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British Industrial History

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Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopedia 1839: Railways: Thomas Shaw Brandreth

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The chief resistance to the motion of carriages upon railways arising, as has before been explained, from the friction of the axles, many attempts have been made to reduce it, by the introduction of anti-friction rollers, variously disposed, the design being to convert the rubbing, or sliding, into a rolling action: but the generality of the contrivances for this purpose have had no other consequence than the removal of the friction from one part to another, and of weakening or encumbering the general structure by an unnecessary multiplicity of parts.

How far these observations may apply to the invention of Mr. Brandreth, of Liverpool, patented in November 1825, we will leave the reader to consider. Fig. 1 exhibits a side elevation, and Fig. 2 an end elevation, of a railway waggon, to which Mr. Brandreth's patent is applied. a-a are the axes of the running wheels b-b, turning in bushes, and suspended in an angular iron framing c-c; at d is another axis above, carrying near its extremities anti-friction rollers e-e, the peripheries of which roll in contact with a grooved bearing on the lower axis, by the revolving motion of the latter. The drawing, is intended to show a coal waggon, divided into two receptacles, and connected together by a hinge joint. They are provided with loose bottoms, no that when they are brought on to the stage, whereon or through which the coals arc shot, they may be readily discharged by the withdrawal of a bolt.

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