Author Topic: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread  (Read 70672 times)

Philip Marshall

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2016, 10:08:32 PM »
But if the design is substantially based on Eames' work, wouldn't that count as "prior art"?

Terry W. Shirley

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2016, 04:52:34 PM »
Alan, where in Texas are you located?  I'm in Arlington.

John Kokas

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #62 on: June 05, 2016, 06:10:56 PM »
Philip,

If my memory serves me correctly, patent are only for 7 years unless updated and renewed.  I doubt highly if the Eames patents were kept up.  If anyone has better info, please chime in.  Single or triple please, 5 chimes are just too loud....... ;)
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Philip Marshall

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #63 on: June 05, 2016, 06:28:52 PM »
If anyone has better info, please chime in.  Single or triple please, 5 chimes are just too loud....... ;)

Ha!

John McNamara

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2016, 06:43:35 PM »
Wikipedia has some interesting information about patents. The life has varied at different periods of history. The expiration of an old patent does not protect you from the "prior art" problem about filing a new patent for something that is basically the same old invention. However, a novel enhancement to the Eames design might well be patentable. [Disclaimer: I am not a patent attorney, nor do I play one on TV.]

Ira Schreiber

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2016, 07:03:05 PM »
John:
Did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

Alan Downey

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2016, 07:44:35 PM »
Terry, I'm in the North Dallas area, at UT Dallas.

Regarding the patent discussion, it's an exciting idea- but I'm not sure what the benefit would be. As John M and Philip have indicated, our system is largely based on multiple existing Eames patents. The expiration of the patent only ends the monopoly on the the rights to the idea, it doesn't mean the concept can be re-patented by someone else. There are undoubtedly some novel implementations which have the potential to pass muster, but it would require a patent attorney to suss it out, and defend it against prior art claims.

I think a more valuable thing for us to do, will be to write a paper, or a series of papers- a treatise* if you will... we can write about the history of the original design, our implementation, and our results. As we publish these, they can help boost our credibility and notoriety for our unique focus of preservation, and the legitimacy of the work we do here. I think that could be much more effective at boosting the museum- just my two cents.

*Full disclosure, this was actually Jason's idea
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Philip Marshall

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2016, 10:33:40 PM »
I think a more valuable thing for us to do, will be to write a paper, or a series of papers- a treatise* if you will... we can write about the history of the original design, our implementation, and our results. As we publish these, they can help boost our credibility and notoriety for our unique focus of preservation, and the legitimacy of the work we do here. I think that could be much more effective at boosting the museum- just my two cents.

*Full disclosure, this was actually Jason's idea

Alan, if you and Jason could compile your research on the Eames vacuum brake into book form I think it would be a tremendously valuable contribution, and I would certainly buy a copy. The Eames system in its various forms has received very little scholarly attention (I have been able to find only one reference to it in 75 years' worth of the R&LHS Bulletin, for example), and I think you are probably now the world authorities on it simply by default!


John Scott

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2016, 09:03:24 AM »
I would be interested to know whether any of the Maine Two-footers ever had a single pipe continuous automatic Eames vaccuum brake?

Alan Downey

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2016, 11:05:43 AM »
Hi John,

No railroad has ever had Eames automatic brakes. While Fred Eames developed and patented the system, it was never actually made. This is why so much of our implementation had to be designed form scratch, based only on the concepts laid out in the patents. However, both the SR&RL, and the B&SR had Eames straight vacuum brakes, and I think (?) the WW&F had them on the passenger equipment, and I think the KC had them as well. Jason is really the expert here. You can still see the entire vacuum system (and tandem positive pressure air brake system) underneath the Rangeley which is kind of amazing when you decipher the piping and valves. We also have a few of the original vacuum brake cylinders from B&SR box cars which are identical to the ones formerly under Coach 3, and we plan to repair them and put them back into service on under Coach 3.

Philip, we'll start with the treatise and see where that goes!
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Dave Crow

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2016, 11:34:49 AM »
I believe one or both of the coaches at the Sandy River museum in Phillips also have both braking systems underneath; there were photos of the frame for #5, I believe, showing both the vacuum pots and the Westinghouse reservoir and cylinder.

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Philip Marshall

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2016, 12:16:08 PM »
The SR&RL went through a transition period in the 1910s-1920s (coinciding with MEC ownership) when some of their locomotives had vacuum brakes and some had air brakes, so the passenger cars at least had to be fitted with both (which I assume would also have required two sets of brake hoses). I don't know about the freight equipment though.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #72 on: June 06, 2016, 12:17:47 PM »
Some of the British narrow gauge locos are equipped with a valve that can control steam, air and vacuum brakes. I'm not sure if that's all at the same time, though!

Alan Downey

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #73 on: June 06, 2016, 01:29:05 PM »
Philip, when I studied the brake hardware underneath the Rangeley (and got all sorts of weird looks from most of the other patrons), I found an impressive arrangement of check valves which meant that both the Westinghouse and Eames systems worked off of the same single train pipe with no manual manipulation of the system to go from one operating mode to the other. The end hose was not present, but I would assume they would have used a traditional Westinghouse gladhand for the pressure retention requirements. This would also mean that their vacuum equipped engines would have been equipped with the same Westinghouse fittings- surely making poor Fred Eames roll over in his grave. Seeing such an elaborate but elegant solution was surprising and impressive to say the least. I strongly encourage fellow brake nerds to crawl around on the floor of MNG to check the whole thing out.
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Philip Marshall

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Re: Eames Train Brakes - Official Work Thread
« Reply #74 on: June 06, 2016, 03:11:05 PM »
Wow, very neat information, Alan. Thank you.