The "Slideometer" in 1887

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Wed Jul 5 21:48:01 EDT 2006

The "Burlington Air Brake Trials of 1887" established George Westinghouse as the winning inventor among a number of compeditors in the field.

You might enjoy reading this piece, from the Westinghouse Museum page, about how they built from wood a primative instrument to measure the relative shocks caused at the end of trains by the brakes proffered by the various entrants in the contest.

The wooden shock-measuring device was called, of all things, a "Slideometer."

My VERY Pennsylvania Dutch boss, and old Jack Fields, Shenandoah Division Road Foreman of Engines, would have called it a "Slidemometer." Something like a "Dymamic Brake," you know, or a "Speedmometer." Whew !

All of which brings me to the question of the introduction of the air brake on the N&W and/or its antecedents.

Are there any records as to which was the first N&W engine to be equipped with the air brake, and when?

-- abram burnett
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