# Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXX, Dec. 1910 Herbert M. Wilson Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

In 1907, the United States had mined nearly 7,000,000,000 tons of coal. How much coal had been wasted by this time?

• 3,500,000,000 tons
• 7,000,000,000 tons
• 14,000,000,000 tons
• 21,000,000,000 tons

Correct Answer Explanation: The U.S. Geological Survey found that nearly a ton of coal was wasted for every ton mined in the United States, resulting in a massive amount of wasted coal by 1907.

In 1910, the average death rate in U.S. coal mines was how many times higher than in France, Belgium, or Germany?

• One
• Two
• Three
• Four

Correct Answer Explanation: The U.S. had a significantly higher coal mine fatality rate than European countries, with the U.S. rate being three times higher than in France, Belgium, or Germany.

What type of fuel, considered low-grade, can be effectively utilized in gas producers for power generation?

• Peat
• Lignite
• Both Peat and Lignite
• Neither Peat nor Lignite

Correct Answer: Both Peat and Lignite

Correct Answer Explanation: The U.S. Geological Survey found that peat and lignite, previously considered worthless, could be efficiently converted into producer gas, offering a valuable alternative to higher-quality fuels.

In 1910, what was the estimated annual cost of damages caused by fires in combustible buildings in the United States?

• \$100,000,000
• \$150,000,000
• \$200,000,000
• \$250,000,000

Correct Answer Explanation: Fires in combustible buildings caused over \$200,000,000 in damages annually in the U.S., highlighting the need for fire-resistant materials and more efficient construction techniques.

What is the primary function of a ballistic pendulum?

• To measure the explosive force of a charge
• To determine the rate of detonation
• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock
• To measure the duration of flames given off by explosives

Correct Answer: To measure the explosive force of a charge

Correct Answer Explanation: A ballistic pendulum is a device used to measure the explosive force of a charge by the swing it imparts to a suspended mortar.

What is the purpose of a gas producer?

• To convert solid fuels into combustible gas
• To measure the explosive force of a charge
• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock
• To determine the rate of detonation

Correct Answer: To convert solid fuels into combustible gas

Correct Answer Explanation: A gas producer is a device that converts solid fuels into combustible gas for use in engines.

How many men were killed in the coal-mining industries over the last 19 years?

• 15,000
• 20,000
• 25,000
• 28,514

Correct Answer Explanation: The study found that 28,514 men were killed in coal mining accidents over the last 19 years, highlighting the urgency of improving mine safety.

Which type of explosive has a flame that lasts three thousand to more than four thousand times longer than the flame of permissible explosives?

• Dynamite
• Permissible explosives
• Black powder
• All of the above

Correct Answer Explanation: Black powder has a flame that is significantly longer and lasts longer than the flame of permissible explosives, increasing the risk of igniting gas and dust in mines.

What is the minimum relative humidity needed to prevent coal dust explosions in mines from the Pittsburgh district?

• 5%
• 10%
• 12%
• 15%

Correct Answer Explanation: The study found that coal dust from mines in the Pittsburg district requires at least 12% of water to prevent ignition.

What device is used to measure the sensitiveness of explosives to shock?

• Impact machine
• Ballistic pendulum
• Flame test apparatus

Correct Answer Explanation: The impact machine, modeled after a German device, is used to gauge the sensitiveness of explosives to shock.

What is the standard charge used in the ballistic pendulum test to measure the disruptive force of explosives?

• ½ lb. of 40% nitro-glycerine dynamite
• 1 lb. of 40% nitro-glycerine dynamite
• 2 lbs. of 40% nitro-glycerine dynamite
• 4 lbs. of 40% nitro-glycerine dynamite

Correct Answer: ½ lb. of 40% nitro-glycerine dynamite

Correct Answer Explanation: The ballistic pendulum test uses a standard charge of ½ lb. of 40% nitro-glycerine dynamite to measure the disruptive force of explosives.

What is the standard test for measuring the disruptive force of explosives adopted by the Fifth International Congress of Applied Chemistry?

• Ballistic pendulum test
• Flame test
• Impact machine test

Correct Answer Explanation: The lead-block test, adopted by the Fifth International Congress of Applied Chemistry, is the standard for measuring the disruptive force of explosives.

What is the primary function of the flame test apparatus?

• To measure the explosive force of a charge
• To measure the length and duration of flames given off by explosives
• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock
• To determine the rate of detonation

Correct Answer: To measure the length and duration of flames given off by explosives

Correct Answer Explanation: The flame test apparatus measures the length and duration of flames given off by explosives, providing insights into the safety characteristics of different explosives.

What is the primary function of the Mettegang recorder?

• To measure the explosive force of a charge
• To measure the length and duration of flames given off by explosives
• To determine the rate of detonation
• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock

Correct Answer: To determine the rate of detonation

Correct Answer Explanation: The Mettegang recorder is a device used to measure the rate at which detonation travels through a given length of an explosive.

