So you cannot come up with a description for a simple expansion
locomotive using Mallet's articulation system because "articulated" is
Perhaps you should not have jumped in with snide remarks about people
who actually have rather more experience of different kinds of
articulated locomotives than you do?
There is no such thing as "Mallet's articulation system". Never was.
Here's the facts: Mallet did not patent an "articulation system"
because you can't patent a hinge with a set of wheels at each end.
Patents are for *new* ideas, and that one had been around ever since
somebody first hitched two horse-drawn wagons together. (And this was
pointed out earlier in this thread by someone else.)
He patented the system of re-using the steam that had powered the high-
pressure cylinders of the rear engine to power another set of low-
Therefore when we use the word "Mallet" properly, we're speaking
exclusively of the sort of engine he patented and was named after him:
a compound Mallet. Unless, of course, you're trying to say that
because various folks use Mallet incorrectly to designate *any*
articulated locomotive we must accept their incorrect usage.
But we don't. And as people who are -in theory- interested in steam
locomotive technology, we shouldn't.
Example: one of my regular customers -now deceased- was a longtime
Southern Pacific engineer named Tom Moore who ran cab-forwards from
1941 until they were phased out in the mid '50s. I once asked him
teasingly why the S.P. engine crews always referred to the big L.A.
roundhouse as the "Mallet House", since he was always adamant about
correcting anyone who referred to a cab-forward as a "Mallet".
His answer was revealing. He said "Oh, it's okay when *we* do it! But
*we* know the difference!" What he was saying -in case it went past
you- was that words have distinct meanings, and that if we begin using
them interchangably they lose their ability to designate between the
infinite variations of real-world objects.
That's why we have seperate names for different types of articulated
locomotives: "Beyer-Garret", "Mallet", "Simple Articulated", and so
on. "Articulated" is the generic word and tells us that the loco is
hinged in some manner or other, but the individual proper names tell
us *exactly* what we're speaking of, while using "Mallet" as a generic
for any articulated loco does not.
Who else devised the system of articulation that bears his name??
And how did he get away with patenting compounding then because it had
already been patented in Britain.
You can't have it both ways.
But in any case it is irrelevant that he didn't patent that system of
articulation. He was the first to use it.
However he was not the first to patent the use of compounding.
Look up "non sequitur".
And we are describing the method of articulation he devised.
Unless of course we are describing his method of articulation.
No. It's just that with the various articulated locomotives, they are
described by the name of the person who devised the articulation
On 9/4/2009 3:57 AM Christopher A. Lee spake thus:
OK, OK, cool it already!
Gosh, don't we just love it 'round 'heah when two loco-geeks get in a
big ol' hissy fit?
So my question to the both of youse, as well as anyone else here who
know about this stuff, is this: can you point us to an authoritative
source of information on Mallets and articulation and compounding and
And puleeze, don't even think about mentioning Wikipedia. I'm talking
about reliable sources, preferably online (I don't currently have access
to much in the way of real railroad books, though I'm sure this would be
the best place to look for such information).
Any such pointers would be appreciated by us here in the peanut gallery
who don't really know all that much about this stuff.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
From Loco 1: Steam Locomotives (Linn Westcott, Kalmbach Publishing Co,
1960), p.235 sidebar, "The Articulateds".
"The Mallets were built in Europe from 1888 onward. Alco built the first
in [the USA] for the B&O in 1908. These 0-6-6-0 engines lacked guiding
[pilot] wheels and so were not used for mainline running except as
helpers. The first Mallet road engines were those for the Great
Northern, plan 113. On both of these early engines, Stephenson valve
gear proved impractical and Walschaerts was used."
Westcott also remarks that Mallets are compound engines. At first, he
says, articulated engines were used for slow speed drag freight and hump
yard duty (in part I suspect because balancing the steam consumption and
tractive effort of high and low pressure cylinders is easier at lower
speeds.) Simple articulated engines were built from the 1920s onward,
when reliable high pressure steam-line joints were developed. These
simple engines were built for higher speeds than the Mallets, and
several were dual service locomotives. Westcott also mentions the
problems of insufficient weight on the front engine, etc.
The use of "Mallet" for simple articulateds was, as already mentioned,
an extension of the term for convenience sake. Thank you, Bill May, for
reporting how the term was used when you worked as a fireman, and
especially the etiquette of correct usage. This is the sort of
information that lexicographers love to have. ;-)
As far as I can make out, articulation plus compounding was tried not
only for agility around tight curves, but also for economy: until it was
proven otherwise, people believed that one boiler feeding two engines
would save fuel and water. As I mentioned earlier, fuel and water are
only two factors in the cost of operating a locomotive.
