ort to cut a 
hole in the rubber gasket between flanges. They figured that the hot 
water would soon make a hole. 

Snowden's idea on the infallibility of heating boilers was further 
revised when he received the subsequent bill for permanent repairs. 
But the sad feature of the case is that now, while he admits that 
boilers can break, he has swallowed the old adage that lightning never 
strikes twice in the same place. That's another queer idea that may 
cost him money before he's through. 



58 THELOCOMOTIVE April, 

Caught in the Separator 

Unleashing a Whirlwind 

The professor was trying to demonstrate a simple experiment in 
the generation of steam. 

" What have I in my hand?" he asked. 

" A tin can," came the answer. 

" Very true. Is the can an animate or an inanimate object?" 

" Inanimate." 

" Exactly. Now can anyone tell me how, with this can, it is pos- 
sible to generate a surprising amount of speed and power almost 
beyond control ?" 

One student raised his hand. 

"Well, Smith?" 

" Tie it to a dog's tail." — Selected. 



He (after long argument) — "I wonder how it would be if you 
and I ever agreed on something." 

She — " I'd be wrong, of course." — Selected. 



To Do the Chores 
The harassed-looking man was being shown over a factory. 
" That machine," said the guide, " does the work of thirty men. 
The man smiled wanly. 
" That's what my wife thinks she married," he said. 



This Slaid, Slayed, or Slexv Him 
A Belgian student was relating his experience in studying the 
English language. " When I discovered that if I was quick I was 
fast," he said, " and that if I was tied I was fast, if I spent too freely 
I was fast, and that not to eat was to fast, I was discouraged. But 
when I came across the sentence, ' The first one won one one-dollar 
prize,' I gave up trying to learn English." 



The March of Progress 

'■' And are you really content to spend your life walking the country 
begging? " asked the old lady severely. 

" No, lady," answered the tramp. " Many's the time I've wished I 
had a car." 



I92& 



THE LOCO M O T I V E 



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The Hartford Steam Boiler inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street, 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1927 



Capital Stock, 



$2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in offices and banks 

Real Estate .... 

Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and Stocks 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest Accrued . 

Other Assets . ... 

Total Assets . 



$622,484.21 

283,421.23 

1,366,072.48 

15,023,458.34 

1,363,003.55 

152.728.70 

64,678.59 

$18,865,847.10 



LIABILITIES 
Reserve for unearned premiums ....... 

Reserve for losses ......... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 

Capital Stock . . . • $2,500,000.00 

Surplus over all liabilities ..... $6,715,969-30 



$7,710,752.66 

346,047.69 

1,593,07745 



Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities . 



$9,215,969.30 



$18,865,847.10 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WM. R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Directors, Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORG.\N B. BRAIN.\RD, President 
^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, Chairman Board 
of Trustees, Society for Savings, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

HOR.\CE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON B.'\RNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE. Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON. President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., Plain- 
ville. Conn. 

CURTISS C. G.\RDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, SO Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga 

1 103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg 
BALTIMORE. Md.. . 

13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON, Mass., 

4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., 

404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg 

CHICAGO, 111., 

209 West Jackson B'l'vd. 

CINCINNATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND. Ohio, 
Leader, Bldg. . 

DEN\'ER, Colo., 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 
DETROIT, Mich., . 

2401-7 First Nat'l Bank Bldg 

HARTFORD. Conn.. 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., . 
1128 Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK, N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS. Mo.. . 
610-618 Security Bldg. 

TORONTO. Canada, 
Federal Bldg. 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawtord & McKiM, General Agents. 
James G. Reid, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 
W. A. Bayxiss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. Lineburgh & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Gi.ENNON, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 
L. L. Coates, Manager. 
Thomas P. Hetu, Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 

A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 

E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice President. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. WiCKHAM, Manager. 

S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 

J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 

Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



PACIFIC COAST DIVISION 

C. B. Paddock, Superintendent 

114 Sansome St., San Francisco, Cal. 



PORTLAND. Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg. 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
423 Dexter-Horton Bldg 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. 
114 Sansome St. 



Bates, Lively & Pearson, General Agents. 

E. G. Watson, Resident Agent. 

H. R. Mann & Co., General Agents. 
L. J. Reed, Chief Inspector. 






'<^> 









^^^ 
*=^ 






A^^zc; Rates for ''^^ 
Use and Occupancy '"*> 
Insurance 1^ 



Because your power plant is the hub around which factory 
processes revolve, a boiler explosion strikes at a most vital point. 

Should an explosion occur, income from production would stop, 
while the burden of fixed expense would have to be met from the 
surplus of other years. 

At the new rate no owner should neglect to provide for himself a 
Use and Occupancy policy protecting his income against loss by 
accidental shut-down from boiler explosion. 

Use and Occupancy policies are issued also on Engine and 
Electrical Machinery Risks. By filling in and returning the at- 
tached coupon you will allow us to explain at greater length. Mail 
coupon to nearest branch office. 



The Hartford Steam Boiler P. O. Drawer 2133 

Inspection and Insurance Co. Hartford, Conn. 



'4. 



:/ 



Gentlemen : — Please send me more facts concerning Use and 
Occupancy Insurance and your new rates therefor. 



(Signed) 



COfficial Position) 
(Company) 
(.\ddress) 



Vol. XXX VI I No. 3 



July 1928 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 



Published continuously since 1867 

b}^ The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Company 



Please show to your Eng-ineer 



66 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^ 

Breakage of Cast Iron Steam Rolls 

LACK of safeguards against 140 pounds boiler pressure being 
exerted on parts intended to withstand little more than a third of 
that amount is thought to have caused a violent explosion of a 
train of twenty-three cast iron paper-drying rolls at Noble Manufactur- 
ing Company's plant, Cedartown, Ga., on March 8. One man was 
injured so severely that he died within a few hours. Another was 
badly scalded. Property loss of about $25,000 was not covered by in- 
surance. Figure i gives an idea of the extent of the disaster. 

When operating, the rolls acted as condensers, the action of drying 
the paper absorbing enough heat to keep the steam within a pressure 
range of from 35 to 50 pounds. Whenever the machine was stopped, 
this radiation was checked and, in as much as there was neither a re- 
ducing valve nor a safety valve between the boiler and rolls, there was 
a tendency for full boiler pressure to build up within the latter. Con- 
sequently, operators were instructed to shut off the steam whenever it 
was necessary to stop the machine. 

Rolls Exploded When Machine Was Stopped 

At 7 o'clock on the evening of the accident the machine was shut 
down to permit the repair of a belt. The explosion occurred a few 
minutes later, and in spite of the testimony of an attendant that he had 
followed out the order to close the steam valve, evidence seemed to 
show that the valve was open, thus allowing high pressure to accumulate 
in the rolls. 

The cylinders were yo" in length, 28" in outside diameter, and 
varied in thickness from ^" to ^". Heads, i" thick, were fastened 
on with twenty ^" bolts. So great was the disruptive force that on 
some of the rolls the entire bolt circle was sheared. Fifteen of the 
rolls were reduced to fragments and the others were cracked so badly 
as to be of no further use. 

In some respects the accident was similar to an explosion at North 
Star Strawboard Mills, Quincy, Illinois, on February 29, 1924. That 
explosion killed two men, injured eight, and caused property damage 
of $100,000. Testimony of witnesses did not agree as to the pressure 
being carried at the time of the explosion, but investigators were in- 
clined to believe the pressure to have been much greater than the fifty 
pounds for which the rolls were approved. It was thought that the 
shock of water hammer actually caused the rupture. An account of 
this accident was published in The Locomotuk of July, 1924. 



102 



THE LOCO M O T I V E 



67 



When suitable safety devices are provided and maintained in good 
operating condition, and where intelligent precautions are observed by 
operators, the danger of accidents to this type of machinery is greatly 
reduced. But there are several features of construction and operation 
that should be understood by all persons who have anything to do 
with apparatus using cast iron rolls subject to internal steam pressure. 

In the course of preparing this article the writer sought the views 
of several manufacturers of chilled calender rolls and found that one. 




Figure 



at least, did not consider steam pressure a serious factor in their break- 
age. But whereas our experience has revealed comparatively few ex- 
plosions, it can be seen from the accidents mentioned above that over- 
pressure may cause very violent disasters. To guard against this it is 
necessary that all such installations have a reducing valve between 
the boilers and the rolls and a safety valve between the reducing valve 
and the rolls. The safety valve should be set to blow at a pressure no 
greater than the steam temperature requirements necessitate, and in no 
case above the designed safe working pressure of the cylinders. The 
reducing valve should be set from 5 to 10 pounds less than the safety 
valve. General use rarely exceeds 50 pounds for paper mill processes. 
One type of paper-making machine takes care of the pressure hazard 
by having a packed steam joint in the roll journal so adjusted by a 



68 



THE LOCO M O T I V E 



July, 



spring that when the pressure reaches a certain point the joint will 
leak. Regardless of this safeguard a reducing valve must be used. 

One of the problems encountered in the design of rolls or calenders 
is to remove the water formed by the steam's condensation. Usually 
this is accomplished by a siphon leading to a steam-tight trap. The 
latter accumulates water until full. Then the weight of the water causes 
the trap to tip and discharge its contents into a drain. Steam pressure 
within the roll forces the water out through the siphon and into the 
trap. This voiding of water is very important in order to prevent water 
hammer. 

At the end of a dav's run there will be some water left in the roll. 




Figure 2 

This often leads to cracking of the casting unless the attendant under- 
stands the proper method of warming up the machine in the morning. 
When steam is turned into a cold roll, the water in the lower part acts 
as a perfect insulator, allowing that part of the roll to remain cool 
while the upper part is being raised to steam temperature. One manu- 
facturer classes this as among the most frequent causes of the crack- 
ing of such rolls. To avoid this, the machine should be turning over 
slowly before steam is admitted. 

In rubber mills in particular some machines are piped up so as to 
allow a quick reduction of temperature by the admission of cold water. 
Of course, this sets up serious strains in the roll and is a cause of 
breakage. 

Even while this article is being written, there comes to our desk 
reports of a steam mangle explosion in a laundry at Kokomo, Indiana, 
in which four young women were killed and six others were seriously 
injured. According to newspaper accounts, no cause has been assigned 
to this catastrophe. But, in view of what we know of cast iron steam 



U,2S. 



T H E L O C O M O T I V E 69 



rolls, it is significant to note that the explosion occurred at the start of 
the day's run while the roll was heing warmed up hy §team at 70 
pounds pressure. It is probahle that condensate remaining in the roll 
from the previous day brought on failure in the manner described in 
preceding paragraphs. 

Figure 2 shows the remains of the roll. Note the longitudinal crack 
along a line that might easily be conceived as the height to which 
ihe condensate stood. 

It is obvious that while safety devices cannot be counted on abso- 
lutely to eliminate all chance of accident, their presence greatly reduces 
the probability. The men in actual charge of operating such machines 
should be given to understand the conditions under which danger is 
greatest as well as approved practices for reducing it to a minimum. 



Electric Steam Generators in Use Where Water Power 

Is Abundant 

THE first commercial arrangement for generating steam by pass- 
ing a current of electricity through water contained in a suitably 
constructed tank was developed during the early years of the 
World War by an Italian engineer, Revel. Since then electric steam 
generators — or electric boilers, as they are often called — have come 
into more or less general use not only in Europe but in districts of 
the United States and Canada where cheap electric power is available. 
But in spite of their advantages over the fuel-fired boiler, as repre- 
sented by greater flexibility in meeting fluctuating loads, high thermal 
efficiency, cleanliness, and freedom from smoke and the necessity of 
having large storage space for fuel, electric boilers apparently are 
not destined to supplant those of the fuel-fired type except when cer- 
tain peculiar requirements prevail and when an abundance of water 
power reduces the cost of electricity far below the average commercial 
rate. 

Pulp plants in Canada and certain parts of the United States are 
finding electric boilers satisfactory for generating process steam for 
their kiers and digesters. Other industries, located in territories where 
there is insufficient water power for their needs during certain seasons 
of the year but a surplus during others, use both fuel-fired and electric 
boilers, cutting out their fuel-fired apparatus whenever their water 
power is sufficient to handle both power and process steam require- 
ments. In some cases power companies use their surplus by installing 
and maintaining electric boilers at their customers' plants, basing their 



70 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 




s 



1928. THELOCO MOTIVE 71^ 

charge not on the electrical injjut, but on the amount of steam metered 
out of the boiler. ^ 

Industrial plants having contracts giving them low rates in con- 
sideration of their using a specified minimum amount of current an- 
nually, often find it difficult to gauge their power requirement closely 
enough to avoid an unused surplus. Under such a condition the dilTer- 
ence between the amount of current they can use for power and the 
amount they must pay for whether they use it or not can be utilized 
with great economy for operating an electric boiler for steam heating 
or for process steam. 

Stores Energy at Night for Use Next Day 

Still another use to which these boilers are put is to store up 
energy at night, when power requirements are zero — or at least at a 
minimum — and give out this energy in the form of steam for heating 
or process work next day. During the day current from the plant's 
hydro-electric generators is needed for mechanical power, but after 
plant operations have ceased the current may be fed into the electric 
boiler. By morning, when it is necessary again to turn the current 
over to plant operation, the boiler has absorbed heat enough to allow 
steam — at a steadily reducing pressure, of course — to be drawn ofif 
throughout the day. In this way, the water that would otherwise go 
to waste over the dam is made to pay dividends. 

In principle, electric steam generators consist of either a horizontal 
or vertical steel shell in which — for three-phase current — three elec- 
trodes enter the top through steam-tight insulators and extend down- 
ward far enough to submerge a considerable portion of their surface 
in the boiler water. In some designs these electrodes are of cast iron; 
in vertical installations they may be steel plates bent so as to make 
them concentric with the shell. While details of design vary greatly, 
all such boilers are alike in that they have no heating coils, but depend 
on the flow of electric current through the water to create the heat 
whereby steam is formed. 

Either automatic or hand regulation must be provided to take care 
of fluctuating demands for steam and to compensate for the los;5 of 
resistance of the water as its temperature rises. 

One type of boiler (shown in Figure i) has the electrodes extend- 
ing downward inside of what resemble inverted metal cups — called 
evaporation chambers. Steam is formed inside these chambers and 
rises to the top, where it is drawn off into a receiving, pipe. This re- 
ceiving pipe returns the steam to the boiler at another point. By 



72 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 



partly closing the butterfly valve shown in the sketch, pressure can be 
built up within the evaporation chambers. This forces down the water 
level in the chambers and leaves less of the surface of the electrodes 
immersed, thus decreasing the flow of electric current and lowering the 
rate of evaporation. By closing the butterfly valve completely the 
water level may be forced low enough to uncover the electrodes — a 
condition that would stop evaporation. 






£/,£cr/po/?jF K^poje/:z//y'&n/s£ -, 




-jExrj5Ns;o/v rasEs 



30/l£=J^^^£lL- 



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Other types of boilers have no evaporation chambers as dis- 
tinguished from the boiler proper but, in their stead, have a cylindrical 
metal tube around each electrode. (See Fig. 2.) These tubes are 
open at top and bottom and in as much as they are all connected to- 
gether mechanically by a bar which passes out through the boiler shell, 
they serve as the neutral. Their function is two-fold, for besides 
tending to prevent the formation of air bubbles on the electrodes by 
increasing the circulation of the water immediately surrounding the 
latter, they are so arranged that they can be raised or lowered to de- 
crease or increase the length of path between conductors and, as a 
direct result, control the electric input. 



1928. THE LOCOMOTIVE 73 

Still other boilers are controlled by varyinj^ the amount of feed 
water so as to control directly the height to which the water extends 
upward around the electrodes. 

Automatic control for almost all types may be secured on' the basis 
of constant steam pressure, constant temperature, constant power input, 
or variable power input to absorb all electrical energy not required else- 
where. The ease with which such control may be provided to meet 
the individual plant recjuirements. and the celerity with which these 
boilers respond to a sudden demand for more steam are two of their 
most advantageous features. 

Overheating of the boiler shell because of low water — so much 
feared in fuel-fired boilers — is not a hazard in electric installations. 
As the water level drops, less and less current flows and if, by chance, 
the level should drop low enough to uncover the electrodes, the current 
would be shut ofY altogether. However, electric boilers, like their fuel- 
fired contemporaries, are subject to cracking, corrosion and pitting. 
In addition, there has as yet been no conclusive proof that under cer- 
tain conditions of design and operation they are not liable to an ex- 
plosion due to the ignition of a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. 

Explosion Led to Expcrimcufal Research 

In 1924 an electric hot water generator (not a steam generator) 
exploded violently in a residence at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Among several 
theories advanced to explain it, one was that it was a hydrogen ex- 
plosion. As a result, a series of experiments were conducted by Prof. 
J. W. Shipley of the University of Manitoba, and A. Blackie of the 
National Testing Laboratories, whereby they demonstrated that al- 
ternating current can break water down into hydrogen and oxygen. 
Previous to that time it was supposed that while direct current could 
bring about electrolysis, alternating current was incapable of producing 
that efifect. The findings of jMessrs. Shipley and Blackie were pub- 
lished in the Ehectrical Nczvs, February 15, 1926. 

Several radically diflferent explanations were ofifered for the explo- 
sion at Winnipeg. Some believed it to have been caused by over- 
pressure, due to a stoppage of the pipe leading to the expansion tank. 
Others were inclined toward accepting the hydrogen explosion theory. 
A point that all were able to agree on was that the 3^ inch pipe to the 
expansion tank was too small for safe operation. This had, previous 
to the explosion, caused water hammer and surging when the thermo- 
stat controlled valve closed and caused the pressure to back up into 
the expansion tank. 



74 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 



P/Ff TO £XP/l//^/OA/ T/f/VA' 

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Figure j 

From the diagrammatic sketch in Figure 3 it can be seen that 
in case an explosive gas were formed it would collect in the upper part 
of the electrode chamber, from which there was no provision for its 
escape. It is conceivable that enough steam and gas pressure could be 



•9->8. T U E L O C O M O T I V E 75 



produced to force the water downward in the electrode chamber far 
enough so that a sudden surge would uncover the electrodes. An arc 
occurring at the instant contact was broken might detonate the gas 
mixture. While this theory is mentioned as a possible cause, it is 
equally reasonal)le to assume that the accident might have been caused 
by over-pressure. In any event the force was so violent that it tore 
the joint where the head was welded to the outer shell and threw head, 
electrodes, and inner shell up through the roof. 

While considering the gas explosion theory, as applied to the case 
just mentioned, it should be borne in mind that hot water generators 
and steam generators are enough different in principle as to make it un- 
likely that the same condition could arise in the case of a steam genera- 
tor. In the type of hot water generator just described there was a 
tight trap in which gas could form without chance of escape, while in 
the steam generator such gas as is formed is continually being carried 
out with the steam. For that reason there would seem to be very 
little opportunity for explosive gases to accumulate inside the boiler. 

Outside of the case at Winnipeg there have been no other electric 
boiler explosions in which evidence pointed to hydrogen gas being 
the cause. This, together with the fact that many electric steam gen- 
erators are giving entire satisfaction, seems to justify the assumption 
that the hazard from gas explosion is negligible. Yet too little is now 
known of these comparatively new devices to certify that assumption 
as a fact. 



Working on a " Live '' Steam Line 

SOAIETIIMES, when a wisp of steam shows the presence of a 
small leak at a pipe joint or union, it is a great temptation for the 
engineer or pipe fitter to " take a chance " by tightening the joint 
while pressure is still on the line. Such a piece of carelessness sent 
two men to the hospital recently as the result of their attempt to put 
the finishing touches on an overhauling job at a Bridgeport, Connecti- 
cut, laundry. An extensive repair job had been completed and steam 
at a hundred pounds pressure had been turned into the line when the 
two pipe fitters found a leak which they thought could be fixed easily 
by means of a Stillson wrench. The union split while they were work- 
ing on it and both men were badly scalded. 



76 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^ 

Kier and Auto Clave Explosions 

DUE probably to the relative scarcity of kiers, auto-claves, and 
similar pressure vessels in comparison with the number of steam 
boilers in use, accidents involving this class of equipment are 
likewise relatively less numerous. As a consequence it is not at all 
surprising when The Hartford Company finds factory executives who 
fail to appreciate the probability of disastrous mishaps to these vessels. 
Kiers. auto-claves, and closed feed water heaters differ from steam 
boilers chiefly in that they are not called upon to endure contact with 
furnace heat, yet they are subject to almost all the hazards of boiler 
operation excepting ruptures due to overheating of plates and tubes. In 
addition, the nature of materials placed in them and the fact that 
manv of them have removable lids or heads for filling and emptying, 
often cause failures peculiar to their kind of vessel. 

On The Hartford's records is an account of a very disastrous acci- 
dent to an auto-clave in which fine wood chips were treated for the 
extraction of a tanning fluid. This clave was made of copper, stood 
vertically, and had a bottom door of iron through which the chips 
were expelled at the end of the process. A safety valve on the top 
head was set to blow at 25 pounds — a pressure considered to be well 
within the capability of the vessel. The explosion occurred when an 
iron ring to which the door was bolted gave way and allowed the door 
to swing downward. Reaction of escaping steam hurled the clave 
through the roof. Three men were injured, one of them fatally. 

JVood Chips Had Blocked Safety J^alvc 

There was a pressure reducing valve, set at 65 pounds, between the 
boiler and the clave, yet the violence of the explosion was such as to 
lead to the belief that this valve failed to function and allowed full boiler 
pressure to enter the vessel. The presence of a safety valve on top 
of the clave had been counted on to prevent excessive pressure, but an 
examination after the accident disclosed that wood chips had rendered 
it inoperative. Safety valves on other claves in the plant were then 
examined for this defect and several of them were found to be blocked. 
In order to lessen the probability of another similar accident The Hart- 
ford's inspector recommended that an additional spring-loaded safety 
valve be placed in the steam line between reducing valve and clave, a 
place where chips could not enter it. Property damage amounting to 
$6,359.87 was covered by a Hartford policy. 

At another plant a clave for cooking alum exploded when the 



1928. T II K L O C O M O T I V E 77 



bottom head ruptured at the flange. This piece of apparatus had an 
inner steel pot lined with lead, and an outer shell of boiler plate. Com- 
posite coils of lead and benedict metal were submerged in the liquid alum 
and carried steam at a pressure of 160 pounds. To counteract the 
pressure tending to rupture the tubes, air pressure of i8o pounds was 
maintained in the outer shell. Failure was brought about Ijy the cor- 
rosive substance slopping out of the pot and collecting in the lower 
head of the outside shell, where it caused pitting. Four employees 
were injured; one of them died. Property damage amounted to $23,- 

361.34- 

Investigation of an explosion that blew the upper head from a cotton 
bleaching kier disclosed that the head lacked sufficient rigidity. Twenty- 
eigiit holding-down bolts were intended to hold the cover in place but 
four of them were not in serviceable condition and the kier was being 
operated without them. In as much as a new gasket had just been 
fitted, it is believed that the attendants, finding that the gasket made 
it less difficult to keep the lid tight, did not tighten the bolts enough to 
keep the lid from springing out from under them. Damage amounted 
to $1,326.31. 

A closed feed water heater, approved for 160 pounds pressure and 
operating at about 135, ruptured the top head at the turn of the flange. 
Excessive pitting was found to be the cause. 

Did Not Put Uniform Tension on Bolts 

Failure of attendants to put equal tension on twelve J^ inch holding- 
down bolts allowed the head of a kier at a lace mill to blow off with 
considerable violence. The kier was operating under pressure of 30 
pounds and contained a quantity of lace being treated with caustic soda. 
After the accident four bolts were found to be broken. Others were 
pushed from their slots. It is believed that the four tightest bolts were 
carrying the whole load. When they broke, the shock jarred the looser 
iDolts out of place. The accident caused damage to the extent of 

$4,843-98. 

Experience has shown that where corrosive liquids or solids in 
suspension are used in a kier or auto clave, there is danger of safety 
valves and pressure gauges being rendered inoperative when they 
are placed on the top head. This may occur even when an inner baffle 
is provided to keep the contents from contact with the head. As 
safety measures it is necessary to have not only a reducing valve to limit 
the steam pressure to the maximum allowable, but also a safety valve 
placed between the reducing valve and the kier where it will not be 



78 THELOCOMOTIVE J"iy. 

subject to contact with the vessel's contents. Frequent inspections 
should be made to discover possible weakening of the shell by corro- 
sion or pitting. 

In The Locomotive of April, 1924, there appeared an article on 
Safety Valves applied to pressure vessels other than boilers. It will 
prove to be a valuable reference for anyone engaged in operating or in- 
stalling vessels such as are mentioned herein. 



Protecting Motors Against Overload 

THE importance of adequate overload protection and proper lubri- 
cation is well illustrated by the accompanying photograph of a 
73^ hp. squirrel cage, 2-phase induction motor with its insula- 
tion completely burned out. Lack of oil caused the shaft to seize in its 
bearings and the rotor, thus brought to a stand-still, caused the stator 
winding to draw an abnormal amount of current from the line. Before 
attendants discovered the situation and opened the switch the insula- 
tion had been thoroughly roasted. Had there been proper protective 
devices the motor would have been automatically disconnected from the 
circuit when slowing down of the rotor caused an excessive amount of 
current to pass through the stator windings. In all probability ther- 
mal cut-outs or time delay fuses would have saved the windings of 
this motor. 

It is generally recognized that the weak link in an electrical machine 
is its insulation. The temperature to which the insulation is heated in 
overload operation has a lot to do with its length of life. To exceed 
normal temperature greatly for any length of time causes rapid deter- 
ioration in as much as any great temperature increase, such as is 
caused by severe overload, will roast the insulation. 

In starting small alternating current motors it is common practice 
to throw them directly across the line. This necessitates using fuses of 
a capacity large enough to take care of the starting current — which is 
from three to five times the normal full load current. When this ex- 
cess current flows through the windings only for the time it takes the 
motor to get up to speed, it causes no damage. But should the machine 
be subjected to such a current continuously it is obvious that these fuses 
could not be regarded as proper protection. 

To get around this danger, some installations are provided with 
double-throw switches with starting and running fuses. However, this 
arrangement entails the hazard of the operator failing to hold the switch 
in the starting position long enough to bring the machine up to speed. 



1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



79 



In this way one of the running fuses may be blown out, thus causing 
the machine to operate single-phase and burn out the wiading. On the 
other hand, the operator may be so slow in throwing th(; switch from 
the starting to the running position that the motor will drop below speed 
during the interval the switch is passing through the open position. 
Under such a condition the excessive starting current would blow the 
running fuses. 

A better way to provide overload protection is by the use of ther- 
mal cutouts or time delay fuses. Such devices permit a relatively large 

current to flow long 
enough to bring the ma- 
chine up to speed, but 
open the circuit if this 
excessive current contin- 
ues to flow for a longer 
period. In general, pro- 
tective devices for mo- 
tors should be set ap- 
l)roximately 25 per cent, 
above full-load current. 
When a 2- or 3-phase 
motor is protected by 
thermal cutouts or time 
delay fuses all such de- 
vices for a given ma- 
chine or circuit should 
be of the same capacity. 
The underlying cause 
of failure of the motor herein illustrated was, of course, seizing ot the 
shaft due to softening of the babbit by the heat of friction. For electrical 
machinery it is important to select only the best grade of mineral oil of 
a density that will allow the oil rings to pick it up and carry it readily. 
Too much oil should be avoided, for an excess may be drawn into the 
windings where it will cause deterioration of the insulation, collect dust 
and dirt, and eventually bring about a short-circuit. 

The proper amount of oil may be maintained by keeping the level 
just below the top of the overflow cups. Oil should never be added 
while the machine is in operation, for at that time a great deal of oil is 
being carried by the rings and the apparent level in the cup is a false 
one. Should the cup be filled while the shaft is revolving, it will over- 
flow when the machine is stopped and the oil drains from the rings. 




8o 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 



Broken Blade Wrecks Turbo-Generator 

SUDDEN breaking of blades, probably caused by a slug of water 
coming through with the steam, led to the destruction of a 4,000 
kw. turbo-generator at the plant of Indianapolis Power and Light 
Company at Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 28th of this year. When 
the clear, ringing hum of the smooth-running turbine suddenly changed 
to an ominous rumbling, attendants attempted to avert an accident by 




Figure i 

tripping the emergency mechanism and closing the throttle valve. The 
break-up occurred about twenty seconds later. Fortunately, no one 
was hurt. 

W'hat is thought to have happened is that the broken blades Ijecame 
jammed between the revolving rotor and the stator, thus bringing the 
machine to a stop so abruptly that the inertia of the heavy, revolving 
parts broke the rotor in two by breaking off ten bolts in the coupling 
between the stub-shaft and the steam rotor, bent the stub shaft, and 
twisted the field shaft into three pieces. 

The accompanying photographs were taken shortly after the wreck. 
Figure i is a view of the steam end ; Figure 2 shows how the heavy 



1928. 



THK LOCOMOTIVE 



81 



field shaft was bent and twisted olT. 

At (j:50 on tlie iii^ht of the accident the switchboard operator heard 
a low. runihling noise which continued for about three minutes. During 
that time the meters indicated tliat the load was about 2.1 00 kw. This 
took a sudden drop of 800 kw. and shortly thereafter another drop of 
500 kw. The operator saw that the field current and the e.xciter voltage 




Figure 2 

were normal and suspected that the load fluctuation might be due to a 
ground in the armature. It occurred to him also that the strange sound 
coming from the turbine might be due to water in the steam. He had 
signalled the boiler room to be on the look-out for this when he saw 
the operating engineer, whose attention also had been attracted by the 
unit's strange behavior, signal for him to take the unit off the line by 
opening the switch. While this was being done the engineer tripped 
the emergency mechanism and closed the throttle. Immediately there- 
after the wreck occurred. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE J"iy. 



Both steam and electrical ends of the unit were total losses. The 
only parts left intact were the generator bed plate, the throttle va^-e, 
and the operating valve. Pieces hurled from the turbine casing broke 
fittings on two steam mains. The loss, which amounted to $45,000, 
was covered by a policy in The Hartford Company and was paid within 
ten days after the date of the accident. 



Revolving Shafting 

Revolving shafting is very deceiving. While it looks to be perfectly 
smooth, still it is capable of catching anything that is loose, such as 
neckties, shoestrings, hair, ragged sleeves, waste, ropes, etc. Constant 
caution is necessary while w'orking around revolving machinery, espe- 
ciallv shafting. — National Safety Council. 



Water Hammer Accident Kills Three 

Three men were fatally scalded when, on March 2, water hammer 
ruptured a steam pipe aboard the passenger steamer Senator Cordill 
near Gallipolis, Ohio. A coroner's jury found that the accident resulted 
from failure to remove condensation from the cold steam pipe before 
steam was turned into it. The Senator Cordill was said to be the largest 
passenger steamer plying the upper Ohio river. 



Crushed as Well as Scalded? 

Every man to his trade is good advice, but what about newspaper- 
men who, in the course of their writing, are expected to delve under- 
standingly into every field of human activity. Is it any wonder that 
one paper recently said, in telling of the rupture of a steam pipe, 
that it "threw 250 pounds of steam onto the engineer"? 

And this is scarcely less remarkable than the newspaper report of 
a flywheel explosion which occurred because the governor failed and 
the engine ran away. According to the paper the engine " ran off." 



Quite a Trick These Days 

She : " What would you call a man who hid behind a woman's 
skirts ? " 

He : " A magician." — Powcrfax 



'^-8. T H E L O C O M O T I V E 83 



laps From the Old Chief V Hammer 

ALTHOUGH his resourcefulness was wrongly applied and might 
easily have had fatal results, a water tender on a portable steam 
threshing outfit in the state of Washington displayed something 
closely akin to ingenuity when he used sand to augment a meagre suj)- 
ply of boiler feed water. The engineer, who was injured in the re- 
sulting explosion, recently related the story to one of our inspectors : 

" We had been threshing about four w(?eks when I decided that 
the boiler needed cleaning. In as much as I had planned to spend Sun- 
day with my family, I persuaded the water tender and another man of 
the crew to undertake the job. On returning later Sunday evening, I 
found the boiler filled and apparently ready for a sunrise start. 

" Next morning we fired up and everything seemed to be ship- 
shape. Some time later I stepped to the footboard and started the 
engine. There was a snapping crash and as I leaped from the foot- 
board I saw the rear of the engine bed rise about three inches. At 
that moment my face and eyes were filled with sand and stubble and, 
of course, I was in no condition to observe anything more until a doc- 
tor had picked the sand out of my face. Fortunately, my eyes were 
not badly injured. 

" We found that the crown sheet had dropped, after tearing away 
from the tube sheet. Each one of us had some theory to offer as to 
why it happened. That is to say, each one except the water tender. 
He listened intently to our discussion and said nothing. When we had 
exhausted every explanation we could think of,, he asked casually if 
we thought a little sand in the boiler could have had anything to do 
with the accident. Encouraged by our interest in his question, he ex- 
plained that after he and his partner cleaned the boiler they found 
that they lacked water enough to fill the boiler so that it showed in 
the gauge glass. Not wanting to haul water that night, they decided 
on what appeared to them to be a very satisfactory method of coping 
with the difficulty. They poured sand through the filling plug until 
the water rose to the proper level in the gauge. 

" The filling plug being on the front end, a great pile of sand set- 
tled on the crown sheet. When I examined the sheet I found it 
glazed over with a layer of molten silica. Naturally, it was quite im- 
possible for the sheet to escape burning. Had he made a deliberate 
attempt to blow up the boiler, the water tender could not have chosen 
a more certain method." 



84 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

■ George Hargis Prall, Editor 
Copyright 1928 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN., July i, 1928 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. 



