Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Trains & Planes and "Getting There"’ Category

by Emmett Smith

Norfolk & Western Experimental M2 #1100 rt side -- 100909

Believe it or not, this 1947-8 Norfolk & Western 4-8-0 Mastodon switcher (!) even after experimental re-shopping didn’t have superheating.

Norfolk & Western Experimental M2 #1100 -- 100909
When I first noticed this Norfolk & Western Railway experimental unit the night before last, I thought I’d stumbled onto another (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Emmett R Smith

100709  Advance-Rumely Oil-Pull Tractor

“In the early 1900’s, Dr. Edward A. Rumely, grandson of Meinrad [Rumely], was determined to build a tractor that could run on a wide range of fuels. He hired an engine designer by (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Emmett R Smith

In response to a previous posting, on the UP 9000 series 4-12-2 steamers, Practical Pig asks:

“How much better would they run with roller bearings all around?  I wonder how expensive these were compared to the normal floating bushings on crankpins?  How much were those?  They were just some kind of soft babbitt metal, I think.  Were roller bearings as much as ten times more expensive at the start of it all?”

First of all, here are a couple of pictures SHOWING the basic idea of it all:

Timken Roller Bearing Assembly -- 100209

This image from Wikipedia is of an early Timken roller bearing — note the use of grooved rollers.  Obviously, this isn’t very exciting to look at…or is it?  This tapered bearing race on rollers alone made the mechanical late-modern completely possible, and it is difficult if not impossible to imagine how so many of the gizmoes we take for granted could even have existed without it.  It reduced the inertial resistance of huge static weights and masses to a fraction and made the more efficient transmission of power in vehicles, most of all, economically possible.  Indeed, I would go further and say that only with antigravity (or at least magnetic levitation!) may we even speak of any sort of historical movement era beyond roller bearings. 

Now here is a postmodern descendent from (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Emmett Smith

Otto Perry Archive, UP 9014 by F O Kelly, 1937, Topeka KS, 3rd cyl gear valve replaced by dbl Walschaert, Brooks 1926 -- 092709

Engineman Wook is on a trainman’s holiday from the Pennsy.  Now, on the far side of the Union Pacific yard and too far to run over to the Baron Hotel smokeshop before pulling out of the Alliance NE yards, he lets his (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Emmett Smith

Otto Perry Archive, UP 9000 by Bill Navari, 1956, Summit CA, Brooks 1926 -- 092709

Engineman Wook is on a trainman’s holiday from the PRR.  Now he finds himself standing off on the far side of the UP locomotive to “get away from conductors, brakemen and other halfwits so a man can THINK!” and studying the problem:
    
“By God, boys, I believe the little bastards have been and poured Wildroot * all over the rail!”

The engine shown, the first of the 1920s Union Pacific RR 9000 3-cylinder series, had twelve (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Emmett R Smith

PRR Modern Steam Q2 - pg 8, Robert Schoenberg collection -- 092209

 [  for a readable image, click here:  http://prr.railfan.net/documents/ModernSteam.html/page8.jpg  ]

The following link is to Robert Schoenberg’s extensive (!) online roster of Pennsylvania Railroad documents and images, the biggest node of sequins I have excavated so far:

http://prr.railfan.net/documents/

[Emmett R Smith     all rights revert to holders     2 September 2009]

Read Full Post »

by Emmett Smith

48 - Convair B-36 recognition slide 092109

Hey, do you remember when we was all real little and there was Communists all over the place? 
     My Pop said the Minnesota State Employment Security Division on Raymond Avenue, in St Paul where he worked as an auditor, was “full of the skiving bastards and besides that they’re all after MY job!”  Pop was kind of a (more…)

Read Full Post »

091809 Nellie's crew in the Deep South by Rowland Emett

by Emmett R Smith

An English artist who also happened, in his Tory way, to be a devoted trainman at the very post-WW II period of British railway nationalisation was Rowland Emett.091809 Rowland Emett   In his caricatures of the day in Punch one can quite see his regret at the passing of all the regional English railway companies, some quite small.  Indeed, Emett lampoons affectionately their bucolic ways that the postwar Labour party took as such a reproach to the then-prevailing political phantasy of English ‘public efficiency’.  A treasure of my childhood was his book about Nellie, the locomotive, and her excursion to North America, New World for Nellie.  In it, Emett indeed sends up the gargantuan propensities (to English eyes) of the American steam locomotive.  Afterward, Nellie returned home to England under the sea, and on the way her crew met up with some improbable divers knitting together breaks in the trans-Atlantic cable.  More may be read about her creator, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Roland_Emett

Also, in Cabinet of Wonders web log, there is this evocative write-up, by another childhood fan of Emett’s:

http://cabinet-of-wonders.blogspot.com/2007/09/new-world-for-nellie.html

091809 repairing the trans-Atlantic cable

[Emmett R Smith

[all rights reserved & all others revert to holders

[18 September 2009]

Read Full Post »

by Emmett R Smith

This articulated Yellowstone-type single-expansion 2-8-8-4 wasn’t real slick like the more engineered and beautifully intricate double-expansion 2-8-8-2 Norfolk & Western Y6b for example, but lots of railfen feel she was the best-looking one of a brawny load of BIG locomotives at the end of the last Steam Age, so here is a look at Baltimore & Ohio RR EM-1 #657, pounding the rails to powder back in Lorain, OH, in the Fall of 1957.

091609 Gangway, you brain halfwits!

http://www.divisionpoint.com/photos/B+O_EM1/B+O_657b.jpg

[Emmett R Smith   

[all text-rights reserved & all other rights revert to holders

[16 September 2009]

Read Full Post »

by Emmett R Smith

091609 Raymond Loewy with PRR streamliner

This beguiling if already grainy image is from a piquant online 1995 auction bill, of Raymond Loewy memorabilia:

http://www.art.net/Lile/Loewy/loewy/

Whereas, below is the link to the official Raymond Loewy website of the late-modern industrial designer, who died in 1986.  The site, until you’ve surfed a bit, is for a fact-of-arrangement oddly reticent about sticking Loewy’s early-1940s streamliner steam locomotive design work for the Pennsylvania RR right out front of God and everybody.  This kind of reticence feels about as shy as any Mohammedan lady in her veil!  Could it be, though, that by now even the Loewy vision of Coca Cola is as anachronistic as (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »