This study sought to ascertain the implications of federal legislation mandating adoption of technological change by the railroad industry. Its primary aim was to determine whether the Safety Appliances Act of 1893, which required railroads to outfit rolling stock with air brakes and automatic couplers, led to improved safety for employees and if any resultant gain was offset by unforeseen consequences. It sought to learn whether the devices had greater consequences for safety or productivity. A mathematical model examines both direct and indirect implications of introducing the brake and coupler on railroad accidents and operations, analyzing accidents involving operating employees in Illinois between 1891 and 1913 and endeavoring to explain why the number of accidents failed to decline over the period. It was concluded that technical innovation actually contributed to improved productivity and that the longer and faster trains that were possible then caused accidents to increase.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    Graduate College
    Urbana, IL  United States  61801
  • Authors:
    • Wetzel, K W
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Pagination: 239 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00319683
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Phd Thesis
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 29 1980 12:00AM