Early 19th Century: Highway Steam Locomotives, Related Laws and Roads

KorbenDallas

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This thread is a logical build up on one of the posts from the DC Capitol thread. Below you can see the image which prompted me to do some web searching.

1862
Robey_patent_highway_locomotive.jpg

Source
I was thinking along the lines of what kind of highways they could have in 1862. Sure enough we could call some horse carriage trail a highway, but I figured I'd look for things. It is important to understand that we are not talking about railroad trains here. We are talking about regular road transportation.

We are being spoonfed this "horse and oxen" narrative, where only the beginning of the 20th century was the turning point when people went from horses to machines.

One of the things which forced me to invest some time into this was The UK Locomotives on Highways Act of 1861 (+1). What kind of issues did they really have back then to be creating highway laws to regulate steam transportation. Sure 3 or 5 experimental machines could not prompt this.

locomotive-act-1861.jpg

In reality, we could probably push the date to approximately 1835, for this is what we can deduce out of this 1860 pub.

1835_locomotive_act.jpg

The 1834 Act stated:
  • "For every Carriage moved or propelled or set or kept in Motion by Steam or Machinery or any other Power or Agency than animal Power the toll to be 2/6 per Wheel for each wheel thereof"
KD opinion: looks like by 1860s there could have been a well developed network of highways throughout this world. What we can uncover is up to us, but here is something for starters.

1827 Goldsworthy Gurney Steam Carriage
gurney_goldsworth_1828.jpg

Source
They even depicted this steam car next to the destroyed London Colosseum. This Colosseum deserves a separate thread, and now it has one.

london_colosseum.jpg


1833 Hancock's Enterprise Steam Omnibus
1833 bus, how about that?
hancock_walter_1833_english_steam_bus.jpg

Source
Showing the steam carriages Autopsy, Era and Infant.
  • In 1829 Hancock built a small ten-seater bus called the Infant, with which in 1831 he began a regular service between Stratford and London. It was powered by an oscillating engine carried on an outrigger behind the back axle. The boiler was vertical and made up of a series of narrow parallel water chambers. A fire was situated beneath the boiler and the fire was fanned by bellows worked by the engine. There was a hopper to feed in the coke.
  • KD: They probably chose to omit any coal smoke from the images, right?
1830s Bus Stop
Walter Hancock carriage.jpg

Pretty sure you will appreciate the description for the below thumbnail, for it contains the mentality of the ignorant.

steam-carriage-31.jpeg

hancock_steam_carriage_1836_12_december.jpg


1833
Print showing the steam carriage designed and built by Dr Church of Birmingham in 1832/33. The carriage operated on a daily basis between Birmingham and London, at an average speed of 14 miles per hour. It had an unusual design, with three solid wheels, and could carry 44 passengers, 22 inside the carriage and 22 outside.
  • Steam powered coaches operated between various English towns between 1820 and 1840.
  • The increased popularity of the rapidly expanding railway network, as well as opposition from operators of horse-drawn coaches, who physically blocked roads and persuaded the government to impose crippling tolls, was largely responsible for driving the steam coach operators out of business however.

MrChurch_coach.jpg

Source

The three-wheeled steam coach from Dr. William Church was used in regular passenger service between London and Brighton.
Apparently there are, and were back then some doubters of this specific machine, but what else is new?
kd_separator.jpg


Robey_patent_highway_locomotive.jpg

Well, these machines are just a few, and there are tons more. I should probably say there were tons more. From this perspective our 1862 "Highway Locomotive" is not surprising, for they had stuff like this as early (from what we can see) as 1820-1830. Pretty sure, most of that tech we will never see.

As a matter of fact in 1831 them people were having fun with their steam engine problem. Of course, the endresult the narrative will use is this:
  • A satire on the coming age of free-running steam carriages, which largely never materialized.
  • At the same time it's funny how we have motorized trikes dated with 1831, isn't it?
The Progress of Steam. A View in Regent's Park, 1831', 1828. Steam-powered coaches, horses, tricycles, including one with body like a teapot, are speeding along or blowing up and causing traffic chaos in Regent's Park, London. Aquatint after Henry Alken (1774-1851).

