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 Post subject: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:58 am
Posts: 76
Were there various versions/sizes of Sams couplers? Or was one size used for both narrow gauge and standard gauge equipment?

(I don't see that different sizes were necessary, but we know that there were smaller sizes of MCB automatic couplers for narrow gauge, so I don't want to assume that Sams didn't do this as well.)

DJS


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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1588
Location: Southern California
There were at least two different sizes. This is known because coupler pockets from the Virginia & Truckee (sg) and the Carson & Colorado (ng) have survived. These pockets also required different sizes of the winged pin that was an essential part of the Sams design.

As the Sams was the standard freight coupler of the C&C, when the SP (which bought the C&C in 1900) brought ng cars from California to help out during the Tonopah boom (1901-1905) those cars were equipped on the C&C with Sams couplers. At least one of these cars returned to the South Pacific Coast in California as Sams coupler pockets were found and retrieved from a wreck site along the SPC. A pin found in the Nevada along the old C&C was a perfect match.

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
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Location: Southern California
I received a direct email comment about my posting about Sams couplers from a reader.

Once a bunch of stuff gets sorted about about the V&T and C&C couplers and maybe some measurements get taken and compared, we can make a definitive statement if there were different sizes.

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:32 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 111
Location: Northern California
Teaching moment: What is a Sams Coupler?

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Joe Magruder


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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
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Location: Orrville, OH
If I recall correctly and to put it simply, it's an "automatic" link and pin coupler. It has a cut lever to lift the pin making it automatic.

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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1588
Location: Southern California
Joe Magruder wrote:
Teaching moment: What is a Sams Coupler?
jayrod wrote:
If I recall correctly and to put it simply, it's an "automatic" link and pin coupler. It has a cut lever to lift the pin making it automatic.
Yes, and the pocket and pin were of a design that held the link elevated to enter into another pocket and the pin was held up on the top of the receiving pocket and would drop into place on impact.

For more information see this posting thread on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum several ears ago.
Sams Coupler and Pin

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
In that NGDiscussion post, did anyone notice the marketing strategy in the advertisement? It is a lot like inkjet printers of today. The hardware is cheap or free, but the consumable is patented and needs to be purchased. Here, the coupler can be licensed for manufacturer at a railroad's own shops, but the pin must be bought from Sams, and presumably the pin eventually wears out and must be replaced.

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 Post subject: Re: Sams couplers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1322
Location: Henderson Nevada
Selling the pin seperatly was not a marketing strategy. The pin was cast steel, while the drawhead was either cast iron (grey iron) or malleable iron. Cast steel was believed to be necessary for the pin, and even in 1892 cast steel was not common... While grey iron was common and generally available everywhere. The pin is quite heavy (heavier than most pins, and is chained to a cutting lever, so they are not generally lost.

Their other marketing material was all about how cheap these couplers were... SAM would sell cast drawheads for under $5.00, and a pin for $1.00, and noted that if railroads cast their own drawheads the cost per car was under $10.00, less than half the cost of a vertical plane coupler (aka knuckle)

It does work as advertised, and if used with other SAM couplers was automatic in the eyes of the ICC...

Randy

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