Locomotives in Profile, Vol 1 (Brian Reed, ed., New York, Doubleday &
Co, 1971), pp 135-148, "The Mallets".
I have a couple other books that refer to Mallets and other articulated
engines, most of which (including Mallets in Europe) were built for
narrow gauge railways.
Simple graphic proof that the railroads themselves differentiated
between Mallets and simple articulateds -and called them by those
names- lies in the Southern Pacific's locomotive class designations.
The first S.P. articulateds -which *were* true Mallets- were
designated "MC" -as in "MC-57"- which stood for "Mallet Consolidation
(57" drivers)", and was promptly changed to "MC-1" -"Mallet
Consolidation (1st version)"- just as soon as the S.P. decided that
they were more or less a success and were going to be followed by
other classes of similar locomotives.
When they turned these same locos around to become the first S.P. cab-
forwards, the designation changed to "MC-2"; meaning "Mallet
Consolidation (2nd version)".
And when the MC-2s were later converted to simple articulateds, their
designation changed once more; this time to "AC-1"; meaning
"Articulated Consolidation". (Having been simpled they were no longer
Mallets, and hence lost the "M" designation.)
S.P. continued to use this same system for as long as it had steam
engines, with "MC" or "MM" ("Mallet Mogul") always designating the
true Mallet designs that featured compound cylinders, and "AC" or
"AM" ("Articulated Mogul") always designating the simple articulateds.
Reference book here is Diebert & Strapic's "Southern Pacific Company
Steam Locomotive Compendium", Shade Tree Books, 1987, pp. 221-231.
Now: while it's absolutely true that "Mallet" was often incorrectly
used as slang to designate any old articulated engine, in reality the
railroads, the engine crews, and anyone who knew the difference called
them what they truly were.
"Steam Locomotive" is the set. "Articulated" is a subset of "Steam
Locomotive", and "Mallet" is a subset of "Articulated Steam
Locomotive". One that designates a particular *type* of articulated,
just as "articulated" designates a particular *type* of steam engine.
However, I'm thinking of starting a betting pool on how long it will
take Ser Lee to inform us that Diebert & Strapic -not to mention the
Southern Pacific- "got it wrong".
It isn't. It's only used to described engines using his system of
Not incorrectly, because it was his system of articulation.
Is it American parochalism because they don't know all the other kinds
More snide nastiness.
Do these simply repeat what others have said like you do, or do they
cite Mallet's original patent?
Why don't YOU post a link to Mallet's patent to back up your claim
instead of secondary sources which simply repeat what others have said
which themselves don't provide an original?
Here's a clue: if you hadn't added some snide remarks about people who
know more than you do not knowing, then this flame fest probably
wouldn't have happened.
Especially if you hadn't cut'n'pasted from a site that simply repeated
it, coupled with a put down insult instead of even trying to
understand why you were wrong.
I haven't found Mallet's patent on line, but interestingly page 461 of
the Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology, Volume 39 at
describes Mallet as "Swiss engineer, inventor of the compound steam
locomotive and the Mallet articulated locomotive"
Its bibliography reference, ie its source, is "1884, French patent
number 162,876 (articulated locomotive)" which makes me wonder how
many people who make this claim have actually read it or are just
repeating something n-th hand.
In other words the title of the patent is for an articulated
locomotive not a compound articulated.
Which word didn't YOU understand this time?
On Sun, 06 Sep 2009 06:10:05 -0400, Christopher A. Lee
I found this translation of a paper Mallet himself gave in French, in
Railway locomotives and cars, Volume 65 from 1891
It's on pages 202-204.
There is a drawing of his first articulated locomotive, which it
interestingly calls the Decauville system (the builder).
He also refers to a paper from 1877 which I haven't found.
Incidentally, would his first locomotive, a rigid 0-4-2 tank engine
that was a 2-cyliner compound also be called a Mallet by the "logic"
that says only hic compounds should be called Mallets?
Even though it is the label given to both simple and compound engines
using the system of articulation he devised?
On Mon, 07 Sep 2009 03:25:31 +1200, Christopher A. Lee
Mallet's patent refered to the compounding system used on his 0-4-2t loco.
Mallet then went on to invent the articulation system used on the
0-4-4-0T. I'm not aware of a patent on the system of articulation. As
numerous locos have been built with Mallet type articulation by other
than Decauville in the years that would have been covered by a patent, I
that there was a patent.
Cite. I have done so multiple times. You either will not or cannot.
Sure. That must be it.
And that neatly sums up your position:
(A) Pete is wrong.
