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In Years Past

May 30, 2014

In 1914, Verne Oatman, engineer on the new locomotive crane used by Mahoney & Swanson, contractors in charge of the work of the Erie Railroad grade crossing elimination in Jamestown, miraculously escaped serious injury shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon when the huge machine plunged from the track down over the embankment. The machine was received Monday from Cleveland and this was its first real work. A pile of lumber was being conveyed by it to be used in the construction of forms for a concrete wall and, without warning, the great bulk of steel toppled over with a resounding crash that could be heard some considerable distance. That the engineer was thrown under the heavy machine yet was only slightly injured, was nothing short of marvelous. It had been claimed that carelessness on the part of employees was responsible for the trouble.



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