problems with research

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john coffin
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problems with research

Post by john coffin » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:54 pm

After resolving some problems with the Malcolm Crawley's tender book which should be finally available to GNRS members from about May onwards, I found another thing that kind of niggles.

I have been searching for data about Cortazzi/Cartazzi axles. Everyone who knows about Pacifics, will know about this name for carrying the rear axle. However, I can not actually find who invented it, or if it was ever patented. I have checked with the Patent office, and many ex members of the LNER, checked Kew and York, and can find no reference to the patent.

Which then leads to the question of why did HNG use this system and mention the name of Cortazzi/Cartazzi, if it was not patented. I know there was a man of that name working in Sturrock's time who worked at Peterborough, and later became an engineer for an Indian Railway, but he died quite young. Had the GNR board been like many then a patent would have been in the company name, but even that cannot be found, so where do we go?? There is one patent in the UK office in a similar name, but that is to do with overhead railways like the one at Wuppertal, not an axle bearing system.

So how do we know so much about the name with no knowledge of the man??
Paul

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greenglade
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Re: problems with research

Post by greenglade » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:45 pm

Hi John

I'm not certain as it was a while ago that I read it but I thought it was covered in one of the RCTS books on the LNER, either part 1 or 2A, as I say I can't be certain but I certainly remember reading about it's origin somewhere.
If I get time I'll look through the books that I have, I have collected a number of books/articles now for my research on a large scale Gresley Pacific that I'm building ( fully working Cartazzi rear axle) but to be honest the info could be in any one of them, if I have the time and can find the info I'll post it here.

Regards

Pete

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greenglade
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Re: problems with research

Post by greenglade » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:49 pm

further to my reply, I did a quick google and found this reference on the 'steam tech' forum, as I said I'm sure it's also covered in one of the RCTS books.

I quote from "Locomotive Designers in The Age of Steam", J.N.Westwood, 1977:-

F.I.Cartazzi. Formerly of the Great Northern Railway in England, in 1866
Cartazzi (Cortazzi) became the locomotive superintendent of the Great Indian
Peninsular Railway. In general, Indian locomotive superintendents or, as they
were later called, chief mechanical engineers, had little scope for initiative
in locomotive design, which was the concern of each company's consulting
engineers in London and the British locomotive builders. Cartazzi, however, made
his mark by the invention of the Cartazzi radial axlebox for trailing carrying
wheels.
This, which was adopted throughout the world, rested the axleboxes on inclined
planes, so that excessive sideplay tended to push the axleboxes upwards as well
as outwards. The weight of the locomotive, tending to press the axlebox
downwards, was thereby utilised to return the wheel and axle assembly to its
central position. Previously the sideplay allowed to the trailing axle as a
means of negotiating curved track had caused in many designs an excess of
side-swing.Subsequent designers improved the Cartazzi principle with new spring
arrangements. See: Locomotive Carriage and Wagon Review, March 1932.

Regards

Pete

john coffin
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Re: problems with research

Post by john coffin » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Thanks Pete,
I have read many things like that, but none of them confirm the source of the axle, and whether it was patented.

So far I have not been able to track down the patent, which is what would draw you to think others would call it such.

The Patent Office searched worldwide for me, and they couldn't find it so?????

Much like finding out about the Cubitt family who had great ties with the GNR!

Paul

PGBerrie
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Re: problems with research

Post by PGBerrie » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:10 pm

I don't know whether this helps, but in F S Brown's Book on Great Nothern Locomotive Engineers, Volume 1, George Allen and Unwin, 1966, there is the passage "One of Sturrock's assistants at Doncaster in those early years was F. Cortazzi, who suggested the use of inclined sliding surfaces in radial axle boxes. They provided a much greater measure of control to the side movements and were still being fitted to new east coast locomotives in 1949".

This seems to have taken place in 1852 or even earlier.

Peter

john coffin
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Re: problems with research

Post by john coffin » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:01 pm

thanks Peter,
I have indeed read and seen that data, but it is just another part of the intrueging story that is this axle system.
At the time suggested by the Sturrock reference, it was pretty normal for the company that employed you to demand that they had their name on the patent. Although of course Sturrock was able to patent his Steam tender, that may have been a "perk" of being Chief Engineer. But a more lowly man may not have been allowed the same privilege.

Whilst it might then have been known in the GNR as a Cortazzi/Cartazzi. it is difficult to know whether that would be true of other railways.So one has to consider that it was patented, but where and when is the problem to decipher.

Sadly I do not think any of the detailed drawings of the A1's survive, so it is not possible to search there and find out a reference. I have asked for help from the A1 trust, through an ex LNER premium apprentice, but so far, no answers.

But thanks for the help in re directing me to some other stuff I might have forgotten. It is amazing how much research is lost because people think that you will have to hand all the relevant data, or remember where it is.
Paul

Solario
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Re: problems with research

Post by Solario » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:50 pm

At the time suggested by the Sturrock reference, it was pretty normal for the company that employed you to demand that they had their name on the patent. Although of course Sturrock was able to patent his Steam tender, that may have been a "perk" of being Chief Engineer. But a more lowly man may not have been allowed the same privilege.
I'm not sure that that was entirely the case, I am thinking about the Smith compounding system & the Lockyer double beat regulator which were patented by employees of the NER, not to mention patents by various Locomotive Superintendents. Having said that, I don't think that Howe and another gent, whose name escapes me for the moment, were credited with developing what became known as Stephenson Link Motion. I suspect that different companies had their own policies on such patents.

PGBerrie
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Re: problems with research

Post by PGBerrie » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:30 pm

I can see the problems and just because we call it a radial axlebox today does not mean to say that the patent application named it as such. It occured to me that patents are usually published in an official gazette so I googled gazette and came up with a guy from the British Library who pointed to the London Gazette: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search. This is searchable back to 1665. Maybe you already know it.

The announcements have a number, the name of the person awarded a patent and a short description of the improvement. Things like (on 13th August 1853): 1952. To John Steven, of Edinburgh, in the county of Edinburgh, Scotland, Railway Carriage Builder, for the invention of "an improved axle-box for railway carriages and waggons."

Have we any idea of when Cortazzi/Cartazzi arrived at the GNR and what he did before?

Peter

PS: If you put in Great Northern, you get all the acts of parliament - fascinating!

john coffin
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Re: problems with research

Post by john coffin » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:28 pm

In relation to the patents and people's names on them, I think that at the beginning, the railways did not put too much restriction on it, in the same way that they allowed Engineers to have the income from Premium Apprentices, however, that eventually became one of the problems for Sturrock in 1865/6. However, there does seem to have been a period when the companies demanded a share of the royalties on the basis that the designer worked for the company, and might well have used their time to develop their idea.

As for Cortazzi, I can check his dates and see what I can find Peter, that is very useful.

Paul

john coffin
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Re: problems with research

Post by john coffin » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:48 pm

Peter, whilst I have not yet had the time to search all over for Cortazzi on the ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS, I have come across some interesting stuff.

Cortazzi is mentioned in an Obituary of William Stroudley of the Highland and later LBSCR, who died at the quite young age of 56. I had not realised that for a short time in the mid 1850's, he joined the GNR working at Peterborough twice, first as a working foreman under Charles Sacre later Engineer at the MSLR, and in 1859 was in charge of the passenger engines under Cortazzi. In 1860 though Cortazzi moved to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, where I think he worked for about 5 years, but there the path goes cold.

Of course what we also forget is that what is called the Cortazzi axle actually refers to the sliding wedges which provide a more gentle restriction on side movement than before. Still wonder why it still gets that name?

A couple more interesting things is the use by the LNWR on at least one Compound used such a system on a front axle of a bogie,but apart from the name of the loco,"Francis Stevenson" I am not sure of what class it was.
Finally, worth remembering that the bogie side control system Gresley used was based on one devised in Ireland at Inchicore by McConnell, then later used by Aspinall at the L&Y.

Paul

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