A FEW weeks ago five New Jersey women employed to put radium 
paint on luminous watch dials, found that they had contracted a 
serious bone disease through touching their lips with brushes 
dipped in the material with which they were working. They had no 
legal claim for compensation, but a federal court judge, acting as un- 
official arbitrator by consent of the parties, aided the women in obtain- 
ing a monetary award. 

With rapid strides being made by engineers and chemists in main- 
taining America's prosperity by the constant development of more 
economical methods of producing almost every commodity from shoe- 
laces to power, the responsibilities involved in making new processes 
and materials safe for the workmen employed in their use calls for skill 
and ingenuity of a high order. And while, in spite of the development 
of safety devices and improvements in methods and design, industrial 
casualties still occur, there is unmistakable evidence that efl^orts to keep 
them at a minimum have not been in vain. Especially is this so in the 
field of steam and electric power production, where plant owners in 
general appreciate the danger lurking in neglected equipment and under- 
stand the value of periodic check-ups by competent inspectors. 



'9^^ THE LOCOMOTIVE 85 

The Boiler Accident List 

I'TIOR years one of the regular features of Tiii; Locomotive has 
"^ been a Hst of explosions, fractures, and ruptures of boilers and 
other pressure vessels. The Company has continued the publica- 
tion of this data on the assumption that it has been not only of interest 
but valuable to some of its clients. So far as is known, the list has 
been the only one of its kind published in this country. 

However, the list has occupied four or five pages of valuable space 
in each issue. The publishers feel that, perhaps, this space could be 
used to better advantage in presenting matter of a livelier and more 
interesting nature. In order to determine how many of the readers 
are interested in having the list continued, a coupon has been inserted 
on another page of this issue. The number of such coupons filled out 
and returned to us will serve as the best evidence as to whether there 
is any considerable demand on the part of our readers that publication 
of this list be continued. 

Even in the event that the decision should be to discontinue publish- 
ing the list herein, the Company still will follow out its practice of 
compiling this data on boiler accidents and will continue to make it 
available to such persons or firms as have use for it. 



New San Francisco Branch Office 

OX June I The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance 
Company started operating, through its own branch office, the 
San Francisco territory theretofore supervised by H. R. ^lann & 
Company. 'Mr. C. B. Paddock, formerly chief inspector at Seattle and 
more recently superintendent of the Pacific Coast Division, has been 
appointed manager. His territory includes the states of California, 
Arizona, and Nevada. 

Creation of this branch office terminated the long and valued service 
of Messrs. H. R. Mann & Company and the predecessors of that firm 
who for over forty years had loyally and successfully represented the 
Company as general agents. Although it was natural that both that 
firm and the Company should regret deeply the breaking of this old 
business relationship, both were able to foresee in the change of ad- 
ministration certain advantages which influenced 'its adoption. 

The change to the branch office plan is in line with the Company's 
general policy of directing its business elsewhere in the country where 
experience has shown that the intracacies of machinery insurance with 



86 THELOCOMOTIVE J"iy> 



its many modern and varied forms of coverage may be most success- 
fully and economically handled through the direct contact which a 
branch office brings about between the Company and its patrons and 
agents. As to Mann & Company, the release from responsibility for 
the Company's aflfairs will enable the members of that firm to give 
their undivided time and attention to their large and continually ex- 
panding business in fire, marine, and casualty insurance. 

The San Francisco branch office will occupy a part of the quarters 
of H. R. Mann & Company at 114 Sansome street. 



Appointment 

E. G. Watson, formerly resident agent at Seattle, has been made 
manager and chief inspector of the Seattle Department. The appoint- 
ment carries with it certain added responsibilities for which Mr. Wat- 
son is well fitted by reason of his experience and accomplishment while 
resident agent. The change was made effective on June i. 



Continue the Boiler Accident List 

Editor, THE LOCOMOTIVE, P. O. Drawer 2133 

The Hartford Steam Boiler Hartford, Conn. 

Inspection and Insurance Co. 

Gentlcnven : — I have found the list of boiler accidents of 
interest and value to me. and am in favor of having the 
list published in its present form. 

Remarks : 



(Signed) _ 

(Official Position) 
(Company) 
(Address) 



1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



87 



The Company's Youngest Apprentice 



Cb 



T 



HE sooner you start, the sooner you'll get there," seems to be 
the slogan of little Junior Favre, whose one ambition is; to be- 
come a bona fide boiler inspector. Dressed in regulation uni- 
form, he is shown here with his daddy. Inspector C. Favre of St. Louis, 
who has taught Junior so many details of the trade that plant engineers 
among his father's friends get a real " kick " out of trying to find a 
vulnerable point in his armor of information. 

Below are a few of the questions for 
which he is equipped with ready answers. 
Anyone not engaged in power plant work 
would be expected to have a bit of difficulty 
in answering all of them ofif-hand. 

What is a fusible plug for ? " To melt 
out when the water gets low." 

Where would you put a fusible plug 
in a Heine boiler ? " In the first course not 
less than 6" from the bottom of the drum." 
In a Stirling boiler ? " In the front 
side of the center drum." In a B. & W. 
boiler ? " In the upper drum not less than 
6" from the bottom of the drum and over 
the first pass of gases." In an H. T. boiler ? 
" Rear head, 2" above the tubes." A loco- 
motive boiler ? " Crown sheet." A Scotch 
boiler ? " What kind of a Scotch boiler ?" 
A Scotch dry-back. " Rear head, 2" above 
the tubes." In a wet-back ? " Top of the 
combustion chamber." In a cast iron boiler? 
" On top of the fire box." 
What kind of a valve do you put between the boiler and the safety 
valve? " You don't put any valve there." Why? " It would make the 
boiler blow up." 

What is a steam gauge for? "To tell how much pressure is in 
the boiler." What do you put between the steam gauge and the 
boiler? "A syphon." Why? "To trap some water." Why do you 
want water there? " To keep the steam out of the gauge." 

In addition to these, the youngster will, if asked, tell the general 
principle on which the steam gauge is constructed and can recite the 
formula for calculating the strength of a boiler shell. 

(Concluded at foot of page 88) 




88 THELOCO MOTIVE !"'>, 



Hot Water Supply Tank, Shooting Through Roof, Grazes 

Sleeping Man 

PROPELLED by a pressure that must have been tremendous, and 
traveling at a velocity we have no means of estimating, an explod- 
ing water supply boiler on JMarch 25 completely ruined the $10,000 
home of George Elbert of Reading, Pa., and came within inches of 
costing the man his life. On its upward journey — that carried it 
out through the roof — the rocket-like projectile passed directly through 
the bed on which Elbert was lying. Neighbors and firemen found him 
unconscious, locked tightly in a roll of mattress and tangled bed-spring. 
Although he suffered from shock, his only injury was a deep gash 
in the palm of one hand. Alvich more serious was the fact that he had 
no insurance to cover his loss. He was preparing to make the last 
payment on the home when the explosion damaged it beyond repair 
and robbed him of his life's savings. 

The shattered timbers and displaced walls of the Elbert home, as 
well as serious damage to abutting houses and to windows of other 
places in the neighborhood impressed on those who saw it the destruc- 
tive possibilities of even so small a vessel as this one. While the ac- 
companying photograph gives some idea of the damage to the living 
room, lack of space prevents the publishing of other pictures showing 
the exterior of the house and the cellar, where a hole large enough to 
accommodate a truck was blown through a thick wall of masonry. 

The tank was a foot in diameter, four feet long, and was made of 
3 16" steel. Longitudinal and head seams were welded. It was 
rated as capable of withstanding 115 pounds pressure and was being 
used in conjunction with a coil heater in which gas was the fuel. 

After lighting the heater on the morning of the accident, Elbert 
went back to bed. Contrary to his intentions he fell asleep. In as much 
as there was no relief valve on the tank and a check valve in the supply 
line did not permit relief in that direction, the stage was set for 
a violent blow-up as soon as the pressure reached a point where the 
tank could no longer hold it. With a roar that shook the whole neigh- 
borhood, the bottom head blew off and the tank shot through timbers 
and woodwork. No one knows how high the tank traveled after it 

Wliile. of course, his chosen work claims a great deal of his atten- 
tion, the young " inspector " is finding time to develop himself along 
other lines. He has selected swimming as a hobby and already is rated 
as quite a diver for his age. 



If>28. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



89 




Figure I 

passed beyond the roof. It landed in the back yard twenty feet from 
where it started. 

At Glenolden, Pa., on March 13 an explosion of a somewhat similar 
arrangement caused about $10,000 damage to the home of Fred Werner. 
Although in this case the tank did not rise up through the house, the 
latter was damaged so badly that to undertake repairs was not feasible. 

This tank, 14^2" by 32", was connected to an automatic gas water 
heater, controlled by a thermostatic valve. It had no relief valve and, 
as in the case first cited, a check valve prevented the pressure from 
backing water out into the city mains. Apparently the thermostat 
failed to close oflf the gas. The tank ripped open the full length of 
the welded longitudinal seam. 

While to anyone acquainted with pressure vessels it is obvious 
that a relief valve is a necessity for safety, there are some systems — 
as the one about to be described — in which at first glance the need of 
such a valve is not apparent. 



90 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 



At the Y. W. C. A. in York, Pa., a hot water supply boiler was 
used to heat water for the swimming pool. Feed and discharge con- 
nections led directly to the pool, the boiler taking cold water from the 
bottom of the pool and delivering hot water near the top. Operating 
thus as an open system, there appeared to be little prospect of danger 
arising from over-pressure. Yet on April 9th this boiler blew up with 




Figure 2 

considerable violence, as may be seen from the accompanying illustra- 
tion. 

It appears that in order to drain and clean the pool, attendants 
closed stop valves in the upper and lower boiler connections. After 
refilling the pool the boiler was again fired up and the explosion 
occurred. Apparently the valves had been left closed. As a conse- 
quence pressure built up until a point was reached where something 
had to break. 

In each of the cases we have described, a relief valve would have 
prevented costly damage. 



1928. 



THE L O C O M O T I V E 



91 



Teaming Up Waterwheel and Diesel* 

WHEN power requirements increased to a point where the plant's 
water power no longer sutficed to meet its peak load, a Southern 
textile mill found a way of retaining the economies of its 
power source by " teaming up " its two 75-hp. water wheels with a 
Diesel engine. The latter supplies the surplus above the water wheels' 



/// y/// ////////////////// / /////// /// /// ,■ // /////////// A / /// // ////A // /^/// ///// /////// 




^ 



HHR 



F 



O 



Ik 



\ 



s^ 



C 






Uk 






^v^^ty>^v:.'-ic:ng;»«,ff^g«Sia 



>4 S 



capacity and, in seasons of low water, carries almost all of the load. 
To take care of a fluctuating demand throughout the day the system is 
so arranged that a synchronous motor " rides " the line until a load 
peak exceeds the wheels' capacity and causes the shafting to slow 
down slightly. The motor resists this effort to slow it below its syn- 
chronous speed by drawing power from an alternator-Diesel set. In 
this way the full possibilities of the water power are utilized, the Diesel 
making up any additional power when and as the demand occurs. 

The arrangement of the system is shown diagrammatically in the 
accompanying sketch. The two water wheels A and B are in separate 



* Material from which this article was prepared appeared in Power. 



92 



THE LOCO M O T I V E J"iy, 



housings and operate independently of each other. Ordinarily coupling 
C is loose. Wheel A drives shaft D which, in turn, drives both the 
75 kva alternating current generator E and the main shaft F. Shaft 
D drives several machines on the first floor, generator E supplying 
current for lighting and small motors. Wheel B drives shaft H, taking 
care of additional equipment on the first floor. This shaft is belted 
to the main shaft F, thus allovi^ing both vi^heels to help carry the load 
of the machinery. 

W'hen this load is within the capacity of the two water wheels the 
synchronous motor G merely " rides " the line but when, as mentioned 
above, a power peak exceeds the wheels' eiTort the consequent slowing 
down causes the motor to draw current from a 200 hp. Diesel-engine- 
driven generator, which is not shown in the sketch. In seasons of 
low water both E and G may be used as motors to carry the whole load. 



Caught in the Separator 

Worth Thinking About 

The following sign is displayed by the roadside at the entrance 
to a western town : 

4,076 people died last year of gas. 

39 inhaled it. 

37 put a match to it. 

And 4.000 stepped on it. 

— Wahvorth Kcwanec Craftsman. 



Needless Worry 

The Employee: " I came in to ask if you could raise my salary." 

The Boss : " This isn't payday." 

The Emplo}ee : " I know that, but I thought I would speak about 
it today." 

The Boss : " Go back to your work and don't worry. I've man- 
aged to raise it every week so far, haven't I ? " — Wire and Rope 



Obeying That Impulse 

The head of a large business house bought a number of those 
Do It Now " signs and hung them up around his offices. When, 



1928^ TH E LOCOMOTIVE 93 

after the first few days of those signs, the business man counted up 
the resuhs, he found that the cashier had skipped out with $20,000, 
the head bookkeeper had eloped with the stenographer, three clerks 
had asked for a raise in salary, and the office boy had lit out for the 
W^est to become a highwayman. 



How Could He Tell? 

IMannishly dressed lady: "Did you catch any fish, little boy?" 

Country boy: "No." 

M. D. L.: "No what?" 

Boy (puzzled by her rig) : " Durned if I know." 



Sufficient Provocation 

"You are charged," said the judge, "with beating up this govern- 
ment inspector. What have you to say?" 

" Nothing," replied the grocer. " I am guilty. I lost my head. All 
morning I had held my temper while government agents inspected 
my scales, tasted my butter, smelled my meat, graded my kerosene. In 
addition, your honor, I had just answered three federal questionnaires. 
Then this bird came along and wanted to take moving pictures of my 
cheese and I pasted him in the eye." — Gas and Electric Nczvs. • 



Amen ! Amen ! 



An old negro got up one night at a revival meeting and said: 
" Brudders and sisters, you knows an' I knows dat I ain't been 
what I oughter been. I'se robbed hen-roosts, an' stole hawgs, an' 
told lies, an' got drunk, an' slashed folks with mah razor, an' cussed 
an' swore ; but I thanks heaven dere's one thing I ain't nebber done — 
I ain't nebber lost mah religion. — Tit-Bits. 



A Dirty Dig 

She (sarcastically) : " I guess maybe you prefer the other type of 
woman who doesn't talk so much," 
He : " Which other type ? " 



The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street, 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1927 



Capital Stock, 



$2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in ofifices and banks 

Real Estate .... 

Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and Stocks . 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest Accrued . 

Other Assets . ■ . 

Total Assets 



LIABILITIES 

Reserve for unearned premiums 

Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies . 
Capital Stock ....... 

Surplus over all liabilities .... 

Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities .... 



$622,484.21 

283,421.23 

1,366,072.48 

15,023,458.34 

1,363.003.55 

152,728.70 

54,678.59 

$18,865,847.10 



$2,500,000.00 
$6,715,969-30 



$7,710,752.66 

346,047.69 

1.593,07745 



$9,215,969.30 



. $18,865,847-10 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WM. R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



BR.MNARD, 
Insurance Co., 



President 
Hartford, 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney. Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Directors. Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. 

JEtna Life 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, Chairman Board 
of Trustees, Society for Savings, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

HOR.\CE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIG.A.N, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The Colt's 
Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., Plain- 
ville. Conn. 

CURTISS C. GARDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane. New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA. Ga.. 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bld| 

BALTIMORE, Md., . 
13- 14- 15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON. Mass., 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water S 

BRIDGEPORT. Conn., . 
404-405 City Savings Bank Bid 

CHICAGO, 111., . 

209 West Jackson BTv'd. 

CINCINNATI, Ohio. 

Eirst National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. . 

DENVER, Colo.. 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg. 

DETROIT, Mich., . 
2401-7 First Nat'l Bank Bids 

HARTFORD, Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., . 
1 128 Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK, N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.. . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 
610-618 Security Bldg. 

TORONTO, Canada. 
Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Fr.ancis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

L.\\vFORD & McKiM. General Agents. 
P. E. Terroy, Chief Inspector. 

W.^RD I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. Bavliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents 
.A.. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. MoRKisoN, Chief Inspector. 

W'. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

L. L. Coates, Manager. 

Thomas P. Hetu, Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass"t Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice President. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wickham, Manager. 

S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 



PORTLAND, Ore.. . 
306 Yeon Bldg. 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
423 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. 
114 Sansome St. 



PACIFIC COAST 



Bates, Li\-ely & Pearson, General Agents. 

E. G. Watson, 
Manager and Chief Inspector 

C. B. Paddock, Manager. 
L. J. Reed, Chief Inspector. 



fiiiin'f iin^AH 




When the Millennium Arrives I ■^^l- > iy^ 
Accidents WilljNbt Occur --. 

BUT UNTIL THEN 

THE HARTFORD LINE 

Will Continue to Protect 

Plant Owners Against Loss 



INSPECTION AND INSURANCE OF 

BOILERS, FLYWHEELS 

ENGINES AND ELECTRICAL 
MACHINERY 



Consult your agent or broker or write for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 
INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 



"The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world' 



Vol. XXXVII Xo. 4 



October 1928 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

Published continuously since 1867 

by The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Company 



Please show to your Engineer 



THE L O C O M O T I \' E October, 



Causes and Characteristics of the Cracking 0/ Boiler 
Plate by Caustic Embrittlement 

DEFINITELY recognized as one of the most insidious of those 
agencies which force premature retirement of boilers, caustic 
embrittlement is by no means always understood even by expert 
engineers and operators. It is not strange that this is so for, although 
the discovery of this phenomenon is not new, it is only in recent 
years that research has developed a knowledge of the conditions which 
cause it and of means for diminishing its effects. 

Most articles on the subject have demanded of the reader an ac- 
qaintance with chemical symbols and formulae not possessed by the 
average engine- or boiler-room attendant. By avoiding as many as 
possible of the terms and symbols of the chemist, this article will 
endeavor to present the subject in such a way that the layman will 
find it easily readable and understandable. To do this we will confine 
ourselves to the important conclusions brought forth by experience 
and research and will omit details of the diligent study by Messrs. 
Samuel W. Parr, professor emeritus of applied chemistry, and Fred- 
erick G. Straub, . special research assistant in chemical engineering 
at University of Illinois, and others who have brought the subject 
to its present status. Acknowledgment is hereby made to them as 
discoverers of many of the facts used herein. If we succeed in explain- 
ing embrittlement to those persons who have neither the time nor 
the familiarity with chemical language necessary to a study of more 
technical treatises, our purpose will be served. 

At the outset the reader's attention must be called to the fact that 
the word " embrittlement " is wrongly used in describing the effect 
of caustic on boiler steel. With steel under high stress a very con- 
centrated solution of hot sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda, will de- 
stroy the cement by which the steel crystals are held together, but 
the result is not what is generally understood as brittleness. In fact, 
pieces cut from a plate near the region of failure have been found, 
when tested, to possess tenacity and resilience equal to that of the 
same steel before it was exposed to caustic action. This harmful agent 
seems to limit its efforts to forcing the steel apart along a single line 
of cleavage, leaving the metal on either side of this crack unchanged. 

In appearance an embrittlement crack reminds one of the work 
of some expert engraver who, with infinite care and patience, has 
chipped away, along a zig-zag line, the cement binding the crystals to- 
gether but has scrupulously avoided touching the crystals themselves. 



1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



99 




The destructive ijcork of caustic embrittlement is plainly evident in this 
steam drum of a water tube boiler. Removal of the strap after a Hartford 
inspector had discovered symptoms of embrittlement disclosed a crack extend- 
ing through 2j rivet holes. Two other boilers in the plant zvere found sim- 
ilarly affected. 

Feed water, which came from an artesian well, had o' sodium carbonate 
to sodium sulphate ratio of 45 to I. Of course, such water as this is capable 
of causing embrittlement without the addition of soda ash as a softener. 



No doubt the word " embrittlement " is applied because the fracture 
presents a crystalline surface similar to that of brittle metal, and occurs 
without the reduction of cross-sectional area so noticeable when ductile 
metal is pulled apart. 

When the existence of such a thing as caustic embrittlement was 
first suggested, the announcement was regarded with suspicion. Op- 
erators and engineers were inclined to dismiss it as just a new name 
for fire cracking or corrosion. Later the pendulum swung to the 
other extreme. It became quite the habit to blame caustic embrittle- 
ment for many failures to which no better-known cause could be 
definitely assigned. For a while there was a veritable epidemic of 
cases listed under that heading. Now, with more complete knowledge 
of causes and symptoms available, the phenomenon has lost much of its 
mystery. 

The first step in the evolution of the embrittlement theory was 
the discovery of a new and very odd sort of crack occurring in boiler 
plate. Instead of running across or through crystals and breaking 



loo THE LOCOMOTIVE O'^tober. 



them in two — as the crack does when metal is pulled apart — this 
newly discovered kind limited its field of activity to the cement between 
crystals. Investigation disclosed that apparently this trouble occurred 
only in boilers using water with very little sulphate hardness and a 
great deal of sodium carbonate. In some cases such water occurred 
naturally; in others, sodium carbonate had been injected as "dope" 
or created by some form of water treatment that changed existing 
ingredients into sodium carbonate. 

Noting that this feed water condition was always present whenever 
those odd, crystal-border cracks occurred, the investigators found fur- 
ther that, when heated, sodium carbonate (soda ash) decomposes into 
sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). They suspected caustic soda was 
at the root of the trouble and, by laboratory experiments, succeeded 
in verifying their suspicion. At the same time they found that for 
embrittlement to take place the metal must be under extraordinarily high 
stress and caustic soda must be present in excess of 4,000 grains p6r 
gallon of water. 

On first consideration it is by no means easy to see how metal can 
be stressed much above a normal working limit in boilers with a factor 
of safety of five or more. And too, any such concentration of 
caustic soda as 4,000 grains per gallon is inconceivable in water usable 
in boilers. Tests of feed water from a source high in this substance 
have failed to disclose anywhere near that amount. Yet it has been 
proved these conditions of high stress and concentration can exist, 
and often do, especially at riveted seams and connections below the 
water line — the points where caustic embrittlement has always been 
found. 

The combined efifects of several conditions may create an excessive 
stress in metal adjacent to rivet holes even in boilers with normal factor 
of safety. Riveting and caulking pressures, piercing of the plate 
for rivet holes, and the impossibility of making each rivet bear just 
its share of the load and no more, all have a hand in it. As a result, 
at some point or points in the seam we have a localized stress far 
above that anticipated by the designer. 

That accounts for one of the major conditions necessary to em- 
brittlement. Now it remains to explain how and where the relatively 
small amount of sodium hydroxide usable in boiler water can reach 
a high degree of concentration. It is obvious that no such amount 
as 4,000 grains per gallon of water can be present in a part of the 
boiler exposed to free circulation. So, again, we direct our study 
to the submerged seams and joints. Here, in the constricted spaces 



i9-'8. 



THE L O C O M O T I V P: 



lOI 





2 




i 


^^ii 


J 





Well water in which the sodium carbonate to sodium siilpliatc ratio was 
1.8 to I caused the retirement of this boiler and Hve others in the same bat- 
tery. It is interesting to note that the cracks in this mud drum extend radially 
from the rivet holes rather than from one rivet hole to another, zvhich is 
usually the case. 

For boilers operated at 200 pounds pressure, as this one was, the A. S. M. E. 
Code recommends a carbonate to sulphate ratio of not more than i to 2. In 
this instance the approved ratio was just about reversed. 



between plates, are handy little pockets where water can seep in, evap- 
orate, and deposit its caustic content. No doubt this action is accel- 
erated by any slight, and perhaps quite imperceptible, leak through 
the joint which allows steam vapor to escape to the atmosphere. 
This is also the point where high stress occurs. It is here that embrit- 
tlement always makes its appearance. 

Having introduced the two principal actors — high stress and con- 
centrated sodium hydroxide — we can consider how they behave when 
brought together. 

There is an appreciable electrical voltage or potential between steel 
and hot sodium hydroxide when the two are in contact. This causes 
an electro-chemical reaction between iron and water whereby hydro- 
gen is liberated and iron oxide is deposited in a thin layer on the 
metal. When the metal is under stress the material at crystal bound- 
aries seems to be chemically active to an extraordinary degree, so that 
the hydrogen penetrates at these points and destroys the oxides form- 
ing the material that cements the crystals together. The oxygen and 
hydrogen combine to form water. Because this water is greater in 



I02 THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 

volume than the oxides from which it was formed, there is set up in 
the narrow spaces between crystals a pressure which, aided by the 
break-down of cement, forces crystals apart somewhat as rock is split 
by water freezing in a crack. 

The foregoing paragraphs have described the mechanics of caustic 
embrittlement without turning aside to discuss either the manner 
whereby sodium carbonate enters the boiler or the conditions under 
which it may be present and still not cause embrittlement. We have 
seen how this material turns to caustic soda; the latter encourages 
reaction between iron and water to create hydrogen and iron oxide, 
and the hydrogen breaks down oxides between crystals of the metal. 
Now we are in a position to appreciate more readily a discussion 
of impurities in feed water, methods of treatment so far as they are 
related to embrittlement, and the discovery that even if sodium car- 
bonate be present embrittlement will be prevented by the presence 
of sodium sulphate or other inhibitants in adequate amount. 

In explaining how sodium carbonate finds its way into boilers 
it is necessary to consider briefly other impurities commonly found in 
feed waters and means used to keep them from forming hard scale 
on tubes and plates. Among ingredients occurring most frequently 
are calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, calcium sulphate, and 
magnesium sulphate. If water containing either one or both of the 
two salts first named above be heated to about 212° F. they will drop 
out of solution. As a consequence, an open feed water heater will 
keep them from entering the boiler. Unfortunately, the sulphates of 
calcium and magnesium yield to no such simple treatment, because 
they require a much higher temperature to make them settle out. 
Unless their chemical makeup be changed by making them react 
with some other substance they will precipitate as scale in the boiler, 
the calcium sulphate forming a particularly hard, flint-like deposit. 
The chemical commonly us^d to combat this is soda ash (sodium 
carbonate). Its effect is to break down the calcium sulphate and 
form sodium sulphate and calcium carbonate. 

The danger of this treatment lies in introducing too much soda 
ash. Of course one of the resulting ingredients is sodium sulphate — 
a very effective protecting, agent which we will discuss later — but, 
in spite of that, when soda ash is used on feed water naturally low 
in sulphate hardness there is great danger of adding so much of it 
that there will not be enough sodium sulphate to afford protection. 
In a later paragraph we will learn what minimum proportion sodium 
sulphate must bear to soda ash to prevent embrittlement. 



I92f 



THE L. O C O M C) T I V E 



103 




Creek water used in the boiler to which this cast steel blow-off pad was 
attached was naturally free from sodium carbonate. However, a method of 
feed-water treatvieiit produced a sodium carbonate to sodium sulphate ratio 
of about 12 to I. 



According to Messrs. Parr and Straub, another way naturally safe 
waters may possibly be changed into the embrittling kind is by use 
of a water treatment which turns calcium and magnesium carbonates 
into sodium carbonate, and calcium and magnesium sulphates into 
sodium sulphate. Here again the danger lies in using the treatment 
on water having a higher carbonate than sulphate content. 

There is still another condition under which water of an embrittling 
nature is found. In some parts of the United States there occurs 
naturally a water with an appreciable amount of sodium carbonate 
but little or no sodium sulphate. Such water, even without treat- 
ment, is capable of causing embrittlement. 

The reader should bear in mind that where embrittlement has oc- 
curred it has always been found that the sulphate content, if any, 
was low in respect to the sodium carbonate. Recognizing the pro- 
tective tendency of sodium sulphate, the American Society of Mechan- 
ical Engineers in its Boiler Construction Code (Section VH, Sug- 



I04 



THE LOCOMOTIVE O'^tober, 



gested Rules for the Care of Power Boilers, pp. CA-5) recommends 
certain limiting proportions of sulphate to carbonate content as a 
guide for boiler operators. This table specifies that for boilers oper- 
ating at pressures from zero to 150 pounds the relation of sodium 
sulphate to sodium carbonate should be at least i to i ; for boilers 
operating at pressures from 150 to 250, 2 to i ; for pressures above 
250, 3 to I. So far as we know, embrittlement has never occurred 
when these ratios were maintained. 

No doubt the foregoing has caused the reader to wonder how the 
presence of sufficient sodium sulphate prevents the harmful action of 
the caustic. The inhibiting effect is obtained by the tendency of sodium 
sulphate to form a thin coating over the plate that reduces the flow 
of electric current and, consequently, checks electro-chemical activity. 
Chromate, phosphates, acetates, and tannates have a similar efifect. 

The actual treatment of feed water to avoid embrittlement involves 
difficult problems and should be entrusted only to a chemist familiar 
with that phase of water treatment. The wide proportional limits 
within which the critical impurities may be present, and their high 
or low solubility — according to the pressure at which the water is 
heated — makes it impossible for an article of this scope to prescribe 
a general cure. The most that can be said is the treatment should 
either reduce the sodium carbonate content or minimize its effect by 
use of some inhibiting agent. Solution of any particular problem re- 
quires a close study of conditions peculiar to the plant. 

It seems well, before leaving the subject, to acknowledge 
that the general feed water conditions favoring embrittlement effect- 
ually are preventives of corrosion and pitting, and vice versa. A 
small amount of caustic is regarded as a barrier against these last- 
named boiler ailments, and for that reason is sometimes added to feed 
water. There arises, as a consequence, the question as to the doubtful 
benefit of counteracting or removing the caustic to prevent embrittle- 
ment if by so doing the boiler is to be made prey to corrosion. How- 
ever, the deciding element in corrosion and pitting is the amount of 
dissolved or entrained oxygen in the feed water. If this be driven 
out before the water enters the boiler the amount of caustic needed 
to prevent corrosion will not be enough to cause embrittlement. A 
competent feed water chemist will usually be able to prescribe a 
treatment that will satisfy both conditions. 

For some reason or other an embrittlement crack does not follow 
what is generally considered the line of maximum stress, although 
the cracks usually proceed from rivet hole to rivet hole in a jagged, 



1928. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



105 




During a hydrostatic test to determine the seriousness of leakage at the 
girth scam of a horizontal tubular boiler a trace of salt was found arouiid a 
rivet on the external surface of the rear head. Removal of several rivets 
disclosed caustic embrittlement cracks that affected the head seam throughout 
almost its zvhole circumference. A section of the cracked plate is shozvn above. 



irregular course. Sometimes two cracks, starting from adjacent rivet 
holes, will run in a general way parallel to each other, creating 
between them an island of plate. Very often fine cracks will radiate 
from rivet holes. Proof that the embrittling effect is not present except 
in those parts of the boiler where caustic is concentrated and stress 
is high is furnished by the observation that cracks never extend 
beyond the lap of the plate. 

Usually the first evidence of embrittlement is a leaky joint that 
cannot be made tight in spite of repeated caulking. Further, white 
deposits are frequently found at points where leakage occurs and 
on touching a particle to the tongue the soda ash can be tasted. 
In other cases a rivet head is found to have dropped off and on hammer- 
testing other rivet heads it is found they can be easily dislodged. On 
removal of rivets they, as well as the plate at the edges of holes, 
are found coated with a black oxide. Whenever a condition of this 
nature develops, the insurance company should be notified immediately 
so it can send an inspector to make a thorough investigation to 
determine just what action is necessary. 

Failure from embrittlement cannot be laid to the quality of steel 
in the boiler, for repeated tests by Messrs. Parr and Straub have 
shown that one grade of steel is about as susceptible as another. In 



I06 THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 



a measure, workmanship is a factor in that the poorer the setting up of 
joints and the more uneven the distribution of pressure among rivets 
the greater will be the opportunity for caustic concentration and high 
localized stress. But this should not be construed as placing the 
blame for embrittlement on poor workmanship, for many poorly con- 
structed boilers have never been affected while boilers built according 
to the best standards have succumbed. Evidently the control- 
ling factor is the presence or absence of sodium carbonate and its 
relation to the amount of inhibiting agents that may be present with it. 
Nevertheless, the importance of careful workmanship is recog- 
nized. As a means of preventing concentration of caustic, especially 
in boilers designed for high pressures, some manufacturers have re- 
ported to inside caulking ; that is, seams are all caulked on the inside 
of the boiler. If caulking of this kind is tight it keeps water from 
entering the spaces between plates at the joints and consequently 
prevents the concentration of salts possible with outside caulking. 



Too Near for Comfort, Says Inspector 

A HARTFORD inspector recently witnessed involuntarily a violent 
explosion of an uninsured boiler. The blast injured four men. 
jarred merchandise from the shelves of stores over two miles 
away, and gave the surrounding countryside a general shaking-up. 

The inspector had gone to a plant to inspect boilers insured by The 
Hartford, Closely adjacent to this plant was the pumping plant of 
another company. The inspector had just stepped from the office 
of his company's client when a boiler in the neighboring plant 300 
yards away exploded so violently that he was almost knocked down. 

" We staggered around like drunken men." he said. " My 
vision was blurred and I could hear untold numbers of little bells 
tinkling." 

The four men injured were working within 35 feet of the explod- 
ing boiler. Two of them, injured less seriously than the others, were 
protected somewhat by a tool house against which the other boiler 
of the battery was hurled. The tool house was demolished 

The exploded boiler was of the locomotive two-course upe with 
safety valve set to relieve at 150 pounds. It was blown into four 
parts, the smoke box end, consisting of one course and tube sheet, 
being torn loose at the girth seam and hurled about 325 feet. During 
the course of its fliofht it tore awav the side of a large tank. 



1928. 



T H E LOCOMOTIVE 



107 




Parting from the wrapper sheet, the hrst course was ripped through 
its entire length parallel to and on the opposite side from the butt 
strap seam. This sheet crushed the side of another tank 300 feet away. 

Overpressure seems to have caused the explosion, though failure 
to find the safety valve after the accident prevented investigation of 
the supposition that it had stuck. 



