601 Oakwood Drive, Clinton, MS 39056
This letter was written to illustrate a story Mr. Patterson heard while attending an engine show in Blairsville, GA. It should serve as a reminder to us all about safety precautions in working with engines.
I am writing in response to your request for more information concerning Block No. 11 on the insurance form which asks for 'Cause of injuries' where I put 'Trying to do the job alone'. You said you needed more information so I trust the following will be sufficient.
On the date of injuries, I was working alone trying to retrieve an old gas engine out of the loft of a four-story building when I realized the 400-pound engine was too much for me to carry down the stairs. So, rather than try to carry the engine down the stairs by hand, I decided to put it on a platform and lower it by a pulley which was fastened to the top of the building. I secured the end of the rope at ground level and went up to the top of the building and loaded the engine onto the platform and swung the platform out with the engine on it. I then went down and untied the rope, holding it securely to insure the slow decent of the engine.
As you will note on Block No. 6 of the insurance form, I weigh 145 pounds. Due to my shock at being jerked off the ground so swiftly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Between the second and third floors, I met the engine coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body.
Regaining my presence of mind again, I held tightly to the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley. This accounts for the broken thumb.
Despite the pain, I regained my presence of mind and held tightly to the rope. At approximately the same time, however, the engine hit the ground and the jar knocked it off the platform. Devoid of the weight of the engine, the platform now weighed about 50 pounds. I again refer you to Block No. 6 and my weight-145 pounds.
As you would guess, I began a rapid descent. In the vicinity of the second floor, I met the platform coming up. This explains the injuries to my legs and lower body. Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent landing on the engine. Fortunately, my back was only sprained, and the internal injuries were minimal.
I am sorry to report, however, that at this point, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope, and as you can imagine, the platform crashed down on me.
I trust this answers your concern. Please know that I am finished 'trying to do the job alone.'