History 5 Lesson 105

Air Brakes

George Westinghouse was born in New York in 1846. He joined the army during the Civil War. He invented a portable steam engine. Invented the air brake system for trains in 1869. System consisted of a tank valve and piping. Steam posted drives brake shoes against the wheel. The shoes must be operated simultaneously. Wetimahouse’s brake was fail safe. Brakes are powered from an on-car air tank. Reduced operators and increased passenger safety. Began making campaigns to generate orders. He built a demonstration model. Invented important railroad officials on board a live demo unit. A horse-drawn wagon was on the tracks and the brakes saved the day. 

Traffic Lights

JP Knight was born in England in 1828. He was a talented railroad traffic manager. Improved passenger trips. 1100 people were killed in traffic accidents in London in 1866. Knight invented the traffic light in 1868. Traffic lights regulate the flow of traffic. Create order by establishing rules. There are other forms of traffic lights too. Knight’s lights were gas lamps. The idea spread to the US An electric traffic appeared in Ohio in 1914 . Modern 4-way, 3-light signals appeared in 1920. Computers linked to the light in the 1950s. 

                Tape Measure

Alvin J. Fellows was born in Connecticut. A sering tape measure was invented in England. It was used for surveying. Fellows improved this tape. He invented the tape measure in 1868. Tape measures are flexible rulers. The tape is wound around a cylinder for compact storage. There are some heavy duty ones used for construction. Tape measures are lined with unit demarcation. Ads placed in the newspaper. Improved model sold to Stanley in 1920s. The ads focused on featuring and unique names to set them apart from competitors. 

Pipe Wrench

Daniel Stillson was born in New Hampshire in 1826. Learned how to use machine tools. Developed pipe wrench in 1869. Hasn’t changed too much in over 100 years.  Designed to grip soft iron pipes. Still sold his patent and made $80,000 in his lifetime. Trimow became a major manufacturer in the late 1800s. Advertised it’s wrench’s ability to grip pipes. And it’s replaceable plates.    

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