(B) Any website Pete cites that says anything other than what you want
to believe also "got it wrong".
(C) Diebert and Strapac -who literally wrote the book on S.P. steam-
also somehow "got it wrong".
(D) So did the engine crews who worked the actual locomotives.
(E) The entire Southern Pacific railroad "got it wrong" as well.
(F) And you, who can seemingly provide no cites to back your claim,
So thanks for that clarification, because it tells us exactly where
you stand: In mid-air with no visible means of support.
And now I bid you a fond farewell.
Whoa there big guy.
Before you get your panties further bunched up (and the same applies to
Messr. Lee), allow me to intercede a moment if you will.
Don't you think that part of this issue, at least, is the difference
between the specific technical meaning of terms such as "Mallet" and the
common usage of such terms by those in the trade, which may not always
jibe with the actual technical meaning?
In other words, the same term may mean different things to different
people, subject to common usage (shoptalk, parlance, jargon), regardless
of whether that term is precisely technically correctly used.
In the case of a particularly obscure term (to most laypersons) like
"Mallet", seems to me this confusion is only compounded. So before you
huff off calling the other guy a complete asshole, at least consider the
DISCLAIMER: I'm agnostic on the matter, not knowing enough to argue one
way or the other.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
Except that your cites have also merely repeated what other people
Only if you can't read.
The web page you quoted just made the same claim you did without
justifying it or citing any sources. Nor have any others I have found.
Even Wikipedia just refers to a popular railway writer.
It is what some people call the "Wikipedia syndrome" although it's not
just Wikipedia. Something is on the web so it must be right, without
The web is a good place to start research because it can tell you what
to look for, but you need to compelete the process by looking for it.
Whereas I have explained WHY people use the name Mallet to describe
locomotives using his system of articulation.
Hint: it's the same reason that Garratts, Meyers, Fairlies and all the
others are given the name of the person who devised that system of
And also the same reason that De Glehn, Webb, Von Borries, Smith,
Golsdorf and all the others gave their names to different systems of
Whether you like it or not, Mallet devised BOTH the articulation
system that carries his name AND the compound system that also bears
And whether you like it or not, there are a lot of other systems of
both articulation and compounding which also carry the name of their
And also whether you like it or not, people with any knowledge of
railway history also recognise Mallet's contribution to compounding.
If the engines were described as "Mallet's patent engine" you might
have had a point. But they're not and you haven't.
Care to tell us what other railway and non-railway patents he took
Would you describe his first patented compounds with 2-cylinders and a
rigid wheelbase, as Mallets?
Where did Pete cite any original sources?
Why do you lie about "anything other than what I want" when you know
perfectly well it's about backing up a claim?
Simply pointing to a web site that makes the claim without backing it
up, doesn't make it so.
I suggest you look up the fallacy of the argument from authority. We
need to know why say something not just that they do.
Do any of these quote Mallet's patent?
Do any of these quote Mallet's patent?
Did they quote Mallet's patent?
Why don't you learn to read and address the arguments raised?
Why do you feel the need to keep resorting to personal lies and
A tacit admission on your part.
Here's a clue:
If you hadn't snidely said
A "Mallet", by definition, *is* a compound Mallet, although simple
articulateds were also sometimes misnomered as Mallets by folks who
didn't really understand the difference. In their minds two or more
sets of drivers with a hinge in between equaled a "Mallet".
about people who do actually understand there would have been no
I just want a good explanation why "Mallet" shouldn't be used to
describe locomotives using his articulation system. I've never liked
the American use of "articulated" to describe this because in the rest
of the world other forms of articulation were as common if not more
Do Americans consider Shays, Heislers and Climaxes to be articulated?
You can use the term that way, and it is used thus by many people. But
"technically", the term applies only to compound articulated locomotives.
Really, Chris, there's no point arguing about what a word "really
means." Words just mean what people intend and understand them to mean.
Meanings vary in space and time. This thread has testified to the fact
that "articulated" and "Mallet" are used for several different meanings
when applied to locomotives. What's wrong with that?
No. Well, I wouldn't, anyhow. ;-) The engines are mounted on the
locomotive's main frames. The drive wheels are mounted in trucks
(bogies) driven by gears/shafts from the engine. Just like a diesel.
An articulated locomotive is one with two (or more) frames carrying the
engines. These frames are joined (hinged). The term is usually applied
only to steam locomotives, but the GG-1, whose main engineframes are
joined with a hinge, may be considered an articulated electric
locomotive, and has been described as such. (Sorry, citation n/a.)
In USA/Canada, other types of articulation are named, eg, Fairlie.
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