Scientific AmericanAugust 5, 1876
A new steam
hand car has recently been designed and constructed by Mr. Jay
Noble, master mechanic for M. M. Buck & Co., of St. Louis,
Mo., which is excellently adapted for the use of division superintendents,
road masters, and others whose duty requires them to make frequent
inspection of railway lines. The machine, as shown in the engraving,
resembles an ordinary hand car, except that the propelling power
is steam and not muscle. The floor is about 10 inches from the
ground, and is beneath instead of above the axles. The boiler,
which is about 3½ feet in height with a diameter of 18
inches, is placed in the center of the car, while the cylinder,
which is horizontal, is at the right hand side and near the floor.
The cylinder is 3½ x 6 inches, and the boiler is intended
to carry a pressure of 140 lbs. of steam. The body of the vehicle
rests on rubber springs and rides very easily without lateral
Seats are arranged in front and rear, of sufficient size to
accommodate six persons. The water tank occupies a space under
the back seat and holds about a barrel of water, which is sufficient
to run the car 40 miles. On the left of the boiler, the coal pan
is arranged in a space about 2 feet wide, and carries all the
fuel necessary for a day's run.
On a recent trial trip, the run from St. Louis to Carondelet,
a distance of seven miles, was made in fifteen minutes. The general
design of the car, which is quite tasteful and at the same time
well adapted to withstand severe usage, is plainly represented
in our illustration. The idea developed in this miniature steam
car might be adapted to other purposes than the one designated.
We should think every railroad company would find such a steam
car useful for various purposes.
The inventor states that under ordinary circumstances the cost
of fuel will not exceed 75 cents per day. The general arrangement
is excellent and reflects much credit on the designer.
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