To a first approximation
A crappy convective thought.
As I make these models of Box Depots
and related equipment, I'm learning about the equipment. The mail crane was a remarkable font of wasted creativity. Hundreds of inventors patented improved versions, but the original version was vested and amortized in equipment cost and mail-clerk skills, so it stayed.
I chose one of the unused patents because it struck me as especially elegant, and because the patent had a nice clear schematic.
Another bit of learning: Water tanks were simple machines with no particular variation... but real variation sprang up around
them, along with grass and trees. This one has a simple float-based 'flag' indicating its level, so an engineer could decide at a sufficient distance whether it was worth stopping here vs the risk of making it to the next tank. The more prosperous railroads installed automatic detectors that signaled the nearest telegraph office when the inlet pump failed or the level was too low. The telegraph office could then send a message to the appropriate train dispatcher. Morsenet of Things.
The Pennsylvania RR developed an in-flight rewatering system for its fast expresses. A quarter-mile long trough was sunk between the rails, kept filled from a nearby tank. When an engineer needed water, he dropped a scoop-pipe into the trough, and the speed forced the water up into the engine's reservoir.
Here's a tender (water tank behind loco) with the scoop in dropped position. The lever mechanism is fairly simple and obvious on the diagram. Fancier versions powered the drop from the compressed air in the air-brake system.
I'm also trying to implement my earlier decision to resume humming and singing while I work, a habit that I abandoned many years ago. As I make these models, I end up humming train-related songs. Chattanooga Choochoo, Sentimental Journey.
Here's the crappy convective thought. To a first approximation, travel songs are train songs.
We don't have many popular songs about traveling
in other vehicles. Early rock-n-roll gave us plenty of car songs, but they're about racing or tragic crashes. None of them are about road trips. I can only think of one song about traveling in a jet plane.
= = = = =
Sidenote: After writing the above, I realized that my workflow for courseware and graphics is parallel. First I get the subject matter. With courseware it comes from the book's author, who gives me an outline of what needs to be covered in this lesson, along with a few relevant figures from the book. With graphics it comes either from my own memories or from KSHS. Second I spend time studying. For both I find online articles and info, trying to understand the subject better. Third, I decide what to do. Which houses or devices or anatomical structures are inadequately shown
by existing pictures and descriptions? Which can be livened up with 3d, or animated to add meaning and value? Fourth, try, revise, discard, revise ....
Labels: coot-proofing, defensible times, Morsenet of Things, Patient things