Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Engineers and Mechanics Encyclopedia 1839: Railways: John Blyth

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John Blyth, a young engineer of excellent abilities, residing at Limehouse, obtained a patent on the 31st of December, 1835, for "an improved method of retarding the progress of carriages in certain cases," which is extremely simple and effectual. It consists of a friction wheel, fixed on to the inner side of the nave of the running wheel (or wheels); around this is brought a friction band, and hence it is conducted and made fast to the carriage body in such manner that when descending a hill or inclined plane, the carriage body slides forward and draws the frictions band against the friction wheel. The natural force of gravity is thus admirably employed to counteract its inconveniences "in certain cases;" and it will be observed that the force of retardation will be exactly as it is required; that is, in proportion to the inclination of the plane on which the carriage is descending.

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