The_Progress_of_Steam_A_View_in_Regent_s_Park,_1831_,_1828.jpg

Is this really an 1882 Fire Engine, or they simply used one from 1832? Where did 50 years of development go?
  • According to reports in both The Engineer and The Autocar in November 1895, which only show this steam-powered machine from the other side, John Inshaw from the Aston Manor area of Birmingham, seen here at the helm, said that he built this carriage in 1881. As the plate on the side of it gives an 1882 date, the earlier date is probably when construction began, rather than that of completion, a not uncommon situation with pioneer machinery that took a while to build.
  • Interesting how in 1830 males were wearing the exact same top hats. Fashion stagnation, or what?
1882
1882-Inshaw-Fire-Engine-266kb-600x425.jpg

Then we get into 1900s. This is an original 1900 black and white halftone print of a drawing by George A. Williams of an early automobile outing.
  • What happened to that "Industrial Revolution" which was supposed to barely end by 1900. They had better stuff in 1830s.
1900's
auto.jpg


HIGHWAYS and ROADS
I did not spend much time looking for any "highways". Primarily because I think we can see plenty of those in the photographs published on this forum. I agree, that for the most part we only see these high quality roads in the cities, but how many photographs of the pertaining stuff do we really have? Is it possible that there were roads like this connecting 18th century cities? They clearly had the tech to build them. Of course they "only" had horse carriages to use on those roads in 1888, but hey, that's how the narrative goes.

This photograph below was taken from this thread here:
  • The original 1907 image is from Shorpy. See any steam cars there? Because these roads were made for horses. (sarc)
  • Apparently they started building the monument in 1888. The obelisk was completed by 1892, and the entire thing by 1901.
  • They do not really tell us when the roads were built.
Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1907. Soldiers and Sailors Monument.jpg


kd_separator.jpg

By the way, wanna read some "Science Fiction" from 1893? Are we sure it's sci-fi though?
jackwright.jpg

KD: You have some of my thoughts above. Personally, I find it interesting how this amazing so-called "innovation" was popular between 1820, and 1840, after which it was driven out of business by trains, and... opposition from operators of horse-drawn coaches. We are witnessing one of those weird instances, when a technology advancement lost out to an inferior mode of transportation.
  • Of course, I'm being facetious with my assessment of the situation. Once again we are being fed a load of BS pertaining to pre-1850s.
  • 1880s companies like De Dion-Bouton probably capitalized on that 1830s tech later on.
An opinions of yours?
 

WildFire2000

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Our history is so ingrained in everyone due to practically -every- source of main-stream ... everything. Westerns from movies and books, 'normal' history lessons that said writers draw from to craft narratives that span centuries and decades, giving us period pieces to frame the stories set within the framework provided.

Jules Verne's books don't seem so far fetched and "visionary" sci-fi now, do they? So much of this is so hard to find, with very little 'practical' science to support it that it's all brushed away as concept art or what-have you, but, as an analog if we look at today's "concept art" for movies, video games, and such, we see where current technology and trends are usually very evident and grounded in the world we already know. There are very few truly 'alien' concepts being presented in modern media, and if that's true today, why would it not have been true then?
 

ISeenItFirst

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i would like to add that if you ad iron to aluminum and spin magnets by it you get a hot plate till at least the melting point of aluminium
That's going to be true for about any conductive metal. The electrons in the metal will resist the moving magnetic field and some of the energy will be dissipated as heat. Perhaps it is more effective with an Fe-Al alloy, I'm not sure.

You can see this with a strong magnet. Move it over a piece of aluminum foil, or copper(old penny) and you can move it, without touching it.
 

SeVen

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Trevithick’s London Steam Carriage 1803 and Merthyr-Tydfil 1805

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 11.12.48 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 11.12.23 AM.png

These statements are interesting -
• "In 1801, after James Watt’s earlier patent on “a carriage propelled by a steam engine" had expired, Richard Trevithick constructed an experimental steam-driven vehicle (Puffing Devil)”
- Trevithick waited until it EXPIRED in 1801.
- Possibly this? Though it doesnt specify a carriage propelled by a steam engine. Patent 913: A method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines – the separate condenser. The specification was accepted on 5 January 1769; enrolled on 29 April 1769, and extended to June 1800 by an Act of Parliament in 1775.
• "lack of interest in the carriage by potential purchasers, and its demonstrations having exhausted the inventors' financial resources, it was eventually scrapped”
- KD’s picture “A View in Regent’s Park, 1831.” seems more plausible...a logical progression of the technology.

London Steam Carriage - Wikipedia
James Watt - Wikipedia
 

wizz33

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That's going to be true for about any conductive metal. The electrons in the metal will resist the moving magnetic field and some of the energy will be dissipated as heat. Perhaps it is more effective with an Fe-Al alloy, I'm not sure.

You can see this with a strong magnet. Move it over a piece of aluminum foil, or copper(old penny) and you can move it, without touching it.
but to make it hot enough to make steam it would need less power than make
 

ISeenItFirst

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but to make it hot enough to make steam it would need less power than make
I've played with this effect quite a bit when I learned of it, and I have found nothing about it that invalidates the current laws of thermodynamics. I'm very interested in "free" energy devices and if I had the resources there are at least 2 I would try to make myself. I don't see this one as possible, but I'm open to any evidence you can provide.

