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Public Transportation
March 6, 1877. Partly Printed Document Signed, “Charles Gorham” as acting Interior Secretary and “Ellis Spear” as Patents Commissioner, one page, parchment, 8” X 11”, March 6, 1877, City of Washington, completed in manuscript. A patent issued to Edward Longstreth of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for “Improvement in Car-Wheels”, attached by red silk ribbons threaded through grommets to a detailed drawing of the improvement, a printed one page description followed by a blank parchment page. Patent number 187,978. Areas of light toning, red seal torn but complete, else fine condition.

Specification of the patent reads in part, “The object of my invention is to prevent the soft mud or dirt that gathers on the inside of city passenger car-wheels from dropping into the joint or space between the hub and the journal-box, as is now the case in all such cars, thereby causing great friction and wear to the journals. / By reference to the accompanying drawing it will be seen that I construct a thin projecting flange…on the part that adjoins the box…[so that] a groove or receptacle…is formed in which deposits are received and are conducted clear of the box while standing, and are by centrifugal force thrown off while running.”

The West Philadelphia Passenger Railway Company was incorporated in 1857 and was the first streetcar line to receive a charter to operate in the city of Philadelphia. Its horse cars, which originally ran between 41st and Haverford and 66th and Vine, made possible the development of the Haddington neighborhood. It may also have been the first streetcar line to use self-propelled vehicles – it began experiments with steam-powered cars in 1877.

      [Bookseller: University Archives]
Last Found On: 2018-02-24           Check availability:      Biblio    


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