Lap Seam Crack Demolishes Boiler 

TWO years ago a southern mill applied to The Hartford for in- 
surance on two lap-seam horizontal tubular boilers. After a care- 
ful examination of the vessels the Company refused to accept the 
risk. The plant was violating one of the axiomatic rules for boiler in- 
stallation by having stop valves between boilers and safety valves. In 
addition to that, the boilers were carrying pressure very much above 
an amount warranted by the type of seam. 

On June nth one of these boilers blew up, killed a man, and dam- 
aged property to the extent of $10,000. For want of a better explana- 
tion a reporter, who covered the story for a local paper, made use 
of the customary supposition that cold water was admitted to a 
dry, overheated shell. The inspector that had examined the boiler 
when the owner applied for insurance searched the tangled wreckage 
for another, more convincing reason. He found it. Down the longi- 
tudinal seam, from girth seam to girth seam, the middle course had 
parted as clean as a whistle. A well-defined lap-seam crack told the 
story. 



I08 THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 



Suggestions for the Safety and Preservation of 
Stationary Steam Engines 

By H. J. Vander Eb, Supi. Engine Dept. 



Experienced operating engineers of well-managed plants are 
undoubtedly familiar with many or all of the points brought i 
out in the foUozving article, yet we believe the article will serve 
not only as a useful reminder to them but also as a reference for 
all who have engines under their care. 



STARTING OF ENGINES 

BEFORE an engine is started, either for the first time or after a 
long period of idleness, it is advisable to bar it over a few turns 
by hand, if it is at all possible to do so. Never start an engine 
without first inspecting the governor, valve gear and other moving 
parts to see that they are in perfect working order and that none of 
. their fastenings are working loose. All parts should be lubricated by 
hand and the oil cups filled. In case a gravity or force feed lubricating 
system is used, such apparatus should be in good condition. 

In starting an engine take your time, warming it up properly 
with cylinder drains open. Forcing a cold engine may cause serious 
damage. If the engine exhausts into a condenser, the condenser pump 
must be started and running properly before any steam is admitted 
to the engine. 

After these precautions have been taken and after all water has 
been drained from steam pipe, cylinders, and exhaust pipe, the en- 
gine may be started and slowly brought up to speed. While the en- 
gine is taking its load a close watch should be kept for any unusual 
behavior, for most engine accidents occur at times of starting or 
stopping. 

GOVERNOR BELT 

The governor belt should be kept reasonably taut. In no case should 
it be so slack that the inner surfaces rub together. Care should be taken 
to prevent oil from dripping or splashing on the belt, for slipping 
of an oily belt over the governor pulley is a prolific cause of fiywheel 
explosions. It is frequently found that the eccentric or the main 
bearing splashes oil on the belt. Sheet metal guards will prevent this. 
Water, likewise, must be kept away from the governor belt of a 



^9--s. THE LOCOMOTIVE i^ 

running engine. Sprinkler heads for fire protection should not be 
placed so that water from them can reach the governor belt. 

GOVERNOR AND VALVE GEAR 

The governor and its driving parts should be kept in perfect oper- 
ating condition and without excessive clearance in any of the fulcrum 
pins or bearings. Lost motion in governor or valve-gear parts is 
dangerous and must not be permitted. These parts should be lubri- 
cated at regular intervals. 

A belt-driven governor and the valve gear should be so arranged 
that breakage of the governor belt will shut off steam automatically. 

The governor on an engine with a Corliss or other releasing type 
valve gear should not have a hand-operated stop pin or slotted collar 
to support the governor when the engine is shut down. These devices 
are very dangerous since if, through oversight, they are not changed 
to the safety position after the engine has been started, the safety 
cams on the valve gear cannot act in case the governor belt breaks. 
To support the governor while the engine is being started there should 
be an automatic governor stop that will fall into the safety position 
as soon as the engine attains normal speed. A governor stop that 
is linked up with an idler pulley riding on the governor belt is equally 
acceptable. (See leaflet on approved "Governor Safety Stops" on 
releasing-gear engines.) 

TESTING OF GOVERNOR SAFETY 

Belt driven governors should be tested at regular intervals to see 
that they actually shut off. steam when, due to a broken governor 
belt, they cease revolving. With some Corliss type engines this may 
be done while the engine is at rest by allowing the governor to drop 
to its lowest position and moving the wrist plate back and forth by 
hand a distance equal to its normal stroke. When this is done the 
steam latches or grab claws should not pick up the steam valve arms. 
If they do pick up the steam valve arms under these conditions the 
position of the safety cams must be corrected. 

On Corliss type engines having a non-detachable, eccentric reach- 
rod-connection to the wrist-plate, the safety action of a belt-driven 
governor should be tested while the engine operates at normal speed 
under only a friction load and with the throttle valve as nearly closed 
as possible. When, under these conditions, the governor belt is thrown 
off the pulley the engine should come to a stop automatically. If it does 
not do so it is necessary to adjust the valve gear. 



no THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 



During this test a trusted man should have his hand on the wheel 
of the throttle valve to shut it quickly if the engine does not come 
to rest. 

DASHPOTS 

The action of the dashpots on a Corliss type valve gear should 
at all times be such that they effectively and regularly pull the steam 
valves closed. If they act sluggishly and irregularly the speed of the 
engine will fluctuate and there may be a tendency to overspeed. For 
this reason it is vitally important to keep the dashpots in perfect 
working order and properly lubricated. Sluggish action of the dash- 
pots sometimes may be due to excessive friction caused by setting up 
the stufftng box glands of the valve stem too tightly. The packing 
in these stuffing boxes should be renewed before it becomes too hard. 

SHAFT GOVERNORS 

Engines with shaft governors should be tested from time to time 
to see that the governing mechanism is able to shut off steam auto- 
matically. This may be done while the engine is at rest by blocking 
the governor arm in its extreme outer position and admitting steam 
slowly through the throttle valve. If the governor functions prop- 
erly there will be no appreciable amount of steam blowing from the 
open cylinder drains or indicator cocks while the crank stands in a 
position at which steam would normally enter the cylinder. 

POPPET VALVES 

Valves of poppet-valve engines should be taken apart and inspected 
at regular intervals, say at least every three months, to remove from 
springs and cages any baked-on oil that would interfere with the valves 
getting fully down to their seats. In that case steam would not be com- 
pletely shut off by the poppet-valves when the governor was in its ex- 
treme position and there would be danger of overspeed at no-load. 
These valves must be steam tight when down on their seats. Any 
roughness or cutting of the seats due to wire drawing should be ground 
smooth with powdered glass and oil. Care must be taken to pre- 
vent the powdered glass from getting into the cylinder, for glass will 
score the cylinder wall. 

INDEPENDENT ENGINE STOP 

An independent, automatic engine stop, when there is one on an en- 
gine, should not merely be left to itself to be relied on in case of 
emergency. Any automatic device of this kind may stick and fail 



1928. THE LOCOMOTIVE rrr 

to perform its function if it is not kept in perfect operating condition. 
It should be tried out reg-ularly by carefully forcing the speed of the 
engine up to not exceeding io% above normal. If the device 
does not shut off the steam under this test, the necessary adjustment 
should be made at once. 

The independent automatic stop should be tripped by hand to 
shut down the engine at the end of the day's run. This will help 
to keep it in operating condition. 

If push-buttons or other means of remote control are provided for 
shutting olT steam, they should be tried at regular intervals. 

DANGER FROM CONDENSER WATER; VACUUM BREAKER 

Engines that exhaust into jet condensers are liable to be wrecked 
by water backing up from the condenser into the cylinder under 
certain conditions. 

This is most likely to occur at starting or stopping when the water 
in the condenser may rise to an abnormally high level if, accidentally, 
the condensate pump should run too slowly or stop entirely. To pre- 
vent this there should be either a vacuum breaker that will break 
the vacuum automatically before the water reaches a dangerous height, 
or a balanced non-return valve in the exhaust pipe. 

Even though some automatic device of this kind is employed, the 
utmost care should be exercised to keep the condensate and air pump 
running at the required speed at all times while steam is being admitted 
to the engine cylinder or while the engine is still in motion due to 
momentum after the throttle has been closed. 

BAROMETRIC CONDENSER 

Barometric condensers offer the same kind of danger to an en- 
gine as jet condensers do and have been the cause of serious wrecks. 
It is important that the column of water in a barometric condenser 
never rise high enough to spill over into the exhaust pipe. 

The height of a barometric condenser should preferably be such 
that the distance from the highest water level in the hotwell to the 
lower edge of the exhaust pipe where it enters the condenser-head 
is not less than 38 feet. Though the theoretical height of a column of 
water drawn up by a perfect vacuum is approximately 34 feet, some 
excess height is desirable as a factor of safety to compensate for 
friction of the water going down the tail pipe or for the possibility 
that a greater quantity of injection water than the condenser can 
handle may be supplied. 



112 THE LOCOMOTIVE o<^tober, 



The overflow of the hotwell of a barometric condenser should 
be located at such a level that the bottom of the condenser tail pipe 
always is submerged for at least 12 inches. The overflow must also 
be sufficiently above high water level in the river or canal to avoid 
the possibility that the water level in the hotwell could rise dangerously. 

During the period of extremely cold weather it is advisable to 
make certain that the tail pipe is drained by breaking the vacuum 
after the engine is stopped. 

To prevent obstruction from ice formation in the throat or in 
the tail pipe of a barometric condenser when starting up under cold 
weather conditions it is advisable to heat up the condenser by means 
of a live steam connection. 

A suitable non-return valve in the engine exhaust pipe to a baro- 
metric condenser is always desirable, but is an actual necessity for en- 
gine safety in some installations. 

When, after starting an engine that exhausts into a barometric or 
jet condenser, there are unusual noises in the exhaust pipe (indicating 
that the pipe contains considerable water), do not shut the engine doivn. 
To do so might cause the water to be drawn into the cylinder, and 
this would surely lead to serious damage. The injection water should 
be shut ofif and the exhaust pipe drained before the engine is shut 
down to investigate the cause of the trouble. 

DRAINS 

The steam pipe to any engine must have a drain at the throttle 
valve to relieve it of water. When an engine is to be started, it is very 
unsafe to attempt to drain the water in the steam pipe through the 
cylinder. 

Cylinder drains, when provided, should be open while an engine 
is being warmed up and during the first few strokes after starting. 
They should remain open until cylinder condensation is down to 
normal. 

TRAPS 

Traps on drains from steam separators, receivers of compound 
engines, and exhaust pipes should be inspected regularly to make sure 
they are in good working order and free from an accumulation of dirt. 

Wherever an exhaust pipe forms a loop or pocket below the engine, 
there should be at the lowest part of such loop or pocket either a 
■drain open to the atmosphere without shut-off or a drain connected 
with an automatic trap. Discharge pipes from all traps should be 



'9^8 TFI E LOCOMOTIVE U3 

open ended and in plain view so that the proper working of the traps 
can be easily watched. ^ 

HOT BEARINGS 

If bearings or other adjusted parts show a tendency to heat up 
abnormally they should be flooded with oil. As a rule, light oil will 
not be of much avail on a hot bearing. Pure, heavy mineral oil, 
preferably cylinder oil, may be used for this purpose. An attempt 
to cool an overheated bearing by throwing water on it by the pailful 
or with a hose is dangerous. Contraction of the bearing from such 
sudden cooling will cause it to clamp the shaft or crankpin tightly. 
The result may be a breakdown. 

Under some conditions it may be possible to avoid a shut down 
when lack of lubrication has caused a bearing to heat up. One method 
that has given good results is to drip cool water (filtered or distilled) 
into the bearing along with the oil. When the bearing has been brought 
to normal temperature, the water should be stopped. 

If the bearing continues to heat up despite all efforts to nurse 
it along, the engine should be stopped and the bearing taken apart, 
the oil grooves cleaned out and, if necessary, touched up with a groove 
chisel. If the babbitt has begun to run before the engine can be 
shut down, the engine should be kept turning over slowly during 
the time it takes to cool the bearing. Should an engine be stopped 
suddenly under such conditions, the babbitt would " freeze " to the 
shaft, making removal of bearing shells very difficult. 

POUNDING 

Lost motion must be regularly taken out of bearings, crank- 
boxes and other wearing parts. Pounding of an engine because of ex- 
cessive lost motion produces severe shock stresses which, in time, may 
cause failure of the part most affected. 

A bad pound in an engine does not necessarily have any connection 
with lost motion in a bearing. Other sources of pounding are : 
flywheel loose on the shaft, piston loose on piston rod, slack in the 
connection of cross-head and piston rod, steam valves and exhaust 
valves with excessive clearance in their housings, and incorrect 
valve setting. 

In making adjustments of bearings and crank- or crosshead boxes, 
it should be remembered that this will affect the piston clearance. On 
the guide there should be line-marks corresponding with a line-mark 
on the crosshead at both ends of the stroke so that any change in 



114 THE LOCOMOTIVE Q^tober> 

the piston clearance due to adjustments can be easily checked and. 
if necessary, corrected. 

Great care must be taken that the alignment of bearings be not 
spoiled by adjustments for lost motion. If the bearings once get 
badly out of alignment because of wear and misadjustment the only 
means of making a noisy engine run quietly again is to raise the 
shaft, carefully line up the bearing surfaces and, if necessary, 
correct the position of the bearings so that the center-line of the shaft 
is exactly at right angles to the center line of the cylinder. 

VIBRATION ON FOUNDATION 

Excessive vibration or working of an engine on the foundation 
should not be allowed, for it may lead to cracking of the frame, partic- 
ularly near the fiange attaching the cylinder to the frame. It may be 
due to any one or several of the following causes : bent shaft, wheel 
out of balance, misalignment of bearings or of guide barrel, incorrect 
valve setting, loose grouting under the frame, broken foundation, foun- 
dation too light and with insufficient footing in the soil, or foundation 
laid on swampy ground. With high speed engines jt is particularly 
important that the foundation have an ample area at the bottom rather 
than that the necessary weight be obtained by making it deep. Serious 
vibration in numerous high-speed installations has been traced to in- 
sufficient foundation footing. 

■ If a foundation is badly cracked or broken it is by far the best 
economy to replace it, for the consequent engine vibration is bound 
to lead to expensive damage. An engine foundation always should 
be one solid mass and never made in two separate parts. Such sep- 
arate parts can not be expected to remain in alignment and invariably 
have caused cracking of the main castings of engines so erected. 

CYLINDERS AND PISTONS 

The interior of the cylinder and valve housings should be inspected 
from time to time, at least once or twice a year, to keep track of un- 
usual wear; possible scoring of the cylinder wall, and the condi- 
tion of the piston follower bolts. When these bolts break they are apt 
to do great damage. They should not be set up with an undue amount 
of wrench leverage; much costly engine damage has resulted from 
the use of a long pipe on the wrench. Doubtless these bolts are some- 
times overstrained or even partly broken when put in position. 

When a careful inspection reveals the slightest evidence of weak- 
ness or looseness in any follower bolts it is best to replace them with 



1928. thp: locomotive u_s 

new ones. The best material to use is a good grade of iron. Steel 
follower bolts are not durable and should not be used in a piston. 

Broken piston rings as a rule cause serious damage to the cylinder 
walls by scoring. When a cylinder is found scored it is advisable 
to remove the piston from the cylinder, as it is then very likely the rings 
are broken and should be replaced. It is often possible to detect 
the existence of broken piston rings by a study of the indicator dia- 
gram or by investigating an appreciable increase in steam consumntion. 

CLEANLINESS AND GOOD ORDER 

One of the outstanding characteristics of a plant run vvastefully 
is an excessive amount of steam leakage and oil around the engines. It 
pays handsomely to avoid steam leakage and prevent oil from running 
over the foundation. Oil has a softening effect on cement and con- 
crete, so that grouting under the engine frame will eventually become 
loose if oil in considerable quantities flows down on it. This in turn 
may produce serious overstrain in the main engine castings and cause 
cracking. 

LAYING UP ENGINES 

Engines that are subject • to seasonal operation should be pro- 
tected against corrosion during periods of inactivity, particularly if 
such idle periods are long. Care should be taken to prevent water or 
vapor from leaking into the cylinder from the throttle or the exhaust 
pipes. If necessary, blank flanges may be used to advantage on these 
pipes. The interior of cylinder, valve housings or valve chest should 
be slushed with cylinder oil. Exposed wearing surfaces, such as the 
crosshead guides and any other bright parts, should be treated sim- 
ilarly. For the latter purpose special slushing compounds, less ex- 
pensive than cylinder oil, may be obtained from reputable oil manu- 
facturers. 

The governor and valve gear parts should be well oiled and some 
waterproof material such as oil cloth or tarpaper wrapped around 
them. It is a good plan to use similar means to prevent the infiltra- 
tion of dust and grit into the bearings. Ry taking these precautions 
a great deal of trouble may be avoided at the time the engine is again 
put in service and in general the useful life of the engine will be pro- 
longed. 



ii6 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



October, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

George Hargis Prall, Editor 

Copyright 1928 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN., October i, 1928 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. 



Fusible Plug Undertakes New Role 

tt I .IXPLOSIONLESS Era Dawns" might have been, but wasn't 
r^ i the caption of a recent telegraphic news dispatch from San 
Sebastian, Spain, describing an alleged new device for pre- 
venting boiler explosions. The " invention " consists of a plate of special 
metallic alloy that is supposed to fuse out, turn steam into the firebox, 
and partly extinguish the fire when pressure reaches a predetermined 
point. A successful test was conducted aboard a steamship, according 
to the report, over which appeared this head-line : " Simple Device 
Halts Boiler Blast Peril." 

The fusible plug, of which this seems to be a modified form, has 
been in use too many years for engineers to entertain any extravagant 
opinion of its value as a preventive of explosions. It is installed at the 
lowest safe water level for the purpose of melting out and giving warn- 
ing in case the water should fall below that point. When used in 
boilers with very high pressure it has an extremely embarrassing ten- 
dency to blow out and cause a shut-down even when water level is 
normal. Not by the widest stretch of imagination can it be regarded 



1928. THK LOCOMOTIVE 117 

as halting " boiler blast peril " due to corrosion and grooving of the 
plate or other forms of structural weakness. 

Until more specific details of the SjJanish invention are available 
we must withluild final judgment, but from facts at hand the device 
looks remarkably like the familiar old fusible plug dressed up in new 
clothes. If so, the explosionless era has not yet dawned. 



Walter Austin McGlannan 

ALONG, honorable and successful career in the insurance busi- 
ness in Baltimore made Walter A. McGlannan well known far 
beyond the boundaries of that city. He was born in Baltimore 
fifty- four years ago, grew up to manhood there and took his part in 
the business, social and civic life of that community in a way that 
won its esteem and the warm regard of a wide circle of friends. To 
them word of his unexpected death on July 9th, after a very brief 
illness, came as an overwhelming shock and sorrow. Our Hartford 
Company shares deeply in this sorrow, for Mr. McGlannan's death 
severed ties of a valued association of many years standing. 

Mr. McGlannan was a member of the well-known insurance firm 
of Lawford & McKim which has continuously represented this Com- 
pany as its general agents for nearly sixty years in a broad territory 
centering on Baltimore. Mr. McGlannan and his partner, Mr. Arthur 
Koppelman, joined this firm as boys and grew up in its organiza- 
tion. Twenty years ago they were admitted by the late J. M. Lawford 
to partnership with him. Mr. Lawford died in 1913 and since then 
Mr. McGlannan and Mr. Koppelman together carried on the general 
insurance business of the firm, retaining its original name and main- 
taining its traditional relationship with The Hartford. 

This long association with Mr. McGlannan gave us occasion to 
know him well and to observe and appreciate the ability and thorough 
understanding of insurance principles and practices which he devoted 
to his business. Our Company benefited by that ability and by the 
loyal and conscientious attention he gave to the interest of all whom 
he served. We found him honorable, straight-forward and sincere 
in all his dealings and a man whose broad, generous sympathies and 
ready, genial humor made him a delightful companion and friend. 
Thus, as the years went by, the ties of mutual interest, confidence and 
regard that bound us to him grew stronger and stronger and our 
business association became a happy fellowship, grateful memories 
of which will remain with us always. 



i8 THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 



Thompson Parish Ware 

ry^HOMPSON PARISH WARE, in length of service one of the 
I oldest members of The Hartford organization, died at St. Louis, 
Mo., on July 2ist, 1928, in the 79th year of his age. 

Tom Ware, as he was affectionately known by his associates, joined 
our inspection department at St. Louis in 1889. Prior to that time he 
had been for several years an operating engineer on river steam-boats, 
which experience, together with his natural aptitude for mechanical 
matters, well equipped him for his work with our Company. In it he 
rapidly acquired proficiency and soon after his employment the Company 
had such confidence in his judgment and ability that it transferred him 
to Dallas, Texas, and gave him charge of all inspection work in the 
territory adjacent to that city. That this confidence was well justified is 
ihown by his thirty-eight years of service there. During them the 
Company's interests always were his interests too. He was proud of 
its record and worked earnestly and constantly to establish and increase 
its reputation for usefulness in his territory. That he succeeded and 
that now the Company's value to boiler owners is so generally appre- 
ciated in Northern Texas, we know is due in great measure to the 
universal esteem and respect which Mr. Ware won for himself there. 

In 1920 Mr. Ware was relieved of his duties as inspector and given 
the less wearing but no less responsible position of special agent. He 
continued active in that position until, last winter, the illness to which 
he finally succumbed forced his retirement from the field. 

There are many friends of " Tom " Ware and of ours, we feel 
sure, who join with us in sorrow at his passing and who will appreciate 
the loss it means to our Company. 



It's the Little Things That Do It 

THE mouse that broke up a circus by stampeding the elephants 
had nothing on a small bird that recently bottled up the immense 
electrical system in the down-town business district of Toledo, 
Ohio. A brief newspaper clipping tells the story : 

" The death of a swallow carrying material for building its nest 
halted activities in downtown Toledo yesterday. Burned to death, 
its beak holding wet straw and string, the bird was found between 
wires leading from an east side power house to the west side, causing 
a short circuit. Many public buildings were without light and elevator 
service and police trafific signals were dead." 



^92S. THE LOCOMOTIVE 119 

Instances of tie-ups from such trifling causes are not infrequent. 
Every now and then some such occurrence reminds us tftat, in spite 
of the carefully made harness by which power is made, to serve us, 
our mechanical horse still has an annoying tendency to get cross-wise 
the shafts on slight provocation. Insurance will protect plant owners 
against loss from service interruption when this happens. 



Getting Closer to the Elusive Atom 

BY distilling metals on a flat surface of rock salt and then dissolv- 
ing away the salt, physicists recently succeeded in producing a 
metallic wafer of almost inconceivable thinness. Stacked one on 
top of another, it would take 2,500,000 of them to make a pile an 
inch high. In comparison, gold leaf seems bulky. 

Scientists say the effective diameter of an atom is about i/ioo 
the thickness of these films and that each atom requires elbow room 
many times its diameter to navigate in. If that be so, it is evident 
these films are only a few atoms thick. 

Having whittled matter down to such a thin slice as this, who will 
say that science may not yet isolate the atom — or even dissect it to 
clear up the bafifling mystery of its behavior? 



Advanced to Chief Inspectorship 

AXXOUXCEMENT has been made of the appointment of P. E. 
Terroy as Chief Inspector at the Company's Baltimore office. 
Prior to this promotion Mr. Terroy served with distinction as 
Directing Inspector at Atlanta. As a consequence the latter Depart- 
ment should be credited with having added still another name to the 
list of officials it has furnished the various departments of the Com- 
pany. 



'' Some Coal Is Like That " 

Donald MacFee, writing in Pozver, tells this one: A former shoe 
salesman now selling coal was giving his sales talk to a prospect. 
" There's no ash in this coal ; not a bit of sulphur or dirt. I tell you 
it's a wonderful fuel." 

" How many b. t. u.'s are there in it? " inquired the prospect. 

" Absolutelv none." was the clinching answer. 



I20 THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 



Taps From the Old Chief ^s Hammer 

4 6 ^"V TELL," chuckled the Chief, dropping a letter he had been 

V Y studying and reaching for his pipe, " my father used to 

tell about a family in Northampton county, Virginia, that 

bought a cof^n and placed it in the parlor years before they had any 

idea any of them was getting ready to die. I suppose you boys 

would consider that just about the last word in preparedness, eh? " 

Leaning back while he tamped a charge of rough-cut into his 
aromatic old briar, the Chief let his glance run down the long table 
at which sat half a dozen inspectors preparing reports before leaving 
the office on their various assignments. It wasn't often the old man 
interrupted the routine at this time of day. His unexpected loqua- 
ciousness was a sure signal that something unusual was in the wind. 

" I'd say that family ought to rate pretty high on the list," ven- 
tured the assistant when it became apparent that the Chief expected 
some sort of an answer to his question. 

The Chief nodded, as if satisfied. " Then tell me," he demanded, 
" how far up on the scale would you rate a plant owner who, having 
a good boiler in operation, bought a new one and placed it in storage ? " 

"What was wrong with the boiler in the plant?" the assistant 
wanted to know. 

" Nothing," the Chief informed him. " It was in first-rate shape, 
with every expectation of a long life, as a lawyer would say." 

Apparently satisfied that he had aroused their curiosity, the Chief 
launched into his story. 

"About two years ago — just before Jones was transferred to 
Chicago — he went out to the Apex Laundry on a regular inspection 
trip and discovered a serious bulge in the front course of the plant's 
boiler. The bulge ran all the way from the head to girth seam and 
extended well up on both sides. Oil was the cause. Got in through 
the feed water heater. Naturally, the insurance did not cover a con- 
dition of this kind, but just the same I hurried down there as quickly 
as possible to see what could be done about getting the plant in 
operation with the least loss of time. Needless to say, the owner, 
Mr. Littledale, was worried. Any sort of shut-down was bound to 
lose customers for him and he realized that unless a way were found 
to repair the boiler the long delay while a new one was ordered and 
shipped would be a serious matter. 

" I went over the bulge inch by inch and found there had been 
no actual weakenins^ of the metal. Mr. Littledale was tickled when I 



'928. THE LOCO M O T I V E 121 

told him the sheet could be driven back. He called a repair firm 
and set them to work after I assured him driving back the bulge 
would not weaken the vessel. 

" Things were coming along in good shape until the gang fore- 
man knocked off and quit the job, saying it couldn't be done. Two 
other companies were called in and they refused flatly to undertake 
the work. A fourth company was drafted, but after working almost 
all day the foreman went to Mr. Littledale with the story that the 
sheets in front and rear courses were too thin to warrant spending 
money on repairs. 

" By this time I was between the devil and the deep sea. It was 
natural that Mr. Littledale should blame me for letting him waste 
two valuable days on what he was beginning to think was a job that 
should never have been undertaken. He couldn't see how four repair 
companies could be all wrong, so he figured that if in the end he 
was going to have to buy a new boiler I ought to step aside and let 
him get it over with. 

" The easiest way out for me would have been to withdraw my 
objections and let him go ahead and spend his money. But I knew 
I was right about driving back that bulge and it didn't jibe with 
my conscience to let one of our assured throw away a few thousand 
dollars and waste valuable time getting a new boiler installed when 
all the old one needed to put it in first-rate shape was a few hours' 
work by an intelligent repair gang. 

" I stuck to my guns and we battled it out that night. He con- 
sented to make just one more attempt at repairs before ordering 
a new boiler. This last firm of boiler repairers knew the business. 
It sent over a gang that did a workmanlike job in jig-time. After 
a thorough examination we O.K.'d their work and the fireman lost 
no time raising steam. 

" Mr. Littledale was mighty grateful and you can imagine I felt 
pretty good at having saved him the price of a new boiler as well as 
the expense of a longer shut-down. I was still congratulating myself 
three days later when I met Mr. Littledale and he told me that in 
spite of everything he had ordered a new boiler as a spare because 
he just couldn't make himself believe the bulge wasn't going to 
reappear. Naturally, I was sorry he had gone ahead and spent his 
money, but I had the consolation of knowing I had done my best to 
prevent it. 

" As month after month passed with the old boiler showing no 
signs of distress, Mr. Littledale began to wonder whether it wasn't 



122 THE LOCOMOTIVE October, 

going to last just about as long in service as the new one would in 
storage. Of course I don't mean the new boiler was rusting away, 
but when you have part of your bankroll tied up in mechanical equip- 
ment that's doing nothing but occupy warehouse space you're losing 
money every hour it stays there. Mr. Littledale saw this, so to lay 
the ghost once and for all time he sent for us about three weeks ago 
to give his boiler a special inspection. We did, and found it ship- 
shape. That settled the matter with the owner; he sold the spare 
as soon as he could find a buyer. 

" This morning I received a letter from Mr. Littledale. In speak- 
ing about installing some safety devices we have recommended he 
says, among other things, ' We are pleased to follow out the sug- 
gestions of The Hartford at all times, as your Company and your 
Department has our confidence after the complete demonstration of 
your knowledge of boilers at this plant '." 

Laying aside his pipe, the Chief turned to his work. But he could 
not resist the temptation to point out a moral to his narrative, for 
a moment la.ter he remarked over his shoulder, " That proves what 
all you married men ought to know by this time. When you're right 
you'll always win eventually — providing you hold out long enough." 



Hard on the Old Man 

Daughter : — " Daddy, will you help me work this algebra prob- 
lem?" 

Conscientious father, looking up from his paper: — "I could, 
dear, but I don't think it would be right." 

Daughter: — "No, I don't suppose it would. But you could try, 
couldn't you ? " 



In a down-town show window, above a set of attractive pictures 
of wild animals, the humane society exhibited this sign: "They skin 
us to provide women with furs." 

The man with a large family of grown daughters paused there 
long enough to mutter : " You're not the only ones." 



Found on an employee's application : 
Question : — Give your parents' names. 
Answer: — Mama and papa. — A. G. E. Bulletin. 



'9:^8- THE LOCOMOTIVE i^ 

Think Chemical Reaction Caused Explosion 

SPONTANEOUS combustion of foreign substances in an air tank 
almost eleven hours after the compressor had been shut down is 
thought to have caused an explosion that killed the night engineer 
and did $10,000 property damage at the plant of Simm's Oil Company, 
Smackover, Ark., on July 28th. 

Causes ordinarily attributable to air tank explosions did not fit this 
unusual case. With the compressor idle so long there was no chance 
that a piece of incandescent carbon from the valves of the compressor 
could have ignited oil vapor carried over from the cylinder. Xor could 
suspicion be directed toward over-pressure for, although the safety 
valve was damaged so badly it could not be tested, it is almost certain 
an explosion from over-pressure would have occurred while the com- 
pressor was running, instead of several hours after it had been shut 
down. 

Persons who conducted an investigation believe that while the com- 
pressor was running an appreciable amount of oil substance, dust, and 
perhaps some chemical vapor from the air passed into the tank where 
they set up a slow chemical reaction which eventually caused spon- 
taneous combustion. Another theory is that a charge of static elec- 
tricity was created by air rushing through the discharge pipe as the 
engineer opened the valve. This might have caused a spark that ig- 
nited the combustible mixture in the tank. In any event, the resultant 
explosion was so sudden and so violent that the presence of a safety 
valve meant nothing. 

The compressor was shut down at noon. At that time pressure 
in the tank was below the allowable limit of 270 pounds, at which 
the safety valve was set to relieve. Eleven hours later the night en- 
gineer and the night operator decided to start the compressor. As the en- 
gineer opened the valve in the line between the tank and the compressor 
the tank let go, killing him instantly. The operator escaped, because he 
was a few steps behind the engineer and had not yet entered the room. 

The tank was installed vertically with concave head at the bottom. 
So great was the force of the explosion the head seam rivets were 
sheared and the head reversed the direction of its dish. The top head and 
a fringe of shell were thrown to the roof, but the rest of the shell re- 
mained in one piece. Rivets along the horizontal seam sheared oflF and 
allowed the shell to flatten out. There was no evidence that metal of 
either heads or shell had been weakened by corrosion. 

This tank was not insured by The Hartford. 



124 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



October, 



Boiler Without Safety Valve Explodes 

DEPENDENCE on the presence of an electrically-controlled 
thermostatic and pressure device to take the place of a safety 
valve cost the lives of a man and his wife when, on May 14th, it 
resulted in the explosion of a cast iron heating boiler used to demonstrate 
an oil burner in the show-room of a store at St. Louis, Mo. The control 

unit was designed to shut ofT the oil 
supply when pressure reached a certain 
point. After the accident it was dis- 
covered that the device had been dis- 
connected to allow electricians to work 
on relays and switches. Without it, 
there was nothing to prevent pressure 
from increasing until it burst the 
boiler. Besides taking two lives, the 
accident scalded a woman seriously. 

Devices to control heat input of 
boilers are entirely practical and 
usually very successful from the stand- 
point of temperature control and fuel 
economy. In addition, they may even 
serve to keep pressure within allow- 
able limits. But, as this case shows, 
for the sake of safety they should be 
augmented by the more direct and 
positive means of pressure relief which 
a safety valve affords. There is no need to point out how well a 
safety valve would have served in the case described above. 

As may be seen from the accompanying photograph, quite a large 
piece was blown from the rear section of the firebox. There was no 
evidence to show that any defect existed before the accident. 




Exploding Boiler Kills 26 in Mexico 

TWENTY-SIX men, women, and children were killed and over 
a score were seriously injured by the explosion of a horizontal 
tubular boiler in a public bath house near.IMexico City, June 19th. 
Employees and patrons of the establishment as well as occupants of 
nearby houses and passers-by were crushed beneath debris of three 
buildings which the blast demolished. 

