Punch,  9 (1845), 107.

Punch's Report on A Recent Railway Accident



Introduction, Drollery; Proceedings, Spoof


Railways, Accidents, Language, Expertise, Physics

    Punch contends that the great merit of Charles W Pasley's reports on railway accidents is that they are 'so very scientific that unlearned people can make neither head nor tail of them'. Offers a specimen report that it regards as similar to Pasley's. The report consists of highly technical, meaningless, and ultimately unhelpful explanations and suggestions. For example, it argues that 'It is a well-known fact in physics, that two solids coming into a state of cohesion with other, will leave no room between, and the pressure upon the bone of a man's leg would be at least one in nine, which would account for the fracture of the limb of one of the passengers'.

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