American Steam Locomotives
334 pages

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334 pages

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For nearly half of the nation's history, the steam locomotive was the outstanding symbol for progress and power. It was the literal engine of the Industrial Revolution, and it played an instrumental role in putting the United States on the world stage. While the steam locomotive's basic principle of operation is simple, designers and engineers honed these concepts into 100-mph passenger trains and 600-ton behemoths capable of hauling mile-long freight at incredible speeds. American Steam Locomotives is a thorough and engaging history of the invention that captured public imagination like no other, and the people who brought it to life.

1. High-Wheeled Racers

2. More Wheels and Bigger Fireboxes

3. Vehicular Design for Horsepower

4. Big Wheels Turnin': A History of Counterbalancing

5. Innovation and Risk in Design: From Compound Cylinders to Superheating

6. Superheating: Design and Risk

7. Francis Cole and his Triumph of Empiracl Science

8. Locomotive Safety Regulation: The Locomotive Inspection Act of 1911 and the Nationwide Shopmen's Strike of 1922

9. Leadership in Industrial Research

10. Federal Takeover: Engineering and Politics -The U.S. Railroad Administration, 1917-1920

11. The Formative Contest

12. The Steam Locomotive's Final Form - The Hudson

13. The Steam Locomotive's Final Form - The Texas

14. The Steam Locomotive's Final Form - The Hudson - Part 2

15. The Steam Locomotive's Final Form - The Northern

16. Giants in the Earth

17. Counterpoint: Why the Diesel?

18. "Big Boy" and Allegheny: The Most Powerful of All

19. The T1 and Poppet Valves: The Last Important Innovation

20. The "Big Three" of the Norfolk & Western

21. Resisting the Revolution

22. Industrial Beauty and the Beholder



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2019
Nombre de lectures 6
EAN13 9780253039354
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 6 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1250€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Design and Development, 1880-1960
This book is a joint publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-3707
The Railway Locomotive Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 2913
Pflugerville, TX 78691-2913
2019 by Gail J. Withuhn
All rights reserved
IUP Acquisitions Editor
Ashley Runyon
R LHS Editor
Peter A. Hansen
Design, typesetting, and layout
Kevin J. Holland
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. The Association of American University Presses Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this book meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences - Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z 39.48-1992.
Printed in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress .
ISBN 978-0-253-03933-0 (cloth)
ISBN 978-0-253-03934-7 (ebook)
Central Vermont Railway No. 454, a 2-8-0 Consolidation-type engine, takes on water at Amherst, Mass.
Courtesy Kalmbach Media
Foreword by Kevin P. Keefe
Section I
1 High-Wheeled Racers
2 More Wheels and Bigger Fireboxes
3 Vehicular Design for Horsepower
4 Big Wheels Turning
Section II
5 Compounding
6 Superheating
7 Francis Cole
8 Locomotive Safety Regulation
9 Leadership in Industrial Research
10 Federal Takeover
Section III
11 The Formative Contest
12 The Steam Locomotive s Final Form: The Texas Type
13 The Steam Locomotive s Final Form: The Hudson
14 Streamlining
15 The Northern
16 Giants Upon the Earth
17 Counterpoint: Why the Diesel?
18 Big Boy and Allegheny
19 The T1 and Poppet Valves
20 Norfolk Western s Big Three
21 Resisting the Revolution
22 Industrial Beauty and the Beholder
Restored Pennsylvania Railroad Class K4s 4-6-2 Pacific No. 1361 on one of its early fantrips, taken on Conrail in April 1987, near Altoona, Pa.
Ken Murry, Courtesy Kalmbach Media
by Kevin P. Keefe
T HE TRANSPORTATION SCHOLAR WAS HAVING a hard time with his 154-ton beast. It was a hot, humid Sunday afternoon in July 1987, all the more miserable if you were inside the cab of Pennsylvania Railroad K4s steam locomotive No. 1361, where close confines and a boiler full of steam at 205 psi had caused the temperature to soar well past 100 degrees. William L. Withuhn, on Monday through Friday the curator of transportation at the Smithsonian Institution s National Museum of American History, was moonlighting this particular weekend, sweating it out in heavy denim overalls, gauntlet gloves, and a Kromer engineer s cap.
The normally gregarious Withuhn was all business, especially now that his immense charge appeared to be stuck on the tracks of the Nittany Bald Eagle, a central Pennsylvania short line. Only an occasional one-word instruction or epithet emerged from his mouth as he went about his business. He was the classic grumpy hogger. And for good reason: a torrential rain had struck moments after the train stopped for a photo opportunity. Now, with the rails covered in slick-as-grease dead leaves, the big 4-6-2 s 80-inch driving wheels were having difficulty getting traction, even with a short passenger train. With a schedule to keep, and a short window ahead on Conrail s always-busy main line, Withuhn and his fireman were under the gun.
