Ricocheting sledge hammer

Ricocheting sledge hammer

The July 14, 1904, issue recounted the story of an accident in a New Jersey steelworks. A plant employee was using a 20-lb sledge hammer to break a riser from a casting. During a swinging blow, the sledge's handle flew out of his hand and struck a nearby

The July 14, 1904, issue recounted the story of an accident in a New Jersey steelworks. A plant employee was using a 20-lb sledge hammer to break a riser from a casting. During a swinging blow, the sledge's handle flew out of his hand and struck a nearby man on the back of his head, fracturing his skull. It then struck another man, splitting open his forehead. Finally, it flew through a window and struck a third man on the shoulder, breaking his collarbone.


Will man ever fly?

That issue also detailed one man's experience making a mechanized model of a flying insect. He wanted the insect to move, simulating flight, so he powered it with an electric motor and suspended it on a track. During a test, the model took off, striking the wall. Although the "insect" was demolished, the model maker noted that the experience "thoroughly convinced me that mechanical flight is quite possible without balloon attachments."

Apparently neither the author nor the AMERICAN MACHINIST editors had heard about the Wright Brothers' successful flight in Kitty Hawk the previous December.


Congress goes ballistic

In the July 5, 1954, issue, editors reported on a Congressional review of the Defense Department's $1-billion-a-year Guided Missile Program. The secrecy of the project was hampering the exchange of technical information, and Congress was questioning how the money was being spent. "Some of the guided missiles just now coming into production and operational use are actually obsolete as to range, speed, and guidance systems before they're launched," read the report.

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