Hartford: E.T. Pease & Co., 1854.
First Edition. Softcover. Very good. Pamphlet, 51 pp, sewn binding, original printed wrappers. Somepaper loss to spine and at corners, binding tight, text clean. On March 2, 1854, a recently installed 50-horsepower steam boiler exploded at the railroad-car factory Fales & Gray Car Works in Hartford, Connecticut. The explosion killed 16 men, wounded many more, destroyed the blacksmith shop and engine room, and badly damaged the main building. Workmen were buried in the rubble when the roof and walls caved in, and many were severely burned. An investigation commenced the following day, and a jury heard six days of testimony from workers, managers, and the boiler manufacturer, before concluding that the carelessness and inexperience of the boiler operator (who was killed in the blast) were to blame for the disaster. The jury recommended that City Council of Hartford pass legislation to regulate the placement and operation of boilers so that workers would be better protected. It was ten years before that occurred, but a more immediate consequence was the establishment of the city's first hospital -- the need for which was made evident by the lack of facilities to treat all the blast victims. This pamphlet, sold to raise money for the victims and their families, includes a list of all men killed or wounded, schematics of the boiler and plant layout, transcripts of eyewitness testimony given before the Coroner's Jury, and the Jury's recommendation for better training and workplace safety.