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Tarky
07-04-2007, 11:06 AM
THIS IS VERY SERIOUS AND NOT A JOKE!! OSHA is proposing a Rule change OSHA-2007-0032 that will seriously curtail the availability and add to the expense of shipping black powder, caps, and primers throught the delivery system. They want to make it difficult or impossible to ship these items through companies like UPS without physically changing their vehicles and how they handle these shipments. One individual made the statement it could add $30 to a pound of powder if you could get it.

This could be the effective end of all reenactments, all periods, black powder long range shooting hobbies, skeet shooting, and black powder hunting!!

Anyone who makes cartridges or loads at home could be affected.

JUST GOT TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN "OSHA BLACK POWDER". AND GET AN EYEFULL. Right now, the NRA, and the NMLRA is aware, but all of you must act today!! contact your black powder friends, and Congressman to act on this-- Many of the folks in Congress were unaware of this because OSHA does not need their approval to pass such rules. This is a definite infringement on the 2nd Amendment when there is no problem with the current delivery systems.

ACT NOW!!

Tom Arliskas
Tarky
NSSA, NRA, and Civil War Living Historian.

Justin Runyon
07-04-2007, 11:50 AM
It does not appear that this threatens what we do in anyway. As for small arms ammunition and smokeless powder, that may be a different story you be the judge. From what I can read it dos'nt touch the hobby.

http://www.nssf.org/news/PR_idx.cfm?PRloc=common/PR/&PR=BP070207.cfm

Tarky
07-04-2007, 12:00 PM
The price of powder if you could get it could be as much as $40 a pound. If the the manufacturers have to make drastic changes to how it is manufactured and sent-- The cost is past on to you!!

Go on Google and check OSHA Black Powder. This is a serious threat to how you get black powder for reenacting.

Tom Arliskas

TimKindred
07-04-2007, 01:49 PM
Comrades,

read this whole proposal carefully, because what Tom is saying is absolutely true. One of the proposed regulations will prohibit any customer from approaching within 50 feet of ammunition or powder without a pat-down search by store employess. think how that will fly at your local gun stores, whicre usually much smaller. That would mean having to have a security checkpoint in the parking lot propr to entering the facility. Most retailers would simply stop selling ammunition.

This is absolutely BS legislation, and it's not even coming from Congress. This is from an AGENCY, so it doesn't even need Congress's approval to do this.

Call OSHA and complain about this legislation. This is absolutely NOT made-up stories from the internet. It's a back-door attempt to stop all sales of ammunition and ammo components.

Respects,

huntdaw
07-04-2007, 03:31 PM
There is a public comment period on this until July 12. There is a thread on the AC forum that has the contact points.

I have submitted by comments and have also contacted my Representative and both Senators.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
07-04-2007, 04:53 PM
Hallo!

In brief and to over-generalize...

I was talking with one of this state's two remaining BP commercial sellers-

"They said" it would require carriers such as FEDEX and UPS to modify their delivery trucks to have a "vault" and be a "non-sparking" environment as well.
"They said" it is unlikely companies would be willing to modify their fleet in such a way.
This would eliminate black powder deliveries to local suppliers/shops.

With that and the other "delivery/deliverer" regulations, Black Powder would not be BANNED, it would potentially just cease to be shipped or delivered by these common carriers. Vendors who deal with them, and have no other recourse would cease having BP to sell.
Not BANNING Black Powder, just regulating it to extinction for many of these suppliers.

Up until; July 12, 2007, "impact" statements and other public opinions can post comments to the proposed regulations to OSHA itself at:

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main

Enter OSHA-2007-0032 as the docket number in #4, then select exact phrase/comments and submit.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
Opposed to legislation-making by regulation-passing, and opposed to yelling "Bang!"

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
07-04-2007, 05:09 PM
Hallo!

Released by the NRA:

Proposed “Safety” Regulations Would Dry Up Ammunition Sales

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new rules that would have a dramatic effect on the storage and transportation of ammunition and handloading components such as primers or black and smokeless powder. The proposed rule indiscriminately treats ammunition, powder and primers as “explosives.” Among many other provisions, the proposed rule would:
• Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial “facilities containing explosives”—an obvious problem for your local gun store.
• Prohibit delivery drivers from leaving explosives unattended—which would make it impossible for delivery services such as UPS to deliver ammunition or gun powder.
• Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives”—even your local Wal-Mart—during any electrical storm.
• Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of “facilities containing explosives.”
It’s important to remember this is only a proposed rule right now, so there’s still time for concerned citizens to speak out before OSHA issues its final rule. The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Association will all be commenting on these proposed regulations, based on the severe effect these regulations (if finalized) would have on the availability of ammunition and reloading supplies to safe and responsible shooters.
The public comment period ends July 12. To file your own comment, or to learn more about the OSHA proposal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket Number OSHA-2007-0032”; you can read OSHA’s proposal and learn how to submit comments electronically, or by fax or mail.
-----------------------------

OSHA Docket Office Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625 200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20210 Re.: Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 (Explosives—Proposed Rule)
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing in strong opposition to OSHA’s proposed rules on “explosives,” which go far beyond regulating true explosives. These proposed rules would impose severe restrictions on the transportation and storage of small arms ammunition—both complete cartridges and handloading components such as black and smokeless powder, primers, and percussion caps. These restrictions go far beyond existing transportation and fire protection regulations.
As a person who uses ammunition and components, I am very concerned that these regulations will have a serious effect on my ability to obtain these products. OSHA’s proposed rules would impose restrictions that very few gun stores, sporting goods stores, or ammunition dealers could comply with. (Prohibiting firearms in stores that sell ammunition, for example, is absurd—but would be required under the proposed rule.)
The proposed transportation regulations would also affect shooters’ ability to buy these components by mail or online, because shipping companies would also have great difficulty complying with the proposed rules. For instance, the rules against leaving any vehicle containing “explosives” unattended would make it impossible for companies such as United Parcel Service to deliver ammunition to businesses or consumers without massive changes in their operations (such as putting a second driver on any truck that might happen to deliver a case of shotgun shells).
There is absolutely no evidence of any new safety hazard from storage or transportation of small arms ammunition or components that would justify these new rules. I also understand that organizations with expertise in this field, such as the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Association, will be submitting detailed comments on this issue. I hope OSHA will listen to these organizations’ comments as the agency develops a final rule on this issue.
Sincerely,

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

HighPrvt
07-04-2007, 05:10 PM
JOIN and SUPPORT the NRA!!!!

Vote Conservative!!!

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
07-04-2007, 05:13 PM
Hallo!

Lads who have been trying to send comments have been blocked by an OSHA "gatekeeper" called a "Docket Manager" who screens them and then passes them through.

Comments from June 28, 2007 are just now appearing.

Detailed Description of Request:
Entered on 07/03/2007 at 17:33:09 by Lon D:
Mr. Kirk,
Comments are not posted automatically. The docket manager will review the comments before posting them. Each agency has its own timeframe for posting comments (e.g., 2 days, 4 days, 1 week, etc.). Did you receive a message that your comment had been sent?
Lon
Regulations.gov Helpdesk
1-877-378-5457

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

Robert A Mosher
07-04-2007, 08:01 PM
I haven't had a chance to read the entire 55 pages of the proposed regulation - I do see a lot of stuff about making OSHA's regulations conform to regulations already in place at the Department of Transportation and other agencies - I can find the reference to smokeless powder - can anyone point out where it applies to black powder? or percussion caps such as used for reenacting weapons?

There's always time, btw, to contact your congressmen. I think Jim Webb in Virginia might be interested.

Robert A. Mosher

skamikaze
07-04-2007, 09:24 PM
As a FedEx employee, I can tell you that if OSHA makes our vans have a "vault," our contractors will simply refuse to carry it. FedEx Ground is too big of a company to care if they lose a small account like Goex and will simply terminate business. This will force powder companies to either fund their own shipping or go to a private or specialized carrier (i.e. FedEx Custom Critical). Regardless, the cost will be enormous and will be passed on to us.

tompritchett
07-04-2007, 09:45 PM
I have skimmed the text of the regulation itself. Basically, the regulation seems to be written with the idea of protecting those that are working with or transporting large quantities of explosive materials as would be used in demolitions, mining, or construction activities. When working with the quantities of material involved in those activities, the proposed rules actually make sense. Unfortunately, the problem appears to be that the the general provisions clause does not have a minimum threshold level under which specific sections of the clause become applicable.

