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pressure, although the safety valves were represented to have been loaded with 25 lb. on the square inch; after the vessel had made the trial trip, she was moored off Black wall, when Mr. Jacob Samuda felt desirous to try what effect high steam at 25 lb. pressure would have upon the boiler; it was during this experiment that the fatal accident occurred. In order to render the evidence intelligible, we have borrowed of our contemporary, the Mechanics' Magazine, the four annexed engravings, showing the pipe and the joint.

Fig. 1 is a plan, or top view, of the pipe. Fig. 2 a side view.Fig. 3 a perspective of the bent pipe at the angie. A is the vertical pipe leading to the cylinder; B the steam-pipe from the boilers; C the intermediate steam-pipe; b b joints of the flanch description; c and d socket or spigot and faucet joints. Fig. 4 is an enlarged view of the socket or spigot and faucet joint, d, being the one which is 4

represented as having given way first ; the part indicated in black is the place occupied by the ring or bead which was originally on the end of the pipe, and in the evidence stated to have been chipped and filed away; the joint was packed with hemp and tallow, and surrounded with a gland to prevent the packing being forced out by the steam. It is very evident from this description, that we have a packing very similar to that round a piston rod, and in consequence of the bead being cut away, a very low pressure of steam would lift the elbow pipe out

of its place; if the pipe be 10 inches diameter the area is equal to 784 inches, and with a pressure of steain at 10 lbs. there would be an upward pressure of 785 lbs.; consequently, if the pipe was not strapped down, it is very evident that the elbow pipe would be lifted out of its socket in the manner the accident is represented to have occurred. There appears to be some astonishment exhibited by all parties at the inquest, at the bead being cut away and filed, but not a word was said about the gland, if the latter was in one piece it is evident that the bead was cut away to get the gland on the pipe, but if the gland had been made with two semicircles and a ring under, also in two pieces, and placed so as to break joint, it might then have been put on without the bead being cut away; if the annexed drawing be a correct view, of which we have no doubt, it is very evident that the gland was in one piece, and consequently it accounts for the chipping away of the bead on the end of the pipe. It is also stated in the evidence that the spigot and faucet joint is necessary to allow for expansion of the metal; for this purpose š to of an inch in a pipe 30 feet long, would be ample play, and in a vertieal pipe 10 feet long, $ of an inch; but the principal necessity of such joints is to avoid derangement when the vessel takes ground; in such case iron cement joints, as recommended by one of the witnesses, would give way and be perfectly useless. We, therefore, under all the circumstances, cannot see any objection to the socket or spigot and

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; faucet joint, provided it be made with a bead on the end of the pipe, and a proper gland. To the defect of the latter do we attribute the fatal accident; having offered these observations, we shall now proceed to quote the evidence given before the coroner, Mr. Baker, at the inquest held upon the bodies of the sufferers.

The Inquest.Mr. G. Low, an engineer on board of the vessel at the time of the accident, stated that she had two engines worked with two cranks, without an intermediate shaft. They are different from ordinary engines. Are both direct acting engines, and beam-engines. . The common beam-engine has cylinders standing athwart the ship, and are parallel with the shafts, but the engines of the Gipsy Queen stand fore and aft the boat, with the shafts at right angles, and not parallel at all. Thought that they were not more dangerous than the ordinary steam-engine. The beam of the common steam-engine oscillated in its centre, while the beam in Messrs. Samuda's engine had a motion at the end. In fact, there were two separate beams. He believed that Messrs. Samuda were, in making these engines, under contract to use all the serviceable parts of the engine of an old steamer which the new one was to replace. But whether portions of the old engine were used did not know. Could not say what they were called, as they were not worked up to the power they were intended to be worked at. They were condensing engines. The engines were verer working higher than 10 lb. to the inch all the while, he lookedat the gange, till they stopped at the East India Docks. The number of strokes she gave was from 20 to 24 per ininute. The safety valve would not rise at a pressure of 10 lb. to the inch. The maximum pressure calculated to go before any mischief might be apprehended was stated by Mr. Samuda at 40 lb. to the inch. He (witness) slipposed she was working on Tuesday at nearly 200-horse power. The diameter of the cylinder was 45 inches, and the stroke was (as the reporter understood) 41 feet. The engines were tried on the Friday previous. She was tried at her moorings. Could not tell what caused the accident. The pipes are perfect at the joints. The pipe is not broken. It is one of the spigot and faucet joints that has been lifted out of its place. Mr. Samuda had no power over the weight in the safety valve; nor any one else. It was in a chest, secure from any person's interference. The weight upon the safety valve was set at 26 lb. Witness differed from Mr. Samuda as to the amount; Mr. S. said it was 26 lb. and he thought it was 27 lb. No steam could blow off at the valve till the pressure was at 26 lb. When Mr. Samuda sent hiin on deck a very little steam was just oozing out. The motion of the engines had ceased about 10 minutes. The main pipe is joined with what is called a spigot and faucet joint. This was lifted out of its socket. In answer to a question "was there no fastening to the joint? No bolt or screw at all?” witness said it had a packing of hemp. The joint is used to allow for expansion. They were castiron pipes, and all these pipes must have these joints for expansion and contraction. Had seen one twice the size. It is the customary mode of joining in all engines that are fitted with cast-iron steam pipes. As already stated, Messrs. Samuda were bound to work up parts of the engines of the old vessel, and the cast-iron pipes were parts of the old vessel. They used the cast-iron pipes, the air-pumps, and the cross-heads. The engines were in their places before he joined the work at all, and he could not speak at all of the quality of the work.