Bill Withuhn eventually got his burly Pacific rolling, of course, thanks to his skill at the throttle and his patience with everyone else in the cab. Later, in the yard at Altoona, he could allow himself a moment to relax. His visitor relaxed, too, having witnessed a rare moment in which the grimy engineer, the credentialed museum executive, the restless journalist, and the unabashed steam fan somehow synthesized all his passions into one successful moment - just as he has with the monumental book you now hold in your hands.
A master of the art
A central fact of Bill s career is that he was a licensed locomotive engineer, something that brought him not only a singular sense of pride but also informed his work as a historian and curator, probably in ways even he could not fully understand. Bill knew what it meant to take on the responsibility of a trainload of passengers as he used the throttle and reverse lever and brake handle to coax the most out of a recalcitrant machine. In those experiences, he internalized both the ethos and the techniques of generations of steam engineers.
Bill s career as an engineer began in 1966, when he first volunteered to work at New Jersey s Black River Western tourist line. His duties included running the BR W s diesels, but he also mastered the railroad s two steam locomotives, 2-8-0 No. 60 and 4-6-2 No. 148. The apprentice performed well. That same year, he was certified as an engineer by the Pennsylvania Railroad s New York Division examiner, who handed him a qualification card he kept for the rest of his life. A few years later, Bill timed his resignation from the Air Force so he could work on the tourist trains until attending Cornell University s graduate business school. Years later, he would put in much more time on the right-hand side of the cabs of other mainline engines, notably PRR 1361, the entire stable of locomotives at the Steamtown National Historic Site, and in what became his favorite charge, Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261.
The man who oversees the 261, Steve Sandberg, spent long hours in the cab with Bill and appreciated his skills at handling the engine. Bill always approached the locomotive as a very simple machine with a very complex historical significance, says Sandberg. When he ran the engine, he was pretty gentle with it. He knew these machines are treasures and should be treated properly. He also saw the 261 as a product of World War II, and he was a military man himself. He almost saw the engine as an extension of himself.
An essential book on steam
That notion - the locomotive as an extension of the man - is a familiar theme running through steam locomotive culture, and it s apt in the case of this, Bill s highest achievement as an author. This book fills a significant gap. Not that steam hasn t gotten its due in some form - the shelves of railroad libraries groan under the weight of hundreds of books covering the subject. Alas, so many of them are narrow in scope. Some simply are picture books, depicting the visual drama of steam, but in the end, not telling the reader very much. Others are in the tradition of the single-railroad power book, typically an exhaustive review of every single locomotive on a given railroad, loaded with pictures and roster data but lacking in larger context, as if no other railroad but the XY Z ever fielded a decent 4-8-4.
Bill s comprehensive approach to the subject has precedents, but even those serve to underscore the depth of his achievement. The standard reference on steam, Alfred W. Bruce s exhaustive but dry The Steam Locomotive in America: Its Development in the Twentieth Century , first published in 1952, was impressive in its analysis of technology but necessarily missed all the perspective developed in the decades since. Bill s predecessor and mentor at the Smithsonian, John H. Jack White, authored a landmark book, American Locomotives: An Engineering History, 1830-1880 , first published in 1968 and updated with a second edition in 1997, but the book ends when, for many readers, steam was just beginning to get exciting - a bit like reading a book on military aviation that ends with the Sopwith Camel. This book of Bill s is explicitly intended as a complement to Jack White s monumental work, picking up where the earlier book left off.
The legendary editor of Trains magazine, David P. Morgan, took a stab at the entirety of modern steam with his Steam s Finest Hour of 1961, an oversize coffee-table book distinguished by Morgan s pithy insights but otherwise a showcase of black-and-white action photography. More informative is Kalmbach Books Guide to North American Steam Locomotives , a useful compendium of individual railroad rosters fleshed out with a concise narrative by George H. Drury, first published in 1993 and released in revised form in 2015. But the book is very much a digest. Other notable titles are Albert J. Churella s From Steam to Diesel: Managerial Customs and Organizational Capabilities in the Twentieth-Century American Locomotive Industry , and J. Parker Lamb s Perfecting the American Steam Locomotive , both fine works that explore essential aspects of steam.
The mystique of technology
Which brings us to this wonderful volume. There are so many reasons to recommend it. One is Bill s peerless ability to explain the machine in clear language, always exhibiting technical credibility balanced with accessibility. Somehow, he manages to connect with the roundhouse master mechanic as easily as he does the casual fan. Yet the book is solid in its scholarship: Just read Bill s exhaustive and often quite entertaining chapter notes, nearly as enlightening as the narrative itself.
The book is certain to become a standard in the

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