Rob Weaver
07-05-2007, 12:51 PM
Thanks to everybody for great posts. I, like others, have talked with my Congressman.

bob 125th nysvi
07-05-2007, 02:05 PM
not OSHA.

OHSA is a bunch of bureaucrats who keep their jobs no matter what. Since they have already decided this is a good thing it will take a awful lot to dissuade them. They can't lose their jobs in an election so it makes no difference whom is in power.

So write your congressman especially that one who was the most important dignitary in the local parade you did on Memorial Day or Flag Day or the Forth of July. He might remember how much the crowd enjoyed your little display and shooting and it is a cheap way for him to look like a hero.

Next coordinate with the historical sites you do living histories at. Having the noise is a big pull, if the lack of your ability to participate hurts them they may want to use their good name to support your cause.

Finally lets keep the 2nd amendment out of any writings. The Congressman will probably be more willing to assist if you leave him with a reasonable out (I'm just trying to help reenactors not "militia nuts" as the press would love to label many pro-gun people) when the anti-gun lobby comes pounding on his door. We all want the people who handle this product for us to be safe and sound and to get back to their families on a daily basis, we just want access to a reasonable amount of a legal product, that's all.

And actually WRITE a letter don't email. Beleive it or not that gets more attention because a congressional office can be easily flooded with emails cheaply by special interest groups. When a letter (and don't use a form letter) arrives the pol takes it more seriously because you took the time to frame your concerns in your own voice (it indicates you are PROBABLY a voter).

Many of them have email sites to send things to just to make you feel better not to pay any attention to you.

tompritchett
07-05-2007, 02:27 PM
Well For Starters Contact Your Congressman

Also emphasize the idea of a minimum threshold for the different parts of the regulations to become applicable. Many of the provisions actually make a lot of sense for those companies that use substantial amounts of explosives. DOT uses such a threshold in its regs (when was the last time you had to put a placard on your trucks or cars when going to an event. Of course, the other issue is whether or not this is actually a Homeland Security initiative being run through OSHA for the purpose of drastically reducing the potential availability of explosive materials for potential terrorists. (I found it interesting the special emphasis on ammonium nitrate, which was used in Kansas City but is not one of the more dangerous explosives commonly used in industry, in the main text of the regulation.) After all, during this administration, OSHA has not been know for issuing new regulations for well documented worker health issues nor for enforcing regulations already on the books.

Trezevant06
07-08-2007, 09:03 PM
Also emphasize the idea of a minimum threshold for the different parts of the regulations to become applicable. Many of the provisions actually make a lot of sense for those companies that use substantial amounts of explosives. DOT uses such a threshold in its regs (when was the last time you had to put a placard on your trucks or cars when going to an event. Of course, the other issue is whether or not this is actually a Homeland Security initiative being run through OSHA for the purpose of drastically reducing the potential availability of explosive materials for potential terrorists. (I found it interesting the special emphasis on ammonium nitrate, which was used in Kansas City but is not one of the more dangerous explosives commonly used in industry, in the main text of the regulation.) After all, during this administration, OSHA has not been know for issuing new regulations for well documented worker health issues nor for enforcing regulations already on the books.

If this is something Homdland Security thunk up then it may be the boys who sent the ice to Maine after Katrina. Some of you may be old enough to remember back in the late 60's, and perhaps into the 70's, when the purchase of Black Powder required valid ID and you had to sign for it. If it's security they are after, that's the answer. The whole thing about this is the way it's being seemingly railroaded through, under the radar. I have heard that at least one DoD powder contractor wasn't aware until they learned from a 3rd party source, what was coming off, until July 5th! You bet they were "not amused". The NRA-ILA has had several chats with OSHA the last few days, and it appears there MAY be an additional 60 days given as an extension for comment. If not I suspect this will become a 2008 campaign issue.