The Coroner said there did not, from the evidence of Mr. Low, appear to be have been any fracture in the pipe from which the fatal explosion had taken place; therefore, the solidity of the material did not become an important point in the inquiry. There was, therefore, on this head nothing to find fault with as far as the evidence had gone. He, however, thought further information should be obtained about the amount of security afforded by the description of joint that had given way. Judging from the evidence, it did not appear to him that there was anything like security against similar fatal occurrences, if the spigot and faucet joint were used under the pressure spoken of by the witness Low. He, indeed, did not see how, with so inefficient a mode for joining steam-pipes, or packing them, as the witness had described it, fatal accidents could be prevented.

Mr. Low's examination continued- The joint which had given way was 14 or 15 feet (as was understood) from the boiler. Had the pressure never been more than 8 or 10 lbs. to the inch, at which the engine worked on her trip, there would not have been any danger, but the additional pressure put upon her required something more than that fixture (viz. the spigot and faucet joint.) The vessel started with the steam pressure at 6 lbs. and while working her they were unable to get it higher than 10 lbs. Had no doubt that the occurrence was entirely accidental. Mr. Pim, treasurer of the Dublin and Kingstown railway, here asked prermission to put, through the coroner, two or three questions to the witness. He (Mr. Pim)

was a friend of the deceased gentleman, Mr. Samuda, and being in town he had taken the opportunity of attending the inquiry to elicit facts upon one or two points. I think, Mr. Low (continued Mr. Pim,) you said the cause of the accident did not arise from any peculiarity in the construction of the engine itself? Witness—The primary construction of the engines had no connexion with the accident at all. Neither did it arise from any peculiarity in the construction of the boiler. Neither had the material of which the steam-pipe was composed anything whatever to do with the accident, because the pipe is whole yet, but were I to make the same pipe of the same material I would not make it in the same form. The material of which the steam-pipe was composed did not at all contribute to the accident.

With the view of having the evidence of other practical men, the inquest was adjourned till Saturday, Nov. 16.

The Coroner said that Mr. Hensman, a draughtsman, on board at the time of the accident, and Mr. Low, the engineer, had given some additional evidence on the inquest held on Friday on the bodies of those who had died after their removal to the London Hospital, which would be repeated. The great question was, how to prevent such accidents occurring in future. A brother to one of the men who had died at the hospital, named Riley, and who was on board at the time, was satisfied that this was an accident; but if accidents from similar causes were to occur again, it was desirable for persons to know thảo death from such a cause would then amount to manslaughter. In a case "the King v. Carr,” reported in Carrington and Paine, it was held that where a man made a cannon which burst, and it was sent back to him and repaired, and it burst a second time, that death from such repeated accident amounted to manslaughter. So in this case, if an accident from the same cause were repeated, he should have no hesitation in directing a jury to find a verdict of manslaughter. But Mr. Samuda, the engineer and chief owner, having paid the penalty of his life for this imperfectly constructed joint in the steam pipe, he thought it would be harsh to bring in such a verdict against the younger brother and partner in the firm.

Mr. Low then gave additional evidence, that if a collar, or ring, had been on the end of the spigot pipe, it would have allowed for contraction or expansion, without permitting the pipe to be withdrawn from the socket. It was custoinary to have such a collar. Its own weight would keep the pipe in its place (?) at a pressure of steam of 10 lb. to the inch, but a pressure of 26 lb. to the inch listed the pipe out of the socket.

