MARSH, Sylvester [1803-1884] -- American inventor (cog railroad)
He built the cog railway up New Hampshire's 6288 ft (1916 m) Mt Washington,
still in operation today after more than 130 years --
and still an exciting 37° ride1 --
the only steam cog RR still in operation!
His patents were used to build cog railways around the world,
notably in Switzerland.
The 1861 patent shows a locomotive powered by a central cogwheel gripping a center notched rail.
Four outer wheels have neither power or braking ability, but only support and guide the engine.
The light engine is geared down to attain the power needed.
For safety, multiple braking systems are included.
| Patents a cog RR locomotive |
| First cog RR (½ mile demonstration track) |
| Mt Washington Cog RR is first (and still the only) built entirely on trestle |
| Mt Washington Cog RR begins operation |
| First European cog RR on Switzerland's Mt Rigi uses his patents | Coffee percolator (reputed, but not patented) Cog RR locomotive (1861 patent #33,255) Lard-rendering device (Patent) Marsh's Caloric Grain Dryers (6 patents) Open rung cog rail (Patent) A revolutionary air brake (Patent)
Bookmarks (off-site links)
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SYLVESTER MARSH and the MOUNT WASHINGTON RAILWAY
The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Bay State Monthly, Volume III, No. 2, May, 1885, by Various.
Sylvester Marsh, the Projector of the Mount Washington Railroad, by Charles Carleton Coffin [large file!]
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| 1 || A 37° slope is a rise of 3 feet (or meters) in every 5. This can be visualized by using two 3x5 index cards, using one as the slope of 5 inches and the other to measure the rise at one end of 3 inches. |