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/VIRE ?s 









Vire-Rope Tra 




Mine Haulage 




/ER trans: 





;nton, New Jersi 

!v, U. S. A. 




Wire Rope Transportation 


Wire Rope Tramways, 


THE '^BLEICHERT: *'R0E" and *'AGME^' patent SYSTEMS; 

Patent Hoist-Conveyors, 

For Quarries, Dam Building, Open Cut Work, &c.; 

Wire Rope Outfits 

For Shafts, Inclined Planes, Surface and Underground Haulage Plants, &c. 


Power Transmissions. 



COOPER, HEWITT & CO., 17 Burling Slip, 



T>*Hi«^Or.T^T.OV Try^,,^^! 


\ cifa 

Wgllsco D. Barhley 

I 8 

Wire Rope Tramways. 

Introductory Remarks. 

Wire rope tramways have been long recognized as a means of 
cheap transportation. Their advantages as feeders to established sys- 
tems of railroad or water communication, and their low cost of con- 
struction, especially in mountainous localities, where any kind of sur- 
face road would be scarcely practicable, except with long and costly 
detours, is well understood. Even where there are few or no natural 
obstacles to the building of a surface road, wire rope tramways pos- 
sess many advantages to commend them. They are seldom affected 
by fire, wind or flood ; the service is entirely free from surface traffic, 
snow or other obstructions ; stoppages for repairs are rare, and 
operating expenses are relatively low. The terminals are so arranged 
that the material transported can be delivered at the exact spot where 
it is needed, thus saving all expense of re-handling. This could not 
be done with a surface road, since, even if the cars are brought close 
to the point at which the material is required, there would still be a 
further expense for unloading, besides the cost of switching. 

We manufacture three distinct systems of aerial transportation, all 
protected by patents, the "Bleichert," the "Acme," and the "Roe," the 
relative merits of which are herein set forth. The first two belong to 
that type in which the loads are suspended from stationary rail cables, 
and are propelled by means of an independent traction rope ; and the 
latter to the single rope type in which an ordinary endless rope not 
only carries the pendant loads but is also the means of propulsion. 

We are also prepared to manufacture equipments for the special 
types of wire rope tramways, cable hoist-conveyors, and surface 
haulage plants, described in the following pages, and others specially 
designed to meet extraordinary conditions. 

The Bleichert System 


Wire Rope Tramways 

The ** Bleichert " system of wire rope tramways is most com- 
plete in all its appointments ; it can be operated in any locality ; 
it is well adapted to the transportation of all kinds of materials, 
and is especially recommended for heavy service, and where steep 
grades and long spans occur. Every detail has been thoroughly 
worked out and proved by actual practice. The materials used 
are of the strongest and best, and the workmanship first class in 
every respect. All parts of the machinery are made to standard 
gauges, so that repairs can be made promptly and cheaply. The 
general design is such as to make the action of the tramway as 
nearly automatic as can be, so that but little labor is required in the 
operation of these lines. The cars can be raised or lowered at any 
terminal or intermediate station by our special hoists, from one level 
to another, or from one floor to another, in a warehouse or factory for 
instance, and upon arriving at the desired elevation or floor, can be 
conveyed by our suspended or shunt rails to any point for loading or 
unloading. Scales are furnished of special design for weighing the 
loaded cars, or counters which will automatically register the number 

By means of specially designed cars the buckets can also be trans- 
ferred from the hanging rail to surface tracks and taken directly to the 
working faces of the mine or quarry, as the case may be, brought back 
and sent over the line, without re handling of the material. 

The " Bleichert " system permits of the introduction of inter- 
mediate loading stations at any point, which may be movable or per- 
manent structures as desired. It is also well adapted to the loading 
and unloading of vessels (see illustrations on pages 20 and 22), 

Wire Rope Tramways 

Introductory Remarks. 