I would suggest that the various umbrella organizations get together, if this is the case, after July 12th, and make an overall coment, when we hear what went on at the OSHA meeting. The NRA-ILA will doubtless have particulars, as well as other interested groups. That doesn't mean for individuals not to make their thoughts known before this. Something could be drafted later bringing up the various holes in the regs. and how to deal with them, as well as pointing out the domino effect this will have on tourism and historic preservation, etc.. I do 1812 and the folks in Canada are worried because they get their powder by truck from the U.S.. They are looking into the matter on their side of the border, I might add. 1812 is about as big as Rev. War is in the U.S., up there.

TimKindred
07-08-2007, 09:39 PM
Comrades,

What it comes down to, in the long run, is that this sort of BS regulatory action is what comes from abrogating your rights to the government. Rather than being responsible for your own actions, for your own safety and protection, it's easier to force the government to assume the role of "safety czar" and assume responsibility for every workplace issue.

The better thing would be to assault your congress critters with demands to repeal the 1968 gun control act and all ammendments to it, and to enforce what laws remain on the books.

Those who depend upon the government for protection are not free. They are but miserable things, subject to the whims of politicians and petty civil servants.

Respects,

Respects,

reb64
07-09-2007, 01:15 AM
Id say buy now, buy in bulk and think about making a business exclusive to powder production

tompritchett
07-09-2007, 06:55 AM
Id say buy now, buy in bulk and think about making a business exclusive to powder production

As long as you have no employee's these new OSHA rules are not applicable :wink:

Radar
08-01-2007, 06:24 AM
Thanks to everybody for great posts. I, like others, have talked with my Congressman.

:D And from correspondence that I've gotten, this has worked. OSHA has pulled this from their web-site and is going to "reconsider" this and redraft it so that it's not such a burden. I guess that calling your Congressman does work.

Frenchie
08-01-2007, 06:39 AM
Yes, calling our congressmen does work. That's how the amnesty bill was defeated, and the reason the so-called "fairness" doctrine is in serious trouble.

sbl
08-01-2007, 08:25 AM
"Yes, calling our congressmen does work. That's how the amnesty bill was defeated, and the reason the so-called "fairness" doctrine is in serious trouble."

Actually Guy, in the last case it's OWNING your congressman. Oh, and the most of the stations. I guess money is Speech .

Frenchie
08-01-2007, 08:45 AM
Air America (now in receivership) owned most of the stations it broadcast from. "Conservative" talk radio does not. Conservatives rule the market because they get ratings and make money for the radio stations. Air America failed because no one wants to listen to bitter, hateful liberals spitting all over the mike.

sbl
08-01-2007, 10:13 AM
Guy,

I'm outside of Boston which had two small Air America affiliates. The signal faded out after dark. Clear Channel switched them to latin Music. I can still stream Air America 24/7. Reassuring that they get a lot of call ins from all over the US.

Also NPR comes in loud and clear.

Al Franken may be the next Senator form Minnesota.

More of the A.M. hosts are appearing on CNN and MSNBC.

Check out the latest news. A.M. has a new owner.

http://www.airamerica.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_America_Radio

tompritchett
08-01-2007, 10:37 AM
Air America (now in receivership) owned most of the stations it broadcast from. "Conservative" talk radio does not. Conservatives rule the market because they get ratings and make money for the radio stations. Air America failed because no one wants to listen to bitter, hateful liberals spitting all over the mike.


I'm outside of Boston which had two small Air America affiliates. The signal faded out after dark. Clear Channel switched them to latin Music. I can still stream Air America 24/7. Reassuring that they get a lot of call ins from all over the US.

Moderator Hat: Gentlemen, since your discussion is related to a non-Civil War topic, I would suggest that, if you want to continue it, either take it private or continue down in the Whine Cellar. However, with the latter option you will run the risk that SGT_Pepper will not see it as an appropriate topic there also.

Remise
08-01-2007, 10:46 AM
Dang me! I had something really clever to add, too!

B.C. Milligan
It's a Free Country if You Agree with Me Mess

sbl
08-01-2007, 11:56 AM
Thomas,

If Guy had stopped at, "..Yes, calling our congressmen does work. .." ,it would have been a, "Coke and a Smile", "Mom and Apple Pie", "Kodak moment.

