Patent 300,236 -- Cable Railway

Collected by Joe Thompson

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Charles W Rasmussen (or Rasmusen) received this patent for the design of a non-grip system which was tested on a short experimental track on the Chicago West Division Railway in 1886 and implemented unsuccessfully on Newark's Essex Passenger Railway and Newark and Irvington Street Railway in 1888.




SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 300,236: dated June 10, 1884.
Application filed January 9, 1884. (No model.)

Fairchild patent/1

To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, Charles B. Fairchild, of the city, county, and State of New York, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Cable Railways; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the letters of reference marked thereon, making a part of this specification.

My invention relates to cable railways operated with double or twin cables, and to improved devices for gearing the cables together, protecting the same, and taking up the slack therein.

It consists in the combination, with the twin cables, of conical rollers arranged vertically in pairs at suitable intervals along the length of the cables, the lower portion,of the rollers being grooved about their periphery, to receive and embrace between them within the grooves, and with a constant frictional pressure, the main driving-cable, the secondary cable being caught and gripped in the V-shaped opening between the conical rollers, whose rotation, produced by the movement of the driving-cable, is in this manner communicated to the secondary cable.

It consists, also, in the combination,with the car, the coupling-drum on the car over which the secondary cable is carried, and the conical pulleys by which motion is communicated to said secondary cable, of adjustable guide or tension pulleys adapted to tighten up the secondary cable, and to protect it from contact and abrasion against the edges of the opening in the subway as it passes to and from the coupling-drum.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a sectional elevation of a car mounted upon my improved cable railway, and arranged to be propelled by the secondary cable. Fig. 2 is a plan, view, partly in section, of the longitudinal covered way in which the cables are inclosed. Fig. 3 is a transverse section in line x x of Fig. 2; and Fig. 4 is a sectional elevation, upon an enlarged scale, of the conical gearing-pulleys by which the movement of the driving-cable is communicated to the secondary cable.

A represents the main endless driving-cable of my cable railway. This cable is propelled continuously, in the usual manner, by means of a stationary engine located at a convenient point, and is supported upon suitable friction-rollers, B B, within a continuous subway, C, preferably sunken below the level of the ground between the rails upon which the cars run. At suitable points intermediate the supporting-rollers B B the main cable is led between two conical rollers, D D, rotating freely upon vertical spindles D' D2, projecting, the one, D', from a base-plate, E, fixed upon the bottom of the subway C, and the other, D2, "from a movable block, E', sliding within a slot in the fixed base-plate to and from the first. A peripheral groove, d, is formed in the lower portion of each of these conical gear-rollers D D, and the grooves, brought opposite to each other, serve to embrace closely the cable led between them. The required frictional contact and pressure of the rollers with and upon the cable is secured by an adjustment of the movable block E' and its roller D, to and from the fixed roller, obtained by means of a set-screw, F, actuating the sliding block E'.

In testimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.


A. W. Steiger,
A. B. Moore.

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Last updated 01-Jun-2012