Wire rope tramways have teen long recognized as a means of 
cheap transportation. Their advantages as feeders to established sys- 
tems of railroad or water communication, and their low cost of con- 
struction, especially in mountainous localities, where any kind of sur- 
face road would be scarcely practicable, except with long and costly 
detours, is well understood. Even where there are few or no natural 
obstacles to the building of a surface road, wire rope tramways pos- 
sess many advantages to commend them. They are seldom affected 
by fire, wind or flood ; the service is entirely free from surface traffic, 
snow or other obstructions ; stoppages for repairs are rare, and 
operating expenses are relatively low. The terminals are so arranged 
that the material transported can be delivered at the exact spot where 
it is needed, thus saving all expense of re-handling. This could not 
be done with a surface road, since, even if the cars are brought close 
to the point at which the material is required, there would still be a 
further expense for unloading, besides the cost of switching. 

We manufacture three distinct systems of aerial transportation, all 
protected by patents, the "Bleichert," the "Acme," and the "Roe," the 
relative merits of which are herein set forth. The first two belong to 
that type in which the loads are suspended from stationary rail cables, 
and are propelled by means of an independent traction rope ; and the 
latter to the single rope type in which an ordinary endless rope not 
only carries the pendant loads but is also the means of propulsion. 

We are also prepared to manufacture equipments for the special 
types of wire rope tramways, cable hoist-conveyors, and surface 
haulage plants, described in the following pages, and others specially 
designed to meet extraordinary conditions. 

The Bleichert System 


Wire Rope Tramways 

The ** Bleichert " system of wire rope tramways is most com- 
plete in all its appointments ; it can be operated in any locality ; 
it is well adapted to the transportation of all kinds of materials, 
and is especially recommended for heavy service, and where steep 
grades and long spans occur. Every detail has been thoroughly 
worked out and proved by actual practice. The materials used 
are of the strongest and best, and the workmanship first class in 
every respect. All parts of the machinery are made to standard 
gauges, so that repairs can be made promptly and cheaply. The 
general design is such as to make the action of the tramway as 
nearly automatic as can be, so that but little labor is required in the 
operation of these lines. The cars can be raised or lowered at any 
terminal or intermediate station by our special hoists, from one level 
to another, or from one floor to another, in a warehouse or factory for 
instance, and upon arriving at the desired elevation or floor, can be 
conveyed by our suspended or shunt rails to any point for loading or 
unloading. Scales are furnished of special design for weighing the 
loaded cars, or counters which will automatically register the number 

By means of specially designed cars the buckets can also be trans- 
ferred from the hanging rail to surface tracks and taken directly to the 
working faces of the mine or quarry, as the case may be, brought back 
and sent over the line, without re handling of the material. 

The " Bleichert " system permits of the introduction of inter- 
mediate loading stations at any point, which may be movable or per- 
manent structures as desired. It is also well adapted to the loading 
and unloading of vessels (see illustrations on pages 20 and 22), 


The chart of details at the end of the chapter gives 
a general idea of a few of the various applicntions to which 
this system of tramways is adapted, all of which are taken 
from lines actually constructed and in constant operation. 

The track cables are of speci:il construction, aiul 
known as the " patent interlocked cable," from the fact 
that the outer wires are of such shape that they interlock, 
with each other, as shown in the accompanying iliustrati an, 
presenting a smooth surface, and yet possessing suffitieni 
flexibility to be shipped in coils. This cable gives 
the highest degree of service with minimum wear 
on the carriage wheels. It is made of steel wires 
in lengths of from 400 to 500 feet, joined b^ 
patented couplings (see Tig. 116, page ■145)- 

The carrying cables being stationary, can be 
locally graduated to the strains they have to bear 
not only in the case of long spans, but also on steep 
grades, where these cables must sustain, in addition 
to^the ordinary working strain, a further strain due 
to the weight of the cables themselves. It is simplj 
necessary to make the portions at these points 
strong enough to bear the extra strain, and not the 
whole length of the cable. The cable for the 
empty cars moreover does not necessarily require 
to be as strong as the cable for the loaded cars, and 
it is therefore made only strong enough for the work 
it has to perform. 

