Sunday, 3 August 2014
Swinedon Experimentation Department
Now here's an interesting picture I've just found in the murky depths of the Swinedon Archives.
This little contraption was experimental and it transpires it was used for the selection of "Approved Supporters Status"
Apparently what happened was that to be officially recognised as an ASS you had to pass a variety of tests and this little gem was related to the "audible clarity test".
From what I can gather they would connect one side of this mechanised trumpet arrangement to the safety valve of some steamed locomotive,,,, the other side was connected to a mouthpiece and given to the potential ASS.
Then a whole load of coal was thrown into the firebox which resulted in steam pressure rising dramatically to such a point that the safety valves would release,,, allowing the test to commence.
For success in the test the human had to be heard above the noise of the amplified safety valves from a distance of 5 miles.
The statistics on how many potential ASS'es passed the test is quite staggering at a very credible 84%.
The boffins went sent back to the drawing board to come up with something a little more challenging.
It's quite surprising what you can find in the the Pastures Library on a wet afternoon when you were tasked to mow the lawn.