Friday, May 24, 2013

Something Old, Something New or The Value of The Library Resources at IRM

Al writes....

A friend recently sent me a mystery photo and asked if I knew anything about it.  Given the Pullman lettering on the side I consulted the Pullman experts I knew, including Ted Anderson, curator of the Pullman Library at IRM.  Within minutes I received the following reply from Ted.

Lot 779    Plan 1023-D    2 Double Deck Patton Motor Street Cars    PPC Co.:
Pullman Ry. Cars No. 3 & 4    No. 4 – Negs. 2260, 2345-2346

I do not know if we have that plan number in file, usually not for many of
the trolley cars. The date would be 1893 and the car would have been used
on a special track between the 1893 Fair and the Pullman shops, showcasing
the Pullman Company. Interesting!
Sincerely, Ted Anderson

We usually think of IRM as an interesting and wonderful collection of physical railway equipment.  But equally important and oft forgotten is the great resource represented by the collections of the Pullman and the  Strahorn Libraries. Is there any other museum in the country that could have provided this information that quickly if at all?  Thank You Ted

But now to the something old, something new part. The car itself is the old aspect.  We don't often talk about something from he 1890s although the 1024 fits that category. But the two things that are new to me at least are the existence of this operation. I think most of us were not aware of this operation but might have been aware of the Intermural railway that represented a prototype for third rail operation of elevated type rail cars (albeit with locomotive cars and trailers as adopted by the Met).  But also the operation of double deck ( open top no less) streetcars in Chicago.  I'll bet if any of us were asked if such equipment was ever operated in Chicago our response would have been a resounding NO.

Hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into the esoteric past.

1 comment:

Al Reinschmidt said...

Here's another surprise, did some more research on the "Patton" motor system. Seems its the Prious of it's time, see the following description.

The Patton motor comprises a very complete electrical installation. In the central section is located a gasoline engine which drives by a friction pulley a Bain dynamo. Storage batteries are located under the seats, in which is accumula.ed the current not required for operating the electric motor. The plan of the arrangement is almost obvious. The engine capacity is a little more than sufficient to operate the motor under ordinary conditions, the slight excess of energy being stored in the battery to be used when needed. As the engine is always in operation a large flow of current is accumulated in the cells when the car stops or is descending a grade. The current from the battery alone is sufficient to run the motor for a considerable time. This fact was shown to the visitors; the engine was stopped and the motor, depending on current from the batteries alone, rounded the difficult curves at good speed. In actual service the batteries are never exhausted; and for that reason they are bound to give r. suits that are satisfactory in all