High-Pressure Steam Engines and Computer Software

High-Pressure Engines and Computer Software An interesting article by Nancy Leveson:

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.

MEBA History 143 Years of History

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.

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I’m reading Burke. He’s fascinating.

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p 13 – > The Franklin Institute workers also produced some positive findings.

They determined that the gauge cocks, commonly used to ascertain
the level of water inside the boilers, did not in fact show the true level,
and that a glass tube gauge was much more reliable, if kept free from

Eh? How could this be? Gauge cock only indicates >/= at its level, of course, but it fails safe. Or were they concerned about the extra effort needed to operate the cock vs looking at the glass?

Because there were normally 3, one above the glass, on at the middle, and one just below the glass. Test cocks only show water, steam, or a mixture, not level and when used on high pressure boilers it takes an experienced operator to tell the difference between steam and water flashing to steam.