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Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopedia 1839: Railways: John Baynes

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The next subject in chronological order that is connected with locomotion is but little calculated to advance the general welfare; but there are some of our readers to whom it may prove sufficiently interesting and amusing. It is a very ingenious modification of Brunton's mechanical traveller, described at page 398, and is the subject of a patent granted to John Baynes, a cutler, of Sheffield, in September, 1819.

The mechanism is designed to be attached to carriages for the purpose of giving them motion by means of manual labour, or by other suitable power. It consists of a peculiar combination of levers and rods, represented in the drawing, in which a and b, are treadles moving upon joints, and having slips or openings about two-thirds of their length, for the legs and rods to move in; c and d are legs or crutches, which geer against the ground as fulcra, by which the carriage is moved forward; e and f are rods which support the legs; g and h are double rods, by which each treadle is connected to its leg; the leg c, the supporting rod e, and the treadle-rods g, are joined together by a pivot at i; the leg d, the supporting-rod f, and the treadle-rods h, are joined together at the pivot k.

The mode of operating is described as follows:-

"Press upon the treadle a, when the rods g will bring down the pivot i with the leg c, the rod h and the rod p into the situation represented in outline; the carriage being connected to the leg c by the rod e, will, by the action of the leg and rods, be impelled forward. At the same time, by pulling a cord l (which passes through a pulley-block m, and is connected at its two extremities to the rods, e and f, by the arms n and o) the leg d, the rod f, the rods h, and the pivot k, will be brought up to the situation of c-e-g and i respectively, ready for a stroke of the treadle b, which being then raised, will again impel the carriage."

The patentee also states that -

"there may be several sets of the machinery above described for working each set with a treadle; or even only one set and one treadle; but I prefer two for ordinary purposes, particularly when only a single person is intended to be conveyed in the carriage, who may work the same by placing one foot on each treadle, in which the action will be alternate. The lower parts of the leg should be so formed or shod as not to slip upon the ground. This machinery may be variously applied to carriages, according to circumstances, so as that the treadles may be worked either behind or before the carriage, still producing a forward motion; in some cases it may be advantageous to joint the front end of the treadles to the carriage, and press the feet on the hind ends."

Our common roads, although constantly undergoing ameliorations, have not yet arrived at that degree of excellence to enable such machines as the foregoing to be worked by manual labour advantageously; but we look forward to the period when (owing to the spirit of emulation that will be excited by the success of the railway system) the resistance to the motion of wheeled carriages on the public highways will be reduced to half its present amount; which will render manual locomotive carriages, in many cases, not only practicable, but highly convenient and useful to their private owners. We would not, however, be understood as inferring cleat such motive force can ever come into successful competition with steam or even horse-power, as a means of public transport; nor that such a machine as Mr. Baynes's is calculated to apply human strength in the most favourable manner. Hereafter we shall have more to remark on this subject.

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