Risk and the American Engineering Profession: The ASME Boiler Code and American Industrial Safety Standards

  • Eugene S. Ferguson
Part of the Technology, Risk, and Society book series (RISKGOSO, volume 3)


Risk and failure have always been inseparable companions of technological change. Bridges have fallen down, boilers have exploded, machines have maimed and killed their users. Furthermore, surprise is an inevitable element of every new project. No technical device or system performs exactly the way its designers expect it to. Surprises and failures have added immeasurably to our stock of knowledge, but the costs in pain and treasure have been great.


Sprinkler System Factory Mutual Industrial Safety Fire Insurance Workplace Hazard 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agnew, P. G. ‘The National Safety Code Program,’ The Annals, 1926, 123, 51–54 (Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agnew, P. G. ‘Work of the American Engineering Standards Committee,’ The Annals, 1928, 137, 13–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander, M. W. Addresses [collection of bound pamphlets, c. 1906–16] in Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware, 1916.Google Scholar
  4. Alexander, M. W. ‘Need of Safety from the Employer’s Point of View,’ The Annals, 1926, 123, 6–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Transactions, 1875, Vol. 4.Google Scholar
  6. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Transactions, 1881–83, Vols. 2–4.Google Scholar
  7. Blackall, F. S., Jr. ‘ASME Standards Save Lives and Dollars,’ Mechanical Engineering, 1953, 75, 979–981.Google Scholar
  8. Burke, J. G. ‘Bursting Boilers and Federal Power,’ Technology and Culture, 1966, 7, 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chaney, L. W. and H. S. Hanna. ‘The Safety Movement in the Iron and Steel Industry 1907 to 1917.’ U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin 234, 1918.Google Scholar
  10. Close, C. L. ‘Safety in the Steel Industry,’ The Annals, 1926. 123, 86–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooper, J. H. ‘Accident Preventing Devices Applied to Machines,’ Transactions ASME, 1890–91 12, 249–264.Google Scholar
  12. Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th edn.). Cambridge, England: The University Press, 1910–11Google Scholar
  13. Engineering News. ‘President Roosevelt on Employers’ Liability Legislation,’ 1907, Vol. 57(24), 657.Google Scholar
  14. Greene, A. M., Jr. History of the ASME Boiler Code. New York: ASME, c. 1955.Google Scholar
  15. Heinrich, H. W. Industrial Accident Prevention ( 2nd edn. ). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1941.Google Scholar
  16. Hammer, W. Occupational Safety Management and Engineering. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1976.Google Scholar
  17. Hansen, C. M. and R. W. Hicks. ‘A Code of Safety Standards for Power-Transmission Machinery,’ Transactions ASME, 1971, 39, 399–409.Google Scholar
  18. Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Co. The Factory Mutuals 18351935. Providence, R.I., 1935.Google Scholar
  19. Middendorf, W. H. ‘Standards — the Evidence of Concern,’ IEEE Spectrum, 1971, 8, 70–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. National Industrial Conference Board. The Workmen’s Compensation Problem in New York State. New York: NICB, 1927.Google Scholar
  21. Palmer, L. R. ‘History of the Safety Movement,’ The Annals, 1926, 123.Google Scholar
  22. Sinclair, B. Early Research at the Franklin Institute. Philadelphia: Franklin Institute, 1966.Google Scholar
  23. Sinclair, B. A. Centennial History of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1880– 1980. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980. [In this book one finds the only critical (as opposed to promotional or ceremonial) historical inquiry that I know of into codes and standards. See index, “codes and standards.”]Google Scholar
  24. Smith, C. O., Jr. Making Steam Safe. [Professor Smith, of Drexel University, has carefully compared the experiences in France, Germany, Great Britain, and U.S.A in protecting the public from boiler explosions. I look forward to the publication of his work.]Google Scholar
  25. Somers, H. M. and Somers, A. R. Workmen’s Compensation. New York: Wiley, 1954.Google Scholar
  26. Tarbell, I. M. The Life of Elbert H. Gary. New York: Publ., 1925.Google Scholar
  27. Winpenny, T. R. 1981. ‘Mill Hands and Boilers: The Anatomy of a Disaster,’ Journal, 1981, 84, 110–124 (Lancaster County Historical Society).Google Scholar
  28. Woodward, P. H. Insurance in Connecticut. Boston: D. H. Hurd, 1897.Google Scholar
  29. Young, A. H. ‘Industrial Personnel Relations,’ Transactions ASME, 1919, 41, 145–162.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene S. Ferguson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations