LOCOMOTIVE UPON BLENKINSOP'S RAILWAY, 1812
In 1851 a Mr. Blenkinsop of Leeds took out a patent for a
machine and rail adapted to each other; a rack or toothed rail
was to be laid down along one side of the track, into which a
toothed wheel of his locomotive worked.
The boiler of his engine was supported by a carriage upon four
wheels without teeth and resting immediately on the axles. These
curved entirely independent of the working parts of the engine
and merely supported its weight, the progress being effected by
the motion of the cogged wheels working on the cogged wheel.
This engine began running on the railroad from the Middleton
colliers to the town of Leeds, about 3¼ miles on the 12th
August 1812. For a number of years it was a permanent object of
curiosity and was visited by crowds of strangers from all parts.
These engines (for several were afterward constructed) drew
after them 30 coal cars, loaded at a speed of 3¼ miles per
hour, and were in use for many years and may justly be
considered as the first instance of the employment of locomotive
power for commercial purposes.
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