An attempt to trace the circumstances leading up to the explosion 



19^8. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



I2C 



proved fruitless because the engineer, as well as his wife and son 
who had brought his lunch and eaten with him, was killed instantly. 
A bath house attendant told police that, while the engineer was eating, 
the boiler ran low in water and became overheated. He said the ex- 
plosion followed an attempt to feed in cold water. This explanation 
scarcely seems plausible, however, in view of the great amount of 



-SfiM 




energy that must have been required to wreak the havoc indicated 
by the photograph. 

The plant's two boilers carried 200 pounds pressure. Accord- 
ing to newspaper reports, the owner had no insurance and was ren- 
dered penniless. 



Well, That Settles It 

Jones : — " Sorry, old man, that my hen got loose and scratched 

up your garden." 

Smith: — "That's all right; my dog ate your hen." 

Jones: — "Fine. I just ran over your dog and killed him." — 

St. Paul Farmer. 



Prescription for reducing waist line: Place hands on edge of table 
— and shove back. 



The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street, 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1927 



Capital Stock, 



$2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Cash in offices and banks 

Real Estate .... 

Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and Stocks . 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest accrued 

Other Assets . ' . 

Total Assets 



$622,484.21 

283,421.23 

1,366,072.48 

15,023,458.34 

1,363.003.55 

152,728.70 

54,678.59 

$18,865,847.10 



LIABILITIES 
Reserve for unearned premiums 
Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies . 
Capital Stock ...... 

Surplus over all liabilities .... 

Surplus to Policyholders, 

Total Liabilities .... 



$7,710,752.66 

346,047.69 

1,593-07745 



$2,500,000.00 
6,715,969-30 



$9,215,969.30 



. $18,865,847-10 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WM. R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Directors, Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAINARD, President 
yEtna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, Chairman Board 
of Trustees, Society for Savings, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The 
Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., Plain- 
ville. Conn. 

CURTISS C. GARDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 

,0t 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga., 

1 103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg. 

BALTIMORE, Md 

13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON, Mass., . 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St. 

BRIDGEPORT. Conn.. . 
404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg. 

CHICAGO, 111.. 
209 West Jackson BTv'd. 

CINXINXATI, Ohio, 

First National Bank Bldg. 



CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. . 

DENVER. Colo., 
916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg 

DETROIT, Mich., . 

2401-7 First Nat'l Bank Bldg 

HARTFORD. Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS. La., . 
1 128 Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK. N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., . 
1807-8-9-10 .^rrott Bldg. 

PORTLAND. Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. . 
114 Sansome St. 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
423 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., 
610-618 Security Bldg. . 

TORONTO, Canada, 
Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Fr.\ncis. Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

L.\WF0RD & McKiM, General Agents. 
P. E. Terrov, Chief Inspector. 

W.\RD I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. B.WLiss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. Lin'eburgh & Son, General Agents 
A. E. BoNNETT, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gle.\son, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. P.vuL Graham, Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt. 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

L. L. Coates, Manager. 

Thomas P. Hetu, Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet. Chief Inspector. 

R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice President. 

E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

Geo. S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 



Bates, Lively & Pearson, General Agents. 

C. B. Paddock, Manager. 
L. J. Reed, Chief Inspector. 

E. G. Watson, 
Manager and Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft. Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 




Does Your Fireman Km 

How to prevent the formation of clinkers^ 

How to clean a fire skillfully? 

Whether or not he is obtaining good combustion? 

The advantages of a steady water line? 

How to " cut in " a boiler safely? 

The proper method of testing the water gauge glass? 

How to cool down a boiler under emergency con- 
ditions? 

These are only a few of the questions answered in The 

Hartford's Correspondence Course for Firemen. 

Fill out the blank below and send for further 

information. 



The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection & Insurance Company, 

56 Prospect St., Hartford, Conn. 

Gentlemen : Please send me further details of your Correspond- 
ence Course for Firemen. 

Name 

Address .- 



Vol. XXXVII No. 5 



January 1929 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 



Published continuously since 1867 

by The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Company 



Please show to your Engineer 



I30 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 



Far Below Surface, Miners Pin Faith on Ability of Power 
Plant Men to Keep Air Supply Intact 

NO doubt about it, winter is winter in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. 
When the old giant of the Arctic circle rouses from his summer's 
siesta and turns loose the wind that howls down across Canada 
with sub-zero temperature on its coat tails, folk in Glace Bay need no 
thermometer to tell them what's what. Jutting out into the northern 
stretches of the Atlantic, that Nova Scotia peninsula can tell you a 
thing or two about cold weather. 

However, one spot in Glace Bay manages to escape winter's cruel 
talons. Go down, straight down a thousand feet into the earth, then 
walk three or four miles out under the very floor of the ocean and 
3-ou'll find miners actually sweating at their task of getting out the 
8,000 odd tons of coal that each day come up out of Collieries iB and 2 
of the British Empire Steel Corporation. It's hot down there. So hot 
that when folks on the surface are clumping along in ulsters and 
mufflers, beating arms across chests to keep up circulation, the miners 
are stripped down to just as few clothes as the law allows. 

Yes, it's hot down at the bottom of the pits. Neither men nor 
horses could stand it were it not for huge fans in the power house on 
the surface — fans that, night and day, send down a continuous supply 
of fresh air. Let something happen to those fans and the men down 
tliere are not long in knowing it. Pinch ofif that air supply for any 
length of time and all hands must come up — or fight it out with swel- 
tering heat and mine gas. 

Keeping that air going down is the job of men in the power house. 
And quite a job it is, too, looking after twenty-one boilers, a battery of 
compressors, fans, turbo-generators and engines — the big fellows that 
lower men into the pits at the start of a day's work and lift them out 
again when the next shift comes on to relieve them. 

A lot depends on those power plant hands and you can bet they know 
it. They're on the job every minute of the day, doing all that is humanly 
possible to guard against break-downs. But care and watchful- 
ness can go only so far toward keeping the thousands of pieces of an 
enormous power plant clicking in unison. An invisible defect in a 
spindle or shaft, an insidious fissure hidden away 'neath the lap of a 
boiler seam, or any one of a hundred other items that might possibly 
escape the eye of even the keenest inspector may be h'ing in wait to 
snarl things up in a hopeless tangle. Yes, lurking there to kill a man 
or two if any are in the way when it lets go. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



i.V 



At four o'clock on the morning of Novenibcr 20, 192^, the Glace 
Bay power plant was running as evenly as a watch. Down the long 
firing aisle of the boiler room walked Head Fireman Ernest Burchell, 
glancing up at gauge glasses as he went. No sound was audible save 
the steady hum of a battery of smoothly steaming boilers and the 
harsher, grumbling note of automatic stokers at their tireless task of 
cramming an endless stream of fuel into hungry furnaces. Sweet music 
to a fireman's ear, for as long as no foreign note intrudes itself into 




that symphony he knows that all is well. But no — he can never 
know that for a certainty. There is no premonitory sound to warn 
of a lap seam about to crack open. No matter how competent and ex- 
perienced the watcher, he cannot look through the brickwork of a boiler 
setting and see metal in the throes of a losing battle with a force that 
is striving to tear it asunder. When metal gives up the fight, the cata- 
clysm descends in the wink of an eye ; it enters the boiler room with 
the suddenness of an aerial bomb. 

So Burchell saw no sign that all was not well : little could he guess 
what was going on inside the lap seam of the middle course of Boiler 
No. 7. 

Old No. 7 was built in 1903, rebuilt in 1923, and was considered 
a staunch vessel. During her long term of service she had established 
a reputation as a fine steamer and had given her owners very little 



132 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^^^^ry, 

trouble. Of course, when they overhauled her four or five years ago 
they found part of the plate in the middle course a bit pitted, but that 
was not surprising after twenty years. So they just took out the pitted 
plate and riveted in a new piece, giving her two longitudinal seams in 
that course where previously she had had only one. After that, old 
No. 7 seemed just as sound as the day the erecting gang swung her into 
place. 

Since then something had happened to that old piece of plate. 
Little by little a crack had developed along the row of rivets joining 
the old plate with the new. For a time there was plenty of metal left 
to hold the steam demon in check, but tonight old No. 7 knew that the 
end was near ; slowly but surely she felt her strength giving out under 
the relentless squeezing of a force that was trying to burst the bonds 
that held it. If only a boiler could speak, No. 7 surely would have said 
something to Burchell as he passed by. 

Pausing now and then for a word with a fireman, Burchell walked 
on down the aisle. Shortly, he thought, the men would have lunch. 
Those seemingly endless hours just before daybreak always go faster 
when a fellow can break into them long enough for a bite to eat. Guess 
he'd be having one himself just as soon as . 

Then it happened. Anyone who has stood close to a battery of 
naval guns fired in salvo can imagine the blast that rocked the power 
house, sent walls tumbling down, crushed coal hoppers, and tore open 
mains to release a flood of scalding steam through which men had to 
fight their way to reach stop valves. 

Out in the compressor room Archie McAdam, an oiler, had just 
risen from his chair and taken a few steps toward his machine, when 
the back end of No. 7 came like a projectile through the 12-inch brick 
wall and smashed the chair to pieces the size of matchsticks. On its 
journey the heavy missile demolished a Sturtevant blower, cropped ofif 
a fifteen-foot section of twenty-inch I-beam to send it rocketing seventy- 
five feet across the boiler room, and carved down steam pipes as though 
they were made of paper. 

The front end of the boiler drove into the supports of the coal 
hopper and tipped that heavy structure more than two feet out of line. 
The middle course, opening up as flat as your hand, landed on top of 
a companion boiler and sheared ofT its pipe connections. 

In no time at all oflficials and superintendents, some of them roused 
from comfortable beds at home by the noise of the explosion, came 
hurrying down to undertake the job that always is given precedence at 
a mine accident — the job of getting men to the surface as quickly as 



'929. thp: locomotive 133 

jiossible. A full shift of miners was in No. 2 at the thousand- foot 
level, and three men were in old Mine No. 9, which lay 400 feet down 
and was accessible only through the main shaft leading down to No. 2. 
Getting the men up through this shaft was out of the question, for there 
was no power to operate the cage and no one dared hazard a guess as 
to how long it would take to clear away the tangle in the power house 
sufficiently to produce power. 

Putting all available men to the task of making emergency repairs, 
the superintendent led a party of rescuers down through the shaft lead- 
ing to Mine iB from which a drift leads over to No. 2. They soon 
located the men and brought them out, but still there remained the task 
of rescuing the three men trapped in No. 9. There was no way of ac- 
complishing that except by getting the cage working, and to do that 
they had to have power. So all hands fell to work on the wreckage of 
their power house equipment, racing against time to forestall the fate 
that sometimes befalls miners who are trapped down in an unventilated 
mine. The battle was won shortly after noon when, after seven hours 
of herculean labor, they were able to send down a cage and bring up 
three miners little the worse for their experience. 

Fortunately, there was only one fatality among those working in 
the power plant when the explosion occurred. Archie Johnstone, a 
fireman, was blown to the roof of a small building nearby, and died in 
the hospital. John Frost, another fireman, was badly cut and scalded, 
but he recovered. McAdam, the oiler whose chair was crushed a 
moment after he rose from it, was cut on the head by flying debris. His 
injuries did not prove serious. 

All in all, the casualty list was remarkably short, considering the 
narrow escapes of some of the men who were closest to No. 7 when 
she let go. Property damage, amounting to over $31,000, was covered 
by a policy in The Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Canada. 
The cut on a preceding page shows the damage to stokers and coal 
hopper. 



Wrong Treatment Was Fatal 
Acting on the advice of a woman doctor, workmen in Rakova, 
Czechoslovakia recently buried a man in an attempt to revive him after 
he had been rendered unconscious by coming in contact with an elec- 
trically-charged wire. The doctor claimed that earth had "a peculiar, 
affinity for electricity " and would draw the charge from the victim's 
body. The cure was worse than the ailment ; the patient suffocated. 



134 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



January, 



Discarded Feed Pipe Furnishes Valuable Clue 

BANISHED from the boiler room when its job was taken over 
by a newer and sounder piece of metal, a worn-out section of feed 
pipe would have carried a vital bit of evidence away to the junk 
yard had not a Hartford inspector seen it just in time. Four years 
ago, while examining the boilers of a large Minnesota paper mill, the 
inspector's interest was aroused by the peculiar appearance of a crack 
in the threaded end of a pipe which had been tossed onto a scrap heap 




behind the boiler house. Suspecting the presence of caustic embrittle- 
ment, he immediately questioned the owner on the source and treat- 
ment of feed-water and cautioned him to notify The Hartford's 
Chicago headquarters if leakage developed at the seams or rivets of any 
boiler in the plant. 

From that time on these boilers were kept under the closest scrutiny 
by The Hartford's inspection force. Within a year a leaky rivet and 
a headless rivet were discovered, but a thorough examination revealed 
no further evidence of trouble. However, when an inspector visited the 
plant in July, 1927, he found that since his last visit a new blow-ofT 
flange had been fitted to No. 4 boiler. The old flange had been con- 
signed to the scrap heap from which it was recovered by the inspector 
and sent to a metallurgist. The latter reported that the intercrystalline 



^9^9^ THE LOCOMOTIVE 135 

cracks from rivet hole to rivet hole had been caused bv caustic embrittle- 
ment. 

The close watch was continued, with inspectors on the alert to detect 
the first sign that embrittlement was weakening vital parts of the 
boiler. Eventually, in August of 1928. they came upon leaky rivets 
l)ehind the bridge wall in the longitudinal seam of Number 4 boiler. 
Removing a section of the wall, an inspector uncovered several head- 
less rivets. He cut out other rivets in the affected area and found 
cracks in the shell plate and butt strap. The accompanying illustration 
shows the serious nature of the crack in the shell plate. 

With the owner's consent, the inspector set about removing ten per 
cent, of all rivets below the water line. Before he had proceeded far 
he found serious cracks in the rear top drum. It was evident then that 
the boiler was affected to such an extent that it should be discarded, but 
before the owner would accept this recommendation he insisted on 
having the boiler examined by a representative of another insurance 
company. 

A few days later the owner wired The Hartford's Chicago office : 
" Have had other experts examine boiler. They do not find anything 
which should make it necessary to reduce pressure." He intimated, too, 
that if the other insurance company found the boiler an acceptable risk 
he would have to transfer the insurance. 

However, he consented to call in as referee Professor Frederick G. 
Straub, of the University of Illinois, recognized as an outstanding 
authority on embrittlement by reason of extensive research in that field. 
Professor Straub not only diagnosed the case as caustic embrittlement 
but confirmed the opinion of The Hartford that cracks in the head 
seams of the mud drum and in longitudinal seams of both mud and 
feed drums rendered the boiler unsafe. Needless to say, the boiler was 
replaced. 

A great deal of credit is due the inspector who ferreted the first 
symptom out of the scrap heap. His discovery, made four years before 
embrittlement actually endangered the safety of the boiler, prompted 
a close watch on subsequent developments and probably prevented a 
serious explosion. 



Letter to the Chief Inspector 

" Dear Sir — You wrote us on the tenth inst., requesting a hydrostatic test 
on our old boiler. Our engineer says he has read much lately regarding the 
disastrous effects of water hammer and does not want a water test made on our 
boiler. Please advise promptly." 



136 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^n^^ry, 

Minimum Safe Thickness Drill Test Holes in Shells 
o/Unfired Pressure Vessels 

(By George H. Stickney, Supt. Boiler Dept.) 

PREVENTION of accidents through detecting weakened struc- 
tures and observing unsafe operating practices is the underlying 
purpose of inspections by insurance companies. However, the 
owner and insurance company both are anxious to maintain equipment 
in good shape so, naturally, it does not matter by whom or through what 
agency the discovery of unsafe conditions is made so long as an accident 
is prevented. It can be said truthfully that eternal vigilance is the price 
of safety. With this in mind it must be appreciated that inspections, no 
matter how careful or how frequent, are only periodic. 

The purpose of this article is to explain a type of drill test hole which 
will act as an eternally vigilant watchdog to give warning when the shell 
metal of pressure vessels (boilers excepted) becomes so thin that it is 
no longer safe for the pressure carried. This is to be in addition to 
regular inspections and not in any way to take the place of them. It 
detects merely the dangerous thhining of shell plate, whereas inspections 
reveal many and varied unsafe conditions. 

Definite knowledge that plate thickness is within safe limits is one 
of the most important features in explosion prevention, and it is one 
of the most difficult to determine by the usual inspection methods. 

Unfired pressure vessels diflfer from boilers in that they are used 
to a great extent to cook or prepare stock of all kinds in process of 
manufacture. In stationary vessels the stock moves about and cir- 
culates under steam pressures and temperatures and, by scouring action, 
wears away the shell metal. This erosion is in addition to the chemical 
efifect which, in many processes, further reduces plate thickness. 

In rotating vessels wear is very positive and has been found, in many 
cases, to reduce plate thickness uniformly throughout the entire inner 
surface of the vessel. In vessels fitted with stirring paddles or agitators, 
bent shafts, misalignment of paddles or other parts, and jamming of 
stock between paddle blades and shell will frequently cause grooving in 
addition to the erosion and chemical action already mentioned. 

Many localized areas in these vessels need special precautions 
against dangerous thinning. As an example we can mention a dis- 
charge elbow at the bottow of a digester, rendering tank or any other 
vessel with a fitting or part through which stock is blown when the 
cooking process is finished. Erosion is concentrated and severe at the 
turn of the elbow. (See Figure i) Frequently the metal wears com- 



1020. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



137 




Bottom of Digester 





DirScharge—^ 
ElhoiA/ 

Safety Holes 



Figure 1 



pletely through at this point, resulting in loss of material and possible 
danger to persons. 

Drill testing by merely drilling through the metal and then measur- 
ing the thickness, sealing or plugging the hole afterward, has been about 
the only method for accurately determining thickness. This method has 
many disadvantages and inspectors have generally encountered substan- 
tial resistance, for some very good reasons, on the part of ovv^ners and 
users when through drill testing has been proposed. 

All that we are interested in regarding thickness is to know for a 
certainty when metal under pressure and subject to wasting has been 
reduced in thickness to such an extent that the remaining metal is not 
sufficient to withstand with safety the pressure carried. For this pur- 
pose we recommend what may be termed prc-detennined minimum safe 
thickness test holes, which are of J4" diameter and drilled from the 



138 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^n^^'-y. 

outside (in a single-shell vessel) to a depth equal to the minimum safe 
shell thickness. (See Figure 2). 

The designed maximum safe working pressure of an unfired pres- 
sure vessel should be based on a factor of safety of at least five, and 
it is believed that manufacturers generally meet this standard. The 
depth of the test holes at the point of the drill should be sufficient to 
equal a shell thickness that will give a factor of safety of at least three. 

Following are the formulae for computing the safe working pressure 
of single-shell vessels and the minimum safe shell thickness : 

t X TS X % P X FS X R 

(i) SWP = (2) t- 

RxFS . TSx% 

where SWP = safe working pressure; t =^ plate thickness; ^ = effi- 
ciency of longitudinal joint; FS = factor of safety; TS = tensile 
strength of shell material ; R = radius of shell. 

As an example we may consider a shell y2" in diameter, ^" thick, 
and with a longitudinal joint of 80 per cent, efficiency. The safe work- 
ing pressure for this vessel would be : 

.75 X 55,000 x. 80 

SWP = = 183 pounds per square inch. 

36x5 

Using this value in Formula 2, and substituting 3 as the value of FS, 

183x3x36 

t = = .45 inch is the minimum safe thickness 

55,000 X .80 

and the depth to which test holes should be drilled. (See Figure 4). 

The pitch or distance between centers of holes is more or less arbi- 
trary, but in general it should be in proportion to the size of the vessel 
and in consideration of whether the anticipated wasting is general and 
uniform over the entire surface, or localized within a restricted area. 
For very large vessels, say over 72" in diameter and subject to uniform 
wasting, a pitch of from 36" to 48" is suggested. For vessels between 
36" and 72" in diameter a pitch of about 24" to 36" will generally give 
adequate protection, while for smaller vessels the pitch can be reduced 
to about 12", except where intense wasting away is anticipated within 
a restricted area. In that event it may be advisable to drill a few holes 
at carefully selected points over a smaller area. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



139 



Safety Hale 





Cooking Compartment 



Pressure Side 

Figure 4 



140 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 

When metal on the interior or pressure side of the shell wastes away 
sufficiently to communicate with the bottom of a hole, steam or any 
other pressure will blow out into the room and give warning by being 
heard or seen. 

In double-shell vessels such as jacketed tanks and hemispherical 
kettles, the inner shell is the one subjected to reduction of thickness and 

is therefor the one that 
^xf^ri^r p/jMJp j^yg^ |3g protected by drill 

Minimum i I S ^^^^ holes. The holes 

^ For Saftrtsj -^^ \ I ( should, of course, be drilled 

-^— -■^— IT Amount That / in the inner shell from the 
.50 Afay IVajteAivay) pressure or jacket side. 
___; (See Figure 3). 

There should be frequent 
visual inspections of 
jacketed vessels v^ith pressure in the jacket and the stock-containing 
chamber empty and open. For very large vessels it will be necessary 
to use an electric light connected to a long extension cord. Swinging 
this light around will enable the operator to detect any steam that may 
be blowing into the vessel. 

These test holes in jacketed vessels must, by necessity, be drilled 
at the time of manufacture. Single-shell vessels can be drilled after 
installation, but it is better to do the drilling during construction in the 
shop, particularly for vessels that are to be lagged with insulating 
material on the outside. When lagging is contemplated small pipes, 
long enough to reach through the lagging, can be secured to the shell 
directly over the holes. 

Sometimes the question arises as to whether these test holes weaken 
a structure. We can assure anyone that they do not. In fact, the plate 
itself can be weakened and still remain stronger than the longitudinal 
seam, which is scarcely ever 95 per cent, as strong as the solid plate. 
So unless the holes weaken the plate below the strength of the longitu- 
dinal seam, the strength of the structure is not changed. Quarter-inch 
holes, spaced as close as twelve inches apart and drilled entirely through 
a plate, will reduce the net strength of the plate only one per cent., as 
may be seen by the following calculation: (12 — .125) -f- 12 = .99. 
From this it is evident that such test holes are too small and too widely 
spaced to affect the vessel's strength. 

Although this method is not new, it has not been generally practiced 
by manufacturers and certainly has not been used to the extent its 
merits warrant. 



19-^9. THE LOCOMOTIVE 141 



Manufacturers are urged to provide minimum safe thickness test 
holes as regular practice for all vessels that are used in any service 
where the metal is subject to wasting away from any cause. If the 
holes are drilled when the plates are in the flat and on the laying-out 
table it will take very little time and the cost will be small. Purchasers 
are urged to include this item in their specifications. 



Beware of Dead Air When Entering Boiler 

AN inspector of many years' experience recently had a narrow 
escape from death by suffocation when he was overcome by foul 
air in the drum of a boiler that had not been in use for three years. 
Although he took the customary precautions to secure a circulation of 
fresh air, the inspector made the mistake of entering the drum too soon. 
He had not gone far when a sensation of dizziness told him he was 
losing consciousness. Fortunately, he managed to crawl to the man- 
hole and thrust his head outside before he collapsed. There he lay 
until the fresh air revived him. 

When boilers are idle for a long time the oxygen of the air inside 
seems to be used up by formation of rust or absorbed by chemical re- 
action with 'some foreign substance left inside when the boiler was 
emptied. The result is stagnant or " dead " air. 

A boiler should never be entered until it has been ventilated thor- 
oughly. In a coal-fired unit the condition of the air can be determined 
bv thrusting a candle through the man-hole. If the air is bad, the 
flame will burn feebly or go out. This test should not be applied where 
oil or gas is used as fuel, for the process of ventilating the boiler by 
drawing air through it may carry in explosive vapor, especially if there 
is a leak in the fuel line. The safe way in all cases is first to make 
sure the method of ventilation is such that it actually does cause circula- 
tion of air through the drum, and then allow ventilation to continue 
until there is no doubt that the stale air has been replaced by fresh. 

, Closed tanks and vats of all kinds should likewise be ventilated 
before they are entered. In some cases they represent a greater danger 
than does a boiler, for they may contain, in addition to stagnant air, 
dangerous chemical fumes from materials previously stored there. 

Following are several other important precautions that should be 
observed by anyone who has occasion to enter a boiler : 

Make sure the blow-off valve is closed when the boiler under in- 
spection discharges into a blow-off line or tank to which other boilers 
are connected. 



H2 THE LOCOMOTIVE ^^-^^^'Y' 

Notify the boiler room attendants that you are about to make an 
inspection and warn them not to open a valve or do anything else to 
affect the boiler under inspection. If possible, have an engineer or other 
responsible man stand within speaking distance. 

Beware of stepping into deep soot or ashes in the back connection. 
Even though they have been wetted down, they may be red hot just 
below the surface. 

Avoid the use of worn-out or partly broken ladders when climbing 
up onto boilers and their settings. Be careful, also, not to trust your 
weight on small fittings or pipe connections. 



Oil Is Poor Medicine for Boiler Scale 

AMONG various " dopes " that have been tried as boiler scale 
preventives, oil probably holds the record for causing the most 
damage. As a general rule engineers know the effect of oil inside 
a boiler and are careful to guard against even the small quantities in 
condensate from engines and turbines. Yet once in awhile when an 
inspector encounters a bulged sheet he finds that the operator has given 
the boiler a dose of oil to combat scale. Where and when such a prac- 
tice originated no one can say. Even though warnings have been issued 
repeatedly, it seems that a few operators of small plants still do not 
know that oil is poison and not medicine when placed inside a boiler. 

The accompanying ilkistration shows a corrugated flue furnace in 
a boiler that had been " oiled ". Some well-meaning but misinformed 
friend told the operator that a pailful of cylinder oil would end his 
trouble with scale. As a result the flue overheated and bulged inward. 
Cases where oil is deliberately fed into a boiler are not numerous 
enough to cause great concern. Usually when oil is present it is there 
quite by accident and by no design of the operator. One such case was 
discovered recently at a plant using steam coils to heat a tank of oil. 
When the owner applied for insurance an inspector found crown and 
firebox sheets bulged so badly they were in danger of collapse. Oil had 
entered the return line through a leak in the heating coils and had grad- 
ually accumulated until it comprised about 15 per cent, of the solution 
in the boiler. As none of the steam was used in engines, the operator 
did not think it worth-while to investigate the cause of the boiler prim- 
ing. It was evident to the inspector that no one at the plant appreciated 
the danger of the condition. 

Metal could not endure contact with the intense furnace heat were 
it not for the coolingr effect of water inside the boiler. This cooling 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



143 



effect is dependent on the free, rapid transfer of heat from metal to 
water, and when either poor circulation or some mechanical barrier such 
as scale or oil retards this heat flow the metal may be burned or softened 
to such an extent that it will collapse. 






Oil is a better insulator than scale. Even a thin skin of oil resists 
the passage of heat so efficiently that wherever it forms the metal is 
almost certain to be damaged. 



Why Not Pulverise It? 

" If I cut a beefsteak in two," asked the teacher, " then cut the halves in two, 
what do I get?" 

" Quarters," replied the boy. 

"Good. And then again?" 

" Eighths." 

"Correct. Again?" 

" Sixteenths." 

"Exactly. And what then?" 

" Thirty-seconds." 

" And once more?" 

" Hamburger," cried the boy in exasperation. 



144 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 



Proper Selection and Operation of Blow-off V^alves Cut 
Down Maintenance Expense 

QUESTIONS concerning boiler blow-off valves are brought to 
our attention so frequently that a discussion here of the few- 
simple factors involved in the selection, installation, and handling 
of such equipment should be of interest to many of our readers. 

The valve used to start and stop the flow through the blow-off line 
is subjected to the most severe service and frequently causes more 
trouble than any other boiler fitting. The instant the valve starts to 
open, or starts to close, the outrushing water has a wire-drawing effect 
on both disc and seat. Scale and sediment carried along by the water 
contribute their share of the damage until, in time, the valve loses tight- 
ness and must be replaced or repaired. As tightness is important both 
for boiler safety and for avoiding the waste of heat involved in the 
steady loss of even a small stream of hot water, two independent closing 
devices are usually installed in each blow-off line. 

When two valves or a valve and cock are intelligently placed and 
operated, maintenance of the blow-off line is a comparatively simple 
matter and it may be taken care of in many cases without putting the 
boiler out of service. Of the two closing devices, at least one should 
be of the slow-acting type. A screw-actuated valve best meets this 
requirement and is in general use. This valve controls the blow-down, 
while the other — which may be of the plug cock type — is depended 
on to keep the line tight. In this article the first will be referred to 
as the " blowing " valve, while the other will be called the " sealing " 
valve. 

Some contend that a quick-acting valve such as the cock type should 
be used to start and stop the blow-off, because it will suffer less from 
wire-drawing than a valve with slower action. Nevertheless, a cock or . 
any other quick-acting valve should not be used as the " blowing " valve, 
for sudden starting or stopping of a mass of water involves severe 
water-hammer shocks that have been known to damage pipes and strip 
threads from fittings. Such an accident is hard on the equipment and 
even worse for the attendant. To avoid this danger, the " blowing " 
valve should be slow-acting. However, the " sealing " device may be 
either a similar valve, a quarter-turn valve, or a plug cock. 

The " sealing " valve is placed between the " blowing " valve and 
the boiler and should always be opened first and closed last. In this 
way the " blowing " valve is obliged to stand most of the punishment, 
while the other valve — which is depended on for tightness — is spared. 



1929. 



THK LOCOMOTIVE 



145 



Any valve in a blow-off line should be of a type having a free, 
unobstructed passage. The ordinary globe valve, and others that have 
pockets in which sediment and scale can collect, are not suitable. An 
angle valve is usually very satisfactory and is regarded by many as 
the type best suited to this work. 

The plug cock, when one is used, should be of the type that has at 
the top a stuffing gland or guard which will hold the plug securely in 




Op£'/7 Last — C/aseFirjt 



Quarter-turn P/ug Cac/f 
Open F/rst — C/ose Last 



Discharge 




place. Cocks in which the plug is fastened down by a nut on the small 
end of the taper are not favored, for the nut, so located that it cannot 
be readily observed, may work loose and allow the plug to blow out. 

Location of the " blowing " valve with respect to the " sealing " 
valve, and the order in which they should be manipulated are shown 
in the accompanying sketch. As the angle valve takes most of the 
wear it will require overhauHng more frequently than its mate. Placing 
the cock between this valve and the boiler makes it possible to repair 
or replace the " blowing " valve while the boiler is under steam. 

Where two or more blow-oflf outlets lead into a manifold, it is some- 
times the practice to have only one valve in each of the individual out- 
lets, the manifold being served by a master valve. In this case the valves 
on the individual lines are " sealing " valves and the master valve should 
be opened last and closed first. Some operators make the mistake of 
opening the master valve and then opening and closing in turn the 
valves on each individual line. This puts the brunt of the work on the 
valves which are intended for tightness and sooner or later they will 
leak. As there is no way of repairing or replacing one of them without 
shutting down the boiler, it is important that the correct sequence of 
operation be observed. 

Although the arrangement described in the last paragraph cuts down 



146 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 

the investment in equipment by having only one instead of two valves 
in the line between boiler and manifold, it involves several disadvan- 
tages that may be avoided if two valves are provided. 



Taps From the Old Chiefs Hammer 

FOR several minutes after the door closed behind the departing 
visitor the Old Chief stood at the window, gazing thoughtfully 
out into space. Evidently the conference had left him in a most 
satisfactory frame of mind, for he was smiling as he crossed the room 
and seated himself on a corner of his assistant's desk. 

" Tom," he said, " if thirty years at this job have taught me any- 
thing at all about human nature, from now on that man is going to be 
a Hartford booster." 

" What makes you think so, Chief ?" replied Tom, who guessed 
correctly that the boss had a story he was anxious to tell. 

" Well," explained the old man, lighting a pipe that had gone dead 
between his teeth, " plant managers are a pretty keen lot, take 'em by 
and large. If you show one a way to cut down expenses a few thou- 
sand dollars he isn't likely to forget you. 

" Take the case of this Mr. Kennedy. His stockholders are making 
money and they swear by him, yet up until recently our special agents 
were unanimous in declaring that when it came to thinking up reasons 
why he shouldn't spend money for boiler insurance he was a full lap 
ahead of any other plant manager in this territory. He was sure one 
tough proposition for a salesman to go up against, and I have an idea 
he'd still be holding out if he hadn't run into a lot of trouble with boiler 
leakage for which his own men could find no remedy. Anyway, about 
three months ago his nine boilers got to leaking so badly that some- 
thing just had to be done, so he decided to call us in. You can bet I 
sent Pursell down there pronto for a special examination. 

" Joe wasn't long finding the cause of the leakage. It was plainly 
a case of unequal expansion due to the collection of oil on the heating 
surfaces. Such a quantity was getting into the feed line from some 
source or other that the separator couldn't handle it. We had them 
give the boilers a good boiling-out and let them put the plant back into 
service but, naturally, we weren't going to O. K. the layout until we 
found and eliminated the source of that oil. 

" With Mr. Kennedy's consent we went at his plant with a fine- 
tooth comb, spending the best part of a week on the feed water heater, 



1929. THE LOCOMOTIVE 147 

purification system, heating equipment and, finally, the engines. There 
we found the trouble. Those engines were equipped with oil pumps, 
and the operating engineer — apparently a capable enough fellow in 
most respects — had an idea the engines wouldn't work properly unless 
the oil jet was open wide and working full blast. He was putting a 
whole barrel of oil through the cylinders of seven small engines every 
day in the week. 

" When we suggested that he cut the oil down to about a third of 
a barrel a day he almost had a fit. We had trouble convincing him 
that it wouldn't ruin his engines. Finally, however, he agreed to give 
our plan a trial, with the result that after the feed water heater was 
thoroughly cleaned out, the oil feed was cut to thirty per cent, of what 
it formerly had been, and they had no more trouble with the boilers. 

