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pound of Bureau
weights for mints
There shall be a visiting committee of five members, Visiting comto be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, to con- Ibid., sec. 10. sist of men prominent in the various interests involved, and not in the employ of the Government. This committee shall visit the bureau at least once a year, and report to the Secretary of Commerce upon the efficiency of its scientific work and the condition of its equipment. The members of this committee shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid the actual expenses incurred in attending its meetings. The period of service of the members of the original committee shall be so arranged that one member shall retire each year, and the appointments thereafter to be for a period of five years. Appointments made to fill vacancies occurring other than in the regular manner are to be made for the remainder of the period in which the vacancy exists.
For the purpose of securing a due conformity in weight Standard troy of the coins of the United States to the provisions of the to be standard for laws relating to coinage, the standard troy pound of the agella
ind of the regulation of coinBureau of Standards of the United States shall be the R.S., 3548 standard troy pound of the Mint of the United States, Stat., 1854). conformably to which the coinage thereof shall be regulated.
It shall be the duty of the Director of the Mint to pro- Standard cure for each mint and assay office, to be kept safely there, and assay offices. at, a series of standard weights corresponding to the Mar: 2, 1911 (96 standard troy pound of the Bureau of Standards of the Stat., 1854). United States, consisting of a one-pound weight and the requisite subdivisions and multiples thereof, from the hundredths part of a grain to twenty-five pounds. The troy weight ordinarily employed in the transactions of such mints and assay offices shall be regulated according to the above standards at least once in every year, under the inspection of the superintendent and assayer; and the accuracy of those used at the Mint at Philadelphia shall be tested annually, in the presence of the assay commissioners, at the time of the annual examination and test of coins.
The use of the facilities of the Bureau of Standards for Research faciliresearch and study by scientific investigators and students of any institution of higher education is granted by resolution of April 12, 1892 (27 Stat., 395), and act of March 3, 1901 (31 Stat., 1039).]
[The expenses incident to the attendance of an Ameri- International can member of the International Bureau of Weights and and Measures. Measures and a contribution to the maintenance of such bureau is provided for annually in the appropriation acts.] [The appropriation act of March 4, 1913, authorizes the Special investi
gations. Bureau to investigate the dangers to life and property due to the transmission of electric currents at high potentials, and the precautions to be taken and the best methods of construction, installation, and operation to be followed in
Bereau of Weights
the distribution and return of such currents, in order to reduce to a minimum such dangers, as well as the best means of protecting life and property from lightning. It also authorizes investigations incident to the establishment of units and standards of refrigeration, and the determination of the physical constants of materials used in the refrigeration industries, such as ammonia, aqueous ammonia solutions, carbonic acid, brines, and so forth, and the determination of the thermal conductivities of materials. It provides for the maintenance and operation of testing machines for the determination of the physical constants and the properties of materials; and authorizes an investigation of the fire-resisting properties of building materials, and the conditions under which they may be most efficiently used, as well as a continuation of the investigation of the structural materials, such as stone, clays, cement, and so forth. It also authorizes the testing of railroad, elevator, and other scales used in weighing commodities for interstate shipment.]
STEAMBOAT-INSPECTION SERVICE. The act of Congress approved July 7, 1838, which provided for lifeboats, signal lights, fire pumps and hose, and the inspection of the hulls and boilers of steam vessels, was the first legislation on the important question of “the better security of lives of passengers on board of vessels propelled in whole or in part by steam.” This act was modified by the acts of March 3, 1843, and March 3, 1849, the latter of which provided for signal lights on all vessels.
The act of Congress approved August 30, 1852, known as the steamboat act, however, was really the establishment of the present Steamboat-Inspection Service, and since that date the work has been prosecuted, with but few innovations, on the plans then adopted. Prior to July 1, 1903, the Secretary of the Treasury was charged with the general supervision of the Service, but on that date this supervision was transferred to the head of what is now the Department of Commerce by act of Congress approved February 14, 1903 (the organic act of the Department).
At the present time the Steamboat-Inspection Service is charged with the duty of inspecting the hulls and machinery of steam vessels and with the administration of the laws requiring passenger vessels to be equipped with boats, rafts, water-tight bulkheads, signal lights, life-saving appliances, and fire-fighting apparatus. It is charged also with the duty of determining the number of passengers a vessel can carry with prudence and safety, the number of officers necessary for the safe navigation of vessels, and the licensing of such officers. It prescribes pilot rules to be observed by vessels navigating the waters of the United States, and conducts investigations and trials for violations of the steamboat-inspection laws and the rules and regulations issued in furtherance thereof.