Stationary track-cables possess the great ad- 
vantage of relieving the traction rope to a great 
extent of the weight of the loads and itsown wei, 
as well, so that on com|)aratively level lines the '-'''''■ 

strain upon it is but little more than the tractive force required to move 
the loads. Upon slopes, however, the weight of the loads is shared to 
a certain extent by both carrying cable and traction rope, the amount 
borne by each depending on the inclination ; the steeper the inclination 


Wire Rope Tramways. 

Introductory Remarks. 

Wire rope tramways have teen long recognized as a means of 
cheap transportation. Their advantages as feeders to established sys- 
tems of railroad or water communication, and their low cost of con- 
struction, especially in mountainous localities, where any kind of sur- 
face road would be scarcely practicable, except with long and costly 
detours, is well understood. Even where there are few or no natural 
obstacles to the building of a surface road, wire rope tramways pos- 
sess many advantages to commend them. They are seldom affected 
by fire, wind or flood ; the service is entirely free from surface traffic, 
snow or other obstructions ; stoppages for repairs are rare, and 
operating expenses are relatively low. The terminals are so arranged 
that the material transported can be delivered at the exact spot where 
it is needed, thus saving all expense of re-handling. This could not 
be done with a surface road, since, even if the cars are brought close 
to the point at which the material is required, there would still be a 
further expense for unloading, besides the cost of switching. 

We manufacture three distinct systems of aerial transportation, all 
protected by patents, the"Bleichert,'* the "Acme," and the "Roe," the 
relative merits of which are herein set forth. The first two belong to 
that type in which the loads are suspended from stationary rail cables, 
and are propelled by means of an independent traction rope ; and the 
latter to the single rope type in which an ordinary endless rope not 
only carries the pendant loads but is also the means of propulsion. 

We are also prepared to manufacture equipments for the special 
types of wire rope tramways, cable hoist-conveyors, and surface 
haulage plants, described in the following pages, and others specially 
designed to meet extraordinary conditions. 

The Bleichert System 


Wire Rope Tramways 

The ** Bleichert ** system of wire rope tramways is most com- 
plete in all its appointments ; it can be operated in any locality ; 
it is well adapted to the transportation of all kinds of materials, 
and is especially recommended for heavy service, and where steep 
grades and long spans occur. Every detail has been thoroughly 
worked out and proved by actual practice. The materials used 
are of the strongest and best, and the workmanship first class in 
every respect. All parts of the machinery are made to standard 
gauges, so that repairs can be made promptly and cheaply. The 
general design is such as to make the action of the tramway as 
nearly automatic as can be, so that but little labor is required in the 
operation of these lines. The cars can be raised or lowered at any 
terminal or intermediate station by our special hoists, from one level 
to another, or from one floor to another, in a warehouse or factory for 
instance, and upon arriving at the desired elevation or floor, can be 
conveyed by our suspended or shunt rails to any point for loading or 
unloading. Scales are furnished of special design for weighing the 
loaded cars, or counters which will automatically register the number 

By means of specially designed cars the buckets can also be trans- 
ferred from the hanging rail to surface tracks and taken directly to the 
working faces of the mine or quarry, as the case may be, brought back 
and sent over the line, without re handling of the material. 

The " Bleichert '* system permits of the introduction of inter- 
mediate loading stations at any point, which may be movable or per- 
manent structures as desired. It is also well adapted to the loading 
and unloading of vessels (see illustrations on pages 20 and 22). 

The chart of details at the end of the chapter gives 
a general idea of a few of the various applications to which 
this system of tramways is adapted, all of which are taken 
from lines actually constructed and in constant operation. 

