Baltimore, MD Furnace Accident, Dec 1934

Sliver Discharged From a Furnace Kills Prominent Baltimore Woman While Stoking

BALTIMORE, Dec. 31.—A sliver
of steel, driven by some unknown
force, was blamed tonight for the
death of Miss Katherine Briscoe, 50-
years old. The sliver penetrated
her right lung as she opened a furnace
door early this morning.
Miss Briscoe, a member of an old
Maryland family, she was living with
her brother at 209 West Lanvale
Street. This morning, she went to
the cellar to put coal on the fire.
As she opened the furnace door
there was a muffled report and
she felt a stinging sensation in the
right side of her chest.
Returning to the ground floor, she
was met by her brother-in-law, Rear
Admiral William S. Pye, an instructor
in the Naval War College at
Newport, R. I . He noticed that t he
front of her dressing gown was
stained with blood. When he called
her attention to it, she explained:
"Something struck me."
Rear Admiral Pye assisted her to
a couch and sent for a physician,
but she died before the physician
As soon as word of her death
reached the police, they went to
the house, caused the fire in the
furnace to be extinguished and
screened the contents in the expectation
of finding an empty cartridge
there. But nothing was found.
Nor did an autopsy disclose any
trace of a bullet.
At the suggestion of a newspaper
reporter, the police had X-rays
taken of the body. The pictures disclosed
a sliver in the lower right
lung. The sliver, when removed,
was found t o be of hard steel.
By what force it was driven from
the furnace had not been determined
tonight. Metallurgists will
examine it tomorrow.