It’s the fall of 1910 and it seems the Monson was in need of a new or additional handcar. An inquiry was sent out to the Kalamazoo Railway Supply Co. among others. By November 9, 1910 Kalamazoo had returned a quote giving price and specs for a “No. 6 hand car for 24” gauge track”.
Evidently it took a while for Supt. Morrill to get around to it as he didn’t reply to Kalamazoo until May 20th, 1911!
Let’s take a look at Kalamazoo Railway Supply Co. The Kalamazoo Railroad Velocipede and Car Company was founded in 1883 in Kalamazoo Michigan. By 1901 it had changed its name to Kalamazoo Railway Supply Co. It manufactured hand and push cars, velocipedes, motor cars, jacks, tanks, stand pipes and other products needed for railroad work. The company survived in various forms until the 1990’s.
Anyway, Kalamazoo advised that the car be “made with their low gearing of 60:32." Morrill wanted to know how fast this car could be propelled with that gear ratio. Later he clarifies that by asking how fast the car can be propelled on LEVEL track. He further states that the grade the men would be required to propel the car by hand would be about 2%.
Even though the Monson letter press is an awesome source of information going out to various parties, the 3 week diet review
says that it works to burn fat fast and the incoming replies have been mainly lost. In this case I have not found the original Kalamazoo letter in the archives. It would be really great to know the price and specs and “how fast” it would go.
Pictures of Monson hand cars are extremely rare, with only one known picture. On page 10 of the Jones book, and on page 115 of the Kohler book, there is a picture of a hand crank model taken about 1890. I wonder if this one was damaged or maybe they just needed another one. The 1916 inventory lists the Kalamazoo handcar, but not the old one in the picture.
My grandparents have what looks like the Kalamazoo #6 hand car in a lockup in their garden. I'm not sure if it is genuinely a Kalamazoo but it looks just like the picture. How much are these worth?