The track cables are of special constructior, and 
known as the " patent interlocked cable," from the fatt 
that the outer wires are of such shape that they interlock, 
with each other, as shown in the accompanying 
presenting a smooth surface, and yet possessing sufli 
flexibility to be shipped in coils. This cable gives 
the highest degree of service with minimum wear 
on the carriage wheels. It is made of steel wires, 
in lengths of from 400 to 500 feet, joined by 
patented couplings (see Fig, 116, page 145)- 

The carrying cables being stationary, can be 
locally graduated to the strains they have to bear, 
not only in the case of long spans, but also on steep 
grades, where these cables must sustain, in addition 
to'the ordinary working strain, a further strain due 
to the weight of the cables themselves. It is simply 
necessary to make the portions at these points 
strong enough to bear the extra strain, and not the 
whole length of the cable. The cable for the 
empty cars moreover does not necessarily require 
to be as strong as the cable for the loaded cars, and 
it is therefore made only strong enough for the work 
it has to perform. 

Stationary track cables possess the great ad- 
vantage of relieving the traction rope to a great 
extent of the weight of the loads and its own weight 
as well, so that on comparatively level lines the C»bie. 

strain upon it is but little more than the tractive force required to nioi 
the loads. Upon slopes, however, the weight of the loads is shared 1 
a certain extent by both carrying cable and traction rope, the amoui 
borne by each depending on the inclinaiion ; the steeper the inclinatic 


The chart of details at the end of the chapter gives 
a general idea of a few of the various applic;uions to which 
this system of tramways is adapted, all of which are taken 
from lines actually constructed and in constant operaiion. 

The track cables are of speci;il construction, and 
known as the "patent interlocked cable," from the fact 
that the outer wires are of such shape that they interlock 
with each other, as shown in the accompanying illustrat on 
presenting a smooth surface, and yet possessing s ffi 
flexibility to be shipped in coils. This cable g ves 
the highest degree of service with minimum ear 
on the carriage wheels. It is made of steel w res 
in lengths of from 400 to 500 feet, joined b 
patented couplings (see Fig. 116, page 145)- 

The carrying cables being stationary, ca be 
locally graduated to the strains they have to bear 
not only in the case of long spans, but also on steej 
grades, where these cables must sustain, in addit on 
to'the ordinary working strain, a further strain due 
to the weight of the cables themselves. It is simply 
necessary to make the portions at these po nts 
strong enough to bear the extra strain, and not tl e 
whole length of the cable. The cable for the 
empty cars moreover does not necessarily requ re 
to be as strong as the cable for the loaded cars, and 
it is therefore made only strong enough for the work 
it has to perform. 

Stationary track-cables possess the great ad- 
vantage of relieving the traction rope to a great 
extent of the weight of the loads and its own weight 
as well, so that on comparatively level lines the '-'"'"■ 

strain upon it is but little more than the tractive force required to 1 
the loads. Upon slopes, however, ihe weight of the loads is share 
a certain extent by both carrying cable and traction rope, the am 
borne by each depending on the inclination ; the steeper the inclin; 


the greater the strain on the traction rope and the less that on the carry 
ing cable, and vice versa. It is important, therefore, in estimating upon 
any lines to know what the grades are. A further advantage derived 
from the use of stationary traek-cables is due to the high tension to 
which these are stretched, thus securing to the loads a comparatively 
direct path ; in other words they are subject to less fluctuations of rise 
and fall or wave motion than in single rope lines, since in the latter the 
deflections for similar loads must necessarily be greater to correspond 
with a practical safe working, tension, and the double duty the rope 
has to perform of supporting and moving the loads. The strain due 
to the moving loads, therefore, in the ** Bleichert " system, is not only 
less, but being borne by two ropes instead of one, the wear and tear in 
consequence are very much less. For this reason also, and owing to 
the greater strength of the carrying cables, the " Bleichert " system is 
adapted to the transportation of much heavier loads than is practicable 
in any kind of single rope tramway. 

Our practice is to lay out the line of the track cables very care- 
fully for a certain safe working tension, and erect the supports to this 
line, the cables being actually stretched to a somewhat lower tension, 
so that there may be no possibility of their rising out of the saddles 
upon which they rest. 