For the purpose of administering the pilot rules the waters of the United States are divided into three parts, and separate rules are made for each. These three divisions are (1) Atlantic and Pacific coast inland waters, (2) the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as Montreal, (3) rivers whose waters flow into the Gulf of Mexico, and their tributaries, and the Red River of the North.
The jurisdiction of the Service extends to all steam vessels navigating any waters of the United States which are common highways of commerce or open to general or competitive navigation, except vessels owned by the United States or other governments and boats
propelled in whole or in part by steam for navigating canals. It has jurisdiction also over coastwise seagoing vessels and vessels navigating the Great Lakes, when navigating within the jurisdiction of the United States, as well as over all foreign private steam vessels carrying passengers from any port of the United States to any other place and country.
At the head of the Service is the Supervising Inspector General, located at Washington, whose duty it is, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, to superintend the administration of the steamboat-inspection laws; preside at the meetings of the Board of Supervising Inspectors; receive all reports and accounts of inspectors; examine, on application of the officer whose license is in question, any case involving the revocation or suspension of license; report fully at stated periods to the Secretary of Commerce on all matters pertaining to his official duties, and produce a correct and uniform administration of the inspection laws, rules, and regulations. The Supervising Inspector General is responsible for the general effectiveness, usefulness, and capacity of the Service, and for the intelligent direction and management of its affairs.
The United States and all its territorial possessions, with the exception of the Philippine Islands, is divided into 10 supervising inspection districts, each of which is presided over by a supervising inspector of steam vessels, and these districts, in turn, are divided into local districts in charge of boards of local inspectors, consisting of a local inspector of hulls and a local inspector of boilers. Wherever necessary, assistant inspectors of hulls and boilers are appointed to assist the local inspectors in the inspection of vessels, and to each board at least one clerk is assigned to perform necessary clerical work.
The supervising inspectors, in charge of the various supervising inspection districts, are selected for their knowledge and practical experience in the uses of steam for navigation and are responsible for the general condition and efficiency of the Service throughout their respective districts. It is their duty to watch over all parts of the territory assigned to them; instruct local boards of inspectors in the proper performance of their duties; examine, whenever they think it expedient, into the condition of any licensed vessel for the purpose of ascertaining whether the laws have been observed both by the inspectors and the masters and owners; and report to the Secretary any failure of a board to do its duty. They are also obliged to visit any district in which there is at any time no board of inspectors and within which steam vessels are owned and employed, and to perform in such district all the duties imposed on local boards. They hear and decide all cases in which any person, master, or owner deems himself wronged by the decision of the local inspectors, and investigate and decide all cases, when requested to
do so, where disagreements have arisen between the local inspectors. At the end of each year they submit reports to the Supervising Inspector General covering the general business transacted during the year, together with all violations of laws and the action taken in relation thereto.
On the third Wednesday of January, in each year, and at such other times as the Secretary of Commerce may prescribe, the supervising inspectors and the Supervising Inspector General assemble at Washington as a Board of Supervising Inspectors for the purpose of joint consultation, the assignment of territory, the approval of instruments and equipment required to be used on steam vessels for the better security of life, and the formulation of regulations necessary to carry out in the most effective manner the provisions of the steamboat-inspection laws, which regulations, when approved by the Secretary of Commerce, have the force of law. The Secretary, however, is authorized to call in session, at any time, after reasonable public notice, a meeting of an executive committee, composed of the Supervising Inspector General and two supervising inspectors, which committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may change or repeal any of the rules or regulations made by the Board of Supervising Inspectors, such changes to have the force of law and continue in effect until 30 days after the adjournment of the next meeting of the Board of Supervising Inspectors. The executive committee may also approve instruments, machines, and equipment required to be used on steam vessels for the better security of life.
Each of the local districts into which the various supervising inspection districts are divided is presided over by a board of local inspectors, consisting of a local inspector of hulls and a local inspector of boilers. It is the duty of this board to inspect, at least once a year, each steam vessel within its district, and to certificate or disapprove the same, and to examine all steamers arriving and departing to and from the ports in its district, and order the master or owner to make necessary repairs or correct unlawful conditions. It is also incumbent on the board to examine all persons applying for officers' licenses, to license for five years each of them who can be safely intrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the station for which application is made, to investigate all acts of incompetency or misconduct committed by licensed officers while acting under the authority of their licenses, and when necessary to suspend or revoke the licenses of such officers. It is required to keep a record of all licenses granted to masters, mates, pilots, and engineers, as well as its decisions in cases where licenses have been refused, suspended, or revoked, and to transmit to the supervising inspector of its district all testimony received by it in such proceedings. It is also required to keep a record of certificates issued to vessels and of every steamer boarded during the year, which