From "The Reclamation Era."
Two and a half million miles of travel--the equivalent of 100 trips around the earth at the equator--probably makes W.H. Storey, of the General Electric Company, Grand Coulee Dam's "most traveled" visitor.
Storey is the car-tracer who acted as a "nurse-maid" for a recent 156-ton railroad shipment of the core and cols for the world's largest transformer from the factory to the Grand Coulee power plant.
Since 1917 this much-traveled visitor has been scurrying over all parts of the country to expedite the movement of company apparatus. He has visited every State in the Union and also Canada and Mexico. He has seen all but three or four principal cities of the United States.
The transportation of parts for Grand Coulee Dam's huge transformer proved somewhat more difficult than ordinary trips. In most cases, Storey just relaxes in a passenger train, disembarks at the railroad division point, confers with the superintendent or dispatcher, and makes certain the shipment is not delayed.
The core and coils for the transformer, however, were carried in a huge tank filled with nitrogen gas. The pressure of the gas prevents moist air from entering and dampening the windings. Once every 24 hours whether it be night or day, 40 below or 120 in the shade, Storey checks the gas content.
Rapid fluctuations in temperature will greatly alter the amount of gas retained in the container. Heat will cause it to expand and escape, and cold will cause it to contract. In the latter instance, more must be added to bring the supply back to normal.