Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,469 pages of information and 245,911 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopedia 1839: Railways: Josiah Easton

From Graces Guide
Im1839Enc-p475a.jpg
Im1839Enc-p475b.jpg

In the early part of this article are given some plans for the employment of toothed racks to railways, to enable a carriage, provided with a toothed wheel, taking into the teeth of the rack, to obtain sufficient resistance to ascend steep inclined planes but the former were subject to the disadvantage of a strain or twist, the rack in them being placed on one side of the way.

To obviate this defect appears to have been the object of Josiah Easton, who took out a patent, dated the 13th October, 1825, for "certain improvements in locomotive or steam carriages, and also in the manner of constructing the roads or ways for the same to travel on."

The following brief description of this invention is given in the London Journal of Arts, Vol. XI.:-

“These improvements consist, first, in forming a line of road, with a raised part along the middle, upon which a rack, or toothed bar of iron is placed; and secondly, in adapting a toothed wheel to the steam carriage, which shall take into the said rack, and being actuated by the rotatory power of the steam-engine, shall thereby cause the carriage to be impelled forward upon the line of railroad, and the trams or other waggons after it”

In the subjoined cuts, Fig. 1 exhibits a transverse section of the railroad, with the end view of a waggon upon it.

Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the same, showing the manner in which the carriage is driven; a-a is the road formed of masonry, the parts b-b, on which the running wheels travel, being on a lower plane than the central part c of the road, whereon the rack d is situated. The steam-engine, and other machinery appertaining to the locomotive, are constructed in the usual way; the only novelty in the carriage is the toothed wheel e, which takes into the rack d, fixed along the centre of the road; and this toothed wheel being made to turn through the agency of a train of wheels actuated by the steam-engine, the carriage is thereby propelled, and the waggons drawn after it. In order to keep the carriages in their track upon the road, two guide rollers f-f are placed under the carriage, which run against the side of the central rib, and this prevents them from moving out of their course.

See Also

Loading...

Sources of Information