Exploding Steamboats, Senate Debates, and Technical Reports : The Convergence of Technology, Politics, and Rhetoric in the Steamboat Bill of 1838 book cover
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Exploding Steamboats, Senate Debates, and Technical Reports
The Convergence of Technology, Politics, and Rhetoric in the Steamboat Bill of 1838





ISBN 9780415404112
Published January 21, 2019 by Routledge
158 Pages

 
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Book Description

By 1838, over two thousand Americans had been killed and many hundreds injured by exploding steam engines on steamboats. After calls for a solution in two State of the Union addresses, a Senate Select Committee met to consider an investigative report from the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, the first federally funded investigation into a technical.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1. Steamboat Politics and Steamboat Society
 New York Harbor, May 15, 1824, 7:00 PM
 Four Days Later—Washington City, May 19, 1824

CHAPTER 2. Steamboat Technology
 High-Pressure Steam Engines and Hulls that Ride On the Water
 What Could Go Wrong with the Boiler Technology
 Problems Operating a Problem-Prone Technology
 February 24, 1830, Memphis Tennessee, Early Morning
 Washington City, May 4, 1830—Two and a Half Months Later

CHAPTER 3. Steamboats, The Presidency, and Public Opinion
 Red River, May 19, 1833, Early on a Spring Sunday Morning
 December 3, 1833—President Jackson’s State of the Union Message to Congress
 But What About the Public Pressure for Steamboat Safety?
 The Franklin Institute Reports—A Reasoned Technical Response to Catastrophe
 Traditional Technical Writing of the Era—Communications Received by the Committee of
 the Franklin Institute on the Explosion of Steam Boilers (1832)
 Report of the Committee of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the
 Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, on the Explosions of Steam-Boilers, Part I, Containing
 the First Report of Experiments Made by the Committee for the Treasury Department of
 the U. States (1836)
 General Report on the Explosions of Steam-Boilers by a Committee of the Franklin Institute
 of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts (1837)
 Report of the Committee of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the
 Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, on the Explosions of Steam-Boilers Made at the
 Request of the Treasury Department of the United States, Part II, Containing the Report
 of the Sub-Committee to Whom Was Referred the Examination of the Strength of
 Materials Employed in the Construction of Steam Boilers (1837)
 Contemporaneous Reactions to the Institute Reports in the Scientific Community: Hales’s
 Open Letter to Grundy, Locke’s Cincinnati Report, and Steam Textbooks by Renwick
 and Ward
 Contemporaneous Reactions to Institute’s Reports by Those Most Directly Involved:
 Steamboat Inspectors, Engineers, and Firemen

The Gold Dust Fire
 Chapter 37. The End of the “Gold Dust”
Chapter 20. A Catastrophe

 CHAPTER 4. Steamboat Politics and Rhetoric
 May 11, 1837, Thirty Miles South of Natchez
 A Brief Coincidence of Political Interests
 The Select Committee
 The Initial Proposed Bill in December 1837
 The Bill Reported Out of Committee

CHAPTER 5. The Law Didn’t Work

GLOSSARY
 APPENDIX 1. Comparing the Four Legislative Attempts
 INDEX

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