Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/815

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795
COLOR-BLINDNESS AMONG RAILROAD EMPLOYÉS.

submitted to me, and the color-blind men sent to my office for final action. Mr. Pugh, General Manager, stated, in September, 1884, that there were thus detected four per cent of men color-blind, and ten per cent of men deficient in acuteness of vision, and that, although it was very difficult to keep accurate notes of all examinations, he was satisfied that all dangerous persons had been removed up to that date, when over twelve thousand employés had been submitted to the system.

The statistics obtained upon the two thousand men were used as the standard by all the Division Superintendents, and, however difficult it might be to report to the central office the full details of their examinations, they were always controlled by these known and accepted ratios. It has not been found requisite to send all men deficient to the ophthalmological expert, since they did not demand it, but submitted to the changes rendered necessary without opposition; hence, I am unable to furnish exact reports of the examinations made at remote portions of the road. Most of the color-blind men have passed under my hands, as well as many cases of astigmatism, optical defects, and diseases or injuries reducing the sight below the standard, and the results may some time be found worthy of publication.

An opportunity to present the last opinions of the officers of the Pennsylvania Railroad has been afforded by a request which was made by the German Government, through its Minister, to the Surgeon-General of the United States Army, for statistical and other information on the subject, and this letter, referred to me by the Surgeon-General, has been answered by Mr. Pugh, who has kindly made efforts to obtain the figures from the great organization of which he is General Manager. He writes, under date of July 7, 1887, and says:

"I regret that so long a time has elapsed since the receipt of yours of May 25th, and this reply. The delay has been occasioned by our efforts to obtain some statistical information, which I regret to find has not been kept up as closely as was intended. I inclose herewith statements showing the number of employés examined during the past five years, with the results stated.

"I can only add that we have attained the most satisfactory results from the system, and I think we can confidently claim that sense of security which follows the belief that we have no one employed in any position in which the use of signals is required, whose color-sense and sense of vision will not enable him to accurately determine all signals by which his action is governed."

Total number examined on lines east of Erie 25,158
Color-blind 481
Defective vision 661
Hearing 158

I am informed that the system has been found so satisfactory that it has been extended to the lines west of Pittsburg, and no doubt is now in use throughout all the lines controlled by the Pennsylvania