Monthly archives: March 2020

Through the eyes and ears of one “old man”, primarily in steel industry

Hopefully the bits and pieces that follow will have the reader find a common thread that is intended to exist and, in a way, tie them together. Hopefully also, it is more than just something as experienced by one person.

During the college years, a summer job required one to respond to emergencies, service one diesel electric locomotive and have one or more steam hoists ready for operation for the day shift. Consequently, the first thing was to “bank” the fire in the boiler(s), service the locomotive, then, by around 5 am, start building up the pressure in the boiler(s). Once the operators started to arrive close to 7 am and they found out they were assigned to the steam hoist, they could hardly contain their happy emotions. Even though they were required to pull/push on numerous “long” levers, they liked the fact that the hoist allowed them to travel on the tracks, slew, operate the boom and the hook/bucket, all at the same. (To do that, one did not learn it in one day and one had to have a good breakfast before the shift.) The other option would have been to sit in a diesel/electric hoist with short handled knobs, but only having enough power (in the early stages of development) to control, mostly one function at a time, maybe two at the most.

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