But....."talking points"...(sigh)

tompritchett
08-01-2007, 01:32 PM
Tell you what. I will copy the thread down to the Whine Cellar so that you all can continue your discussion. How's that?

Sgt_Pepper
08-01-2007, 02:08 PM
Golly gee whiz, Tom... thanks! :roll:

Frenchie
08-01-2007, 02:57 PM
Rest easy, Sergeant, I'm too busy to continue this little contretemps. Besides, this is still your exclusive sandbox, right? I think I'll just walk softly here... http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/Darkfold_2006/bow.gif

tompritchett
08-01-2007, 03:40 PM
You always have the option of locking it down if it gets out of control. :) Seriously, I could not allow the thread to take the direction it was appearing to take up in the Military Discussion because of the non-Civil War nature of the discussion. I did leave a copy of the original in the Miltary Discussion conference so, if you want to lock this copy down or even delete it, there will be no loss of the original material (main reason that I copied rather than moved).

sbl
08-01-2007, 04:41 PM
Thomas,

Lock or delete. I got a chance to make my comments. I trust in your stewardship.

Rebtg
08-01-2007, 05:41 PM
It failed because nobody wanted to hear it.
Nuff said.

tompritchett
08-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Lock or delete. I got a chance to make my comments. I trust in your stewardship.

Actually down here I am just another poster. SGT_Pepper and the Provost have that power here.

sbl
08-02-2007, 03:58 AM
Tony,

"Nuff said" is not an answer. I'm not a nobody, I want to hear it, and it is hasn't failed if it's still on. Stephanie Miller and Ed Shultz are also still on from other networks. You might like Ed Shultz..

http://www.bigeddieradio.com/

sbl
08-02-2007, 04:01 AM
Thomas,

Thanks for the reply. They do a pretty good job and let me post the occasion smart @$$ remark. I try to keep em relevant to the CW/WBTS or to call attention to "talking points."

reb64
08-02-2007, 04:52 AM
Tony,

"Nuff said" is not an answer. I'm not a nobody, I want to hear it, and it is hasn't failed if it's still on. Stephanie Miller and Ed Shultz are also still on from other networks. You might like Ed Shultz..

http://www.bigeddieradio.com/
'
I just checked out his website, all anti bush rant and pro social medicine. sounds just like cnn, nbc msnbc etc.

Rob Weaver
08-02-2007, 05:56 AM
Speaking of black powder, did anyone read the article on the Pittsburgh explosion in 1862 in the recent "America's Civil War?" The site is marked with a plaque. Interesting how widespread a tragedy like the Civil War is, that people hundreds of miles from the shooting die in a war-related accident.

plankmaker
08-02-2007, 06:04 AM
Richmond also had a fairly large tragedy at its ammunition facility on Brown's Island. It went up a couple of times.

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

From the Richmond Enquirer, 3/14/1863
TERRIBLE EXPLOSION - BETWEEN FORTY AND FIFTY FEMALES KILLED AND WOUNDED. - On yesterday forenoon, between eleven and twelve o'clock, an explosion occurred in Department No. 6 of the Confederate States Laboratory, involving a frightful loss of life and limb to some forty or fifty persons, almost all of whom were females. The department is located on Brown's Island, opposite the foot of 7th street, and in it all breech-loading and pistol ammunition is prepared. The greatest care has hitherto been observed in keeping the stock of ammunition safely confined, but, through some so far inexplicable circumstance, the powder used by some of the operatives in the department ignited about the time above indicated, and exploded with a terrific report, tearing down half the building, and killing, wounding and throwing in the air or upon the floor the operatives who were engaged in their labors. - There were in the building some eighty or a hundred hands, chiefly females, of different ages, from twelve to sixty years. The scene, so terrible, so sickening, we need not essay to depict to our readers. The operatives of the entire Laboratory were at once thrown into commotion, and, together with the people of the neighborhood, streamed out towards the scene of the disaster. The alarm of fire was given and the report spread through the city with rapidity, and within an hour the banks of the river opposite the island were densely thronged with citizens. The pressure about the bridge leading to the island became so great that an extra guard was stationed there to prevent the passage of all who were not engaged in rendering assistance to the wounded or caring for the dead. Very soon, under the direction of officers of the Laboratory, spring wagons and carriages were brought to the spot, and the work of removing the wounded to their homes and elsewhere was commenced. In the meantime, the medical department was alive with promptitude and energy, and none of the wounded were removed until their condition had received the best temporary attention. Some of the unfortunate girls were burnt from head to foot, others were burned in the face and eyes; some had an arm or a leg divested of flesh and skin, others were bleeding with wounds received from the falling timbers or in the violent concussions against floor and ceiling which ensued. The building was about one hundred by twenty feet, with a pitch of some ten feet, and built entirely of wood, the pieces of which were twisted and scattered in every conceivable direction. All day the work of taking care of the sufferers went on. Ten were killed by the explosion at the time of its occurrence, and others are reported to have died during the day, while it is not expected that half of the survivors will recover. Most of the latter were removed to their homes.

