Serious Accident from a Slight Cause.
A singular incident illustrating how small a cause may bring about an important accident is related by a contemporary. In tapping an indicator pipe into a steam jacketed high pressure cylinder of a compound engine a slight leak was left from the jacket to the lower end of the cylinder. This was of little importance of itself, and was not suspected until one day a shutdown occurred, and the engine was left in such a position that the passage from the bottom of the high-pressure cylinder was open directly to the top of the low pressure cylinder. Steam was not shut off from the jacket, and the pressure accumulated through the leak above the low pressure piston to such an extent that when the condenser was connected below in starting up the low-pressure connecting rod broke, smashing the piston head and demolishing the low-pressure side of the engine.