Mr. Henry Hensman corroborated the testimony given by Mr. Low in all respects, except this, that he thought the same pipe, if it had been joined with iron cement, would have been perfectly safe. He did not think that provision for the expansion and contraction of this joint was so absolutely necessary, the expansion of the middle joint being sufficient. The joint as made and packed, would have been perfectly safe, if there had been a stay between it and the deck, or if it had been strapped with an iron strap to the engine, so as to prevent the pipe rising from its socket.

A Juryman-Do you happen to know whether this pipe was new, or was part of the machinery of the old Gipsy? Mr. Pin-We shall be prepared in a few minutes to show that it was a new pipe cast for the purpose. A Juryman said it appeared to him, ou examination,

. that the head of the spigot pipe had been chipped off. Mr. Low said it also appeared so to him. He was perfectly satisfied if the late Mr. Samuda had known it, he would have condemned the pipe as unsafe. It must have been done without orders, and ought not to have been done. The Coroner-Might it have chipped itself in coming out? The Juryman-No; that was not the case evidently.

The Jury then retired to consider their verdict, and returned in about half an hour. having found a verdict of " Accidental death.” They also expressed an opinion that the deaths of the deceased were caused by the false and improper construction of the joint of the main steampipe, in its not being sufficiently secured; and they express this opinion in order that due cantion may be used to prevent similar accidents in future, which, it appears to the jury, may be effected by a collar or ring to prevent the severance of the pipes."

At another inquest held on the bodies of Riley, Donovan and Mills, who died after their removal to the London Hospital, the Coroner remarked that he thought there was decided blame with respect to the fatal occurrence, inasmuch as that the steam had been put to 25 lbs. to the inch, when it was stated that from the parting of the spigot and faucet joint, it was not capable of resisting steam of that power.

The following evidence was given.

Mr. Low was asked one or two questions as to the position of the steam-pipe, and the place of its separation. He explained that the pipe went up from the boiler vertically, then on a line over where Mr. Samuda was standing at the time of the explosion, and turned down to the cylinder. It was in the centre of the longitudinal portion that the spigot and faucet joint was placed, the parts were forced from each other by the pressure of the steam against the elbow. Witness attributed the yielding of the spigot and faucet joint to the great pressure; but he believed if there had been a collar or ring on the end of the spigot, that being encased in the faucet six or seven inches allowing for expansion and contraction, it would have prevented it from being withdrawn.

Mr. Henry Hensman, corroborated, in all points, the testimony of Mr. Low but he would go further than he had done, and say that the same pipe, if joined by iron cement, would have been perfectly safe.

- Mr. Low, being here asked if that was also his opinion, answered in the affirmative.—Mr. Hensman did not think any allowance for the expansion or contraction was absolutely necessary. Being asked by Mr. Pim, who attended on behalf of the friends of Mr. Samuda, whether the joint, as made and packed, would not have been perfectly safe, if there had been a stay upon it to keep it in its place, he replied, certainly. There were two U ties to hold up the horizontal portion of the pipe ; and if the pipe with the joint as made and packed had been strapped to the engines, it would have been perfectly safe, as the pipe would have been prevented from moving either way. -Mr. Pim-Was not the spigot and faucet joint introduced by Mr. Samuda rather as a refinement to avoid accident, and as an improvement? Mr. Hensman-Yes. And in answer to inquiries if there had not been a ring or collar originally to the pipe which belonged to the old engines, the witness said, he believed there had, but that it was cut off probably because the pipe was too long, without Mr. Samuda's knowledge; and if Mr. Samuda had known that the joint had been fitted in the way it was, he would have had it altered. Mr. Samuda could hardly look at every joint fitted by his workmen, although he was always exceedingly anxious personally to see that the work was done in a proper manner.

Mr. Pim observed that the inefficiency of the joints arose from an error of judgment, and not from a want of care, and a juror observed that Mr. Samuda evidently thought it safe, or he would not have placed himself in the dangerous position that he did.

The jury having expressed themselves satisfied with the evidence, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death."

Wire Ropes. The efficiency of wire ropes, as coinpared with hempen, became, in rather a curious way, the subject of legal inquiry the other day, on Vol. IX, 3RD SERIES. No 5.-Mar, 1845.


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