It is essentially a generator, it is the electric current that heats the metal up. Using the current as the product is going to be much more efficient than using the heat as a product. The heat is essentially wasted energy. In metals the resistance increases with temperature, so more and more energy will be required as the temp rises to achieve a given current.
 

jd755

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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Yup, they also used to build 13-19 foot ceilings in just about every structure they built. Today we have 8-9 feet for the most part.

As far as metal alloy issue goes:
  • Case, as Hedtke wrote, discontinued production largely due to the inadequate metallurgy at the time. Though the company advertised that “the driving gears were cast from a special steel mixture, had extra wide face and heavy cogs to insure the requisite durability,” those gears quickly wore out, sometimes within a matter of months.
They probably had the same issue with this 1866 steam roller.

steam_roller_1.jpg

From, here we have a choice to make of whether to believe the above explanation, or not. "Inadequate" metallurgy of 1904 was preceded by a whole bunch of various technological solutions (requiring some sort of metal) including things like the ones below.
  • Pretty sure the narrative will insist that none of the below (and everything else in between) was as demanding as our 1904 tractor, as far as metal quality goes. This tractor's alloy requirements, in reference to its gears, had to be real special.

KD: I think the reason for these tractors not finding their niche lies somewhere else, but they won't tell us. May be some doors and chairs had something to do with it.

chair.jpg


door.jpg
 

Dielectric

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i would like to add that if you ad iron to aluminum and spin magnets by it you get a hot plate till at least the melting point of aluminium
That's really useful information but how did you come by it? Was it specific to something. Aluminum is unlike other materials is why I'm asking. Aluminum has the ability to become super-conductive. There might be more here of interest as a result.
 
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jd755

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Here for example the subject is 19th Century roads and locomotives and you bring in the derailing subject of giants!

People alive today are so used to the rapid change of tech, obsolete as soon as it hits the market, they have next to no comprehension of a slower turnover of tech. I don't like making age related point but in this instance it is age related. Basically the older you are the more likely you are to have experience of a slower tech turnover.
If a horse and cart did the job why buy an electric, steam, petrol powered cart?
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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You made a reference to the size of the tractor, I suggested an explanation for the size by providing several examples. What’s derailing about that?

As far as slower turn over goes. Just because the narrative does not advertise everything they had in the 19th century, it does not mean they had slower turn over.

For example, who out there knows how many steam cars they had prior to 1890? Or who really cares about the gazillion of different railroad locomotive models and producers? Or a whole bunch of other inventions they had in the 19th century mentioned on this forum?
 

Dielectric

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I didn't understand what the reference to the giant door and the big chair was about so at least I now gather the point.
 

jd755

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"AUTOPSY" "ERA" and "INFANT" seem rather unusual names for steam powered buses!!
Here's Hancocks full list of vehicle names;
  • Experimental carriage - 4 outside
  • Infant - (trunnion engines) - 10 outside
  • Ditto (enlarged with fixed engines) - 14 outside
  • Era - (Greenwich) -16 inside, 2 out
  • Enterprise - 14 inside
  • Autopsy - 9 inside, 5 out
  • Erin - 8 inside, 6 out
  • German Drag - 6 outside, exclusive of those accommodated in the separate carriages behind
  • Automaton - 22 inside.
From here; Walter Hancock: Narrative of Twelve Years Experiments, 1824-36 - Graces Guide
Have a read to see why they never caught on.
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Have a read to see why they never caught on.
Or may be they did, but someone out there forgot to include it in the narrative.

How many of these do we see in the photographs attributed to the same time? Normally it’s only horses and carriages.

What I find illogical and ridiculous is the fact that even based on common sense they were supposed to have highway locomotives if they had railed ones. Personally I think regular road runners were supposed to predate the railroad ones.

As it stands, it reminds me of the Vatican library approach, for we do not see stuff in the mainstream narrative, and only are able to find specific things when directly search for those specific things.
 

jd755

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Or may be they did, but someone out there forgot to include it in the narrative.

How many of these do we see in the photographs attributed to the same time? Normally it’s only horses and carriages.

What I find illogical and ridiculous is the fact that even based on common sense they were supposed to have highway locomotives if they had railed ones. Personally I think regular road runners were supposed to predate the railroad ones.

As it stands, it reminds me of the Vatican library approach, for we do not see stuff in the mainstream narrative, and only are able to find specific things when directly search for those specific things.
Why wouldn't they take the engine and apply it to every form of transport?
Diesel, petrol, electric, compressed air all did the same thing. They even made jet powered locomotives and cars, if memory serves and some superstar even put on on his pushbike.
The Liberty ships had 'ancient' steam engines in them because they were simple and reliable. Yet here we are today with computer controlled engines that go into crawl mode when some stupid sensor reports 'a problem. We are going backwards me old china.
 
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