During the three days previous to the 12th inst., the solar heat was so great in our city that no less than two hundred persons died from its effects. This number,,together with those who died on the 13th and 14th, swelled the list to at least 250. We carefully examined the Coroner's reports as they were published from day to day, which, so far as could be ascertained, gave the places of nativity of each. These reports reveal the astounding fact that six-eighths of those who died were natives of Ireland, and only about two-fiftieths natives of the United States, all the rest being foreigners. Those who died were mostly hard-working people, and the majority of them, we have no doubt, were hod-carriers. There is no toil so severe as that of carrying mortar and bricks up three or four stories upon men's shoulders in hot summer weather: it is an occupation which we would like to see abolished as soon as possible, and we cannot perceive any difficulty in the way of doing this. Those builders who undertake and execute large contracts in our city, we believe, would find it profitable to use portable steam engines for the purpose of elevating stones, brick, timbers, and mortar, instead of raising them by manual power— such as by men working the craak of the der-, rick, and carriers going up the ladders with hods. The steam engine could work the crank shaft, to wind up the rope or chain on a windlass, and the rope could pass over a pulley attached to a movable beam secured alternately on successive scaffolds of the building. Men on the ground would only have to load the buckets to carry up the brick and mortar, and those at the top would only have to unload and carry the materials to different parts of the scaffolding. All the running up and down on ladders would be saved, severe labor would be abriged,and consequently both employers and employees would be benefitted. Even if a steam engine were not adopted every builder could easily erect a portable crane on the scaffolds and elevate the building materials with it. We have directed attention to this method of elevating building materials more than once during the past seven years, and it has given us some pleasure to see our suggestions f.dop-ted on a number of buildings now in the course of erection in our city. We are aware that we are recommending nothing new to those who have travelled over many lands, but it is something new to many of our builders, so far as their practice is concerned. In view of the awful mortality to which we have alluded, we hope our builders will not forget nor neglect to provide, as soon as possible, a remedy for manual hod-carrying. The steam hod-carrier is perfectly practicable and economical, and will not injure but benefit the builder and laborer " in both purse and provender.”
This article was originally published with the title "Steam Hod Carriers"