Bursting Boilers and the Federal Power - some background on the Steamboat Acts of 1838 and 1852.
The innovation responsible for the changed attitudes toward government regulation was the steam engine.
Faced with intolerable working conditions, fires and higher and higher boiler pressures creating deadly explosions; steamboat engineers banded together. Important to the future of M.E.B.A. was the formation in 1854 of the Buffalo Association of Engineers.