Browse the original issues of Scientific American


I wish more resources like this were available. You can read the original 20 years of volumes of Scientific American (except, for some reason, the very first year) online at Cornell’s Library web site. The above image is merely a cropped image from the 2nd of the 2nd volume, published October 3rd, 1846.

Explanation. — This engraving represents a section of an orginary railroad truck, with the brake and its appendages connected. — The above must not be mistaken for a sideview elevation, but a sectional view of the inside of the truck, the beam DD, being the side beam, passing outside of the wheels. The two brake-blocks, A A, are supported by two short hanging rods, E E, which are connected by picots to the side beam: the toggle levelrs, B B, are connected to the blocks by pivots, and are both together connected to the bottom of the toggle-post, C, and the head of this post is connected by a feather-spring to a horizon-tal ratchet shaft, D.

Well, it could use an editting pass or two to clean up the sentence structure, but otherwise this is a fascinating look back at leading technology from 150 years ago. Also available in every issue I have looked at is a list of patents granted in the period covering a few months before the printing of each issue. Very interesting indeed.

[tags]Early Scientific American scans available online[/tags]