" Kennedy dropped in this morning apparently just to get my advice 
on a new air compressor, but before he had been here ten minutes he 
changed the subject to plant economy and showed me a sHp of paper 
on which he had calculated how much our inspection visit is going 
to save him in lubricating oil. According to his figures, cutting the oil 
consumption seventy per cent, will benefit his firm to the tune of $4,280 
a year. Not so bad, Tom, eh?" 

" That's great, boss," the assistant agreed, " but haven't both you 
and Kennedy overlooked the increased fuel economy that is going to 
result, now that you've arranged to keep the boilers free from oil?" 

" Xot by a darned sight, we haven't," laughed the Chief. " Kennedy 
told me his engineer has noticed the efifect on the coal pile. At my 
suggestion he is going to compare the record of coal fired during the 
past month with the amount used the month before he called us down 
there. Unless I miss my guess, he's going to save a substantial sum 
over the §4,280 he obtained by figuring on oil alone." 



Over the Chief Inspector's Phone 

" This is the purchasing agent of the Crooked Creek Railroad. Our boiler- 
maker wants the Chief to tell him how much material will be required for a 
petticoat pipe in Xo. 3 engine." 

Chief's Xew Stenographer — " Well, the Chief is out of town today, but if 
your wise-cracking boilermaker has an engine that insists on wearing a petticoat 
you tell him to take it around to an old-fashioned dressmaker." 



Tolerably Fast Car 

" I have a friend who always crosses bridges before he comes to them." 
" You don't mean it !" exclaimed the enthusiastic motorist. " Tell me, what 
sort of a car does he drive?" 



148 



THE LOCO M O T I V E 



January, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 

DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

George Hargis Prall, Editor 

Copyright 1929 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



HARTFORD, CONN., January i, 1929 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. 



Returning to an Old Smelting Principle 

A COMPANY has been formed in Germany to produce 20,000 tons 
of iron annually by the reduction of ore by contact with carbon 
monoxide at a temperature below the melting point of the iron. 
This venture will be watched with particular interest, for it means 
going back to the principle of a method which has long been abandoned 
by all save a few wild tribes in the hills of India. 

Thousands of years ago prehistoric man learned to produce iron 
from lumps of ore and charcoal. His apparatus was a cone-shaped 
clay furnace with a hole at the top for the escape of gases and several 
holes or tuyeres around the bottom for draft. Men squatted around the 
furnace and blew air into these tuyeres through hollow reeds or bamboo 
tubes until the carbon monoxide gas from the burning charcoal reduced 
each piece of ore to a porous lump of iron. Then the furnace was 
broken open and the iron lumps compacted by hammering on stone or 
metal anvils. 

The blast furnace took the place of this crude method. But still 
the blast furnace has its disadvantages, for it involves melting the iron, 
and molten iron is quick to pick up and absorb impurities as it trickles 



•929. THE LOCOMOTIVE 149 

down through the charge in the furnace. Whether or not the better 
quality of the iron produced by Germany's new appHcation of the 
older principle will compensate for its greater cost remains to be seen. 



Looking at Coal in a New Light 

DEVELOPMENTS that involve radical departures from pres- 
ent methods of utilizing coal were described by chemists and 
engineers at the second International Conference on Bituminous 
Coal, held recently in Pittsburgh. 

Twenty-five years ago the most efficient power plants needed 6.5 
pounds of coal to produce a kilowatt hour of electric energy. Today the 
giant plants of public utilities are turning out kilowatt hours in hun- 
dred-thousand units for less than 2 pounds of coal per Kw.-hr.. and at 
least one plant is equipped and managed so efficiently that slightly less 
than one pound of coal suffices. But in spite of the remarkable ad- 
vance in the art of converting coal into power, the mounting cost of 
this basic commodity, together with a growing realization that there 
is a limit to the world's deposits of high grade mineral fuel, has led 
to the belief that it is highly wasteful to use coal in its raw state even 
in the most efficient furnaces. 

A lump of coal now is regarded as a complex mixture of carbon 
and hydro-carbons, some of which are so valuable that they should not 
be used directly as fuel, but should be extracted for industrial raw 
material before coal is turned over to the power plant for its furnaces. 
From the discussions at the Pittsburgh conference, it is apparent that 
engineers everywhere are awake to the necessity of utilizing our supply 
of high-grade fuel to better advantage, and of finding more extensive 
uses- for such fuels as low-grade coal and screenings. 

An example of the trend toward more efficient use of this natural 
resource is the process whereby coal is placed in a retort and heated by 
low pressure, super-heated steam until it " sweats " out its volatile oils, 
which are condensed and collected. The carbon left in the retort is 
an excellent smokeless fuel. Each ton of coal so treated produces about 
275 pounds of oil and wax, and 1,300 pounds of smokeless fuel, while 
the dirt and moisture content — amounting to about 350 pounds ■ — 
are eliminated. 

Turning coal into petroleum is another process di which we may 
hear more in the future. This involves treatment of raw coal under 
great heat and high pressure, the resulting liquid and gaseous hydro- 
carbons being brought into contact with chemically active hydrogen. It 



I50 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^""^'-y' 

is claimed that the product thus formed may be readily " cracked " 
into gasoline and other petroleum derivatives. 

The use of powdered coal directly as furnace fuel has already ad- 
vanced a long way beyond the experimental stage. This fuel has been 
.used aboard the U. S. Shipping Board freighter " Mercer " so success- 
fully that the Board recently decided to equip five other freighters in the 
same way. Because this, method may provide a way to use efficiently 
such low grades of fuel as run-of-mine and slack, several steamship 
companies here and abroad are investigating it, and engineers the world 
over are watching it with interest. 

Still another use for powdered coal is proposed. In Germany they 
have developed an internal combustion engine which uses this fuel in- 
stead of gas or oil, thus reverting to the principle of the original Diesel. 
A Netherlands scientist, foreseeing that the abrasive action of the ash 
on cylinder walls might b^ a stumbling block that would hold back the 
development of such engines, has evolved what he calls carbonal phine, 
a powdered carbon which combines the lubricating qualities of finely 
divided graphite with high fuel value. He intends to mix this with 
powdered coal. The discoverer claims that on a calory measurement 
his fuel may be used with five times the economy obtained by burning 
coal to produce steam. An interesting factor is that low grade coals, 
peats, and lignites may eventually be used as the sources of carbon. 

Such methods for multiplying the value of each pound of fuel 
should, if successfully placed in practice, extend the world's coal supply 
several hundred years. But aside from that, the change of fuel from 
its natural state into a more concentrated form promises other econo- 
mies. For instance, may not the future witness " liquified " coal pumped 
from the mines to tidewater through pipe lines hundreds of miles in 
length, thus reducing the present cost of transportation not merely by 
eliminating the long haul by rail but also by making it unnecessary to 
carry the ash and moisture, which would be taken out by the process 
at the mine? 
* Naturally, many of the processes discussed at the conference in 
Pittsburgh still await further study by engineers and chemists before 
they can be put to use on a commercial basis and at a reasonable cost. 
But with all things considered, the prospects are extremely bright. 



First Fireman — " It's wonderful how smart these scientists are gettin'. Now 
they got a way of workin' wid Old Nick himself." 

Second Fireman — "What makes you say that?" 

F. F. — "Well, I was just in the Chief's office and there on his desk was a 
magazine wid a story about ' Heat Balance at Hell Gate '." 



19-29- 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



151 



Positive Designation of Portable Boilers and Tanks 

(By J. A. SxvDER, Chief Inspector, Pittsburgh, Pa.) 

POSITIVE identification of a particular portable steam boiler 
or tank is of the utmost importance lor the purpose of keeping 
inspection records and applying for operating certificates. Such 
contracting equipment is moved continually from place to place and, 
frequently, when a contractor has several boilers of the same size and 
type, confusion may arise unless there is some system by which each 



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object may be distinguished from others of its kind. 

Some boiler users have a splendid plan of designating their portable 
boilers and tanks by attaching to each vessel a small brass plate bearing 
the name or initials of the company, together with a number reserved 
for that particular object. The number is cast or deeply stamped on 
the plate, which is then fastened securely to the shell of the vessel by 
small machine screws. In no case should the plate be fastened to a 
pipe or other attachment, or to the machine on which the vessel is used, 
for boilers and tanks are sometimes changed from one machine to 
another. 

When thus marked, a boiler should be known only by its number, 
and should be so designated by the owner, operators, inspectors, and 
repairmen. This number should be used also for state or municipal 
operating certificates, when such are required, unless the state or muni- 
cipalit}' has an established numbering system of its own. To avoid 
confusing records of an old boiler with those of a new one, it is advis- 
able to discontinue a number when the vessel to which it is assigned is 
scrapped. 

With such a system in use it is easy for the contractor's main office 
to keep an accurate monthly record of the location or movement of 



IC2 THE LOCOMOTIVE ^^^^^^y- 

apparatus. This can be done by having the foreman on each job 
furnish a report on a certain day of each month, showing the equip- 
ment on the job and in transportation. The form herein illustrated 
has been found very satisfactory for such a record. It may be used by 
the foremen in sending their reports and by the main office in compiling 
the master record. 

By combining reports from various contracts the contractor obtains 
a complete record which not only tells him the exact whereabouts of his 
equipment, but enables him to determine more readily the routing of 
suitable boilers from one contract job to another. 

In many cases state highway and factory inspectors are obliged 
to take note of steam boilers found on their visits, and they are ex- 
pected to see the state operating certificates. Sometimes this puts a 
contractor to a great deal of trouble when certificates have just expired 
or are about to expire and it is necessary to arrange quickly for an in- 
spection. A situation of this kind can be straightened out with the 
least loss of time if the boiler is plainly marked with a number, for then 
there is no question of its identity, and it can be more readily inspected 
and described in the reports and certificates. 



''Blue " Gas Not a New Discovery 

COINCIDENT with the trans-Atlantic voyage of the airship 
" Graf Zeppelin " the newspaper-reading public was led to believe 
that a new fuel gas had been invented for use in her engines. 
Blau gas, or " blue " gas as the newspapers called it, was so named for a 
German chemist Herr Blau who developed a process now used by the 
concern engaged in its manufacture. However, this gas was known as 
early as 1815, when Taylor produced it. In 1823 several municipal gas 
plants in England were manufacturing this type of fuel. 

Mineral oil distillates, distillates from lignite tar and shale tar, or 
even some vegetable oils may be used as the base of blau gas. When 
mineral oils are used, about ten per cent, of the crude — representing 
that part lying between the kerosenes and the lubricating oils — is 
sprayed into a retort heated to about 600 degrees Centigrade, where it 
volatilizes and then breaks up into gas, tar, coke, and lampblack. The 
gas, which consists of the light hydro-carbons, is liquefied by a pressure 
of about 100 atmospheres and is stored in steel cylinders, convenient 
for handling. Its heat content is in the neighborhood of 26,500 B. t. u. 
per pound. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



153 



Cast Crank Pin Proves Stronger Than Disc 

IT will take more than the accompanying photograph of an engine 
break-down to settle the old argument as to whether casting a semi- 
steel crank j^in and crank disc together makes as strong a job as 
shrinking a steel pin into the disc. However, it is evident that the cast 




pin shown here was sufficiently strong, for it withstood a tremendous 
shock while the disc itself broke in two. 

This break-down occurred recently on a Corliss type engine and was 
caused by the piston rod breaking ofif underneath the nut at the head 
end of the piston. The nut dropped down, jammed between the piston 
and cylinder head, and broke ofif the whole end of the cylinder at the 
center line of the head-end valve chambers. At the same time the guide 
barrel, cross-head shoe, and crank disc were broken. 

The practice of casting the pin in one piece with the disc is opposed 



154 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^^^^o'- 

by some on the ground that it is difficuh to avoid blow-holes and shrink- 
age strains when making a piece which consists of a bulky part joined 
to a thinner one, such as a pin on a disc. On the other hand, designers 
who favor this method point out that a steel pin is prone to work loose 
and, moreover, unless fitted accurately to the hole in the disc, sometimes 
breaks ofif. If the pin fits somewhat tighter at one end of the hole than 
it does at the other end, it will flex back and forth at each revolution of 
the engine. Eventually such bending may crack it. 

When properly designed and made, either form of construction 
seems to give satisfactory service. In the case of a cast-on pin there 
should be a generous fillet at the juncture between pin and disc, for a 
sharp corner there may serve as the starting point of a crack. Of 
course, the bearing must be shaped to accommodate this fillet. With 
the shrunk-in steel pin it is important that the force fit of the pin in the 
disc be such that when the pin is forced home it will bear solidly at all 
points. 



Boiler Explodes and Kills Boy 

RUNNING on ahead of his aunt, with whom he was out for a 
walk, a three-year-old New Orleans boy was crushed to death 
on October 29th, 1928, when a steam boiler explosion hurled 
a heavy wall down across the sidewalk. The wreckage narrowly missed 
burying the aunt likewise. 

The boiler was a Scotch Marine dryback, apparently about twenty 
years old. It was said to carry a pressure of from 45 to 50 pounds 
and was used to supply hot water in a laundry. Failure occurred in the 
flue. 

It was fortunate that the blast occurred after employees had left 
for the day. for the building was demolished. Other buildings in the 
vicinity were damaged considerably, one catching fire. The laundry 
owner carried no boiler insurance. 



The Crook 



" There," exclaimed wifey in righteous indignation. " I told you that over- 
night guest of yours wasn't to be trusted. One of our towels is missing." 
" Was it a good one ?" inquired hubby. 
" It was the best we had — the one with ' Grand Palace Hotel ' on it." 



Want Ad. in the Witchita Falls Times — " For Sale — a full-blooded cow, 
giving milk, three tons of hay, a lot of chickens, and several stoves." 



1929. thp: locomotive 155 

Recent Steamboat Race Recalls Stories oj Early Days on 
Mississippi and Q^\\\o Rivers 

A SPECTACULAR sport, which passed from popularity shortly 
after the Civil War, was revived a few months ago when two 
snorting stern-wheel steamboats raced up the Ohio river from 
Cincinnati to New Richmond. This contest witnessed the defeat of 
the old " Betsy Ann ", for many years regarded as the champion 
among river craft, and called forth newspaper stories of bygone days 
when Mississippi and Ohio river captains rated a craft according to 
its ability to outstrip rivals. 

Conditions under which the recent race was run were in marked 
contrast with those of former days. When the two contestants pulled 
away from the wharf in Cincinnati, officials were on hand to look over 
the boiler inspection certificates ; United States inspectors were aboard 
to see that steam gauges registered no more than the allowed pressure. 
Governmental supervision was probably not quite so rigid when the 
" Robert E. Lee " and the " Natchez " steamed their memorable race 
from New Orleans to St. Louis. 

Between the 30's and the 70's competition among boat captains was 
keen both for the plaudits of a race-loving public and for what was more 
substantial, the freight and passenger patronage that went to the 
fastest boats. As a consequence, inadequate boilers were forced be- 
yond pressures that would be allowable under present-day require- 
ments, and explosions were rather frequent. Instead of discouraging 
racing, these mishaps seemed to add just another sporting hazard to a 
venture that was already quite exciting enough. 

Enthusiasm was at a high pitch whenever two boats drew abreast 
and started down the river. Passengers and crew shared equally the 
excitement of a neck and neck contest and skippers and passengers 
frequently wagered hundreds of dollars on the outcome. The story 
is told of one old Kentucky lady, bound south with a shipment of her 
own lard, who called on the captain to throw the lard into the fire when 
a rival boat threatened to outdistance the one on which she was a 
passenger. " I come from Kentucky where they race horses," she cried. 
" I just won't be beat." 

In those days an approved method for getting an extra knot or 
two, when hard pressed, was to weigh down the safety valve lever. 
Sometimes, it is told, a negro cabin boy was seated astride the lever 
to keep the valve from popping. Meanwhile, on the boiler deck, a 
squad of sweating stokers imbibed generously from a handy keg of 



156 THE LOCOMOTIVE January, 

whisky while they fed chunks of wood into the seething maws of the 
furnaces. When pine knots failed to produce enough heat to satisfy 
the skipper, pure resin and even slabs of fat side meat — when it was 
handy — were tossed into the fire. 

It is little wonder that boilers exploded under such treatment, for 
usually the factor of safety was too small even for normal conditions 
of firing. Pressures obtained during a race must have approached 
dangerously close to the bursting point. 

Although the sporting blood of pioneer river men helped to encour- 
age racing, this factor was secondary to the battle among ship owners 
for the patronage accorded speedy boats. We imagine that in this 
stiff warfare little time was given to inspecting boilers. The rigid 
safety standards of today, which insurance companies helped introduce, 
were unknown in this country before The Hartford Steam Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company was organized in 1866. 

Just a year before the Hartford Company was formed a boiler ex- 
plosion aboard the Mississippi river steamer " Sultana " snuffed out the 
lives of 1,238 passengers. That disaster was among the worst in the 
long history of river navigation and has not been forgotten even to this 
day. Recently this magazine received an interesting letter from Mr. E. 
Carroll Taber, of Keokuk, Iowa, whose father was captain of a vessel 
which vied with the " Sultana " for the contract to carry north a de- 
tachment of Union soldiers who had just been released from Southern 
prison camps by the declaration of peace. 

As the " Sultana " steamed into Vicksburg to pick up her human 
cargo, one of her boilers developed a leak along a joint at the front 
end. Hasty repairs were made by bolting on a soft-patch of quarter- 
inch iron plate. Then, without waiting even long enough to prepare a 
passenger list, 1,866 soldiers were herded aboard and the ill-fated jour- 
ney commenced. 

So crowded were the passengers that many did not have room to 
he down. Inadequate cooking facilities added to their discomfort. 
After the disaster these facts led to ugly charges and counter-charges of 
bribery in connection with the award of the contract to one ship when 
others were available to carry some of the men. 

At three o'clock on the morning of April 27, 1865, when the ship 
was several miles above Memphis, the repaired boiler let go. Many of 
the victims were killed outright. Others, terribly scalded, were thrown 
into the river and drowned. 

The boiler was a return-tubular — then a type new to river service. 
Its dimensions, shell thickness, and type of riveted joint indicate that 



1929. THE LOCOMOTIVE 157 

it could have withstood 90 pounds with a factor of safety of five. How- 
ever, the chances are that it was carrying more than 90 pounds. 

In 1912 a Louisville, Ky., newspaper published a story that a former 
river engineer, on his deathbed, confessed that he placed a torpedo in 
a coal bunker just before the ship left Memphis. The truth of such 
confession — if one was actually made — must be doubted in view of 
what is known of the boiler's weakness and the probability of rupture 
under the pressure it was called upon to carry. 



The Value of Periodic Inspections 

'T'T'7' HAT goes on inside a machine? In a general way, en- 
VV gi"^^^- know ; but variations from normal behavior often are 
not evident until the condition has gone beyond easy cor- 
rection and a shutdown for repair is necessary. And sometimes the 
condition becomes so serious before it is noticed that an accident or a 
bad failure is experienced. 

This being an unavoidable state of afifairs, plans must be laid to 
minimize its consequences. Periodic, thorough inspection of all power 
equipment should be as much a part of the plant routine as sleep is a 
part of a man's activities. Time between inspections should be so reg- 
ulated as to anticipate the occurrence of serious troubles, and the scherl- 
ule set for this work should be rigidly adhered to. To open a turbine 
and go over it at short intervals may mean a lot of work for the operat- 
ing staff; but it frequently saves the cost of an extensive reblading job 
and the losses resulting from reduced plant capacity. — Power. 



Wooden Barrel Explodes, Scalds Man 

WASHING out wooden barrels by means of steam has lost popu- 
larity in Boone. Iowa. Until recently it was customary for 
anyone who wanted a barrel " steamed " to take it to the boiler 
room of Hawkeye Laundry, where an obliging fireman would thrust the 
nozzle of a steam hose into the bung-hole. 

As long as the operator of this ingenious scouring device took care 
that the nozzle did not fit t\ie bung-hole tightly no trouble was experi- 
enced ; steam escaped around the nozzle and thus kept down pressure in 
the barrel. But on one occasion this precaution was overlooked. The 
nozzle was driven tightly into the hole, where it was clamped even more 
securely when steam swelled the wood. The resulting explosion scalded 
one man severelv. 



The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1927 



Capital Stock, 



Cash in ofifices and banks . 

Real Estate . . . . 

Mortgage and collateral loans 

Bonds and Stocks 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest accrued 

Other Assets . . . . 



^2,500,000.00 



ASSETS 



Total Assets 



$ 622,484.21 

283,421.23 

1,366,072.48 

15,023,458.34 

1,363.003.55 
152,728.70 

54,678.59 
$ 18,865,847.10 



LIABILITIES 

Reserve for unearned premiums 
Reserve for losses .... 
Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital Stock ..... 
Surplus over all liabilities 

Surplus to Policyholders, 



$2,500,000.00 
6,715,969.30 



$ 7,710,752.66 

346,047.69 

1,593,07745 



^9,215,969.30 



Total Liabilities $ 18,865,847.10 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WILLIAM R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Directors, Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

]MORGAN B. BRAINARD, President 
^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 

Conn. . 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, Chairman Board 
of Trustees, Society for Savings, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON B.VRNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIG.\N, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

S.VMUEL M. STONE, President The 
Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

S«VMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., Plain- 
ville, Conn. 

CURTISS C. G.\RDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, SO Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga., 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg. 

BALTIMORE, Md., . 
13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON, MASS., . 
4 Liberty Sq., Cor. Water St 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.. . 
404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg 

CHICAGO, 111., 
209 West Jackson Boulevard 

CINCINNATI, Ohio, 
First National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. . 

DENVER, Colo., 
916-918 Gas & EHectric Bldg 

DETROIT, Mich., . 
2401-7 First Nat"I Bank Bldj 

HARTFORD, Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., . 
1 1 28 Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK. N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., . 
429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa.. 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. 

PORTLAND. Ore., . 
306 Yeon Bldg. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., . 
114 Sansome St. 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
423 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 
610-618 Security Bldg. . 

TORONTO. Canada, 
Federal Bldg. . 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector. 

Lawford & McKiM, General Agents. 
P. E. Terroy, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 

W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector. 

W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. BoNNETT, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector. 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham. Manager. 
L. T. Gregg, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

L. L. Coates, Manager. 

Thom.\s p. Hetu, Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Ken yon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. Burwell, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsworth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice-President. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wick HAM, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

George S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 



Bates, Lh-ely & Pearson, General Agents. 

C. B. Paddock, Manager. 
L. J. Reed, Chief Inspector. 

E. G. Watson, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

H. X. Roberts, President, The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 




The Hartford 

Boiler Insurance 

Boilers, Economizers, Vulcanizers, Kiers, 

Digesters, Steam Driers, Jacketed 

Kettles, Etc. 

Flywheel Insurance 

Flywheels, Fans, Blowers, Turbines, Water 

Wheels, Centrifugal Driers, Gear 

Wheels, Etc. 

Engine Insurance 

Engines, Compressors, Pumps, Refrigerating 

Machines, Etc. 

Electrical Machinery Insurance 

Generators, Motors, Synchronous Converters, 

Transformers, Switchboards, Etc. 



Consult your agent or broker or =Krite for 
details to the nearest branch office of 

THE HARTFORD STEAM BOILER 

INSPECTION and INSURANCE CO. 

HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 

" The oldest in the Country, the largest in the world " 



Vol. XXXVII No. 6 



April 1929 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 



Published continuously since 1867 

b}' The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Compan}' 



Please show to vour Enoineer 



1 62 THE LOCOMOTIVE April 

Cause and Prevention of Internal Corrosion oj Boilers 

By William D. Halsey, Mechanical Eng. 



The general subject of corrosion involves so tnany ramifica- 
tions — by reason of the varied conditions under which corrosion 
() may occur — that at least a volume would be required for any- ( 
*f where^ near adequate treatment. Recognising that fact, the author * 
of this article has limited discussion to the variety of corrosion 
commonly found inside boilers. He has, we believe, succeeded in 
dealing with this specific phase of the subject in a zvay which our 
readers will find interesting. 



THE subject of corrosion has, for years, been one of careful study 
by many investigators. Numerous theories have been advanced 
as to the cause, and all of them have seemed to fit some particular 
condition under investigation. However, until the electro-chemical 
theory was brought forward, there was no theory which adequately 
explained all cases. The electro-chemical theory was first advanced 
in 1903 and is now quite generally accepted as the real explanation of 
corrosion. 

Most of us have observed, at one time or another, that a piece of 
iron in a solution of copper sulphate soon becomes coated with copper. 
This is because the iron goes into solution — dissolves, as a matter of 
fact — and in so doing makes room for itself by forcing the copper 
out of solution. 

Iron has exactly this same action with hydrogen in solution. In 
other words, when free hydrogen exists in water, the iron in contact 
with such water goes into solution and forces the hydrogen to plate 
out, just as copper is plated out of the copper sulphate bath. However, 
as hydrogen accumulates on the iron the rate at which iron dissolves 
slows up. When the point is reached where the whole surface of the 
iron is coated with hydrogen the action stops altogether. It is in this 
connection that the presence of free oxygen or carbon dioxide gas in 
the water plays an important part in corrosion, for these gases have 
a notable liking for hydrogen and will combine with it at every oppor- 
tunity. Thus when there is free oxygen or carbon dioxide in boiler 
water they quickly strip the protective layer of gaseous hydrogen from 
the surface of the iron and encourage further interchange of iron and 
hydrogen. This action will continue until all the free oxygen in the 
water is used up. 

As an understanding of this phenomenon requires that the reader 
know, at least in a general way, just what is meant by atoms, mole- 
cules, and ions, a short explanation at this point may not be amiss. 



19^9- 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



163 




Fiyiir. 



The various fundamental substances with which we deal in the 
realm of physics and chemistry are known as elements. Included 
among them are the metals and the various gases such as oxygen, hy- 
drogen, nitrogen, and many others. The smallest division of one of 
these elements is called an atom and it is a bit of matter so tiny that 
it cannot be seen even under the most powerful microscope. In fact, 

it has been said that if a drop 
of water were magnified to 
the size of the earth the atoms 
would appear to be about the 
size of oranges. 

When two elements com- 
Ijjne, such as in the union of 
hydrogen and oxygen to form 
water, atoms of the two ele- 

t*^\ ■ ^^K. **r'^wd ments form themselves into 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ '"^ 1 what is known as a molecule 
_ of the new substance. An 

ion, the third of this trio of 
infinitesimal portions, is noth- 
ing more than an atom or a 
group of atoms carrying a charge of electricity. This electricity may 
be either positive or negative. 

Hydrogen ions — electrically charged atoms of hydrogen — may 
exist in water without being combined with the water. They always 
carry a positive charge of electricity. When iron goes into solution 
it docs so as ions of iron, which also carry a positive charge. Just 
why iron is able to force hydrogen out of solution is explained by the 
fact that some elements seem to be stronger than others in maintaining 
themselves in solution. Listed in the order of their ability to replace 
others in solution, some of the more prominent elements are: cadmium, 
zinc, iron, nickel, lead, tin, hydrogen, copper, silver, gold. Any of these 
elements will replace, or have a tendency to replace the elements which 
stand lower on the list, if one of those elements is in solution. It will be 
noted that iron stands higher in the list than hydrogen. 

As the hydrogen ions plate out on the iron they set up what may be 
looked upon as a back pressure resisting the effort of any more hydro- 
gen to plate out. Since it is necessary for a hydrogen ion to come out 
of solution in order that an iron ion go m, this action eventually results 
in no more iron dissolving. Unfortunately, when free oxygen is pres- 
ent in the water this protective coating does not last long, for the 



164 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 



oxygen promptly combines with the hydrogen to form water, thus 
allowing the action to recommence. From this fact it is apparent that 
although the inherent tendency of iron to go into solution is the cause 
of corrosion, the presence of free oxygen in the water is a control- 
ling factor. 

Carbon dioxide acts in a somewhat different manner but, never- 
theless, has the ability to remove the hydrogen, 
thereby permitting more iron to dissolve. 

The action of iron going into solution and 
hydrogen coming out may be very well dem- 
onstrated by what is known as the ferroxyl 
test. This consists of a solution of ferro- 
cyanide of potassium and phenolpthalein. Fer- 
rocyanide of potassium in the presence of iron 
will show a blue color and phenolphthalein in 
the presence of hydrogen will show a pink 
color. If a piece of iron, such as a common 
wire nail, be placed in some gelatin containing 
the proper proportions of these chemicals or 
" indicators ", as they are called, it will be 
found that certain parts of the nail will be 
surrounded by a blue color and other parts by 
a pink color. Where the blue appears the iron 
is being dissolved ; the hydrogen it replaces 
is located in the pink area. 

The total corrosion which takes place is 
dependent on the amount of oxygen or carbon 
dioxide that can reach the total area covered by hydrogen. If the 
iron actually exposed to the water is large in area we will have general 
corrosion. Figure i is an example. However, if a small area of iron 
is exposed the total weight of iron which will go into solution will be 
the same as for a larger area of iron, but the loss will necessarily 
appear great and will show as a deep pit. This condition, wherein 
a small area is exposed to the water, may be brought about by mill 
scale adhering to the metal and thus protecting it against the solution, 
or by adherent scale from the water through which there is a crack. 
Under such a crack corrosion may occur in the form of deep pitting. 
Furthermore, as the iron oxide forms around the mouth of the pit 
local electrolytic action between the iron itself and the oxide take? 
place, and this further accelerates the pitting. Other conditions such 
as segregation of the foreign elements in steel plates or gas inclusion 




Figure 



19^. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



165 




Excessive internal corrosion in a horizoiital tubular boiler at a brick yard 
in Richmond, Va., caused the explosion shown above. The accident demol- 
ished the building and vi'rcckcd an engine, causing property damage of 
almost $lo,oou. 



may also give rise to local corrosion. Where there are dissimilar 
metals in contact as, for instance, brass fusible plugs or other brass 
fittings actually in contact with the boiler shell, opportunity is given 
for electrolytic action between the two metals. 

It is also true that where iron is highly stressed and is in direct 
contact with other iron which is not so highly stressed there is a 
greater tendency on the part of the iron under the higher stress to 
go into solution. The experiment of the iron nail in gelatin with the 
two ■' indicators ", to which reference has already been made, will 
very frequently show a blue color at the head and point with the pink 
color along the body of the nail. This is an excellent illustration of 
the greater tendency of the higher stressed metal (for the forming of 
the head and point caused high stresses in those parts) to go into 
solution. Furthermore, this action accounts for the grooving fre- 
quently encountered in the turn of the flange of a boiler head or along 
a long riveted seam. Figure 2 shows a case of this kind. 

There are many factors in the corrosion of iron which space will 
not permit taking up in an article as brief as this one. However, the 
action described herein covers in a general way the fundamental prin- 



i66 THE LOCOMOTIVE April 

ciple and allows us to turn now to a discussion of the steps which can 
be taken to prevent corrosion. 

Since the presence of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the water is the 
factor which determines the amount of corrosion, it follows that the 
best preventive step is the removal of these gases. In the smaller 
plants an open heater, well vented, is successful in reducing their amount 
to what is usually considered a harmless quantity. In larger installa- 
tions deaerators or deactivators are used in an endeavor to further re- 
duce the oxygen content and the water is treated to remove the carbon 
dioxide. A deaerator is a vessel or system of vessels which drives the 
air out by the application of heat and vacuum. A deactivator is a vessel 
in which the water is permitted to act on iron, thus expending its oxygen. 

Whenever a persistent case of corrosion is encountered the services 
of a competent feed water specialist should be obtained before pro- 
ceeding with the installation of equipment to overcome the trouble. 
In some cases involved treatment may be necessary ; in others the 
remedy may be quite simple. 



Badly Corroded Boiler Kills 6, Injures 4 

WHILE the foregoing article was under preparation there came 
news of a disastrous boiler explosion which very evidently 
was caused by excessive internal corrosion of the shell. Six 
persons were killed and five others, including a little girl who was 
playing in the yard of her home some distance away, were badly injured. 

Built about 1890, the horizontal tubular boiler which exploded had 
been in service at two other locations before it was set up at a saw- 
mill in a Southern state two months ago. Although it was designed for 
a working pressure of but 90 pounds, it was used at 105 pounds with 
the safety valve set to blow ten pounds above that. On the day before 
the explosion leakage developed through the solid plate in the middle 
of the rear course and it was found that corrosion had eaten entirely 
through the shell in five different spots. 

A local mechanic was employed to check the leakage, which he did 
by drilling through the plate at the holes and inserting ^-inch machine 
bolts with lead washers inside and nuts outside the boiler shell. 

The boiler was fired up next morning, and a moment after the 
safety valve popped the boiler ruptured from end to end through 
the bottom of all three courses. At the same time the courses were 
separated at the girth seams, the solid plate tearing circumferentially 
parallel to the seams rather than through the rivet holes. A part of the 



19^. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



167 



boiler was blown a distance of 225 yards, landing within a few feet 
of the owner's residence. Another large piece, consisting of most of 
the front head, was hurled over the mill and a railroad siding, coming 
to rest 190 yards from the point where it started. Four persons were 




killed outright ; two others died in the hospital. Property damage alone 
was approximately $10,000. 

The owner carried no boiler insurance, so it is not probable that 
the boiler was examined by a competent inspector when it was brought 
to the sawmill and set up. An inspector would surely have noted the 
dangerous extent to which the shell had deteriorated, for even in the 
accompanying photograph it can readily be seen that corrosion and 
pitting had eaten down the metal alarmingly. 



MOST RETIRING 



Timid Swain, who had been years getting up his courage to take the leap: 
" Sir, I have been courting your daughter for fifteen years, and — ." 

Dad: "Well, what do you want?" 

Swain : "To marry her." 

