Railway terminology - frog

The drift in the TTTE thread to reilaway terminology reminds me of a
question:
Where does the term "frog", commonly use by modellers, come from?
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
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I don't know, but it's interesting to note that the term was also used to describe the "point" mechanism on junctions in trolleybus wires.
Reply to
The Gardener
It's one of those terms that goes 'way back, the origins of which are disputed. One of the suggestions is that it looks similar to the frog of a horse's hoof.
Reply to
James Robinson
By analogy with railway points/turnouts. Actually, frog should refer to where the positive and negative wires cross. Also applies to tram wires.
Reply to
MartinS
It may have become commonly adopted in modelling before the UK and NA terms for that component diverged wholly - when both terms were still admissable on both sides of the Atlantic.
Reply to
Andy Breen
It goes back to the early days of railways - I checked and was wrong about it being the vee of a cloven hoof, it's the same shape as the visible cartilage in the middle of a horse's hoof, In those days everybody knew horses.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
I'd agree, it is probably a term that has diverged from it origins.
My understanding is that modelers and trolleybus adopted the same term for track points and overhead wires because there is the similar technical function of crossing one pole with the opposite pole, albeit implemented in different ways. But where the term came from I've never heard.
Is there some old electrical term like frog switch ? (Not switch in the sense of rail points)
I used to think the term had some meaning on real railways for switches and crossings - since I joined the present metro environment I am the term is unknown. Thats not to say its not used anywhere, I just mean it is not known on the infrastructure I work with. Likewise - but digressing - the term feather for a multi white lamp route indicator is unknown, if it has an unofficial name, it is "harbour lights".
-- Nick
-- Nick
Reply to
D7666
as an unofficial name, it is "harbour lights".
OTH, frog could have something to do with this company
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is this chickens and egss - the company named after an item it cast, or did it cast them with their name on and people then called the castings frogs ?
-- Nick
Reply to
D7666
True enough but I just I happen to have the other halfs elderly cousin here so I'll so I'll ask her what she called em. --------- Frogs she says . Former conductress on Bournemouth Trolley buses, she is now using a Corgi model and a cocktail stick to demonstrate too a much younger relative how she maneuvered the booms.
G.Harman
Reply to
damduck-egg
On the Bradford system, most of the overhead points were operated by the conductor pulling a handle attached to a cable on a traction pole, which mechanically pulled over the spring-loaded frog. At some busy locations where routes diverged, a power on/power off detector on the overhead would change the points electrically when required. There was also a manual pull in case this didn't work. The crews hated having to pull out those long bamboo poles from under the chassis if they could help it.
At some turning circles on wide roads, e.g. Thornton Road, a string of lightbulbs like Blackpool fairy lights was hung to guide drivers around the curve at night.
Reply to
MartinS
Which sounds like "frog" may have been the original term for that component of pointwork (I must check some of my waggonway texts..[1]), and that whilst it persisted in NA and in modelling, for some reason it was replaced by a cumbersome and new-fangled invented term in UK usage.
[1] A memory stirs that "frog" was indeed used as a term in the early years of the 19th century, at least. I will look tomorrow to see if I can find evidence of it earlier. Lewis, I suspect, will be the place to start..
Reply to
Andy Breen
Is it perhaps an item that has traditionally been cast as a single piece across the pond, but traditionally fabricated or at least cast in separate parts over here - which means the name might not have applied ?
-- Nick
Reply to
D7666

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