The following, all dreadfully burned, were received at General Hospital No. 2, corner of Cary and 7th streets: George Chappell, Sarah Haney, Hannah Petticord, Ella Bennett, Mary Jenningham, Julia Brennan, and one other female - unable to give her name.

____

A CARD TO THE CITIZENS OF RICHMOND.

For the relief, as far as practicable, of the sufferers by the explosion on yesterday of the Confederate States Laboratory, on 7th street, and for the Relief of the parents and families of those who were killed, I have asked the favor of the Young Men's Christian Association to aid me in raising funds for that purpose; and I confidently appeal to the benevolent people of this city promptly to respond to this call.

JOSEPH MAYO, Mayor.

_____

THE RECENT EXPLOSION. - Up to Saturday afternoon, the explosion at the C. S. Laboratory on Friday had resulted fatally to 33 of the sufferers. - The rest were, with some exceptions, still in a critical condition.

We present below a list of the injured, stating the number killed and who have since died, the wounded and missing:

DIED.

FEMALES. - Adeline Myers, Mary O'Brien, Martha Daley, Julia Brannon, Nannie Horin, Mary Rowlin, Catherine McCarthy, Mary Yegingham, Sarah Haney, Mary A. Garnett, Mary Archer, Eliza Willis, Elizabeth Moore, Frances Blassingame, Elizabeth Young, Mary Whitehurst, Mary Valentine, Maria Brien, Ella Smith, Amelia Tiefenback, Annie Davis, Alice Johnston, Mary Cushing, Alice Boulton, Barbary Jackson, Mary Wallace, Ann Dodson, Louisa Riceley, Mary O’Conners, Virginia Page, Ellen Sullivan

MALES. – Rev. John H. Woodcock, Jas. G. Currie.

WOUNDED.

FEMALES. – Mary Ryan, Delia Clemens, Bridget Grimes, Pauline Smoot, Ann Drake, Margaret Alexander, Elizabeth Dawson, Mary Cordle, Lucy Nicks, Mary Pritchet, Sarah Marshall, Catharine Cavanaugh, Susan Butler, Annie Blankenship, Mary E. Rouke, Caroline Yegingham, Mary J. Andrews, Ella Bennett, Sarah Foster, Mary Mannaham, Ellen O’Brien, Cornelia Mitchell, Mary McDonnell, Catharine Riceley, Dolly A. Folks

MALES. – William Barfoot, Alonzo Owens, John H. Hampton, Sam’l Chappell, Peter Fercron.

Missing and can’t be accounted for, Miss Martha A. Henley. The friends of Miss Henley are anxious to know of her whereabouts, and if any family has her, or know anything of her, will confer a favor by informing Capt. W. W. Smith, Superintendent C. S. Laboratory.

