Notes and Correspondence: Librarians for Special Libraries

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  • July, 1919 T H E JOURhTAL O F I N D U S T R I A L

    LIBRARIANS FOR SPECIAL LIBRARIES Editor of the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry:

    In reply to Mr. Smiths letter published in your June issue, I might suggest that the extent to which women have been em- ployed as librarians of industrial and business libraries is a direct result of a special need for persons trained and experi- enced in library science, indexing, cataloging, and filing. Whether or not it is more important for the librarian of an industrial library to be trained in the science of his own library or in library science is still a much-disputed question, but since so large a part of the work of any industrial library has to do with library methods, there can be no doubt but that library training is essential for an efficiently organized library of any kind.

    The ideal condition, of course, would be a training and ex- perience both in library methods, and in the special science with which the library deals. It is usually impossible, however, to persuade a chemist, mechanical engineer, or accountant to enter library work, where the range of salaries is lower, and the possibilities much less than in his own special line of work, and yet where he is expected to be experienced both in library work and in some other science.

    A N D E N G I N E E R I N G C H E M I S T R Y 7 0 1

    Whenever an industrial company desires a chemist, mechanical engineer, or accountant, they quite logically secure a person educated or trained in chemistry, engineering, or accountancy. Why, therefore, should there not be in charge of the library a person who is primarily library trained? Most trained librarians are now college graduates, who either have specialized in library economy or have supplemented their college degree by two years graduate work in a library school.


    CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE EMPLOYMENT SECTION The Employment Section of the Chemical Warfare Service,

    Seventh and B Streets, N. W., Washington, D. C., a t the present time has more applications from colleges for men to teach chem- istry commencing next fall than it is able to supply.

    The Section also has on its lists a number of excellent scholar- ships and fellowships available in ten or twelve colleges where men can take up work for the masters and doctors degrees. In some instances, the holder of the fel1owship:is required to teach a few hours a week.


    INK COMPANY Drug and Chemical Markets for April 16 reported that an ex-

    plosion in the dye plant of the California Ink Company, Berkeley, Cal., had caused damage amounting to more than $ Z ~ , O O O . The following account of the accident was sent in response to our request for such information as might prove of interest to other workers in this field.- [EDITOR. ]

    Editor of the Journal of Industrial a?zd Engineering Chemistry: The explosion that occurred was caused by a weakness in the

    metal forming the bottom of a steel autoclave 36 in. in diameter and about g f t . long, having a cast steel top that is very heavy, almost 3 in. thick. When the bottom let go it went up straight in the air just like a skyrocket, probably 75 to IOO ft. high, broke through the joists of the second story which were 6 by IO in., went on up through the roof, which was of galvanized iron and heavy rafters, turned a somersault, and came down in an- other building through the roof and landed in the second story, some 50 f t . away. It naturally wrecked everything within a radius of some 35 to 40 ft. from the original position.

    The most fortunate thing was that everybody was safely out of range of the explosion and no one was seriously hurt. Some of our men were considerably overcome and shocked from the gases. They were quickly revived and we are thankful to say that no one was injured permanently.

    We feel quite confident that by having the autoclave built properly, with a new shell and a new one-half inch bottom, the holes properly drilled instead of punched, a repetition of this can be readily avoided.

    Thc last pressure that anyone noticed on the pressure gauge was 125 lbs., which is our working pressure. We intend to sub- ject both our autoclaves to hydrostatic pressure of about 25 per cent more than the working pressure, a t least once a week, in order to discover any possible weakness, as we do not want a repetition of this kind of excitement with its possibility of resulting very seriously to some of our employees.

    WEST BERKELEY, CAI.. April 24, 1919 I,. H. LEWARS

    CHEMICAL FIRE HAZARDS Editor of the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry:

    The report on a fire in a cotton bleach and dye works has come

    to our attention and owing to the nature of the fire we believe that the following brief description of it may be of interest to readers of the Journal of Indusjrial and Engineering Chem- istry.

    A barrel oE sulfur black dye was stored in the drug room of the plant. At midnight a watchman detected a slight odor given off by the material in this barrel and found that the dyestuff was smoldering. The watchman summoned assistance and the barrel of material was removed to the yard and damage to the building was prevented. The manufacturers of the dye are understood to have replaced the material free of charge and to have stated that the trouble was due to the dye containing too much sulfur.

    While the pure dyes of this character may be free from danger, it would seem that irregularities in the manufacture are likely to lead to trouble and that material of this sort should be so stored that large values of other materials are not exposed to the hazard, and the danger of a fire spreading from it should be avoided. The use of metal barrels for this material appears to be advisable.

    The writer is not sufficiently informed as to the nature of this material to feel sure of the exact cause of fires of this sort and would be interested in an explanation of the chemical actions involved.

    BosTON, MASS W. D. MILNE May 3, 1919 Superintendent of Surveys

    $100,000 FIRE Editor of the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry:

    On March 22, a disastrous fire occurred in the establishment of A. Daigger & Co., Laboratory Supplies and Chemicals, 54 West Kinzie Street, Chicago, Ill. The second, third, and fourth floors of the building were almost completely destroyed and the loss has been estimated a t about $IOO,OOO.

    It has been impossible to determine exactly the cause of the conflagration, but it was apparently due to crossed wires or faulty insulation in connection with an electric elevator.

    The building has been rebuilt and the stock replenished, so that business has just about returned to a normal basis.