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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: richG on May 09, 2009, 08:56:29 PM



Title: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 09, 2009, 08:56:29 PM
Some of you might be interested in this trivia if you model steam

In 1915 there are 67,869 locomotive headlights in use. 42,213 are oil. 2,904 are acetylene. 22,120 are electric arc. 632 are incandescent.

Rich


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Santa Fe buff on May 09, 2009, 11:26:04 PM
How do you even find this stuff out?

Joshua


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Jim Banner on May 10, 2009, 12:06:10 AM
Rich, how many locomotives had no headlights at that time?  If memory serves, the US federal law requiring headlights was passed that year, presumably to force locomotives without headlights to have them fitted.

Jim


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 10, 2009, 04:29:15 AM
Rich,
I want to modify a Spectrum 2-8-0 with a light on top of the boiler for my special tank project. Where can I buy a light assembly, not as large as on the Roundhouse, but something a bit more streamline?

I spent hours looking at the thousands of detail parts at Caboose Hobbies, found nothing similar to what I want. I don't want brass, I plan to install LEDs with convex intensifiers and have the units plug into sockets for shell removal.

I actually need 4 units, headlight, taillight and 2 ditch lights. I can make them from scratch but would rather just buy them if available.

Hope you don't mind my hijacking your thread, anyway FWIW here's my contribution.

http://www.ideashelper.com/railway_headlamp_history.htm

Thanks


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 10, 2009, 10:42:31 AM
How do you even find this stuff out?

Joshua

I am a curious person and retired geezer. I have been doing a lot of searching on the 'Net for some years.
I have learned/still learning.
I became curious about locomotive headlights for the 1900 era as I was reading different "opinions" concerning this sugject. I have seen over the years how manufacturers influence our knowledge of model locomotives.
I search Google books a lot. I have been know to get lost in a library and this is so much easier
Below is the link I found the data in. It is dated 1915 and can be downloaded to your PC and read with Adobe Reader.

http://books.google.com/books?id=3bElAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA1138&dq=acetylene+locomotive+headlights

For Jim Banner.

I have seen a couple  photos of logging railroads where a loco did not have a headlight and I have seen one photo where the oil headlight on an old 4-4-0 on a logging road was covered with a sheet metal plate. The missing headlights and covered headlights might have been temporary. We will never know for sure.

I posted for a couple people who model about the same era.

One subject I cannot find any info on is air pumps on locomotives and how/why they eventually moved to the fireman's side around 1900.  Yes, I know about later smokebox air pumps. Again, just curious. I refuse to speculate on this subject.

Cheers


Rich

Have to admit, I do not find everything.


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 10, 2009, 10:47:46 AM
To Yampa Bob

I have some info but have to look around for it. Right now I am taking care of my invalid mother at my brother's house.

Rich


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 10, 2009, 11:27:15 AM
I just remembered these links. Quiet a few seem to be in stock.

Lots of Precision Scale headlights
http://www.walthers.com/exec/search?category=Part&scale=H&manu=585&item=&keywords=headlight&words=restrict&instock=Q&split=30&Submit=Search

Precision Scale markers
http://www.walthers.com/exec/search?category=Part&scale=H&manu=585&item=&keywords=marker&words=restrict&instock=Q&split=30&Submit=Search

Cal Scale lights
http://www.walthers.com/exec/search?category=Part&scale=H&manu=190&item=&keywords=light&words=restrict&instock=Q&split=30&Submit=Search

I have an article somewhere that shows how to install SMT LEDs into markers.
Think, tiny drill bits, magnet wire, frustration, nervous wife, etc.

Rich


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: pdlethbridge on May 10, 2009, 01:04:43 PM
Bob, check the Bowser site for calscale and selley
http://www.bowser-trains.com/Main%20HO.htm (http://www.bowser-trains.com/Main%20HO.htm)


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 10, 2009, 01:58:29 PM
Thanks Guys,
With your links I found exactly what I need. With the stock numbers from Walthers, I was able to find the part at Caboose Hobbies.

http://www.caboosehobbies.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=280_281_282&products_id=87234

Caboose Hobbies has so many parts, without a stock number it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I also d/l the Selley catalog from Bowser, has some "finishing touches" I need.


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on May 11, 2009, 12:15:05 PM
I have seen a couple  photos of logging railroads where a loco did not have a headlight and I have seen one photo where the oil headlight on an old 4-4-0 on a logging road was covered with a sheet metal plate. The missing headlights and covered headlights might have been temporary. We will never know for sure.