What is the purpose of Gas and Dust Gallery No. 1, which is 100 ft. long with a minimum internal diameter of 6 1/3 ft?

• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock
• To measure the length and duration of flames given off by explosives
• To measure the rate of detonation
• To test the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses in explosive atmospheres

Correct Answer: To test the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses in explosive atmospheres

Correct Answer Explanation: Gas and Dust Gallery No. 1 is a test facility used to assess the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses in explosive atmospheres.

What is the purpose of Gas and Dust Gallery No. 2, which is 30 ft. long and has a diameter of 10 ft?

• To measure the explosive force of a charge
• To measure the length and duration of flames given off by explosives
• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock
• To test the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses in explosive atmospheres

Correct Answer: To test the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses in explosive atmospheres

Correct Answer Explanation: Gas and Dust Gallery No. 2, smaller than Gallery No. 1, is also a test facility used to assess the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses in explosive atmospheres.

What is the term used for a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, often found in mines, that can be fatal to humans?

• Fire damp
• Black damp
• Permissible explosives
• Coal dust

Correct Answer Explanation: Black damp is a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, often found in mines, that can be fatal to humans due to its oxygen displacement.

What is the term used for methane gas, a flammable gas found in coal mines, which can ignite and cause explosions?

• Fire damp
• Black damp
• Permissible explosives
• Coal dust

Correct Answer Explanation: Fire damp refers to methane gas, a flammable gas found in coal mines that can ignite and cause explosions.

What is the term used for explosives that have passed rigorous tests by the U.S. Geological Survey and are deemed safe for use in mines with gas or dust hazards?

• Black damp
• Permissible explosives
• Fire damp
• Coal dust

Correct Answer Explanation: Permissible explosives are those that have undergone rigorous testing and are deemed safe for use in mines with gas or dust hazards.

What is the term used for a partially decomposed plant matter found in bogs, which can be used as fuel?

• Lignite
• Briquettes
• Peat
• Black damp

Correct Answer Explanation: Peat is a partially decomposed plant matter found in bogs, which can be used as fuel.

What is the term used for a type of brown coal with a relatively high moisture content?

• Peat
• Black damp
• Briquettes
• Lignite

Correct Answer Explanation: Lignite is a type of brown coal with a relatively high moisture content.

What is the term used for a device used to initiate the detonation of an explosive charge?

• Detonator
• Black damp
• Permissible explosives
• Briquettes

Correct Answer Explanation: A detonator is a device used to initiate the detonation of an explosive charge.

What is the term used for a process of compressing small coal particles into solid blocks for easier handling and combustion?

• Detonator
• Black damp
• Briquettes
• Permissible explosives

Correct Answer Explanation: Briquetting is a process of compressing small coal particles into solid blocks for easier handling and combustion.

What is the term used for a device that converts solid fuels into combustible gas for use in engines?

• Gas producer
• Detonator
• Black damp
• Permissible explosives

Correct Answer Explanation: A gas producer is a device that converts solid fuels into combustible gas for use in engines.

In 1910, approximately how many concrete or reinforced concrete beams were tested at the structural materials testing laboratory?

• 120
• 1200
• 12,000
• 120,000

Correct Answer Explanation: The structural materials testing laboratory conducted extensive testing of concrete and reinforced concrete, examining nearly 1,200 beams.

In the Leiter Mine, Zeigler, Illinois, two miners used oxygen helmets to rescue another miner. What agency trained these miners in the use of breathing apparatus and rescue techniques?

• U.S. Bureau of Mines
• U.S. Geological Survey
• U.S. Forest Service
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Correct Answer Explanation: The Geological Survey played a significant role in training miners in the use of breathing apparatus and rescue techniques, as seen in the Leiter Mine rescue.

What agency investigated the disintegration of concrete structures on the Sun River Project in Montana due to alkaline soil and water?

• U.S. Bureau of Mines
• U.S. Forest Service
• U.S. Geological Survey
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Correct Answer Explanation: The Geological Survey conducted investigations into the disintegration of concrete structures on the Sun River Project and other projects, examining the impact of alkaline soil and water on concrete durability.

Which agency provides research and analysis of explosives used by the Quartermaster’s Department for construction and testing?

• U.S. Bureau of Mines
• U.S. Geological Survey
• U.S. Forest Service
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Correct Answer Explanation: The Geological Survey played a role in providing research and analysis of explosives used by the Quartermaster’s Department for construction and testing.

Which agency was responsible for building the Panama Canal, a major user of explosives with samples tested by the Geological Survey?

