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Mostly Harmless
41028.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:34 am Reply with quote


Last edited by Mostly Harmless on Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

41046.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:57 am Reply with quote

Bridget Driscoll
Bridget Driscoll received instant notoriety when she stepped off the kerb and into the history books on August 17th 1896. Mrs Driscoll, a 44 year old housewife, who was travelling from Old Town, Croydon to a folk-dancing display in Crystal Palace, became the first pedestrian in the UK to be killed by a car.
Mrs Driscoll, a resident of Croydon, was hit by a demonstration car travelling at 4mph. She died within minutes of receiving a head injury.
At Mrs Driscoll’s inquest, Coroner William Percy Morrison said he hoped that “such a thing would never happen again” and was the first to apply the term “accident” to violence caused by speed. Coroners across the country have followed his example ever since.
Witnesses said that the car, driven by Arthur Edsel, was travelling at a reckless pace, in fact, like a fire engine. Mr Edsel claimed that he had only been doing 4 mph and that he had rung his bell as a warning. The jury took six hours to reach a verdict that Mrs. Driscoll had died of accidental death.


Some say that she was the first victim in the world, not just the UK.

Lt. Col. John Paul Stapp
Under Stapp's direction, Northrop Aircraft Co. built at Edwards (then Muroc) AFB, Calif, a 2,000-foot rail track for a rocket-driven "sled" that could accelerate to nearly 1,000 mph. Toward the end of the track, scoops beneath the sled would dig into a pool of water, jerking the sled from several hundred miles an hour to a stop in just over a second, simulating the deceleration of a high-speed ejection. Early passengers were dummies. At the end of one run, the safety harness broke and the dummy plunged through a one-inch wood windscreen, sailing 700 feet across the desert. A few more rides, a few improvements, and it was time for the first human passenger.

In December 1947, Paul Stapp began riding the sled at increasing speeds. By May of the following year, he had rocketed down the track 16 times and withstood a force of 35 Gs during deceleration. So much for the 18-G limit of human endurance.


Professor E.A. Pask and "Sierra Sam"
Professor E.A. Pask, the first Professor of Anaesthesia in the North East, began investigating in 1959, in co-operation with the Sierra Engineering Company ( Sierra Madra, California ), the construction of a seaworthy anthropomorphic ( "test") dummy. Prior to this, he had done repeated experiments on himself, involving such activities as being thrown anaesthetised into water ( breathing through an uncuffed magill tube ) to test lifejackets. This earned him the title of "the bravest man in the RAF never to have flown an aeroplane".

"Sierra Sam" was designed around the 95 percentile dummy model 262. The final flotation-type dummy ( model L45-02 ) was 50th percentile, weighing 165lbs, and was produced in 1960. It cost $4707, the Company claiming it was only one third of the actual cost. Later estimates put his value at $6-10,000. Here, Sam is shown complete, with boiler suit and recorder in his leg pouch


Perhaps "Sierra Sam" was the first crash test dummy.

41065.  Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:54 am Reply with quote

Coroner William Percy Morrison said he hoped that “such a thing would never happen again”

It says that in every source you look at, but actually there doesn't seem to be any mention of such a comment in the official record.

post 15960

41390.  Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:35 am Reply with quote

How about dummies as in the kind babies have? Someone must be able to find something QI about them. And then have an American guest on that episode, because they would have no idea what it was about. :)


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