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"A" Mill Explosion

Title: Article Describing Causes of Explosion
Type: Newspaper
Date: 1878
Source: North Western Miller

Description: Many writers debated the cause of the mill explosion in the newspapers. This writer is attempting to prove that many of the theories about the explosion are false.



resulting as they did in the loss of so many lives and the destruction of so much valuable property.

The United States have been comparatively free from flour mill explosions, though they have been quite common abroad, In other countries. and the theory telegraphed broadcast Given a great deal of publicity. over the country that the accident in Minnesota was the result of the new process of manufacturing flour by purifying middlings, Removing the bran from the desirable part of the grain. is absurd. The explosion of the Muir mills in Glasgow several years ago, was as destructive in its way as that at Minneapolis, and there was not a purifier within its walls. Professor Macadam, in England, some three years ago wrote a pamphlet on this subject, extracts of which can be found in "The Miller" for October, 1875,. Several essays have been written in Germany on the subject, and the conclusions reached from numberless experiments are: that the fine flourdust with which the air gets charged in grinding wheat, is highly inflammable Capable of burning. and explosive when brought in contact with a flame or spark in rooms not thoroughly ventilated. A flame can be communicated by the use of an uncovered light, "but the more common way," as Dr. Macadam puts it, "is the feed going off the stones during work. The feed may go off from want of grain in the hopper. A spider's web actually stopped the feed in one case, and led to a violent explosion in an English flour mills." The sad experience of our friends in Minneapolis should teach us to use more care in the use of lights in our mills; to impress upon our grinders the dangers to be apprehended Expected. from carelessness in not keeping the stones fed; above all to thoroughly ventilate all rooms in which there is any chance for the air to become surcharged Filled. with flour dust and to remove as far as possible from the chance of flame or sparks the rooms to which are conveyed the dust from wheat or flour.

The milling papers will not doubtless publish all that has been printed abroad, and the results of the experiments made there, and we must all carefully read and profit by them.

In closing, gentlemen, let me thank you in advance for the harmonious manner in which you propose to conduct your deliberations, Hold discussions. and ask you to bear with and assist me in presiding In charge of. over this your fifth annual convention.