I've also seen some photos from very early construction days on the Central Pacific, showing the C.P. Huntington and the Gov. Stanford without headlights. I assume the railroad hadn't at that point put headlights on them because they weren't run at night.


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: ebtnut on May 11, 2009, 01:42:47 PM
Couple of items:  Back in the "grand ol' days" some builders offered their locos without headlights, since there was so much variation in what the railroads were using.  Thus, the engines were delivered without headlights, which were ordered separately and installed later.  This was also in the era when headlights might be decorated with "fine art", which might be applied by the supplier, or done in the railroad shops after delivery. 

With regard to air pumps:  As the modern era went forward, more and more appliances began to be applied - air pumps, feedwater pumps, power reverse gear, etc.  The designers began to recognize that all these items had a significant amount of weight, and that weight needed to be balanced on both sides of the boiler.  In most cases if there was a problem out on the road the fireman had to exit the cab to reach the appliance.  Steam feeds to the air pumps, and the feeds to the cab had to be handled frequently, and for convenience the pumps were usually mounted on the fireman's side.  There were some instances, like with the Western Maryland H-8 2-8-0's where the air pumps were relocated from the side to the front end in order to get more weight up front for better tracking. 


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 11, 2009, 02:26:37 PM
Here is a link to a couple old time loco conversions with probably carbon arc headlights. The lower photo headlight fixture looks like a carbon arc type I have seen photo of before. The generator might be directly behind the fixtures as I see what might be a exhaust pipe for the steam out of the turbo side of the generator. The generator turbos were four stage type turbos which better utilized the steam.
Also. a Janney coupler on the pilot. There looks like a slot in the coupler where a link for a link & pin car would fit.
The loco with the plow was permanently setup for plowing from what I understand.
The photos are no doubt post 1900.

http://www.virginiaandtruckee.com/Locomotive/No18.htm

Rich


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Jim Banner on May 11, 2009, 05:53:37 PM
Rich, I am having some problems with the photos on the page you linked to.  The lower photo, in its 4010 x 3194 pixel version shows what appears to be a bulb in the centre of the headlight.  The upper photo, in its 3031 x 1802 pixel version, shows what appears to be a de Laval type turbine which, if I understand correctly, was built only in single stage versions.  What am I doing wrong?

I have found this thread extremely interesting as I am a newby to modelling in that time period.

Jim


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 11, 2009, 06:59:35 PM

Right now the only turbo generator I am familiar with in my research is the Pyle generator. I have not looked up any other brands.

 The two books I bought printed in 1900 only show the Pyle version which is four stage.

The headlight "lamp" might be the day light on the lens as I see a vertical assembly that was used for the carbon arc assembly in the fixture. Light"might" be reflecting off the reflector inside the fixture.
Here is what is inside a carbon arc lamps.

Below is a link which very clearly shows a Carbon Arc lamp and generator. Some locos had the generator just in front of the cab.
I used the wrong term, four stage.
It is a Quadruple compound turbine engine.

http://books.google.com/books?id=E7JKAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA320&lpg=PA320&dq=pyle+locomotive+arc+headlights&source=web&ots=cBrbsCeqSA&sig=jnRrizBE_2_-5OFw2BBGr7SWWLE&hl=en#PPA320,M1

If anyone is really curious. go to the Google books link below and search for locomotive carbon arc headlight. You will find many down loadable books in PDF format. Probably more than you want to know.

http://books.google.com/books

Rich



Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 12, 2009, 02:06:10 AM
Interesting, the 4 lights I ordered for my Connie represent "Pyle-National", circa 1899. They were arc lights, so I will make sure they are "flamethrowers".  My thought is to focus the light to about 20 degrees with intensifiers I scrapped from an LED flashlight.

Have you tried looking directly at one of the latest LED flashlights?  From what I read, the arc lights were really blinding. I think too many years of welding on the ranch accounts for some of my current eye problems.


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: OkieRick on May 12, 2009, 03:26:20 AM
From A History of the American Locomotive
 By John H. White

(http://i42.tinypic.com/105wd9w.jpg)

I'd heard this before, in grade school I believe, as some of those facts you can file and forget.  I wasn't sure if it was true till today.