TOTAL.
Females – Dead, 31
Males – Dead, 2 – 33
Females – Wounded, 25
Males – Wounded, 5 – 30
Females – Missing 1 – 1
Total, 64

sbl
08-02-2007, 09:17 AM
Newspaper Clips (1860-1869)


http://www.congressionalcemetery.org/Research/History_Cemetery/ClipFiles/ClipFiles_1860.html#5thClip


"Washington Star, Friday, June 17, 1864 (2nd edition, 2:30 p.m.)
Frightful Explosion at the Arsenal

A large number of the female employees killed or frightfully wounded. 18 dead bodies taken out of the ruins already.

At 10 minutes of 12 today a terrible catastrophe occurred at the Arsenal which has cast a gloom over the whole community, and rendered sad many a heart that was buoyant a few minutes previous.

While 108 girls were at work in the main laboratory making cartridges for small arms, a quantity of fire works, which had been placed on the outside of the building became ignited, and a piece of fuse flying into one of the rooms in which were seated about 29 young women set the cartridges on fire and caused an instantaneous explosion.

The building in which the explosion took place is a one-storey brick, divided off into four rooms and runs East and West.

Those girls who were employed in the east rooms of the laboratory, mostly escaped by jumping from the windows and running through the doors pell mell; but those in the room fronting on the east, did not fare so well, and it is feared that nearly all of them were killed by the explosion or burnt to death.

The explosion did not occasion a loud report, the roof being raised from the building about a foot, but the building immediately caught fire and was completely destroyed.

The news of the accident spread like wild fire, and in a few moments hundreds of anxious parents, brothers and sisters flocked to the scene of the disaster, but owing to the confusion no one was allowed to enter or leave the ground.

As soon as it was known the building was on fire the work in all the shops was suspended, and the hands went nobly to work to extinguish the flames and render assistance to those who were unable to escape.

When our reporter left the scene of this disaster 19 bodies had been taken from the ruins, but there were so completely burnt to a crisp that recognition was impossible.

The following are in the hospital at the Arsenal:
Sallie McElfresh, seriously burnt about the body; Annie Bates, burnt mortally; Catharine Goldsmith, burnt severely about the hands, arms and face; H.B. Moulten, Clerk, burnt about hands and face severely; Julia Mahony, badly hurt jumping from window; Miss Ada Webster, seriously burnt and conveyed home by friends.

Secretary Stanton and General Halleck were on the ground in a very short time after the explosion."

(more related stories on the site)

sbl
08-02-2007, 09:27 AM
"...The jury was then sworn, and the following testimony was elicited:

Thomas B. Brown Sworn. Witness resides on 4 1/2 street between M and N south and is a pyrotechnist. Has been employed in the arsenal since 1841, with the exception of a few months. Witness was present at the time of the explosion, standing with Major Stebbins and Mr. Cox. The fire communicated along the bench where the girls were at work.

The girls were employed in "choking" cartridges, [Witness here explained that "choking" cartridges is attaching it to the ball by a machine which fastens the end of the cartridge to the ball].

Witness was unable to identify any of the bodies but believed one of them to be Miss Dunn, who was of large size. The books burned up at the time. Witness could not tell how the accident occurred. The girls in the building were gumming and choking cartridges and labeling boxes. No rockets were being made in the building. The fire originated in the lower corner, near the fence [southwest corner]. Witness had charge of the building which comprised these rooms - one being used for choking cartridges, another for making boxes, and a third for making cylinders or cases. A rocket was in the building in one of the drawers, there was not over three signal rockets in the house. Witness had some white stars lying in the sun in copper pans. These stars were composed of chlorate of potash, nitrate of strancia and copul, but no sulphur. [Witness explained the composition of t the stars at length]. These pans were placed in the sun between 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning and the explosion took place about 10 minutes to 12. Witness had next been cautioned by anyone about the stars, of which he had two colors out: red and white. Witness could not say whether the explosion originated from the stars or the cartridges. When witness noticed the explosion he started to come out, but he jar in a measure forced him out. Witness stated that the stars were made for shell, and that they would not explode by concussion. These stars were not made in the building, which was destroyed, but in a small building some distance off, and were then brought up to dry. There was no other work but what he had named carried on in the building destroyed; the orders being strictly against it. There were about 104 females engaged in the building, but not in one room. The stars were about 30 or 35 feet from it. Witness did not know that the stars exploded, but saw one of the pans afterwards overturned.