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Careers of Danger and Daring

Cleveland Moffett

Book Overview: 

In this volume of adventure the author depicts the lives of certain humble modern heroes whose unconscious courage ordinarily goes unnoticed. Mr. Moffett has chosen unusual and picturesque careers, and has offered dramatic scenes from the lives of the steeple climber, the diver, the balloonist,the pilot, the bridge builder, the fireman, the aerial acrobat, the wild animal trainer, the dynamite worker and lastly the locomotive driver.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . injury to her nose had been changed into a steam-pump. She could suck her forty tons of coal an hour out of a wreck with the best of them. And she traveled with four pontoons, no one of which could touch her in table fare, especially coffee.

Late one afternoon, when the rain was drizzling and the swinging brass lamps lit, we sat about on wooden stools (and some were curled up in bunks along the walls) and listened to the talk of Atkinson and Timmans and Hansen, who had seen and done strange things in their time.

They were discussing the escape-valve in a diver's helmet, and arguing whether it pays to stiffen the spring for very deep diving. Atkinson, who had worked eight fathoms deeper than either of them, said he left his spring alone; he used the same suit and the same valve action for any depth.

"But I look out for sand-banks," said he, "ever since that fellow—you know who I mean—had one cave in on him in the North River. He. . . Read More

Community Reviews

It's like that show "Dirty Jobs" only back in the 1900's. A fascinating collection of anecdotes and insights into dangerous, stressful and pioneering occupations.

This was written when divers had to have air pumped to them and sent via a hose - no SCUBA gear; when hydrogen was considered a viable gas for balloons; when horses pulled fire engines, which used steam to pump water at the fire site. It was written WAY before OSHA and workplace safety laws.

The a...more