Dad. sighing with relief : " Phew I I was afraid you were going to ask for 
a pension or something." 



Pat the office boy wanted a raise, so he went to his boss and asked for an 
increase of $2.00 a week. 

" Do you think you are worth it?" he was asked. 

" I do," was the reply. " I've been thinking so for the last three weeks but 
have been too busy to say so." 



1 68 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

Detection oj Very Dangerous Conditions Frequently 
Accomplished by Study oj Small Symptoms 

ALTHOUGH a leak at the lower head seam of the mud drum on 
Boiler No. 13 persisted even after the seam was twice caulked, 
^ plant attendants had no idea what a serious predicament the 
twelve-year-old vessel was in. It remained for a Hartford Steam 
Boiler inspector to find that out. 

While examining several of the plant's twenty-seven vertical water- 
tube boilers, the inspector noticed that a mud-drum seam on Boiler 
No. 13 had been recently caulked. The boiler was not under pressure 
at the time, but the inspector saw from the white deposit around the 
seam that leakage had occurred since the caulking was done. Crawling 
into the drum, he found between three adjacent rivet heads a deposit 
of soft sediment that reminded him of a mud wasp's nest. From this 
he reasoned that there was a crack so fine that, as water passed through, 
small particles of solid matter were filtered out and left behind. The 
crack was too small to be distinguished by the naked eye, but under 
a magnifying glass it showed up clearly as a very fine fissure running 
from rivet hole to rivet hole. Similar cracks were found at two other 
points along the seam. 

Determined to find out the extent to which the plate was affected, 
the inspector removed the rivets and cut loose the braces joining head 
and tube plate. No sooner had he unfastened the last brace than the 
shell plate below the line of rivet holes tore away and tumbled down 
into the pit, along with the head. Cracks around the entire circum- 
ference reduced the plate strength so much that the mere weight of 
the head broke the remaining metal. 

This discovery was made just in time, for there is no doubt that 
the boiler would have exploded, had it remained in service. 

Training and experience frequently enable an inspector to locate 
defects by means of small symptoms to which others might attach no 
significance. Now and then the outward indication of a fault is ap- 
parently so trivial that the inspector has trouble convincing even the 
plant engineer that a dangerous condition exists. With the plant 
running at full capacity and in need of all the steam it can get, the 
engineer is anxious to put the boiler back on the line as quickly as 
possible. Even so, most engineers are willing to give the inspector as 
much time as he needs to investigate a symptom that may mean trouble, 
but occasionally the engineer attributes the inspector's painstaking work 
to overzealousness. Such a case came up recently. 



19-^9. THE LOCOMOTIVE 169 



While investigating a leak at the longitudinal seam gf a Stirling 
type water-tube boiler the inspector discovered a quantity of some hard 
substance which had collected near the point of leakage. This prompted 
him to tap nearby rivet heads with his hammer. Eleven of the heads 
snapped ofif under light blows. 

The symptoms were those of caustic embrittlement, so the inspector 
called the chief engineer and secured permission to drill out the 
shanks of the broken rivets. Then, by cleaning the insides of the 
holes with nuiriatic acid, he showed the engineer several fine cracks 
in both the butt strap and plate. 

At first the engineer was inclined to discount the importance of 
the discovery. He had recently been in Germany, he explained, where 
he discussed with several German engineers the occurrence of inter- 
granular cracks due to feed water conditions. Their opinion, in 
which he concurred, was that the theory of caustic embrittlement 
was ■' bunk ". Such fine cracks, he contended, could be found in any 
boiler that had been in use for some time, particularly if high riveting 
pressure was used in construction. 

" You're just wasting time worrying over those cracks," was his 
impatient rejoinder to a request to take out other rivets for a more 
complete investigation. " Let's rivet up the boiler and get it back into 
service." 

The inspector saw that further argument with the engineer would 
be futile, so he 'phoned the chief inspector and explained the difficulty 
to him. After conferring with the engineer and other plant officials, 
the chief secured their consent to remove the butt strap. Much to the 
amazement of the engineer, the shell plate was cracked from rivet 
hole to rivet hole throughout the length of the drum. His chagrin 
increased when butt straps were taken from the front and rear drums 
to reveal the same condition there. 

Unquestionably the discovery prevented a violent explosion. How 
extensive the loss of life and property might have been can easily be 
imagmed, for the plant was located in a densely populated section of 
a large city. 

When there is evidence that a hidden defect exists, an inspector 
cannot allow obstacles, either mechanical or personal, to prevent his 
carrying out a complete investigation. Sometimes this entails a great 
deal of extra work and inconvenience, but it is justified by the prob- 
ability of bringing to light a dangerous condition. 

At a small city pumping plant, which was changed over to electric 
drive, the two horizontal tubular boilers and steam pumps were left 



I70 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

in place to serve as stand-by units. After several cases of current in- 
terruption the city manager decided to put the boilers in operating 
condition, so he applied for insurance and an inspector was sent 
to examine them. 

Other than finding the boilers dirty because they had not been 
cleaned when taken out of service, the inspector saw no si2:ns of trouble 
until he chipped off the light scale from around the double-riveted lap 
joint at the longitudinal seam of one of the boilers and noted that the 
overlapping plate inside stood away from the shell about a sixteenth of 
an inch. This was due, he judged, to improper forming of the plate 
when the boiler was built. But just under this edge he discovered an 
irregular, broken line on the surface of the metal. He probed this 
with a sharp tool but could not determine in that way whether or not 
it was a crack. 

The next logical procedure was to drill test holes through the 
supposed crack. A request for drilling equipment revealed that this 
had been removed to the city machine shop, two miles away, and by 
'phone the inspector secured the machine shop superintendent's promise 
to send the drill over immediately. However, the drill did not arrive, 
so the inspector called the superintendent again. He learned that the 
request had been taken up with the city manager who ruled that since 
the insurance company was well paid for the insurance it should supply 
all tools necessary for an inspection. 

The inspector wasted no time trying to convince the city manager 
that he was mistaken. Instead, he went into the city and borrowed a 
breast drill from a garage. With this he ascertained that the plate 
was cracked to a depth equal to two-thirds its thickness. Of course, 
the boiler was condemned. 



Hydrogen Ion Interests Doctors, Too 

If an instrument recently developed by medical research workers 
proves to be as useful as they predict in furthering the study of cancer, 
we hope they won't overlook the fact that their device for measuring 
the hydrogen ion concentration in the blood to the thousandth part of 
a volt was antedated at least two years by a device for measuring such 
concentration in boiler water. 

Under certain conditions the hydrogen ion is as capable of affecting 
iron as it is of working changes in organic tissue. As pointed out 
in another article in this issue, it plays an important part in boiler 
plate corrosion. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



171 



Boys Escape Death in Engine Room as Wheel Bursts 

THE fourteen-foot flywheel of a Corliss-driven air compressor 
at the plant of French and Hecht, Inc., Davenport, Iowa, demol- 
ished the machine and caused extensive property damage when 
it burst, on the evening of February 8th. Three young boys who, 
after bringing lunch for their father, the fireman, Hngered a moment 




in the engine room to gaze in awe at the powerful engine, were the 
only persons in the room when the wheel let go. That they escaped 
with their lives was almost a miracle. 

One piece of the wheel, weighing about 800 pounds, passed through 
the wall of the engine room, tore out two girders in the main factory 
building, and went on out through the roof to find a resting place in 
the coal pile of a neighboring plant 600 feet away. Another piece 
apparently went almost straight up in the air, for it came down verti- 
cally through the roof of the foundry and buried itself three feet 
deep in the dirt floor. A smaller piece dropped into the pattern vault 
and crushed a storage rack. 

Four other pieces, the largest weighing close to 400 pounds, were 



172 THE LOCOMOTIVE April. 

hurled about 250 feet through the roof of the Safety Grinding and 
Machine Company plant, one of the pieces carrying away the top of 
a kiln. 

The engine itself, which was about 30 years old, was damaged so 
badly that repair was considered impracticable. Not only was the 
air cylinder cracked, but the valve gear and rocker arms were prac- 
tically demolished, the shaft was sprung, and the machine was loosened 
on the foundation. 

When the day shift went off duty at 5 :i5 p. m., the regular operating 
engineer shut down the engine by means of the automatic stop. Later 
that evening a shift went on duty for several hours' overtime work, 
so the chief engineer started the machine again. As the chief's duties 
as maintenance superintendent frequently took him to other parts of 
the plant he was accustomed to place the fireman in charge of the 
machine whenever the plant was operating overtime. 

The fireman had eaten supper and had gone out to wheel in more 
coal when the crash came, tearing down electric light wires and plung- 
ing the plant into darkness. The man scrambled a-top the boilers to 
shut off the stop valves and then rushed into the engine room to find out 
what had happened to his sons. He found the youngest, a five-year-old, 
apparently unhurt. A ten-year-old son whose only injury was a scalp 
wound was trying to carry an older brother to safety. At the hospital 
it was found that the fourteen-year-old boy had sustained four broken 
ribs and a compound fracture of the left arm. 

From the fact that flange bolts in the rim of the wheel were 
stretched, there was no doubt that the wheel attained considerable over- 
speed before it let go. Although the automatic safety stop had been 
in working order when the machine was last shut down this stop ap- 
parently failed. Both the stop and the governing mechanism were so 
badly twisted and broken that nothing could be learned from examining 
them. 

Property damage was covered by a policy in The Hartford. 



Young Oswald was an officious young man, as every one in the firm's employ 
agreed. 

He was always horning in where he was not wanted, and he had a highly 
exalted opinion of himself. 

There were two partners in the firm, and when death claimed one of them the 
young man approached the surviving partner with whom he was not exactly what 
you would call a favorite. 

" I am sorry, sir, to hear of Mr. John's demise, and I have come to ask you 
if you would like to have me take his place." 

" Yes, I should, very much," was the sad reply, " if you can get the under- 
taker to arrange it." — N. V. Central Lines Magazine. 



1929- THE LOCOMOTIVE 173 

Immense New Turbo-Generator L nits Dwarf First 
Central Station Machine Installed 28 \ ears Ago 

rr^HE tendency in central station turbine design to concentrate 
I more and more capacity into a single machine, and to trim down 
physical bulk to a point where the smallest amount of floor space 
is required, reached a new high-water mark in the recent installation 
of a giant 160,000-kilowatt turbo-generator at the Hell Gate Station 
of the United Light and Power Company, Xew York. This new 
turbine — among the largest of several very powerful two-unit ma- 
chines now in operation — is remarkable not so much on account of its 
tremendous capacity, but because the designers, handicapped by being 
obliged to fit the machine into floor space originally laid out for a 
30.000-kilowatt unit, managed to produce a machine with a turbine 
efficiency of 84.5 per cent., the highest yet obtained. 

Growth of central station equipment to the point where the output 
from a single machine is sufficient to light a medium-size city must 
be regarded as one of the most remarkable mechanical achievements 
of the last quarter-century, for the transition first from reciprocating 
engines to small turbines and then to machines of Brobdingnagian 
proportions came with almost dazzling swiftness. In fact it was just 
twenty-eight years ago this month that the first turbine ever installed 
in this country for central station use was put into operation by the 
Hartford Electric Light Company of Hartford, Conn. (See Figure i.) 
That 2oco-kilo\\ att turbo-generator has long since been crowded out by 
larger members of its own family and is now on display in the museum 
of the W'estinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company at East 
Pittsburgh, Pa., but in the heyday of its glory engineers regarded it 
as little short of a mechanical marvel. Its output was at least twice 
that of any turbine built previous to that time. 

Nowadays there is nothing very impressive about a machine of such 
relatively small capacity but at a time when central station generators 
were driven by reciprocating engines, a 2,000-kilowatt unit was some- 
thing to conjure with : an engine of that rating was anything but a 
dainty piece of mechanism. The fact that the new turbine at Hartford 
occupied but 40 per cent, of the floor space taken up by a reciprocating 
engine of equal capacity and. in bulk, was a mere pygmy alongside one 
of the ponderous vertical engines then in use, gave engineers something 
to think about. 

Large though the Hartford turbo-generator undoubtedly was for 
the era which produced it. a glance at Figure 2 cannot fail to show 



174 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 



that in spite of a distinct family resemblance, the machine which was 
considered tremendous no longer ago than 1901 falls far short of 
matching its grandson in girth and stature. It would take eighty ma- 
chines of the 2,000-kilowatt variety to do the work of the Hell Gate 
turbine, and if such a group could be gathered together and crowded 
side by side and end to end they would occupy a floor space of ap- 
proximately 80 by 160 feet as against the 38 by 76 foot space which 




Figure i. 



serves the larger and more compact unit. The difference would, of 
course, be very much greater if aisles were left between the machines — 
as would have to be the case if they were spaced far enough apart to 
allow operation. 

Just what an immense proposition the Hell Gate turbo-generator 
is can be judged from the fact that at full capacity it requires seventy- 
seven tons of steam per hour; 800 gallons of lubricating oil are 
pumped through its bearings each minute; and 13,000,000 gallons of 
cooling water an hour (enough to supply a city of 200,000 population) 
pass through the condenser. It is a cross-compound machine consist- 
ing of a high pressure unit running at 1,800 r. p. m. and developing 
72,000 kilowatts, and a low pressure unit turning over at 1,200 r. p. m. 
and developing 88,000 kilowatts. 

Another large two-unit turbo-generator was installed recently at 
the Brooklyn Edison's Hudson Avenue Station. This, likewise, is 
a cross-compound machine with high and low pressure units developing 
50,000 and 58,000 kilowatts respectively. At Philo, Ohio, near Zanes- 
ville, the Ohio Power Company is erecting a triple compounded unit 
of 5,000 kilowatts greater capacity than the Hell Gate machine. The 
arrangement is somewhat different, however, for the high pressure and 
low pressure turbines and generators operate at the same speed, namely 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



175 



1,800 r. p. m. The high pressure turbine drives one of the three main 
53,000-kilovvatt generators and each of the two low pressure turbines 
drives, in addition to a 53,000-kilowatt generator, a 3,000-kilowatt 
house generator coupled to the same shaft. Each of the three ma- 
chines has its own coupled exciter and on the low pressure units there 
is an exciter for each house generator. One of the low pressure units 
was placed in operation several weeks ago, and since then the high 




Figure 2. 



pressure unit has also been placed on the line. By the time this issue 
of The Locomotive is distributed it seems likely that the entire 
machine will be in service and operated as one unit. Insurance on this 
big machine is carried in The Hartford. 

Improvements in the metallurgical and manufacturing fields have 
been responsible in no small measure for the development of the 
turbine to its present status. Records at the British Patent Office 
covering the years from 1800 to 1850 contain many turbine inventions 
— including some of the principles now used — but apparently the 
limitations imposed by inadequate manufacturing methods and lack 
of metals embodying the characteristics necessary to withstand high 
speed, high temperature, and wear, kept the inventors from putting their 
ideas into practice. 

The turbine is properly regarded as having its birthplace in Europe, 
yet as early as 1833 steam turbines of the simple " Hero " type were 
manufactured at Syracuse, N. Y., and used to drive sawmills. How- 
ever, these early types were exceedingly wasteful of steam and as late 



176 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

as 1896 the turbine as a practical machine was virtually unknown on 
this side of the Atlantic. As a matter of fact, the first turbine in- 
stallation of any size was at the Wilmerding, Pa., plant of Westing- 
house Air-Brake Company where, in 1899, three 400-kilowatt units 
were put in operation. Running at full load, these machines required 
only about 12 pounds of steam per horse power hour. That was by no 
means a poor showing. 

Such was the status of the turbine in the United States when the 
Hartford Electric Light Company, in 1901, made the historic installa- 
tion which signallized the dawn of an era in which central stations 
throughout the country were to discard batteries of huge engines in 
favor of the newer and more compact type of prime mover. 

Twenty-eight years have brought numerous improvements, of 
course, both in methods of manufacture and in more reliable detail 
design, yet most of the improvement in economy has been due to in- 
creased speeds rather than to any radical changes in principle. One 
of the factors which enabled manufacturers to bring turbine speeds 
up to the point where the best economy was obtained was the develop- 
ment of high-speed alternating current generators. Now, in cases of 
cross-compounding, the designers frequently use a higher speed for the 
high pressure unit, and a lower speed for the low pressure unit or 
units, thus reaping the economy that comes from using the speed best 
adapted to the pressure and volume of steam. Another factor which 
had an important influence in making possible the general application 
o?the turbine as a prime mover was the development of accurately cut 
reducing gears. With this arrangement the machine was readily 
coupled to mill drives, to low speed direct current dynamos, and to 
the propeller shafts of steamships. On the whole, however, the turbine 
has found its biggest field of usefulness in central power stations. 

Undoubtedly the turbine has not yet reached the limit in size and 
capacity, for even as we write this a 208,000-kilowatt machine is under 
construction. The day may come when the turbines which are now 
thought tremendous will appear small alongside some newer member 
of the family. 



Failure of Hoist Motors 

IT may surprise some to learn that motors used to drag cars up 
inclined tracks at mines or quarries are frequently damaged by 
overspeeding, vet experience has shown that such accidents are 
fairly numerous. Therefor, motors in this class of service, unless 



i9-'9. THE L O C O M O T I V P: \jj_ 

provided with adequate safety devices of an approved type, represent 
an unusually hazardous risk. 

Although there are several arrangements of hoists in use, the ones 
most generally found are the two-car system and the one-car system. 
In the arrangement first named two cars are attached to the same hoist, 
one rising while the other descends. Sometimes each car has its own 
track and sometimes a common track is used with a passing switch 
half-way between the top and the bottom. The counter-balancing 
effect of the empty car going down reduces the amount of power re- 
quired to haul the loaded car to the top and at the same time lessens 
the backward drag of the loaded car in case power interruption takes 
ihe pull oflf the cable. The one-car system has no such counter- 
balance so, of course, there is a greater tendency for the car to run 
backward in case of accidental power interruption. Nevertheless, in 
either case, to secure proper safety from this hazard, it is necessary 
to have powerful brakes which will set automatically the instant the 
power line is de-energized. Lack of automatic brokes, or brakes with 
insufficient holding power frequently result in extensive damage to 
rotor windings when power failure from any cause allows the car to 
drop downward and causes the motor to overspeed. 

In most cases hoists are equipped with two Ijrakes, one of which 
is hand-operated and the other automatic. Although designs vary in 
detail, in principle the automatic brake usually consists of a band which 
is gripped to a drum by powerful springs or weights. When current 
is " on,'' a solenoid holds the band away from the drum, but the mo- 
ment the current is turned oft the springs or weights set the brake 
instantly. In addition to this safeguard, most installations have limit 
switches to prevent overtravel of the car either at the top or the 
bottom of the track, and an overspeed relay which sets the brake if 
the motor overspeeds in either direction. Devices to guard against 
other accidental conditions which would endanger the apparatus are 
also in common use. 

Naturally, the speed at which the operator can lower the empty 
car in a two-car system is limited by the speed at which the motor can 
haul the loaded car upward, but with the one-car arrangement the 
operator is sometimes tempted — especially if he is paid on a tonnage 
basis and his hoist is provided with no automatic brake — to send the 
" empty " back more rapidly than an intelligent regard for the safety 
of the motor warrants. This causes many unnecessary failures which 
could be eliminated if the apparatus were operated properly. 

It is customarv to drive the car downwards bv reversiuQ^ the motor. 



178 THE LOCOMOTIVE Ap^^ 

As an induction motor can operate only from three to five per cent, 
above synchronous speed before it begins to send current back into- 
the line, it serves as a very effective means of checking the speed of 
the car. If the operator hastens the descent of the car by shutting 
off the power — M^hich he can ordinarily do when the hoist is equipped 
with no automatic brake — he is very likely to run into trouble. His 
judgment of speed may be poor, or the lining of the hand brake may 
be worn, with the result that the speed of the motor is increased to 
such an extent that the bands fly off and the windings fan, out. 

A specific example of another sort of motor abuse came to light 
recently in a two-car system where the hopper into which the cars 
discharged their loads sometimes became clogged. While the hopper 
was being freed it was necessary to hold a loaded car stationary on 
the incline. The brake on this particular hoist was not powerful 
enough to keep the car from slipping backward when the power was 
off, so it cccurred to the operator that he could snub the car by giving 
the motor just enough current to keep the car from moving backward 
but not enough to move it ahead. After several such occasions the 
windings were found badly roasted. Not a few mishaps to hoist motors 
have occurred by reason of just such abuse. 



Owner of New Factory Was Victim of Boiler Blast 

LESS than two hours after the formal opening of his new plant - 
which represented the reward of years of work and saving — the 
owner of the sausage factory pictured here was killed by a steam 
boiler explosion that injured three employees and caused extensive 
property damage. In providing his new plant with the most modern 
equipment the owner spared neither effort nor expense, but un- 
fortunately he failed to obtain boiler insurance. Had he done that, 
the condition responsible for the explosion might have been found 
and corrected by the insurance company inspector. 

Coming to this country as an immigrant boy twenty-three years 
ago, the sausage-maker worked for years as a packing plant hand 
while saving up enough capital to start a small business of his own. 
Even this, he confided to friends, was but a stepping stone toward 
a greater goal. His ultimate ambition was to own a plant housed 
in a new building and equipped throughout with modern appliances. 
So it was a proud occasion when, in January, he entertained his friends 
at the new plant the night before the formal opening. Workmen had 
scarcely been assigned their places next morning when the tragic acci- 
dent brought the venture to an untimely halt. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



179 



The boiler, a comparatively new one of the Scotch type, stood 
outside and about twenty feet to the rear of the factory building. 
When it exploded it went like a rocket through the rear wall and up 
through the roof, dropping back again into the building amidst a gang 
of workers. Fortunately, none of them was directly beneath it when 
it landed. The photograph is a view of the damaged building from 
the rear. 




The boiler was used at the old plant only ten weeks before it was 
set up at the new location. Thus it is almost certain that deterioration 
could not have caused the failure. Nor was there any evidence to 
support the opinion that low water might have been the cause. In 
fact, the flue collapsed from the bottom, instead of over the fire where 
heat would have done the greatest damage in case of low water. From 
the distance the shell was thrown it seems apparent that there was 
plenty of water in it at the time, for a small amount would not have 
stored so much energy. 

It was believed that the safety valve became inoperative, thus allow- 
ing a tremendous over-pressure to build up. According to a newspaper 
account, the valve was adjusted or repaired the night before the ex- 
plosion. 



i8o 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



April, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 

DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

George Hargis Prall, Editor 

Copyright 1929 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN., April i, 1923 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Co. 



Furnace Explosion Coverage Now Available 

A TENDENCY toward more general use of oil, gas. and pulver- 
ized coal as fuels has of late brought into prominence the danger 
of explosions due to the accidental ignition of combustible gas 
in the furnaces and gas passages of both power and heating boilers. 
x\lthough such accidents are not ordinarily as destructive as a boiler 
explosion, so many of them have caused extensive property damage, 
loss of life, and plant shut-downs that there has been a growing demand 
on the part of boiler owners for insurance protection against them. To 
meet this demand The Hartford Company has arranged to write 
Furnace Explosion Insurance covering all direct damage (except that 
caused by fire) resulting from an explosion in the furnace, flues or other 
passages through which the gases pass from the furnace to the stack. 
Heretofore such damage, caused not by steam pressure but by a 
force outside the boiler proper, has not been covered by policies of 
any of the steam boiler insurance companies. In thus extending its 
line The Hartford meets a need wdiich has existed for some time and 
which promises to become even more acute as the use of oil and gas 
fuels increase. 

Without doubt, the daniger of combustion space and flue explosions 



'9-9. THK LOCOM OT I V ?: i8i 

is greatest where gas, oil, or pulverized coal is the fuel, but such ex- 
plosions may occur with any fuel having a volatile content. As many 
firemen can testify by experience, improper use of the damper can 
cause the accumulation of unburned gas in the heating passages where, 
if enough air be present, the gas may detonate more or less violently 
Stoppage of an oil burner jet and the subsequent formation of vapor 
when the jet frees itself and sprays oil onto the hot brickwork of the 
furnace is another common cause of furnace explosions. Even the 
less violent of gas explosions usually hurl doors from the furnace and 
blow soot over the premises ; they may even damage the setting or the 
boiler itself and, in some cases, injure attendants. An accident of this 
sort may be extremely serious. Recently a furnace explosion at a 
power plant killed one man, injured several, and caused $25,000 prop- 
erty damage. At an oil mill the same kind of an explosion forced a 
two-weeks' shut-down and damaged property to the extent of $2,500. 
In the past the expense incurred in this way has, of necessity, been 
borne by the plant owners. The new Hartford Company policy is 
designed to take the burden from their shoulders. 



New Chief Inspector for Cleveland 

MR. L. T. Gregg, who for nine years has been Chief Inspector 
for the Company at its Cleveland Branch Office, has accepted 
the position of Chief Engineer for The Boiler Inspection and 
Insurance Com])any of Canada, an associate of The Hartford organ- 
ization. He undertook his new duties on March i. 

Mr. Gregg entered the Company's employ in 191 1 and while serv- 
ing as an inspector demonstrated qualities which brought advancement 
to the position of Assistant Chief Inspector and, later, to that of Chief 
Inspector. In recognition of a well-deserved reputation as an authority 
on engineering matters he was made a member of the Ohio Ijoard of 
Boiler Rules and served that body until his recent transfer to Toronto. 
Mr. John F. Hunt has been appointed to succeed Mr. Gregg as 
Chief Inspector at Cleveland, a post he is well fitted to hold by reason 
of marked administrative ability and a thorough technical understand- 
ing of the work. Mr. Hunt came with the Company in 1921 and was 
made Directing Inspector six years later. The Company — and the 
Cleveland Department, in particular — is fortunate in having him 
available to take over the important duties of his new post. He has 
already been named to serve in Mr. Gregg's place on the Board of 
Boiler Rules. 



i82 THE LOCOMOTIVE April. 

T~aps from the Old Chiefs s Hammer 

"^TOU say a belting" salesman advised them to do it?" spoke up 
I the Old Chief, who had been rummaging through a desk drawer 
for pipe and tobacco while his assistant explained the reason 
for a boiler accident down at the Juniper Company plant. 

" Yes," assented Tom, " a while ago the front end of No. 2 boiler 
settled so far they couldn't drain 'er through the blow-off connection. 
McCreery, the manager, was just getting ready to have a gang of 
masons straighten things up when in walks Nemesis in the guise of a 
salesman and shows IMcCreery how much cheaper and quicker it would 
be just to move the blow-off connection to the low end. Of course, 
that wouldn't have been so bad if they'd only bricked in the pipe so 
as to give it a little protection against the heat, but they never thought 
of that. The first thing they knew the pipe burned through and emptied 
the boiler. It was lucky that fireman wasn't scalded to death." 

" It sure beats all," the Chief declared, " how some fellows are as 
hard as nails in swinging a business deal and as soft as a vanilla milk 
shake when it comes to swallowing ' free advice '. Some of 'em who 
won't take a silver dollar from a parson without testing it with their 
teeth will stake real money on the opinion of a stranger who hands out 
a gratuitous suggestion on how to run their power plant. By the way, 
did I ever tell you about the planing mill owner and the free advice 
he got from three oil drummers ? " 

" I don't recall it," said Tom, who usually found the Chief's reminis- 
cences highly entertaining. 

" Well," declared the boss, settling back and lighting his pipe, " he 
owned and managed a medium-sized mill and as far as business acumen 
went I guess he had a fair share. But what he didn't know about 
machniery would have filled a book. The worst of it was he didn't 
go to the right source for information. Instead, he saved up all his 
technical problems for the oil drummers, who used to make his plant 
a regular port of call. 

" Everything considered, he got along pretty well with his advisory 
board until his business expanded so much that he had to put in more 
machinery and get another engine to run it. The man who installed 
the engine told him that two boilers weren't going to run both engines, 
but the owner suspected that this was an attempt to sell him an extra 
boiler which he didn't need, so he collared the first oil saleman that 
called and asked him how he could get the extra steam without buying 
another boiler. I don't know whether the drummer really thought 



^9^- THE LOCOMOTIVE 183 

he knew something about boilers or just didn't want the old man to 
find out how little he did know. Anyway, he didn't mind giving a 
^ood customer the benefit of his advice, such as it was, so he recom- 
mended knocking out the center wall between the boilers, leaving just 
enough for support. By the time this was done the drummer had de- 
parted. Consequently when the old man saw that the remedy hadn't 
produced the desired effect all he could do was to fret and fuss around 
until the next drummer called. 

" This second fellow was generous enough not to criticize his com- 
petitor's recommendation. Instead, he pointed out that while the 
change might not have increased capacity it had undoubtedly im- 
proved economy. The only sure way he knew to make a boiler give 
twice as much steam was to put a set of grates at the rear, and 
fire from both ends at once. 

" That sounded reasonable, so the boss had this double-ended ar- 
rangement rigged up, only to find, after a few days' trial, that it didn't 
work. In desperation, he fairly pounced on the third drummer before 
the poor fellow had a chance even to set down his sample case. This 
one proved to be the prize of the lot. After a lot of questioning, he 
made a rough mental estimate of the height of the chimney, the B. t. u. 
content of the fuel, and size of grate and several other such factors, 
and then told the owner point-blank that the trouble was merely lack of 
draft. The best way to fix that, he said, was to cut holes either in the 
base of the chimney or in the flue. 

" To the old boy's credit I've got to admit that he was skeptical. 
It wasn't until he had been confused by a lot of figures and sketches 
that he allowed the traveling man to overcome his horse sense. 

" Condensed into a few words, the salesman's theory was this : In 
order for the chimney to accommodate the extra air entering through 
the ' booster ' holes the flue gases would have to travel upward at a 
faster rate. That, in turn, would create a greater suction through the 
grates and pull just that much more air up through the firebed. Sort 
of an endless chain proposition, you see. 

" Well, that night the boss had the gang chisel out two holes, about 
two feet by three, on opposite sides of the flue, hoping that next morn- 
ing the plant would be running full blast. You can imagine what 
happened. Until then old Job himself had nothing on those boilers 
when it came to patience, but that last wallop landed below the belt 
and knocked them completely out." 

" How did you come to hear about it? " queried Tom. 

" Oh, I just happened to be going through that territory and heard 



1 84 THE LOCOMOTIVE April 

the story from the engineer of another plant. Naturally, I was curious 
to see such a strange layout, so I dropped around to call on the old fellow. 
Of course, I hemmed and hawed a bit before I said anything one way 
or the other, for I figured that if I was in the old man's shoes I'd have 
me a piece of pipe right handy for the next man that tried to tell me 
anything about boilers. He was a good scout, though, and when I 
told him that no device or arrangement known to man would make 
that pair of boilers do the work he expected of them he said he'd just 
about reached that conclusion, too. After I spent the day going over 
things and showing him how to straighten out the mess his drummer 
friends had got him into he and I got real friendly." 

" How long did it take him to find cut that you were a boiler in- 
spector? " put in Tom, who had been wearing a broad grin as the Chief's 
story progressed. 

" Xot long, son. Wlien I left there that evening I had an application 
for nisurance on both boilers and flywheels. 



Cast Iron Boiler " Burned Up " by Oil Flame 

HAD the cast iron steam heating boiler pictured herein been 
subjected to the flame of some immense blow-torch it could 
scarcely have been ruined more completely than it was ruined — 
accidentally, of course — by the heat from its own oil burner. So 
thoroughly was this fourteen-section boiler melted down that nothing 
remained of the six middle sections except a pool of molten iron in 
the ashpit. A majority of the other sections were partly melted ; all 
were so badly burned and cracked that repair was out of the question. 

As the photograph plainly shows, the only traces left of the middle 
sections were the icicle-like fragments of metal clinging to the steel 
nipples which connected the sections to the top manifold. 

The boiler was used to supply steam for process work and heating 
at the plant of the American Abrasive Company, Westfield. Mass. 
The oil burner was of the gun type, manually controlled, and had no 
automatic regulation except a device which partly closed ofif the oil 
supply valve when steam pressure reached twelve pounds, and 
opened the valve wide again when pressure dropped to a pre-determined 
minimum. At seven o'clock on the night of February 3rd, which 
was Sunday, the attendant noted that the burner was working normally 
and that there was plenty of water showing in the gauge glass. Some 
time betVA-een then and seven o'clock next morning, when the first 
employee entered the buildin* and heard the alarm bell which had been 
set ringing by the sprinkler system, the boiler went dry and was ruined. 



i9-'9- 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



185 



In common with many other costly accidents, this one was due to 
a comparatively trivial cause. A plug dropped out of a two-inch open- 
ing in one of the radiators connected to the system, thus allowing 
all the water in the boiler to escape through the aperture in the form 




of steam. Had the boiler not been set in a pit lined with cement the 
chances are it would have set fire to the factory. Heat was so intense 
that it melted a sprinkler head twenty-five feet away. 

From the picture it is apparent that the boiler had to be scrapped. 
The loss was covered by a Hartford Company policy. 



New Cutting Alloys to Speed Manufacturing Processes 

IV T EW cutting alloys capable of removing in a given time greater 

I ^ amounts of metal than is possible with the best cutting tools now 

available seem to promise decided changes in machine tool design 

and shop practice. In fact, so keen and tough is one of these alloys, called 



i86 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 



" carboloy ", that its sponsors claim it will cut manganese steel and even 
turn screw threads on rods of such hard materials as glass and porce- 
lain. If such be the case, the importance of this new development can 
scarcely be overemphasized. Not only will it make possible the ma- 
chining of materials which now have to be ground, but it will allow 
manufacturers to set new production records. 

