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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:08 am
Posts: 45
Location: Severna Park, MD
Hi Hugh and Richard,

Thanks for the info. I have a PDF copy of the 1952 version (from the Haithi Trust), and, while I'm still interested in the 1947 edition, was wondering if anyone had an online source for the "Railway Mechanical Engineer" periodical.

I should probably start a new thread. :)

Thanks again,
Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
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whodom wrote:
I made a concerted effort to find a copy of the 1947 version ~10 years ago. One turned up on eBay for a BIN of something like $497.52 (yes, it was really that specific). IIRC, original 1942 and 1944 versions were going for $200 or so at the time, so I contacted the seller and asked him if he’d be willing to accept a lower offer for his 1947 edition. His reply implied he was insulted that I had even asked. I did not buy his and haven’t looked much since.


On eBay, putting a specifically worded "Search" on an item and then just waiting to see what shows up, sometimes works well. Eventually a seller who is just interested in clearing out a collection and is not researching every item to look for top dollar may post a book as "Buy it Now" with a reasonable price. Not too long ago another rare title that is often advertised for $700 and up from book sellers went for $12.95 in a buy it now.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
joecomer wrote:
Is there a good online source for Railway Mechanical Engineer? I saw a few issues from the 20's over at the Haithi trust, but am otherwise striking out.


I doubt you will find any. The problem is a mouse, specifically Mickey Mouse. Copyright protection in the US was initially 14 years, renewable once. It was subsequently changed to 28 years. After the copyright expires works fall into the 'public domain' to be freely used by anyone. In the seventies the owners of the copyright on the mouse realized that their copyright protection was about to expire, and lobbied Congress to extend the term, which they did, to 75 years. The result was only works published before 1922 are in the public domain, all later works that had been copyrighted originally still are. In 1998, the 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act' further extended this term to 120 years. Don't look for a lot more historical technical publications to become freely available anytime soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:49 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Joe, if you're a physicist who knows applicable thermodynamics you should read Lawford Fry's 'Study of the Locomotive Boiler' ...

Lo and behold! This was for years in the 'jail' of reprint hell, but the 1924 edition is now available free from Google Books...

https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Study_of_the_Locomotive_Boiler.html?id=Ez9MAAAAMAAJ

This is as good an analysis as I think there is as of the early 'three-cylinder' period of American locomotive evolution, but it requires very careful 'scientific' recasting to use properly as most of the formulas use empirical constants determined from boiler construction up to about 1922, not characteristic of better later practice. This is not a mistake or oversight; Fry says in his foreword " ... the work is all planned to avoid any necessity for a knowledge of higher mathematics on the part of the reader" and that his tables "reduce all calculations to those which can be conveniently carried out with an eight-inch slide rule." I do not think it is difficult to distinguish the proper design mathematics from the 'formulas', especially in this modern age of CFD and general quick numeric approximation, but that hasn't been done -- and in my opinion, should surely be. (I was delighted by his characterization of the lolog function as
'barbarous and unusual' upon first inspection!) You will also probably recognize some of why he was somewhat mystified that 'radiation by difference' gave different results at different rates from 'radiation by formula' (properly including the fourth-power Stefan-Boltzman exponent) -- his formula 19, p. 65ff.

I used the copy of the '47 Cyc in the New York Public Library's Technical Library many times before finding my own copy -- you have to wait sometimes until you find one that rare-book dealers haven't schemed to inflate 'because they can'. My personal opinion is that somebody ought to consult with Simmons-Boardman to 'license' a reprint of the Cycs from 1947 to 1952, perhaps using the same arrangement as for the '41 reprint -- while I love being able to use a paper copy, a Google-Books-style
book-scanned and corrected PDF would do about 98% of what is necessary and could be printed out at enlarged scale for reference where needed. Sometimes the inexpensive offers come from places like abebooks and not Amazon or eBay -- you have to keep watching, and pounce when you see something.

To be honest, "online" versions of the trade magazines aren't anywhere near as useful as physically paging through physical copies and using slips of paper as placeholders. You'll go blind trying to navigate typical poorly-indexed PDF versions, usually by whole year, and with little file compression, so of enormous file size and, often, slow loading and poor rendition on modern 'widescreen' or 16x9 monitors. You can use the Worldcat or similar databases to see if there are college or technical libraries near you that have these in their collections -- sometimes they will be in archive or offsite storage and would have to be brought in for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Md. Rail Heritage Library, Baltimore Streetcar Museum:

Quote:
Railway Mechanical Engineer: Mostly complete loose Jan 1930-March 1948; missing 4-35, 10 to 12-37, 6-39, 9 to 12-41, 5-43, 6 to 11-46. More issues are likely inbound in trades between estate and RR Museum of Pa.


That trade hasn't happened yet. But we processed the estate of a former RR executive/historian/fan who may have had a lot. Check also with the B&O Historical Society archives........

Is U of Md.-College Park one of the WorldCat repositories listed?


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:59 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1506
Quote:
"Is U of Md.-College Park one of the WorldCat repositories listed?"