The spacing of the supports depends altogether on the contour of 
the ground. On level stretches the distance is from 150 to 200 feet, 
according to the capacity of the line. Where the contour is much 
broken, as exemplified in the profile of the United Concentration 
Company's line, at Monte Cristo, Washington (see sheet of pro- 
files), the distances between the supports vary very much, being closer 
on the ridges and wider apart in the valleys. Where the ridge is a 
very sharp one, we introduce what are termed " rail stations," which 
consist of a series of bents, from 15 to 20 feet apart, supporting rails 
which overlie the track cables, and save the latter from undue wear at 
these points. In crossing ravines, valleys, and rivers, on the other 
hand, clear spans have been made up to 2,200 feet, one of this length 
occurring in the line of the Silver Lake Mining Company, Colorado. 

If the line is over a mile in length, it is advisable to apply tension 
to the carrying cables at intermediate points, on account of the saddle 
friction, and special stations are introduced for this purpose. The 


carrying cables are parted here, and the ends either rigidly anchored 
or counterweighted. The cars pass from one section of the cable to 
the next by means of intervening rails, so that no interruption occurs 
in the continuity of the track. 

For short lines and light service, a single line of carrying cable 
may be used. In such cases, convenient turnouts are arranged along 
the line, and the trains of cars so spaced as to pass at these turnouts. 
The only advantage possessed by these single track lines is their com- 
parative cheapness of installation ; the cost of operating is about the 
same as those of the regular construction. 

The cars are attached to the traction ropes by means of patent 
grips of such construction that upon arriving at either terminal or 
other station they are detached automatically, the carriages leaving 
the carrying cables and running on elevated rails supported by the 
structure of the station. 

Two styles of grips are made : one depending simply on frictional 
contact to hold the cars, the other of a positive nature, designed to 
straddle lugs, secured to the traction rope at intervals regulated by the 
amount of material to be transported, and used where steep grades 
occur. These lugs are made in halves, and applied in such a way that 
they can be readily replaced by new ones, or moved to other points 
along the traction rope, as circumstances may require. 

Intermediate loading stations are so designed as not to interfere 
with the through traffic. Horizontal bends, however, require stations 
at which all cars must be detached, and passed by hand from one sec- 
tion to the next, and for this reason they are undesirable unless occur- 
ring at points of loading or discharge. 

The advantages of the ** Bleichert " system of Wire Rope Tram- 
ways may be summed up as follows : 

I St. — It is adapted to the heaviest traffic. Loads up to a ton in 
weight may be carried, and from 80 to 100 tons per hour transported, 
which is not possible with any kind of single-rope tramway. 

2d. — A speed of j to 4 miles per hour can be maintained^ which 
is not practicable in single-rope lines of the Hallidie and Huson types, 
not only on account of the trouble due to the dropping of the rope 
from the shallow supporting sheaves, but mainly on account of the 
fact that the buckets are permanently attached to the rope, so that 


their loading and discharge must be effected while they are in 

3d — The number of cars required for a given service is less than on 
other lines, 

4th. — The steepest grades can be surmounted without difficulty. 

5 th. — Less power is required, or more developed, as the case may 
be, than in any other system. This is due to the fact that the traction 
rope, instead of being loaded down by the cars, as in single rope lines, 
is itself supported by them to a certain extent, as already explained. 
In other words, a " Bleichert " tramway will work by gravity on a les- 
ser grade for a given output than any other. For instance, the line 
that we built for the Old Dominion Copper Company has a fall of 
only 100 feet in a total length of 1,250 feet, and this line runs by 
gravity on a daily output of 150 tons. 

6th. — The most important advantage is the low cost of operation 
and maintenance. This is due not only to the substantial manner in 
which these lines are constructed, the less wear and tear, and less power 
required, but also to the fact that the greater amount of material 
handled requires no extra labor. 

A brief description of some of the ** Bleichert *' tramways built'by 
us, illustrations of which appear in these pages, will be of interest as 
demonstrating the practical economy and efficiency of the system. 