Rick


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 12, 2009, 11:15:35 AM
Interesting, the 4 lights I ordered for my Connie represent "Pyle-National", circa 1899. They were arc lights, so I will make sure they are "flamethrowers".  My thought is to focus the light to about 20 degrees with intensifiers I scrapped from an LED flashlight.

Have you tried looking directly at one of the latest LED flashlights?  From what I read, the arc lights were really blinding. I think too many years of welding on the ranch accounts for some of my current eye problems.

Hi Bob

Yes I have. Very bright. I have a ball cap from LL Bean that has four bright LEDs built into the visor. Great for walking the dog at night and watching out for "stuff".
 
I have seen LED ball caps and clip on devices with LEDs in them on ebay.

As a kid, I remember seeing carbon arc lamps at amusement parks. Extremely bright.

Rich


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Jim Banner on May 12, 2009, 11:36:39 AM
After doing some more reading on the subject, I am now wondering if the headlight I was wondering about might be a combination of arc and incandescent bulb.  It seems that such headlights were made so that the engineer could turn off the arc while stopped in a station and still show a headlight.  Sort of an early rule 17 lighting.  The other possibility is that the headlight was constructed like a searchlight with a small reflector in front of the arc which reflected the arc back to the main mirror.  Apparently this doubled the intensity of the beam while eliminating side scatter.  What I see as a bulb may in fact be the back of a small reflector.

In modelling terms, this would suggest using a high efficiency white LED as a "flame thrower" but using a decoder with rule 17 lighting to operate it.

The de Laval type turbine was not a brand, just an alternate way of building turbines.  The usual turbine applied steam axially so it was easy to alternate moving vanes with stators in multi stage units.  The de Laval type applied the steam radially through a nozzle against the rim of a finned wheel, much like water flowing over a water wheel.  They were easy to manufacture but not as efficient as a multi stage axial turbine.

Jim


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: richG on May 12, 2009, 04:23:22 PM
Hi Jim

Thanks fo telling me about the de Laval type turbine. I did some searching and found very interesting reading about the design.

 I did find a link the was a newspaper publication about the de Laval company setting up in the USA in 1901 for manufacturing all kinds of steam turbines.

Rich


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: grumpy on May 13, 2009, 12:19:33 AM
The DeLaval Co. also made stationary engines and milking machines.
Don


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: BillD53A on May 13, 2009, 06:18:00 AM
The headlights, generators, air compressors, check valves, injectors etc. were 'appliances' and not part of the basic locomotive, therefore specified by each railroad.  The use of similar appliances is what gives your loco's a 'family' look.
In the olden days, headlights were sometimes covered by sheet metal, as noted above, to protect the light.  The metal cover was removed at night.  It was simple to remove a non-electric headlight to protect it when it was not in use.  Remember, daytime headlight use was not popular until after WW2.
Steam locos did not carry ditch lights.  They originated in Canada in the 1970s.


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: CNE Runner on May 13, 2009, 05:12:25 PM
De Laval's subsidiary was the De Laval Separator Company based in Poughkeepsie, NY. This company was eventually bought by a Swedish concern and closed. It is hard to find a Northeastern dairy farm that didn't have one or more pieces of equipment manufactured by De Laval.

Regarding early headlamps: these were extremely expensive appliances and were frequently moved from a sidelined locomotive to a new replacement engine. From my research into branchlines in the mid to late 1800s, I discovered there were dealers in new and used headlamps.

Ray


Title: Re: Locomotive headlights in1915
Post by: Tom Lapointe on May 14, 2009, 10:19:18 PM
Working 2nd shift, I frequently operate my garden railroad in the "wee hours" of the morning  :D during the summer months; as such, I like my locos to have BRIGHT  8) headlights!

I've added white LED headlights to my 2 Accucraft live-steam Shays when I converted them to RC operation (1 of my Bachmann 2-truck Shays has gotten them also); they really give the effect of an "arc-light" headlamp, especially when viewed head-on.   :o  (The Bachmann 45-ton diesel came factory-equipped with them & is similarly bright).  :)

Here's a little video I shot of my Accucraft 3-cylinder Shay running at night a few years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijXcQr9MFlc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijXcQr9MFlc) ; note the effect especially around 3:55 in the video (where you can see the headlights gleam on the rails), & the back-up light just before the end of the video where it shines directly towards the camcorder (I so far haven't bothered to make the lights directional, they're just both on if the RC system is on).  ;)

 
                                                                                                    Tom