Cars Use Trackless Bridge (Jan, 1937)

I’m not really sure what the deal here was, but I doubt that the engineers “overlooked” the street car rails. That’s generally the kind of thing one thinks about when building a new bridge. The Wikipedia entry mentions rails for “tram service” but I’m not sure if that’s the same thing.

Cars Use Trackless Bridge

AFTER designing and building of the famous harbor bridge at Sidney, Australia, had been completed engineers realized that they had overlooked the installation of street car rails. As a result one of the city’s important lines was severed and to lay tracks over the completed bridge would have been next to the impossible. An English engineering firm in Liverpool was called on to solve the problem and as a result service has been restored through the use of motorized “trolley trailers.”

Two Decades Ago in Popular Mechanics (Jan, 1924)

I’m pretty sure there are better ways to generate electricity on a train than using a windmill, maybe even ones that work when it’s not moving.

Two Decades Ago in Popular Mechanics

WHEN Popular Mechanics Magazine surveyed the field of invention a score of years ago, 1904 was just dawning, full of promise for the world in general. The past twelve months had seen the growth of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, that was to memorialize a century of progress.



Mechanical “Wings” with which the inventor hopes he will be able to fly, are the work of 36-year-old Horace T. Pentecost of Seattle. In his right hand he holds the flight control stick: its handle is the throttle, regulated by turning. The “Hoppicopter,” as the inventor calls it, has a 2-cylinder, 20 hp. motor and weighs 60 pounds plus.

Precipitron an electrostatic air cleaner made by Westinghouse, cleans 23,000 cubic feet of air per minute in this room where lenses for naval optical instruments like periscopes are checked.

Simulator trains locomotive engineers (Jan, 1966)

Things have progressed a bit since this.

Simulator trains locomotive engineers

Color movies on the windshield of a mock-up locomotive cab help British Railways train engineers to drive on a newly electrified line between London and Manchester. Simulated speeds up to 100 m.p.h, are controlled by hand throttle and brakes at the engineer’s side. The electronically operated cab, hung in a frame, is tilted by hydraulic jacks to show acceleration, braking, sway, and banking.

Taped sound effects include wheel-rail clicking, trolley splutter, brake roar and squeal, motor noise, cooling fans, and vacuum pumps. Volume increases when the locomotive “races” through stations and under bridges.

New Style “Traveling Grandstand” Seats for Crew Races (Aug, 1930)

New Style “Traveling Grandstand” Seats for Crew Races

DUE to the unusually large crowd which reserved “grandstand seats” for the Harvard-Yale crew races this summer, the New Haven railroad was compelled to exert its ingenuity to devise a “traveling grandstand” which would provide 800 extra seats. Four tiers of benches with backs were built into circus seat sections on the ground. These sections were mounted onto 36 steel gondola cars which were provided with awnings supported by frames of steel tubing.

Starting with the two-mile freshman contest, the sightseeing train follows the various races from start to finish; the varsity race over a four-mile course being the climax of the day.

Mr. Cooper’s Miniature Steamer (May, 1956)

Mr. Cooper’s Miniature Steamer

From cab to cowcatcher this baby iron horse is all there.

Photographed for MI by Peter Gowland.

FOR W.A. COOPER of Arcadia, Calif., an ex-Canadian Pacific machinist, small steam locomotives have been a lifetime preoccupation. At 14 he built a model engine entirely of wood; the smooth little American 4-4-0 he now operates is a far cry from that.

Smallest Public Railway (May, 1950)

Smallest Public Railway

IN a quiet corner of Kent, England, there’s a grade crossing where a big bump in the road could bounce an auto safely over the stack of the onrushing express. It’s not that the British road is so blarsted rugged—in fact, it’s smooth as Anthony Eden’s smile—but that the iron horse is so jolly small. Despite its pigmy-pony size the Romney, Hythe and Dym-church Railway is a superlative line, every inch of its 14-mile run along the Channel from Hythe to Dungeness.

Crowds… and the Street Car’s answer (Nov, 1928)

GE was a powerful company, but they got their asses kicked by GM on this one.

Crowds… and the Street Car’s answer

OUT of the multiplying perplexities of the traffic problem, one fact emerges clearly; the electric street car is our most efficient means of moving masses of people.

The street car passenger occupies six square feet of traffic space. The automobile passenger requires an average of 44 square feet. In thirty of our largest cities, street cars are now carrying over 30,000,000 passengers daily. Attempt to put them in automobiles, and the street—which cannot easily expand its curbs—would be too narrow to hold them.

Moving Stairs Feature London’s Subway Station (May, 1929)

Moving Stairs Feature London’s Subway Station

COMPLETED at a cost of $2,500,000, London’s new Piccadilly Circus subway station is fitted with all the latest devices to add to the comfort of passengers. The above photo shows one of the escalators, which travels at a rate of 100 feet a minute.

Chrysler Builds a Locomotive (Oct, 1949)

Chrysler Builds a Locomotive

JUST in case MI’s cover caused some worry among American Locomotive Company officials let’s reassure them. Chrysler is not going into competition with them! The locomotive and tender on these pages is strictly a miniature—one-third regular size, nearly 27 feet long.