The old Westinghouse machine, from the Cherry River Paper Company, was something else. Under ordinary circumstances it would have been sent to the scrap yard, but the war in Europe had made it impossible to get new equipment, so we had to do with what ever we could get. It was old and the blading was eroded very badly, but we needed the capacity so we set it up and put it to work. It took steam at 150 PSI and exhausted to a surface condenser.
Due to the war shortages we could not get a conventional switch for it, so we used an old 600 Amp., hand operated, Oil Circuit Breaker to parallel the generator with the station buss. Up to the time that I left the mill I was the only one that had ever put the generator on the line. It took some real effort to close that switch and watch the syncroscope, at the same time. I would get my right shoulder under the handle and raise it up slightly, so that when the generator became in phase with the buss, I could heave it closed with some conviction.
Shortly after I left the mill, in the spring of 1942, one of the operators who had, apparently, seen me do the job, must have raised the handle too far and the arcing contacts touched, at an instant when the generator was out of phase with the station buss. The result was that the oil switch was completely destroyed and the generator windings were so badly damaged that rewinding would have been required if they were ever to use the machine again. I understood that the operator was not injured but I never did hear what happened to the machine.