No doubt the art of combining two or more metals in such a way 
as to obtain an alloy with the twin qualities of toughness and hard- 
ness was practiced to some extent almost as far back as the time of 
Tubal Cain, that " instructor of every artificer in brass and iron " whO' 
is supposed to have lived in the seventh generation after Adam. It is 
certain that for many centuries the successors of this pioneer metal- 
smith knew nothing of the crystalline arrangement of metallic interiors 
and understood imperfectly, if at all, the process with which they were 
dealing, yet they produced bronze for weapons and tools by making 
use of fundamental principles which have held good from that day 
to this. These new cutting alloys represent the latest step, although 
doubtless not the last one, in a train of invention and discovery whicb 
began at least as far back as the first bronze. 

Carboloy consists of tiny crystals of tungsten-carbide, one of the 
hardest of all chemical compounds, embedded in and between the crystals 
of metallic cobalt. By itself cobalt is not particularly hard, but it does 
have the quality of extreme toughness when properly treated. Mixed 
with tungsten-carbide, it gives a material which has both toughness and 
a keen cutting edge. 

Any metal, viewed under the microscope, appears as a multitude 
of tiny crystals. When metal bends, these crystals slide and slip over 
one another and, in some cases, parts of a crystal may even slip on a 
plane between adjacent members of the crystal structure. Stifl 
metals — those which will not bend — are metals in which the crystals 
resist any effort to make them slip. Brittle zinc and cast iron are that 
way ; both will snap in two rather than yield. 

Copper is just the opposite; it may be bent double without show- 
ing signs of fracture. Yet bronze, rather a hard metal, is nothing- 
more than this soft copper to which tin has been added; steel is made 
from soft iron by the addition of carbon; duralumin is merely alumi- 
num hardened by copper. In each case the hardening agent takes 
the form of tiny crystals which lodge in the spaces between larger 
crystals of the soft metal and prevent slippage just about the same 
as emery dust would bind a shaft in its bearing, or a layer of ashes 
prevent the shoe-sole from slipping on ice. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



187 



In the tungstcn-carbon-cobalt mixture the tiny grains of intensely 
hard tungsten carbide not only provide resistance to slippage by getting 
in between the crystals of cobalt, but, too, they give the metal an ex- 
tremely hard cutting edge just as the copper disc used for cutting stone 
is made hard by impregnating its edge with diamond dust. 



Dependence on Surface Cleaner Was Costly 

AN accumulation of sediment in the bottom of a horizontal tubular 

/"A boiler near the blow-off connection caused the rupture shown in 

the accompanying illustration. The engineer was surprised to learn 

that sediment was at the root of the trouble, for he was softening the 




feed water by means of a lime and soda ash treatment and had in- 
stalled a surface cleaner or " skimmer " which he supposed would keep 
the boiler free from sediment without the necessity of periodic internal 
washing. After operating in this way for three months the boiler 
ruptured. 

The cause was readily apparent to a Hartford Company repre- 
sentative. Not only had sediment collected on the bottom of the shell, 
but there was a deposit two inches thick on top of the tubes directly 
in front of the cleaner. 

The Hartford representative succeeded in showing the engineer 
that the primary cause of such an unusual amount of sediment was 
mishandling of the water softener, from which sludge was carried over 
into the boiler. This fault was remedied in time to prevent damage to 



i88 THE LOCOMOTIVE April, 

two other boilers in the battery. Needless to say, it was not hard to 
convince the engineer that in spite of the water softener and the so- 
called surface cleaner, his boilers needed internal washing from time 
to time. 



German Court Renders Decision on Diesel Explosion 

FIVE men were burned to death and nineteen others were severely 
injured, following a crankcase explosion on board the motorship 
" Kungsholm," immediately after the vessel had completed her 
trial trip in the North Sea, on Oct. 14, 1928. The German Marine 
Court, which subsequently sat on the case, has recently rendered its 
decision, holding that no one was directly responsible for the accident. 
The following facts concerning the disaster were established by the 
court : 

The ship is equipped with two double-acting, four-stroke-cycle, 
six-cylinder Burmeister & Wain Diesel engines. The explosion started 
in the crankcase of the starboard engine, but did not disable it, as 
both engines continued to run for six minutes following the explosion. 
The return trip to Cuxhaven was completed with the port engine. 

The investigation showed that a hot bearing developed in an idler 
bushing of the valve gear chain drive. The bronze bushing locked 
itself solidly to the shaft, causing the pins which held it in place to 
shear, so that it rotated with the shaft on the bearing surface. The 
heat developed by the resulting friction vaporized the lubricating oil. 
The first explosion occurred only after a flame had propagated itself 
from within the valve housings into the crankcase in which the vapor- 
ized oil and air formed an explosive mixture. All witnesses testified 
that this explosion was not particularly severe. The result was, how- 
ever, disastrous, as it blew out two access doors from the crankcase, 
which allowed the vaporized oil to escape and to ignite into a thin 
but intense flame. 

This flame was diverted by striking a steel bulkhead and instantly 
propagated itself in an upward winding path through the entire engine 
room, finally exploding with a severe detonation under the skylight, 
which was hurled from its fastenings. No damage was done by the 
explosion in the engine room. The medical examination showed that 
the unfortunate fatalities and the injuries to the survivors were due 
entirely to severe burns. 

The question arose as to whether the explosion in the engine 
room had been caused or intensified by the presence of benzine vapor. 
It was shown the benzine had been used in cleaning the fuel-oil strainers 



■9-^9. THE LOCOMOTIVE 189 



before the trial trip was started, but that no benzine was stored in the 
engine room. 

The examining experts differed in their opinions, some assuming 
that benzine vapors had caused the second explosion, while others traced 
the origin of the thin flame to the ignition of lubricating oil vapor 
which was forced out into the engine room by the first and less severe 
explosion. 

The verdict of the court held no one responsible for the accident, 
stating that no proof of negligence had been shown, and that there was 
no definite evidence of the explosion having been caused or intensified 
by the presence of benzine vapors. — Power 



Erie City Completes 80,000th Boiler 

THE Erie City Iron Works, one of the many large boiler shops 
in which The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance 
Company maintains a shop inspector, recently turned out its 
80,000th boiler. It was back in 1881 that The Hartford Company first 
was called on to furnish boiler shop inspection at the Erie City works, 
and at no time since then has the service been interrupted. This, in- 
cidentally, is the longest period of consecutive shop inspection service 
rendered by this company. 

The success of the Erie City organization, of which proof is fur- 
nished by the 80,000 boilers sent to serve industries in all parts of the 
world, prompts us to extend our congratulations on this occasion. 



Hartford Inspector Saves Motorist's Life 

Fortunately for H. L. Maybach of Detroit, Michigan, Hartford 
Company inspectors seldom allow such things as sub-zero temperature 
and snow drifts to keep them from their appointed rounds. Accord- 
ing to the Berkshire County Eagle, a newspaper published at Pittsfield, 
Mass., Maybach was motoring over the Mohawk trail on January 29th 
when his car stuck fast in a snow-bank. While endeavoring to dig it 
out he succumbed to the cold and lost consciousness. Without doubt 
he owes his life to the fact that Electrical Inspector H. T. Bailey, who 
was bucking through the deep snow on his way to make an inspection, 
found him and carried him to a physician in the nearest town. 



NEITHER HAVE MOST OF US 

" Gentlemen : I have neither the mind of Shakespeare nor the back of a bull, 
but I desire employment." — Want Ad. in the Milwaukee Journal. 



The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1928 



Capital Stock, 



$3,000,000.00 



ASSETS 
Cash in offices and banks . 
Real Estate .... 
Mortgage and collateral loans . 
Bonds and Stocks 
Premiums in course of collection 
Interest accrued 
Other Assets .... 

Total Assets 



$ 599.693-18 

300,423.66 

1,296,386.75 

17,475,629.38 

1,288,819.44 

151,132.41 

18,205.76 

$ 21,130,290.58 



LIABILITIES 
Reserve for unearned premiums 
Reserve for losses ..... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital Stock ...... 

Surplus over all liabilities .... 

Surplus to Policyholders, . 



$ 8,619,119.83 

377,212.80 

1,894,758.35 



$3,000,000.00 
7.239,199.60 



110,239,199.60 



Total Liabilities $ 21,130,290.58 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WILLIAM R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 
Directors, Hartford National Bank & 
Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 

MORGAN B. BRAINARD, President 
^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

CHARLES P. COOLEY, Chairman Board 
of Trustees, Society for Savings, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

HORACE B. CHENEY, Cheney Brothers, 
Silk Manufacturers, South Manchester, 
Conn. 

D. NEWTON BARNEY, Vice-President 
The Hartford Electric Light Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

DR. GEORGE C. F. WILLIAMS, Presi- 
dent The Capewell Horse Nail Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

JOSEPH R. ENSIGN, President The 
Ensign-Bickford Co., Simsbury, Conn. 



EDWARD MILLIGAN, President Phoenix 
Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of 
Directors, The Hartford Steam Boiler 
Inspection and Insurance Co., Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

WM. R. C. CORSON, President The Hart- 
ford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co., Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL M. STONE, President The 
Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., 
Hartford, Conn. 

SAMUEL FERGUSON, President The 
Hartford Electric Light Co., Hartford, 
Conn. 

HON. JOHN H. TRUMBULL, President 
The Trumbull Electric Mfg. Co., Plain- 
ville, Conn. 

CURTISS C. GARDINER, Vice-President 
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company, 80 Maiden 
Lane, New York, N. Y. 



Incorporated 1866 




Charter Perpetual 



Department 

ATLANTA, Ga. ... 

1103-1106 Atlanta Trust Bldg. 

BALTIMORE, Md., . 
13-14-15 Abell Bldg. 

BOSTON, Mass., 
4 Liberty Sq. Cor. Water St 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., . 
404-405 City Savings Bank Bldg 

CHICAGO, 111., 
209 West Jackson Boulevard 

CINCINNATI, Ohio. 

First National Bank Bldg. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio, 
Leader Bldg. . 

DENVER, Colo 

916-918 Gas & Electric Bldg 

DETROIT, Mich., . 
2401-7 First Nat'l Bank Bldg, 

HARTFORD, Conn., 
56 Prospect St. 

NEW ORLEANS, La., . 
1 128 Hibernia Bank Bldg. 

NEW YORK, N. Y., 
80 Maiden Lane 

PHILADELPHIA, PA., . 

429 Walnut St. 

PITTSBURGH, Pa., 
1807-8-9-10 Arrott Bldg. 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., . 
610-618 Security Bldg. . 

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal., . 
114 Sansome St. 

SEATTLE, Wash., . 
423 Dexter-Horton Bldg. 

TORONTO, Canada, 
Federal Bldg. 



Representatives 

W. M. Francis, Manager. 

C. R. Summers, Chief Inspector, 

Lawford & McKiM Inc., General Agents. 
P. E. Terroy, Chief Inspector. 

Ward I. Cornell, Manager. 
W. A. Bayliss, Chief Inspector, 

W. G. LiNEBURGH & Son, General Agents. 
A. E. BoNNETT, Chief Inspector. 

P. M. Murray, Manager. 

J. P. Morrison, Chief Inspector, 

W. E. Gleason, Manager. 

W. E. Glennon, Chief Inspector. 

A. Paul Graham, Manager. 
J. F. Hunt, Chief Inspector. 

J. H. Chesnutt, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

L. L. Coates, Manager. 

Thomas P. Hetu, Chief Inspector. 

F. H. Kenyon, General Agent. 
A. E. Bonnet, Chief Inspector. 

R. T. BuRV^^ELL, Mgr. and Chief Inspector. 
E. Unsv^^orth, Ass't Chief Inspector. 

C. C. Gardiner, Vice-President. 
E. Mason Parry, Chief Inspector. 

A. S. Wickham, Manager. 
S. B. Adams, Chief Inspector. 

George S. Reynolds, Manager. 
J. A. Snyder, Chief Inspector. 

Chas. D. Ashcroft, Manager. 
Eugene Webb, Chief Inspector. 

C. B. Paddock, Manager. 
L. J. Reed, Chief Inspector. 

E. G. Watson, 

Manager and Chief Inspector. 

H. N. Roberts, President The Boiler In- 
spection and Insurance Company of 
Canada. 






APR 1 5 m^ 



Protection AgkltT*****- «;^ 
Furnace Explosions 

To meet a growing demand on the part 'of boiler 
owners for insurance protection against explosion due to 
the accidental ignition of gas in the furnaces or gas pas- 
sages of boilers, The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection 
and Insurance Company now offers its clients 

Furnace Explosion Insurance 

This new policy covers all direct damage (except 
fire damage) resulting from an explosion in the furnace 
of a boiler, or in the tubes, flues, or other passage used 
to conduct gases from the furnace to the chimney. 

Existing Hartford Company policies can be en- 
dorsed to include Furnace Explosion Insurance, and it 
can be included in new policies at extremely reasonable 
rates. The Hartford Use and Occupancy Insurance 
may be made to apply on this as on its other forms of 
failure or breakdown coverage. 



For Details, Fill in and Mail this Coupon to its Nearest 
Branch Office 



The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and In- 
surance Co. 
Gentlemen : Please have the agent supply me with 
further information regarding Furnace Explosion Insur- 
ance. I understand that this will not obligate me in any 
way. 

Name 

Address 



Vol. XXXVII No. 7 



July 1929 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 
DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 



Published continuously since 1867 

by The Hartford Steam Boiler 

Inspection and Insurance 

Company 



Please show to your Engineer 



194 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July. 



Exploding Air Tank Crushes Shack, Kills 7 Men 

SEVEN men were killed and ten were seriously injured at the quarry 
of Stone Mountain Granite Corporation near Atlanta, Georgia, on 
February 22, when an air tank head blew out and crashed through 
the timekeeper's crowded office. Four of the victims were dead when 
fellow workmen pulled them from beneath the wreckage ; three died on 
the way to a hospital. The photograph shows the remains of the small 
wooden building which was demolished as completely as though it had 




been bombed. The tank was located about 20 feet away and was pointed 
directly at it. 

Air for the pneumatic tools at the various workings in the quarry 
was supplied by a compressor located in a central power house from 
which pipes led to perhaps a dozen receiving tanks placed at strategic 
points throughout the quarry. The tank that let go was one of these 
storage vessels. It was 66 inches in diameter, 16 feet long, and was 
made from the shell of a horizontal tubular boiler. The shell was 7/16" 
thick and had a double-riveted continuous lap seam. Just how long the 
vessel was used as a boiler is not known, but fifteen years ago the tube 
sheets and tubes were taken out and bumped heads substituted. From 
that time on the tank was in almost daily use under air pressure of 
about 90 pounds. 

Five-sixteenths inch plate was used for the heads, which had an 
-extremely shallow bump and a short radius at the turn of the flange. 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



195 



These details are apparent in the illustration showing the head that was 
left intact by the explosion. 

On the morning of the accident a short crack appeared at the 
knuckle of a head flange. Pressure was taken ofT immediately and the 
repair gang set to work welding the crack. After a test for tightness 
pressure was again turned on and the tank lasted throughout the after- 
noon without showing signs of 
leakage. The quitting whistle had 
sounded and workmen were "punch- 
ing out" on a time clock in the 
shanty when the tragic accident 
occurred. 

An examination of the head re- 
vealed that, with the exception of 
the place where the welding was 
applied, the flange showed no evi- 
dence of the existence of an old 
crack. From all appearances the 
metal gave way simultaneously 
around the entire circumference of 
the head. Apparently lack of sufficient thickness and depth in the 
bumped head allowed bending at the flange as the head " breathed " in 
and out with the variations in pressure. Eventuall\- this flexing 
weakened the flange to the point where it gave way. 




Furnace Explosion Causes Extensive Damage 

iN EXPLOSION of oil vapor that had accidentally accumulated in 
/-\ the heating passages of an oil-burning heating boiler caused ex- 
tensive damage at the plant of Fashion Hosiery ]\Iill Inc., Boyers- 
town. Pa., a few weeks ago. The oil vapor detonated so violently that 
it blew ofif furnace doors, demolished the masonry foundation of the 
boiler, and badly damaged the base of the brick chimney. In addition, 
the heavy furnace room doors were wrenched from their hinges and two 
steel-framed windows were torn from the casements. Property damage 
was somewhat over $2,000. 

Furnace Explosion insurance, a recent addition to The Hartford 
line, is designed to protect the boiler owner against losses from accidents 
of this kind. Such coverage may be included in new boiler policies at 
very reasonable rates or may be added by an endorsement to existing- 
policies at slight additional cost. 



196 THE LOCOMOTIVE J"b- 

Important Points in the Maintenance and Safe Operation 
of Cast Iron Steam and Hot Water Boilers 



i 



The following article, which undertakes to present and discuss ^ 
as many as possible of the items necessary for the proper opera- 
I tion and maintenance of cast iron boilers, is based largely on a 
card* of " Rules for the Operation of Cast Iron Steam and Hot 
Water Boilers " recently prepared by this Company for distribu- 
tion among those of its assured who use this class of equipment. 
Where, for conciseness, the card was obliged to omit lengthy 
discussions of reasons for certain recommendations, the article 
endeavors to go into these points a little more fully. 



^ 



CAST iron boilers are damaged by overheating resulting from low- 
water perhaps more frequently than by any other condition, so 
it is extremely important to keep heating systems free from leaks. 
The loss of water or steam from any part of a system causes a steady 
lowering of the water level in the boiler that, unless watched constantly, 
may cause damage by uncovering parts of the metal in contact w^ith 
hot furnace gases. 

Before a boiler is laid up for the summer the person in charge 
should go over the system carefully and note all points needing repairs. 
Before the boiler is put back into service again he should make another 
check-up to see that these repairs have been made. 

Starting Up a Steam System 

The first step in getting a steam heating boiler ready for service 
is to fill it with water until the gauge glass is almost full. Then look 
inside the furnace and around the outside of the boiler for signs of 
leakage. If water is escaping, even in small quantities, notify the 
boiler inspector. Pay especial attention to the return pipes, for although 
they may not have leaked when the boiler was laid up, corrosion may 
have eaten through them during the summer. 

If everything is satisfactory, open the drain cock or valve at the 
bottom of the gauge glass, thus permitting water to drain out of the 
glass. Then close the cock and note whether the water returns promptly 
to its previous level. If so, the connections between the gauge glass 
and the water column and between the water column and the boiler 
are clear; if the water is slow in returning to its former level some or 
all of these connections are blocked up and in need of cleaning. This 
should be done before going any further. 

The importance of clear connections to the gauge cannot be over- 
emphasized, for unless there is free communication between the gauge 



* This card may be obtained on application at any of the Company's Department 
Offices. 



1929. THE LOCOMOTIVE 197 

and the boiler the former will certainly not indicate the true water level. 
When the gauge is functioning properly the next step is to investigate 
the trycocks. They should be probed clean with a piece of soft wire if 
water does not flow through them freely. 

In steam systems the only safeguard against overpressure is the 
safety valve, so this should be examined and tested thoroughly. Inopera- 
tive safety valves have caused many disastrous explosions which might 
have been prevented had the operator investigated the condition of the 
valve at frequent intervals. 

The fact that heating boilers may go for months or even years 
without the pressure rising high enough to " pop " the safety valve 
gives rise to the possibility that the valve disc may stick fast to the seat. 
Other parts, likewise, may be affected by corrosion during a long period 
of inactivity with the result that free functioning of the valve is im- 
possible. Usually the safety valve is provided with a try lever by 
which a person can find out whether the valve opens freely. When- 
ever a faulty safety valve is encountered the boiler inspector should be 
notified at once. 

Starting the Hot Water System 

In getting ready to start up a hot water system care should be taken 
to see that all necessary repairs have been made. Then fill the boiler 
and system with water to the proper level as indicated by the gauge 
glass on the expansion tank, the overflow pipe from the expansion tank, 
or the altitude gauge on the boiler. Look over the boiler for leaks and 
make sure, by opening radiator cocks, that all air is discharged from 
the system. 

In this type of heating system the pipe leading to the expansion 
tank, the tank itself, and the overflow pipe take over the function of the 
safety valve on a steam boiler. For that reason they should be investi- 
gated carefully. These parts must be free from obstruction if they are 
to fulfill their purpose of limiting the pressure which can build up 
within the boiler. Valves are unnecessary in either the riser or over- 
flow pipes and must not be used. On some installations there is a 
diaphragm relief valve in the pipe leading to the expansion tank to 
guard against overpressure resulting from the accidental stoppage of 
either this pipe or the overflow pipe. Although such a valve is an 
extra precaution its use is not general. 

Lastly, after the points mentioned above have been investigated and 
before either a steam or hot water boiler is ready for firing, the operator 
should test the damper regulator to make sure it is in order. Chains 
should be connected to the lever and all parts should work freely. 



198 THE LOCOMOTIVE J"iy. 

Starting a Cold Boiler 

Be sure the boiler or system is filled with water to the proper level. 
If there are any valves in the main or return pipes make certain they 
are open before starting a fire. If, for any reason, it is necessary to 
close off a part of the system, be sure that at least one line of piping 
(main and return) is open to permit circulation of steam or hot water. 

Build a fire and raise the steam pressure or water temperature 
gradually. Remember, there is hot furnace gas on one side of the 
boiler metal and cold water on the other. Forcing a fire before the 
water has heated up and established circulation will almost certainly 
crack the metal by setting up stresses due to unequal expansion. Watch 
the water level carefully in steam boilers and, if necessary, admit more 
water to keep the gauge glass almost full. After the system is fully 
operating excess water can be drained ofif until the gauge glass is half 
full. Unless there is plenty of water in the boiler at the start the level 
mav drop far enough to uncover parts of the heating surface when a 
portion of the water is turned into steam and goes out into, the system. 

Regular Operation 

In the morning, or at any other time when there has been a slow 
fire, do not force the fire, but bring it up slowly so that the boiler will 
not be overheated before there is good circulation of steam and water 
through the heating system. Before doing so, however test the water 
gauge glass, the safety valve, and the damper regulator as directed 
under " Getting Ready to Start ". Naturally, the daily test of the 
safety valve will have to be dispensed with in cases where the valve 
is not equipped with a try lever. 

A careful watch should be kept at all times to see that the gauge 
glass is at least half full. If there is difficulty in maintaining the level 
at that height the boiler inspector should be notified. This is important. 
Neglect of this point will almost certainly result in cracked sections. 

Whenever it is necessary to add water to a cast iron boiler do so 
very slowly, and at a time when the boiler is not steaming rapidly. 
Should leakage develop in the furnace or on the outside of the boiler, 
or anywhere in the return lines, notify the inspector immediately. If 
the leakage is so serious that it is difficult to maintain the proper water 
level, proceed as directed under " Low Water ", except that the boiler 
should not be fired until the inspector approves. 

Low Water 

If at any time the water should go out of sight in the gauge glass, 
do not add water until the boiler has been allowed to cool. The in- 
experienced operator, confronted by this condition, frequently violates 



19^9 THE LOCOMOTIVE 199 



this rule and cracks the boiler by putting cold water \f»> contact with 
the overheated metal. The proper procedure is to cover the fire with 
ashes or coal, shut the ashpit door or damper, and open the firedoor 
and chimney damper. In this way the fire is deadened and a stream 
of air is drawn through the fire door to cool the boiler gradually. After 
the boiler has cooled, water can be admitted slowly until it is up to the 
proper level. Then if no leakage has developed, steam pressure can 
be raised again. 

The practice of drawing hot water from a heating boiler for wash- 
ing purposes is a bad one and should not be tolerated. Besides the 
likelihood of damage by reason of lowering the water level and then 
putting in cold water to bring it back to normal, the procedure is un- 
desirable on another score. Fresh water carries scale-forming materials 
into the boiler ; if make-up water be added at frequent intervals so 
much scale may collect that it will interfere seriously with the free 
transfer of heat through the metal and into the water. Such a condition 
is not only inefficient but it is conducive to overheating and cracking 
of the metal. 

Soot on the fire side of the heating surfaces also has this insulating 
effect, and cuts down the efficiency of the boiler. For this reason par- 
ticular care should be taken to keep the heating surfaces as clean as 
possible. Likewise, flues and connections should be kept clear of soot, 
so as not to obstruct the free travel of the gases. 

Bloiving Down 

Muddy water or dirt in the system will cause foaming. When this 
condition is encountered the fire should be allowed to burn out. After 
the boiler has cooled it should be drained and refilled with fresh water. 
If this operation does not stop the foaming it should be repeated, but 
then if foaming still persists the boiler inspector should be asked for 
further instructions. 

Laying Up a Boiler 

The first step in laying up a boiler, after letting the fire burn out and 
giving the boiler time to cool down gradually, is to clean out the fur- 
nace, heating surfaces, and flues as thoroughly as possible. It is im- 
possible to overstress the point that no boiler should ever be allowed to 
go through the summer with soot and ashes in the furnace and flues, 
for the sulphur present in the soot from practically all kinds of coal 
combines readily with moisture to form sulphurous acid, a very corro- 
sive agent. 

Opinions differ on the question of whether it is better to drain the 
boiler or leave it full of water during the off-season. Each method has 



200 THE LOCOMOTIVE J"iy. 



advantages as well as disadvantages, but this company favors leaving 
the boiler full, for on the whole the advantages of that method seem to 
outweigh those of the other. 

The chief disadvantage of leaving water in the boiler lies in the fact 
that it tends to chill and condense moisture from the air on the furnace 
side of the heating surfaces — a condition that has been known to crack 
boilers in the ofif-season by promoting rust growth between sections. 
However, this may be avoided by taking down the smoke pipe, and in 
that way preventing or at least cutting down the passage of air through 
the boiler. One advantage of leaving water in the boiler during the 
summer is that it prevents the drying out of packing between sections, 
a thing which may occur when the boiler stands empty for a long 
period. Another is that it lessens the probability of sections being 
cracked in case anyone uses the furnace during the summer months as 
an incinerator for rubbish. Taking down the smoke pipe, of course, 
discourages this practice. 

As to draining a boiler before laying it up, the two outstanding 
advantages are that it offers a good opportunity to purge the system of 
sludge and dirt and eliminates the condensation of moisture on the 
heating surfaces. The disadvantages are those mentioned above, namely 
that packing may dry out, and sections may be cracked if some thought- 
less person undertakes to use the furnace for the disposal of rubbish. 



Bursting Cylinder Head Kills Two 

Two men were killed instantly and four were severely injured at 
the plant of Chickasha Cotton Oil Co., Ryan, Oklahoma, on January 23. 
when the breaking of the piston rod of a large Corliss-type engine 
allowed the piston to strike the cylinder head with such a terrific impact 
that the latter was broken to fragments and bolts were driven into a 
brick wall like pieces of shrapnel. The piston emerged from the cylin- 
der and came to rest about six feet away. 

A remarkable feature, according to a report of the accident, was 
that the two victims were not struck by flying fragments, but were 
crushed against a wall by the blast of escaping steam. Those who were 
injured were badly scalded and cut. 

The piston rod had been in use about two years. 



A CORRECTION 
In the last issue mention was made of a flywheel explosion at the Davenport, 
Iowa, plant of French & Hecht, Inc. The address thus given was incorrect, 
for although that company has a plant at Davenport, Iowa, the accident occurred 
at its plant in Springfield, Ohio. 



19-20. 



THE L O C O M O T I \^ E 



20 1 



Heating Boiler Explosions Cause Extensive Damage 

A LT HOUGH it is generally understood that heating boilers and 
r\ hot water supply tanks can and sometimes do explode with con- 
siderable violence, the average householder who has never ac- 
tually seen the result of such an explosion is sometimes inclined to 




Figure i 

discount claims as to the potential destructiveness of these common- 
place vessels. The three cases presented herewith, which were selected 
as t\-pical of other explosions occurring during the winter, are con- 
vincing proof that the low pressures ordinarily involved in house heat- 
ing equipment by no means render them immune to accidents of a very 
destructive sort. 

Taking advantage of a lull in business shortly after Christmas the 
proprietor of a small hotel in Cleveland. Ohio, banked the fire in his 
cast iron steam heating boiler and left town for an overnight visit. 
During his absence the weather turned cold and some of the water in 
the lines froze solid. On his return he found the building too frigid 
for comfort, so he immediately " broke " the bank, opened the drafts, 



202 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 



and went out to do some shopping while the building heated up. 
Evidently the boiler made steam faster than an old-fashioned lever- 
type safety valve with a }i" diameter opening could relieve it, for the 
boiler exploded, demolished partitions and stairways in the basement, 
and damaged walls and furniture on the floors above. Figure i is a 
view of the basement shortly after the accident. 




I'igurc 2 

Figure 2 shows the wreckage of a cast iron steam heating boiler 
which exploded in the basement of a store in St. Louis, Mo. In this 
case it was fairly evident from the broken gear segment in the steam 
gauge mechanism that enough pressure had built up to force the gauge 
hand solidly against the pin at the limit of its travel, but the boiler itself, 
the safety valve, and the various other attachments were so badly 
damaged that they offered no clue to the probable cause of this over- 
pressure. The force of the explosion lifted and cracked a concrete 
floor overhead, broke the plate glass show windows in the store, and 
in general created so much havoc that the stock had to be moved to 
another location. Damage was estimated at $4,000. 

At 2 o'clock of a Sunday afternoon in March one of the tenants in 
an apartment and store block adjoining the Y. M. C. A. in Southbridge. 



1929. 



TH E LOCOMOT I V l{ 



203 



Mass., lighted the gas heater in his bathroom and. thrrtttgh oversight, 
neglected to turn it off after he had obtained enough hot water for a 
bath. In the early hours of the morning the storage tank let go and 
blew away the corner of the building. The blast broke windows and 
rocked houses for several blocks around. rdcphone lines were so 
badly damaged that service in that neighborhood could not be reestab- 




Figiirc 3 

lished until late that evening. Figure 3 shows the wrecked portion of 
the building. 

The 12" X 48" tank was of copper, made in two parts soldered to- 
gether at the girth seam by means of a copper band. Lack of a relief 
valve, and the fact that the meter prevented pressure from backing out 
into the mains was advanced as an explanation of the accident. 



ONE OF THOSE MYSTERIES 

Although we can't quite agree with the Archbold, Ohio, Buckeye that a 
flywheel explosion is something that happens only once in a lifetime, neither 
can we bring ourselves to censure too severely the reporter who was so 
thorough and conscientious that he read up on " mechanics " and " natural 
philosophy " before offering the following comment on a recent flywheel 
explosion in his town : 

" We read of such things in mechanics and natural philosophy. One 
authority calls it centrifugal expulsion or centrifugal disintegration. Such 
things happen so rarely that one will probably not encounter the second case 
in a lifetime." 



204 THE LOCOMOTIVE J"iy. 



Thought Corroded Staybolts Were a New Design 

(By Inspector T. F. Connery, Philadelphia) 

NOT long ago I received an order through the mail from one 
of our assured in a distant town to inspect the boiler of a track 
locomotive they had just purchased. Owing to previous appoint- 
ments for that day it was well along in the afternoon before I reached 
the assured's office and found out that the locomotive was six miles 
away at a clay mine they had recently taken over after it had been idle 
for more than a year. 

The manager told me that they had an urgent order for a shipment 
of clay and wanted to put the locomotive in service the next morning. 
He had had the engineer and a mechanic give the machine an over- 
hauling and, on their assurance that everything was in shape, had 
arranged with the railroad to place a car on their siding so that loading 
could commence in the morning. However, he was determined that 
the boiler be insured before it was put under pressure so it was a case 
of " ofif to the mines " for me, even though it was late in the day and 
the trail, I was sure, would be rather hard on the bus I was driving. 

I reached the mine just as the men, including the engineer, were 
quitting for the day. The manager had been cjuite right about tneir 
being ready to start next morning. As a matter of fact the boiler had 
been filled to the second gauge and the kindling was all set to touch ofif. 
Externally everything seemed ship-shape, including two new safety 
valves set to blow at i/O pounds, the pressure for which the boiler was 
built, according to the A. S. M. E. stamp on it. 

My request to drain the boiler so as to permit an internal examina- 
tion dismayed the engineer, for the water tank was some distance down 
the track and refilling would be quite a job. However, he consented, 
and when we knocked in the manhole covers the first thing that caught 
my eye was serious corrosion of the radial stays supporting the firebox 
crown sheet. These stays were reduced for the most part from i" 
diameter at the threaded ends down to ^" in the body. When I called 
this to the engineer's attention he said he had noticed the stays while 
working on the throttle mechanism and had called the mechanic to have 
a look at them. In the latter's opinion they were a new kind of staybolt 
that was screwed from the roof sheet to enter a cap screwed into the 
crown sheet. Even had the design been such, which of course it was 
not, this explanation would not have altered the fact that, with their 
small cross-sectional areas, these stays were not safe for a working 
pressure of even half the i/O pounds for which the boiler was to be used. 



•9^9. THE LOCOMOTIVE 205 



Both llie engineer and tlie mechanic were entirel\- competent in their 
respective Hnes and sincere in their opinions, so I don't know as anyone 
could hlame them for faihng U) recognize the seriousness of the situa- 
tion. It was achnittedly a httle out of their field of experience. How- 
ever, such instances are hy no means uncommon. 

The manager. nalurall\-, was distressed when told of the situation 
that night, but he made the best of things by arranging with a firm of 
boiler makers to put in new stay bolts as quickly as possible. Although 
he was anxious to please his customer by making prompt shipment, at 
the same time he wanted to take no chance of having an explosion and 
was duly appreciative of the service rendered. 

Relating this incident brings to mind another case that occurred 
not long ago. In passing through a certain town one Saturday evening 
I met the general mechanic of a textile mill, a man whom I knew very 
well. In the course of conversation he mentioned that one of their 
horizontal tubular boilers had developed a leak which they were going 
to make tight next day, so as to have the boiler ready Monday morning. 
On finding out the location of the leak I asked him to neither make 
repairs nor put the boiler in service until I could get out to the mill 
early in the morning and make an investigation. He agreed, and as a 
result the mechanics were saved the trouble of making repairs that 
would have been useless, for we found a lap seam crack i8 inches 
long — a defect that sent the boiler to the scrap heap. 