Yes, but they officially listed themselves as 'shut down' due to COVID-19 concerns, without any indication as to when the resource might be made available again.

To anyone who wants to check -- go to http://www.worldcat.org, type "Railway Mechanical Engineer" (or other publication you want to check) and then confirm from the list of optional choices that appears -- I used the whole Simmons-Boardman production run to "1949" for the test. Then go to the appropriate box and type in your complete address.

Results are 'as the crow flies' organized by distance, by default, and this has a useful peripheral result of telling you communities that are roughly equidistant, some of which always surprise me.

Apparently both the Mercantile Library and Linda Hall have a set. Interestingly, according to the list, so does HathiTrust ... even if free access on the Web page-by-page isn't enabled, you may be able to get access through one of the partner programs.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:22 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:08 am
Posts: 45
Location: Severna Park, MD
Hi Folks,

Thanks again for the great suggestions! Overmod, I'll check out the free PDF. Yes, as physicist, the thermodynamics of the entire boiler/cylinder/exhaust cycle is incredibly interesting. Interested in the empirical equations too... Reading though some of the literature I have so far ("The American Steam Locomotive in the 20th Century") it seems folks were clamoring to eek out every single 1% of efficiency... given the overall efficiency was something like 6%? :) Almost seems like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but I'm still very interested in their ideas.

ADM4, thanks for the info on the incoming volumes. At some point, I'll make it up to the streetcar museum and volunteer some time.

PCook, I added some ebay and facebook search alerts. :)

Dennis, interesting about copyright law and the Mouse. Lord knows Disney has enough money/power to make anything happen!


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:15 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1506
Quote:
"It seems folks were clamoring to eke out every single 1% of efficiency... given the overall efficiency was something like 6%? :) Almost seems like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but I'm still very interested in their ideas."

Note that when you have large volume of traffic at that 6% efficiency, an improvement of ~0.1% may translate into enormous dollar savings. You see similar discussions of economy in the trucking world (often phrased in effective mpg terms -- they are at least as valid today as they were in the age of steam locomotives.)

Not all the improvements were trivial. Livio Dante Porta went to some lengths both to show and to illustrate what could be extracted from reciprocating steam power (and while his "Generation 3 steam" might be unlikely in our modern age of zero-carbon attentiveness, there are interesting implications in considering locomotive design...) The Snyder preheater (as tested on C&O in the late '40s) consisted of little more than passes of pipe below the primary-air inlets between ashpan and water legs, fed with exhaust steam -- this was said to be good for something like a 10.1% improvement, probably in measured coal consumption. The Cunningham circulator (for which I have only seen a Canadian patent record, from 1950) used a jet pump to circulate downcoming water in the convection section to nozzles in the water legs, to give some of the effect of forced circulation in high-radiant-heat-uptake areas where 'departure from nucleate boiling' may commonly occur without being noted. Even without careful redesign of the path for the circulated water to follow when it reached the crown, this could result in increased steaming rate for comparable fire gasdynamics.

Together, these approaches might 'make the difference' between firebox size and structural weight requiring three vs. two vs. one supporting axle, which in turn has consequences for design optimization. That is not important in most preservation discussions, but does affect a 'preserved' locomotive's ability to work efficiently (or with less stress to its components) if it is intended to run as part of its 'mission'.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 8:34 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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I just bought another '47 Cyc (with what is said to be a separating spine, but little page degradation) for an offer of $125. It is scheduled to arrive in early February, at which point I'll reserve time on the University of Memphis high-resolution book scanner and start looking into what the best prospects for recording the illustrations will be.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I've noticed prices dropping on both the '44 and '47 Locomotive Cyclopedias. Prices below $200 are common. Though, the 1944 edition is harder to find. You can tell that the wartime paper quality isn't the same as the 1941 and 1947 editions.

The railroad book market is seeing declines in prices for a lot of formerly-expensive titles, more for technical titles. It's a good time to take advantage and fill out your library and collection.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:13 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:08 am
Posts: 45
Location: Severna Park, MD
Overmod - awesome! Yes, please keep me in the loop with regard to the scans. Very interested, as you know. ;)

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:39 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
wilkinsd wrote:
You can tell that the wartime paper quality isn't the same as the 1941 and 1947 editions.
Odd, I have originals for both '41 and '44, and noticed no difference in paper quality.
Paper quality is really common for most books published between '43 and '45, though, generally.

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:19 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 435
Just because it was in the Locomotive Cyclopedia, doesn't mean it was state of the art.
How many people know of the Downflow Syphon? It was listed in the '38 and '41 Cycs.
The induced circulation patterns presented belong in a fairy tale.
Patent US2080269 by Charles Gilbert Hawley.
Extra Credit: Why would it not last a month in heavy service at high firing rates?



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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:44 am 
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They used a Wheeling & Lake Erie Berkshire for their illustration.
https://www.railarchive.net/randomsteam/wle6401.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Locomotive Cyclopedia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2555
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oh yes, remember all that discussion about nickel steel boilers in the Cyclopeida? Those didn't work out well either.

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