• U.S. Bureau of Mines
• U.S. Geological Survey
• Isthmian Canal Commission
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Correct Answer Explanation: The Isthmian Canal Commission, responsible for building the Panama Canal, was a major user of explosives, with samples tested by the Geological Survey.

What type of peat, with 30% ash and 15% water, was successfully used in a gas producer, demonstrating the potential of low-grade fuels?

• Michigan
• Florida
• North Carolina
• All of the above

Correct Answer Explanation: North Carolina peat, with a high ash and water content, was successfully utilized in a gas producer, highlighting the potential of using low-grade fuels for energy production.

Which type of fuel proved effective when utilized in gas producers, confirming the feasibility of using peat as an alternative fuel source?

• North Carolina peat
• Florida peat
• Michigan peat
• All of the above

Correct Answer: All of the above

Correct Answer Explanation: Peat from North Carolina, Florida, and Michigan all proved effective when utilized in gas producers, confirming the feasibility of using peat as an alternative fuel source.

What was the purpose of the extensive investigations conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1910?

• To improve mine safety, fuel efficiency, and construction materials
• To measure the explosive force of a charge
• To test the sensitiveness of explosives to shock
• To determine the rate of detonation

Correct Answer: To improve mine safety, fuel efficiency, and construction materials

Correct Answer Explanation: The U.S. Geological Survey’s investigations in 1910 aimed to address crucial issues related to mine safety, fuel efficiency, and the development of safer and more effective construction materials.

What was one of the most significant findings of the U.S. Geological Survey’s investigations in 1910 regarding mine safety?

• The importance of using permissible explosives
• The importance of testing the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses
• The importance of coal dust control
• All of the above

Correct Answer: All of the above

Correct Answer Explanation: The Geological Survey’s investigations highlighted the importance of using permissible explosives, testing the safety of mine lamps and breathing apparatuses, and effectively controlling coal dust to prevent explosions.

What was one of the most significant findings of the U.S. Geological Survey’s investigations in 1910 regarding fuel efficiency?

• The potential of using lower-grade fuels like peat and lignite in gas producers
• The need for more efficient construction techniques to reduce fire losses
• The importance of maintaining a high relative humidity to prevent coal dust explosions
• All of the above

Correct Answer: The potential of using lower-grade fuels like peat and lignite in gas producers

Correct Answer Explanation: The Geological Survey’s investigations revealed the potential of using lower-grade fuels like peat and lignite in gas producers for energy production.

What was one of the most significant findings of the U.S. Geological Survey’s investigations in 1910 regarding construction materials?

• The importance of fire-resistant materials and construction techniques
• The need for more efficient construction techniques to reduce fire losses
• The impact of alkaline soils and waters on the durability of concrete structures
• All of the above

Correct Answer: All of the above

Correct Answer Explanation: The Geological Survey’s investigations emphasized the importance of fire-resistant materials and construction techniques, the need for more efficient construction practices, and the impact of alkaline soils and waters on the durability of concrete structures.

What role did the U.S. Government play in promoting safety and conservation of natural resources in 1910?

• It invested in systematic research to improve safety and efficiency in industries
• It mandated the use of permissible explosives in all mines
• It banned the use of black powder in mines
• It required all miners to be trained in the use of breathing apparatus

Correct Answer: It invested in systematic research to improve safety and efficiency in industries

Correct Answer Explanation: The U.S. Government was beginning to invest in systematic research to improve safety and efficiency in industries, including mining, construction, and energy production.

How many brands of permissible explosives were included in the first list issued by the U.S. Geological Survey in May 1909?

• 10
• 17
• 24
• 31

Correct Answer Explanation: The first list of permissible explosives issued by the Geological Survey in May 1909 included 17 brands.

How many brands of permissible explosives were included in the second list issued by the U.S. Geological Survey in October 1909?

• 10
• 17
• 24
• 31

Correct Answer Explanation: The second list of permissible explosives issued by the Geological Survey in October 1909 included 31 brands, demonstrating the growing acceptance and use of safer explosives in mines.

What is the approximate annual coal production of the United States around 1910?

• 200,000,000 tons
• 300,000,000 tons
• 415,000,000 tons
• 500,000,000 tons

Correct Answer Explanation: The U.S. produced approximately 415,000,000 tons of coal annually around 1910.

In the Cherry, Illinois Mine Disaster of 1909, how many men lost their lives?

• 150
• 200
• 250
• 310

Correct Answer Explanation: The Cherry, Illinois Mine Disaster of 1909, which killed 310 men, highlighted the urgent need for mine safety and rescue operations.

In the Marianna, Pennsylvania Mine Disaster, how many bodies were found?

• 150
• 125
• 100
• 75

Correct Answer Explanation: The Marianna, Pennsylvania Mine Disaster involved a group of 150 bodies.

How many men died in U.S. coal mines in 1907 alone?

• 2,000
• 2,500
• 3,125
• 3,500