These occurrences are not related with the thought in mind that 
any special acumen was displayed by the writer in ferreting out defects. 
They are simply incidents in the every-day service our Company is 
rendering. The appearance of similar accounts in recent issues of the 
magazine prompted me to reduce them to writing. 



LIFTED THE DEVIL'S FACE, TOO? 

A bill submitted by a church interior painter nearly a hundred years ago, now 
in the archives of the parish church at Nyed, Sweden, itemizes the services as 
follows : 

" Altered the Ten Commandments and repaired the Sixth. 

" Polished Pontius Pilatus, put new furs on his bonnet. 

" Put new wings on the Angel Gabriel. 

" Expanded heaven, improved the fires of hell, and made the devil's face 
more awful. 

" Cleansed the Red Sea, which was really very dirty." 



CRANK-PIN NOT OF CAST IRON 
The editor's attention has been called to an error on page 153 of the 
January issue. The crank-pin shown on that page was referred to as 
being cast integral with the disc, whereas it was actually made of steel and 
pressed into the disc. As a consequence, the conclusion as to the strength 
of cast pins, although proven true in many otlier instances, is not illustrated 
bv this one. 



2o6 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 



Low-Pressure Steam Overspeeded Turbine 

HAD not a quick-thinking engineer been in the immediate vicinity 
it is probable that the 1,500 Kw. mixed-pressure turbine pictured 
here would have been totally wrecked when derangement of the 
low-pressure control permitted a full flow of low-pressure steam while 
the machine was running without load. The engineer quickly closed 
both steam line stop valves and brought the turbine to a halt, but in 
spite of his promptness the buckets and blading of three discs and their 
corresponding diaphragms were entirely ripped away. An investigation 
after the accident revealed that a cast iron lever actuating the low- 
pressure inlet valve had broken. 




The low-pressure stages of this turbine were designed to use 
exhaust steam at about 8 pounds pressure from a battery of hammers 
in the forge shop. To augment this, the turbine had also a high-pres- 
sure steam inlet and a selective governor arrangement so that high- 
pressure steam would automatically be admitted in case the supply 
of low-pressure steam was insufficient to carry the electrical load. 

When the accident occurred the engineer heard something snap 
and noticed the turbine pick up speed. Thinking that perhaps the but- 
terfly valve in the high-pressure line had stuck open, he hastened to 
close the stop valve in that line. As this did not seem to check the 
speed he ran to the low-pressure stop valve and spun that closed. He 



^929- THE LOCOMOTIVE 207 

was just in time, for there is little doubt but that th6^turl)ine would 
have run itself to destruction. 

As it turned out, the accident was serious enough. Repairs amounted 
to about $5,000 and, in spite of every means taken to expedite the work, 
the plant had to purchase outside current for twenty-one days before 
the machine was again available. 



Rooster Controls Street Lights 

WRITING in the Electrical World, L. H. Hardin, electrical 
engineer, tells the following story of an ingenious device by 
which a rooster switches on a town's street lights when he 
takes to his perch at dusk, and turns the lights off again when, with 
the rising sun, he strides forth to greet the day. 

" In a little North Carolina town there is a superintendent of Public 
Works whose duties cover, among other things, the operation with his 
own hands, unaided, of the electric light system, water works system, 
volunteer fire department, maintenance and repair, meter reading, re- 
placing blown fuse plugs when some good housewife's flat iron acts up, 
and so forth. 

" Needless to say, our unsung hero has no great amount of time 
to devote to the study of Einstein's theory or the fourth dimension and, 
in fact, has trouble enough on hand to turn on and off the lights at 
just the right time to suit all concerned. To the possessor of such 
talents and ingenuity as one must possess to fill his post successfully 
this did not present an insuperable problem. In his back yard is a 
hefty rooster of staid and dependable habits whose belief in the ' early 
to bed and early to rise ' habit is unshakable. 

" Here, then, is the problem and the elements of its solution : A 
special perch was arranged for friend rooster, pivoted at one end and 
so arranged that his weight would depress the perch a few inches and 
pull down on a cord to close the street lighting circuit regularly at 
dusk and to open it when old reliable leaves his perch at break of day. 

" To the best of my knowledge there is no device on the market 
today capable of taking cognizance of the early dusk on a rainy day 
or the late darkness on a clear day or of the variable hours of dawn 
with the changing weather as does this old rooster." 



FROM GOOD OLD MISSOURI 

Father, impressively answering the query of a suitor : " Young fellow, the 
man who marries my daughter will get a prize." 

Suitor, after an embarrassing pause : " May I see it, sir ? " 



2o8 THE LOCOMOTIVE h^ 

Modern Electric Light Industry Born in Edison's 
Experimental Plant at Menlo Park, N. J. 

IN SPITE of sporadic attempts by real estate developers to fan 
the embers of an almost forgotten past into something resembling 

a vigorous real estate boom, the little New Jersey hamlet in which 
both the incandescent electric lamp and the trolley car were born is 
very little larger now than it was fifty odd years ago when Thomas A. 
Edison established his laboratory there and attracted an amazed world 
to his doorstep to see what the " Wizard of Menlo Park " was going 
to do next with a riiysterious form of energy known as electricity. 
In fact, save for a modest stone monument recently erected along the 
Lincoln Highway by veterans of the Edison organization, there is 
nothing about the quiet little town to suggest that in its heyday it was 
known wherever newspapers circulated, and thousands of visitors 
thronged in to see with their own eyes the remarkable invention by 
which Edison took electricity from a dynamo in his power house and 
produced therewith a flameless light in glass bulbs strung on wires 
around his plant and the railroad station. 

Up until a few years ago a crumbling brick foundation and the 
rusting skeleton of a trolley car could be seen by anyone who cared 
enough about such things to venture through a weed-grown field to 
a spot several hundred feet from the highway, but time has erased even 
those traces of the " Wizard's " lair. Today Menlo Park is no more 
than just another cross-road to the thousands of motorists who dash 
through it too rapidly to read either the inscription on the monument 
or the tire company billboard that gives a brief outline of its history. 

Forgotten by the public at large, still Menlo Park means some- 
thing to the electric light industry. This year public utilities throughout 
the country are participating in a Golden Jubilee demonstration marking 
the 50th anniversary of Edison's invention of the incandescent lamp and 
acknowledging its tremendous influence in making electricity a com- 
modity almost as universally used as food and clothing — an influence 
which obviously had much to do with dotting the country from coast 
to coast with big central stations which now meet the demand of an 
ever-increasing electrical load. 

In a sense, then, Edison's plant at Menlo Park, with its small boiler, 
engine, and dynamo which sent current through the first group of 
incandescent lamps and drove the experimental trolley cars, was really 
the forerunner of the huge central stations of today. Through the 
courtesy of the builders we are privileged to reproduce herein the 



1929. 



T H E L. O C O M C) T I V E 



209 




K 
W 

1—1 

o 

;<^ 

c . 

d H 
^ H 

U CO 



o 
m 



Figure i 



210 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July. 



original layout drawing of the boiler which the Babcock & Wilcox Com- 
pany installed in that plant in 1878. It will be noted that although the 
" Tubulous Safety " boiler resembles the modern water tube boiler in 
many respects, there are features about it which have long since been 
superseded. One of the most striking points of dissimilarity between 




Figure 2 

that boiler and those of more modern design is that iron castings were 
used for the heads of the drum. Another is the method of joining 
the tube headers to the drum. The present design has connections 
for the tube headers riveted to the drum some distance from either 
end, but in the old model the connections were at the ends of the drum 
through the cast iron heads. However, the old boilers gave a good 
account of themselves, and thousands of horsepower of that type were 
built. Unfortunately, there is no record of the final disposal of the 
Edison boiler, the last account in the record book telling of its removal 
to Schenectady after several years service at Menlo Park. 

All in all, the B. & W. plant sold Edison seven boilers of the same 
general design, one of which was installed in 18S5 at the experimental 
laboratory in Fort Myers, Fla. Two years ago, when Henry Ford 
undertook to assemble at his Dearborn museum as many as possible of 
the old Fort Mvers laboratorv machines, he was unable to find the 



'929. THE LOCOMOTIVE 211 



boiler, but the B. & W. plant built and presented him an exact duplicate. 
A bronze plate attached to the boiler explains that the builders were 
actuated by " deep appreciation of the many benefits that have come 
to that company as well as to mankind as a result of Mr. Edison's 
many inventions." 

The huge seamless steel drum for the 1,400 pounds per square inch 
cross-drum boiler now being built by Babcock & Wilcox for the Deep- 
water, N. J., station of the United Gas & Electric Company (Fig. 2) 
shows more clearly than words could describe it the vast difference 
in size between the most up-to-date central station boilers and those of 
fifty years ago. The big drum is 52 inches in diameter, over 50 feet 
long, and has walls 4 inches thick. The boiler of which it will be a 
part is rated at something like one hundred times the capacity of the 
one Edison used. It is probable that even Edison himself little guessed 
the size to which power plant equipment would grow when, fifty years 
back, he started the ball rolling by inventing a device which established 
a field for the sale of electric current in large quantities. 



Even Low Voltages May Cause Fatal Burns 

A FEW weeks ago the manager of a plant's safety department 
raised the question as to whether there is any real danger in 
electric wires carrying voltages no higher than no. The answer, 
based on experience, is " yes ". 

Recently a power plant employee, working inside a boiler, was 
burned to death by coming in contact with a bare spot on the no-volt 
light extension wire. Caught in a cramped position, he was unable to 
release himself. At another plant a direct-current lighting wire carry- 
ing only 98 volts caused the death of a workman who accidentally 
touched it while he was standing on a wet floor. There are enough such 
accidents each year in mills and homes throughout the country to prove, 
beyond question, that when the body is well shorted between two wires 
or between a wire and another good conductor such as a damp floor or 
a grounded piece of metal, a person may be seriously if not fatally 
burned, providing he is unable to free himself quickly. 

A safe rule to follow is to assume that any voltage may be dangerous 
and to make sure, when working around conductors, that there is no 
chance of shorting the current through the body. This precaution is 
especially appropriate in the case of alternating-current, for the failure 
of insulation in a transformer sometimes raises the secondary line 
voltage well above normal. 



212 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



July, 




A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE 

DEVOTED TO POWER PLANT PROTECTION 

George Hargis Prall, Editor 

Copyright 1929 by The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 

HARTFORD, CONN., July i, 1929 

Single Copies can be obtained free by calling at any of the company's agencies. 

Subscription price 50 cents per year when mailed from this office. 

Recent bound volumes one dollar each. Earlier ones two dollars. 

Reprinting matter from this paper is permitted if credited to 

The , Locomotive of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspectiox & Insuranxe Co. 



Hower Succeeds Gleason at Cincinnati 

THE many friends of Mr. William E. Gleason among the clients 
and agents in the Cincinnati territory will share our regret at his 
decision to relinquish the managership of the Cincinnati Depart- 
ment on July I. Mr. Gleason's retirement brings to an end a service 
of forty-one years which commenced in 1888 with his appointment 
as special agent. For the past twenty years he has been manager of his 
department, and the success with which he has discharged the duties 
of that important post is clearly reflected in the friendly relations which 
The Hartford has enjoyed with those it serves in that territory. 

Mr. Frank L. Hower, who has been selected as Mr. Gleason's suc- 
cessor, has been Assistant Manager of the Philadelphia Department 
for several years. In that time and in a long previous term in other 
responsible capacities, he has acquired an experience and demonstrated 
qualities wdiich well fit him for the post to which he is now advanced. 
In turning the important duties of managership over to Mr. Hower, 
the Company is confident that he will perform them in such a manner 
as to maintain the high standard of service prevailing in that territory 
and deserve continuance of the cordial feeling the Company enjoys on 
the part of its clients and agents. 



^920 T U E LOCOMOTIVE 213 

Erect Tablet to Dean of Operating Engineers 

IN THE old Dutch Reformed churchyard at Belleville, N. J., a 
tahlet now marks the once obscure grave of Josiah Hornblower, 

the man who erected the first steam engine in America and was, for 
several years, the only steam operating engineer this side of the Atlantic. 
Even among members of the craft the name of Hornblower was never 
widely known. Omitted from many of the encyclopedias and from 
histories of the steam engine, he might have remained in perpetual ob- 
scurity had not the American Branch of the Newcomen Society accord- 
ed him the distinction he so well deserved. Under the auspices of this 
society a distinguished group was present at the unveiling ceremonies 
on April 24. 

Hornblower, an Englishman, was engaged with his father and 
brother in the business of erecting engines when, in 1753, he was com- 
missioned to sail to America and set up an engine for pumping a copper 
mine on the shores of Newark' Bay. Impressed by his thorough knowl- 
edge of the strange machine, the owners prevailed on him to remain 
with them as operating engineer. Thus Hornblower became the dean 
of a craft which, numbering in its membership the thousands of operat- 
ing engineers in large and small plants throughout the country, has 
played an important part in creating and maintaining the American 
standard of living made possible by the advent of mechanical power. 

The engine which Hornblower erected and ran was of the New- 
comen design, a type then widely used in England to pump mines. It 
continued in operation for years and stood as a curiosity many years 
after it had pumped its last stroke. But. like many other historic relics, 
it was allowed to find its way into the junk heap before anyone awoke 
to a realization that it rightly deserved preservation in some museum. 



To Mark Centennial of " Stourbridge Lion " 

THE Chamber of Commerce of Honesdale, Pa., is planning a 
celebration to commemorate the centennial, on August 8th, of 
the first successful operation of a steam-driven locomotive on 
the Western hemisphere. The locomotive was the " Stourbridge Lion " 
which was built in England and shipped to this country in February, 
1829. as the property of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. 
A year before that the company had built a railroad from its coal 
mine to the terminal of its canal at Honesdale and, impressed by the 
performance of the new type of motive power then making its appear- 
ance on English roads, Assistant Chief Engineer Horatio Allen went 



214 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^ 

abroad to purchase one of the new machines. 

It was Allen's intention to secure an engine of not more than a ton 
and a quarter on a wheel, but when the " Lion " arrived and was 
assembled at the West Point Foundry in New York it was found to 
weigh nearly sixty per cent, more than the specifications called for. 
Lack of experience on the part of the builders probably accounted 
for their failure to estimate the weight of their design within closer 
limits, and this fact virtually forced abandonment of the " Lion " after 
its single trial trip. The track and the trestles, of which there were 
several, proved inadequate to support the heavy engine and so, although 
it demonstrated the practicability of the steam-driven locomotive, it 
was never put into service. 

For several years the " Lion " was kept in storage while the owners 
sought a buyer. Eventually the boiler was removed and set up in a 
foundry at Carbondale, Pa., where it served for about twenty years. 



Plans to Make Ocean Run Compressed Air Engine 

TNVENTORS have for years tried to coerce the ocean into giving 
up the energy of its waves toward the production of useful work. 

Indeed, machines have been built for that purpose and have been 
destroyed by the very element they sought to control. But now a 
Polish inventor, undaunted by the difficulties which wrecked the hopes 
of others, claims that he has partly solved the problem by means of a 
device which, mounted on a ship, utilizes the up and down movement 
of the waves for storing up energy in the form of compressed air. 
The latter, in turn, is to be used to drive an engine and create electric 
energy which, no doubt, he intends to put into a storage battery. 

Erecting the apparatus on shipboard instead of on fixed foundations 
ashore will minimize the danger of its being destroyed by the first 
storm that comes along but, sad to say, this is not the only difficulty. 
If it were, the inventor would be fortunate. For one thing, he may 
find it quite a problem to maintain air pressure for his engine while 
the ocean, one of the most fickle of all nature's elements, indulges in 
one of its occasional spells of prolonged quiescence. And, too, he will 
have to demonstrate that the energy output warrants the cost of build- 
ing and maintaining units of commercial size. This last hurdle is 
likely to prove as hard to surmount as those of a purely mechanical 
nature. 



The diflference between a pedestrian and a jaywalker is this : When j'ou're 
walking among them they're pedestrians ; when you're driving they're jaywalkers. 

— Detroit Motor Neivs. 



^939- THE LOCOMOTIVE 215 

Taps from the Old Chief^s Hammer 

A LONE in the office an hour before the usual opening time, Assist- 
/-% ant Chief Inspector Tom Preble was working through a bunch 
of inspection reports when the Old Chief sauntered in and flung 
himself wearily into a chair. 

" Just look at that, Tom," he demanded, holding up a felt hat so 
^rimy that it might have seen service in a boiler room. "And these 
clothes, too," he added, gloomily regarding the bedraggled remains of 
a light summer suit. 

Tom's astonished gaze roved from the disreputable head covering 
to the wrinkled and grease-marked trousers that had been just about 
the last word in sartorial splendor when the Chief left the office the 
-evening before. 

" Where have you been? " he gasped. 

" Son," grinned the old fellow, amused at Tom's amazement, " I've 
been up all night tracking down a ghost at the Imperial Hotel." Then, 
sensing that this enigmatic statement conveyed no information to his 
puzzled understudy, the Chief told his story. 

"Along about eleven o'clock last night Andy Ferguson, the hotel 
engineer, 'phoned me to come down and take a look at that elevator 
pump we insure for them. I wasn't keen on being steered away from 
bed at that time of night but Andy insisted that the steam pump was 
about ready to break down and tie up their elevator, so I told him 
I'd run right down and see what, if anything, could be done about it. 
When I arrived I found out that the trouble really wasn't in the pump 
at all, but that's a part of the story I'll explain later. 

" It seems that a knock had developed in the hydraulic elevator sys- 
tem — a knock so annoying to the guests that they were complaining 
to the manager. Ferguson stayed up all one night trying to diagnose 
the trouble and the only explanation he could think of was that some- 
thing had gone wrong inside the pump. 

" The hydraulic layout down there consists of a large open tank in 
the attic which supplies water to the elevator ram-chamber through a 
ten-inch pipe. To lower the elevator, water is discharged from the ram- 
chamber into a sump tank in the basement. From there it is picked 
up by a duplex steam pump controlled automatically by a float in the 
sump tank, and pumped up through another ten-inch pipe into the 
open tank in the attic. To support this ten-inch pipe they have run it 
down to the basement floor and anchored it in the cement. Three feet 
above the floor they have a sweep tee from which a connection goes to 



2i6 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^. 

the pump. The vertical run of pipe below the tee is blanked off so 
as not to leave a dead-end pocket at the foot of the pipe. 

" While we were standing there talking, the pump started. It hadn't 
made more than two or three strokes when we heard a metallic knock- 
ing that appeared to be in that vertical return pipe leading up to the 
tank in the attic. Tap, tap, tap went the noise, and the mysterious part 
about it was that it didn't stop when the pump stopped. For several 
seconds after the pump shut down the same regular tap, tapping con- 
tinued. On the next trip of the elevator the performance was repeated. 
The knock wasn't a water-hammer; both of us were satisfied of that, 
yet we couldn't for the life of us say just what it did sound like. 

" I guess we must have fiddled around there for an hour, listening 
and arguing, until all at once my mind flashed back over a space of at 
least fifty years to a time when, as a youngster, I tossed a tin disc intO' 
a pond and was impressed by the fact that instead of sinking straight 
down like a plummet, it descended gradually, moving from side to side. 
Right away it occurred to me that there might be just such a disc in the 
vertical run of pipe — a disc that zig-zagged up from one side of the 
pipe to the other as the pump forced water upward, and zig-zagged 
downward again when the pump stopped. 

" Ferguson, too, thought there might be something in my theory, 
although he couldn't figure out how such a thing could have gotten into 
the pipe, since as far as he knew none of the plates from the plate 
valves or discs from the pump valves were missing. Well, anyway, 
to test out our assumption we held open the steam valve the next time 
the pump started, allowing the pump to make perhaps a dozen strokes 
more than it made ordinarily. Sure enough, whatever was in the pipe 
seemed to go right on up and disappear into the tank at the top. 

" Right then was the time for us to call quits, but neither one of us 
had enough sense to do that. Nothing would satisfy us but to wait until 
the elevator stopped for the night and then drain some of the water out 
of the attic tank and fish out whatever it was that had caused all the 
trouble. Getting that valve disc out was what messed me up like this. 
If I hadn't been so all-fired insistent on proving my theory correct 
I'd have avoided that and got a good night's sleep in the bargain." 

" You didn't finish up until just before you came in here a few 
minutes ago?" queried Tom. 

" Well, not exactly," confessed the Chief, standing up and adjust- 
ing his hat at a jaunty angle. " We finished up along about four 
o'clock, but by the time we'd had a snack from the chef's pantry and 
smoked a cig^ar it didn't look like there was much use going home." 



'9-'9 THE LOCOMOTIVE 217 



Tom smiled as the old fellow went out the door, botind homeward 
to change his clothes and explain the all-night absence. " I'll bet a 
nickle," he chuckled, " the old man got more satisfaction out of nailing 
■down that ' ghost ' than out of a full night's sleep." 



Weight Cut, Diesel Now Enters the Airplane Field 

f^r^ HE handicap that has kept the Diesel engine from competing 
I with its gasoline cousin in the aircraft industry is gradually 
being whittled down. At least one concern, the Packard Motor 
Car Company, has actually flown a plane powered by a Diesel weighing 
but slightly more than three pounds per horsepower, and several others 
are experimenting with oil-engines light enough for use in heavier-than- 
air flying machines. 

Weight has been the chief factor barring this fast-growing field to 
the Diesel. If that disadvantage can be overcome there is a good 
possibility that the Diesel, favored by such features as low fuel cost, 
simplicity of fuel admission and ignition systems, a minimum of work- 
ing parts to get out of order, and reasonable freedom from the fire 
hazard, may force the gasoline engine to relinquish its tight monopoly 
in the field of small, mobile power units. 

The indications are that in order to cut down the pounds-per- 
horsepower weight it will be necessary to increase speed from the 200 
or 300 r. p. m. of the stationary power-plant Diesel to around 1,500 or 
even 2,000 r. p. m. and, at the same time, to go in for higher com- 
pression ratios. Whereas the ordinary Diesel has a maximum cylinder 
pressure of about 500 pounds per square inch during combustion of the 
charge — which is about the same as in the gasoline engine — the new 
Packard Diesel is said to operate at a maximum unit pressure of some- 
thing like 1,200 pounds. Naturally, a structure adequate to withstand 
alternating stresses of such magnitude must be stronger than that re- 
quired in the gasoline engine. To provide strength and at the same 
time keep down weight it seems obvious that where steel, iron, or alloy 
castings do very nicely for certain parts of the gasoline engine, cor- 
responding parts of the airplane Diesel will have to be machined from 
the strongest steel obtainable, and dimensions shaved down to the 
minimum sufficient for safety. The added manufacturing expense thus 
involved will be one of the points in which the Diesel will be at a 
disadvantage in competition with the gasoline motor, but other features 
may more than make up for it. In reciting the advantages of the 
Diesel for aircraft The Scientific American recentlv had this to sav: 



2i8 THE LOCOMOTIVE J^iy^ 



" The gain in simplicity by the use of the Diesel is shown by the 
following facts: — In the typical gasoline engine (of 9 cylinders) 
there are two separate magnetos, 18 ignition wires, 18 spark plugs, and 
an ignition switch. There is an aggregate of perhaps 1,000 individual 
parts making up the ignition system. In the Diesel, with its automatic 
ignition, no additional parts of any kind are required. Continuous 
ignition is assured just as long as the engine is operating. Furthermore, 
the ignition system of each Diesel cylinder is entirely independent of 
the ignition system in any other cylinder. 

" Now compare the fuel supply systems. The conventional nine- 
cylinder gasoline engine is dependent on perhaps a single carburetor — 
at best on a triple-barrel carburetor. Even with the triple carburetor, 
there are only three independent carburetion systems, the failure of any 
one of which will result in the loss of one-third of the operating cylin- 
ders. In the Diesel, each cylinder receives fuel from an independent 
pump, thus making it impossible for a clogged fuel line to impair the 
performance of more than one cylinder. 

" Comparing fire hazards, we find that the fire point of gasoline is 
below zero. Fahrenheit; for heavy fuel used in the Diesel it is 175, 
degrees, Fahrenheit 

" Heavy fuel oil is much cheaper than gasoline. With aviation, 
gasoline at 19.8 cents a gallon, the cost is 1.7 cents per brake horse- 
power hour. With the Diesel engine, the corresponding cost is 0.36 
cents per brake horsepower hour, or about one fifth as much. 

"Another interesting point in the Diesel is the fact that it will 
operate successfully in any position. All engines using carburetors 
are dependent upon gravity as far as correct functioning of the car- 
buretor is concerned. With the Diesel, worry as to the position in a 
steep climb or in stunting is entirely eliminated." 

However, in our enthusiasm at the prospect of a more general use 
of low-fuel-cost Diesels it will not do to overlook the important features 
in which the gasoline engine is still superior. In the matter of flexibility 
the Diesel is at a great disadvantage. Moreover, starting a Diesel 
when it is cold is by no means as simple a matter as starting a 
gasoline engine. Due to high compression considerable torque is required 
to " kick " the motor over. Packard engineers have not divulged the 
method by which they have solved this problem, but persons who wit- 
nessed a recent demonstration at Langley Field are of the opinion that 
the starting impulse was supplied by the explosion of a powder cartridge 
in one of the cylinders. 

But all in all the prospects for the Diesel's wider use seem bright. 



^929- THE LOCOMOTI VE 2^ 

So much progress has hcen made in the last few years that the engine 
whose usefuhiess once seemed Hmited to power plants and ship propul- 
sion now looms as a serious future competitor to the gasoline engine in 
both the airplane and automotive fields. 



Open Heater Explodes When Vent Clogs 

r^r^HE possibility of an explosion resulting from the accidental 
I stopping-up of the pipe through which a vessel designed for heat- 
ing water at atmospheric pressure is vented to the open air was 
demonstrated recently when such an accident caused extensive prop- 
erty damage at the plant of Hindc & Dauch Paper Company, Muncie, 
Indiana. 

The vessel was a vertical tank or tub eight feet in diameter and 
seven feet high, made of half -inch shell plate with a double-riveted 
lap seam. Flat heads were riveted to 3" x 3" x 3/2" angle-irons which 
were bent around and riveted to the shell at top and bottom. Eighteen 
similar angle-irons, placed back to back in pairs, were riveted across 
the heads for reinforcement. 

The tank was arranged to utilize exhaust steam from an engine to 
heat water for the pulp beaters. However, at times the exhaust did 
not heat the water sufficiently, so there was another connection which 
furnished live steam at 40 pounds pressure. A 3J/2" vent pipe in the 
top head provided free access to the atmosphere and, to all appearances, 
made it impossible for pressure to build up within the tank. For that 
reason the plant carried no insurance on this particular object, although 
all other pressure tanks were insured. 

In some way the vent pipe became clogged, pressure inside the tank 
increasing until, without warning, the angle-iron holding the lower head 
gave way and allowed the tank to shoot up through the roof. For- 
tunately, there were no casualties, but damage to the building, equip- 
ment, and stock ran into thousands of dollars. 

So badly were the tank and vent pipe twisted and torn that a search 
to find the direct cause of the stoppage was futile. It is supposed that 
a board or some other foreign object found its way into the tank and 
eventually lodged against the mouth of the vent. Another possibility 
is that vapor may have frozen and formed a plug of ice in the upper 
end of the pipe. Whatever the cause, the case serves to bring home 
forcibly the necessity of taking every precaution to prevent the acci- 
dental blocking ofT of a vent when steam under pressure is admitted 
to a tank intended to serve as an open heater. 



220 



THE LOCOMOTIVE J"^y. 



Caught in the Separator 

KNOWLEDGE STRIDES ON RELENTLESSLY 

" South Amboy Rotarians Hear About Electricity." — Headline in the Perth 
Amboy (N. J.) Evcmng Neves. 

So far, so good, but are they to be kept in the dark about the World War 
and wireless telegraphy? 



A flying rumor never has any trouble in making a landing. — Arkansas Ga::ctfc. 



HERE'S HOW CHINESE TEACH SAFETY 
Chinese jay-walkers are being educated by professional story tellers, employed 

by the government, who deliver talks on the Shanghai streets. Here is one of 

their tales — 

" Now, the swift motor car and the clanging street car are just like tigers, 

and if you do not take care to watch the policeman at the corner and obey his 

signals you will not live to grow up and acquire many sons, but will be killed. 

and your sons, too, so that your ancestral tablets will be unattended. The road 

is like a tiger's mouth — from its center keep away." 



OR WEAR NOTHING BUT 
"Dad, what is an advertisement?" 

" An advertisement is a picture of a pretty girl, eating, wearing, holding, or 
driving something that somebody wants to sell." 



HE ADMITS IT 

" Any luck? " asked a curious individual looking over the rail of the bridge. 

"Any luck?" asked the fisherman below. "Why, I caught 40 bass out of here 
yesterday." 

" Say, do you know who I am? " asked the man on the bridge. 

The fisherman replied that he did not. 

" Well, I am the fish and game warden." 

The fisherman, after a moment's thought, said : " Say, do you know who 
I am? " 

" No," replied the ofTicer. 

" Well, I'm the biggest liar in the country." 



THE LAST WORD IN DINNER ORATORY 
Mr. Welch had been dining out six nights in succession. On the seventh 
night he turned up at home for the evening meal. When he was seated, Mrs. 
Welch then rose and addressed the other occupants of the table : 

" Children, we have with us tonight a guest of whom you have all heard, 
even if you do not know him personally. He is a man who has a reputation for 
good cheer in every club in the city, and this evening we are to have the honor 
and pleasure of being numbered among the admirers of his entertaining qualities. 
It is with the greatest pleasure that I present to you — your father ! " 



DARKY GREETINGS 

During the war the officers frequently had difficulty in getting the proper 
salutes from the negro recruits. One bright morning a negro private met the 
colonel of his regiment and greeted him with " Howdy, boss." 

There followed a long tirade from the officer on the correct way to salute. 
The other listened in silence, scratching his head in perplexity. Finally he inter- 
runted long enough to say ; " Land's sakes, boss if Ah'd thought you was goin' 
to feel so brd about it, Ah wouldn't have spoke to you a-tall." 



1929. 



THE LOCOMOTIVE 



221 



SUMMARY OF INSPECTOR'S WORK FOR 1927 

Number of visits of inspection made (boilers and engines) . . 279,805 

Total number of boilers examined ...... 528,361 

Number of boilers inspected internally ..... 188,589 

Number of boilers tested by hydrostatic pressure . . . 12,894 

Number of boilers found to be uninsurable ..... 1,061 

Number of shop boilers inspected ...... 22,417 

Number of premises where pipe lines were inspected . . 27,445 

Total number of engines and wheels examined .... 57,i75 

Number of uninsurable engines and wheels ..... 128 



Su.M.\i.\RY OF Defects Discovered 

Nature of Defects. 
Cases of sediment or loose scale and adhering scale 
Cases of grooving and internal and external corrosion 
Cases of defective bracing 
Cases of defective staybolting 
Settings defective .... 
Fractured plates and heads 
Burned plates ..... 
Laminated plates .... 
Cases of defective riveting 
Cases of leakage around tubes and defective tubes and flues 
Cases of leakage at seams 
Water gauges defective 
Blow-offs defective .... 
Cases of low water .... 
Safety valves overloaded or defective 
Pressure gauges defective or missing 
Miscellaneous defects in boilers 
Flywheels found overspeeded . 
Cases of cracks found in engine parts and wheels 
Defective governors ..... 

Miscellaneous defects in engines and wheels . 



Whole 


Danger- 


Number. 


ous. 


78,972 


4.256 


45,435 


2,530 


792 


221 


3.934 


769 


8,981 


960 


3,162 


552 


3.169 


439 


191 


33 


1.427 


234 


28,099 


6,705 


6,091 


500 


3.875 


702 


5.117 


1,441 


-!74 


297 


3,231 


843 


7,004 


679 


9,115 


907 


64 


7 


564 


211 


298 


151 


34 






Grand Total of the Inspectors' Work on Boilers from the Time the 
Company Began Business to January i, 1928 



Visits of inspection made ..... 

Whole number of inspections (both internal and ext.) 

Complete internal inspections .... 

Boilers tested by hydrostatic pressure . 

Total number of boilers condemned 

Total number of defects discovered 

Total number of dans^erous defects discovered 



6,648,030 

13.111.402 

5.072.148 

458,518 

36,794 

7,038,903 

.789.380 



The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company 



56 Prospect Street 
HARTFORD, CONN. 



ABSTRACT OF STATEMENT, DECEMBER 31, 1928 

Capital Stock, . . $3,000,000.00 

ASSETS 

Cash in offices and banks $ 599.693- 18 

300,423.66 



Real Estate .... 

Mortgage and collateral loans . 

Bonds and Stocks 

Premiums in course of collection 

Interest accrued 

Other Assets .... 

Total Assets 

LIABILITIES 

Reserve for unearned premiums 

Reserve for losses ...... 

Reserve for taxes and other contingencies 
Capital Stock ....... 

Surplus over all liabilities .... 

Surplus to Policyholders 

Total 



1,296,386.75 

i7>475>629-38 

1,288,819.44 

151,132.41 

18,205.76 

$ 21,130,290.58 



$ 8,619,119.83 
377,212.80 

1.894,758.35 



$3,000,000.00 
7.239,199-60 



$10,239,199-06 

. $ 21,130,290.58 



CHARLES S. BLAKE, Chairman Board of Directors 
WILLIAM R. C. CORSON, President and Treasurer 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



LUCIUS F. ROBINSON, Attorney, Hart- 
ford, Conn. 

JOHN O. ENDERS, Chairman Board of 

Directors, Hartford National Bank & 

Trust Co., Hartford, Conn. 
MORGAN B. BR.MNARD, President 

^tna Life Insurance Co., Hartfor