Live Articles on Special Hazards circa 1910

Blog Post created by maryelizabethwoodruff Employee on Jul 16, 2015

The Live Articles on Special Hazards, are a series of article reprinted from the monthly fire insurance supplement of The Weekly Underwriter in the early 20th century.  The purpose of these articles was to provide fire insurance specialists with a working knowledge of manufacturing processes and the risks inherent with each process or product. 

Cottonoil"The cub inspector going into a cotton mill for the first time is confronted by a series of bewildering manufacturing operations.  How much easier would the work be for him if he knew just where the process begins, and which processes require special attention from the fire insurance viewpoint!  The veteran inspector who has not visited a paint factory for years may wish to refresh his memory as to the chemistry of oxidation of leads and oils just prior to looking over a new risk in his field.  It is hoped that the "Live Articles" presented herewith, and those which are being published currently in the Weekly Underwriter may in a good measure answer this need."  The image at right is an instructive diagram of a crude oil refinery.

Early volumes covered  processes in cotton mills, clothing factories, storage warehouses,  flour mills, sugar refineries and oil refineries as well as discussion of special occupancies like theaters,  churches and piers.  Also included are articles explaining insurance such as marine insurance, American reinsurance,  and use and occupancy insurance: origin, elements, development,  and application of this form of coverage explained and analyzed.


Researchers use these volumes to trace back the understanding of a specific hazard, like ammonium nitrate, or dry cleaning chemicals or to document the history of provisions relating to specific occupancies in codes and standards.

The Charles S. Morgan Library supports the research activities and maintains the archive of NFPA.  We have the Live Articles on Special Hazards and the NFPA Quarterly Bulletin of the Committee on Special Hazards.  Learn more about the Library and Archives, our resources, and services.