Its adaptability to mountainous sections is well represented in a num- 
ber of lines, among which that of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Co. 
Idaho, is especially interesting from the fact that it passes over the town 
of Wardner in a clear span of 1,173 ^^^t, as shown in the accompanying 
views, and is a good illustration of the positive advantage of long spans 
in maintaining approximately direct grade lines. The original line had 
a station at Wardner which practically divided the tramway in two sec- 
tions. This station was taken out and with it two of the supports, owing 
to the difficulty experienced in transferring the cars, on account of the 
steep angles of the converging cables. The long span not only overcame 
this trouble but also saved the expense of attendance required at this 
station. The total length of the line is 9,000 feet, and the fall 713 feet, 
which is amply sufficient for it to run by gravity. At two points where 
the tramway passes over mountain crests it is supported by rail stations, 
such as described on page 11. These are low structures and are there- 


fore roofed in to protect them from snow. The tramway is used to 
transport silver and lead-bearing ores from the mines to the concen- 
trating works at Kellogg, and has carried as much as 50 tons per 
hour, which is somewhat remarkable, in view of the fact that the 
buckets only hold from 700 to 750 lbs. each, making the corresponding 
intervals between them 25 to 27 seconds. The line was only designed to 
carry 40 tons per hour. The average output is 15,000 tons of ore per 
month, which is transported at a cost of less than 5 cents per ton per 
mile, two-thirds of which represents labor and the balance supplies and 

Another interesting line is one recently built for the Silver Lake 
.Mining Co., Colorado. The line is used for the transportation of gold 
and silver-bearing concentrates from the mine to a point connected 
with the railroad, a distance of about 8,400 feet. The capacity of the 
line is about 5 tons per hour, the elevation of the mine above the mill 
being about 2,100 feet and the descending loads developing about 8 
horse-power. Starting out from the loading terminal, the line ascends 
a mountain slope for a short distance on an inclination of about 1:2^, 
and rounding the crest of the mountain it piches down at the opposite 
side on an inclination of about i : 1.8, crossing snow slides in long spans, 
one of which is 2,200 feet, or nearly half a mile in the clear, and is the 
longest span of any similar tramway in the world. There are but 19 
supports in the entire distance, making the average spacing outside of 
the long span referred to over 300 feet. The patent locked-wire rope — 
i diam. — is used for carrying cables on both sides over the entire length 
of the tramway. This line works so satisfactorily that another has 
been built in the same locality for the Iowa Gold Mining and Milling 
Co., which will have an equally long span in it. 

Practical experience has demonstrated that there is no objection 
to long spans, provided there is nothing to interfere with the proper de- 
flection of the cables. A very good illustration of this is afforded in 
the tramway of the Susquehanna Water Power and Paper Co., at Cono- 
wingo, Md., which crosses the Susquehanna river in two spans of 1,700 
feet each, the central support being too feet high, and located on an 
island. The patent locked-wire rope is also used on this line for carry- 
ing cables. The line has been in operation about three years. 

A span of 1,400 feet occurs in a line of the United Concentration 


Co., of Monte Cristo, Washington, where it crosses a deep ravine, be- 
tween the loading terminal at the Pride of the Mountain tunnel, and an 
anchorage-tension station on the crest of a ridge known as Mystery Hill, 
a distance of 2,000 feet. From Mystery Hill the line pitches at a very 
steep angle, crossing a snow slide in a span of 1,280 feet. The total fall 
is 1,820 feet, nearly all of which occurs between Mystery Hill and the 
works at Monte Cristo, a distance of 4,600 feet. Between the Pride 
of the Mountain tunnel and Mystery Hill the patent lockedwire rope is 
used, and the regular interlocked carrying cables on the balance of the 
line. A separate line, 3,700 feet long, transports the ore from some 
tunnels in Mystery Hill and terminates in the common discharge ter- 
minal at the works. 

A span of 1,400 feet also occurs in the Smuggler- Union Mining 
Company's tramway, at Telluride, Col., where it crosses a deep gulch. 
The upper support is 350 feet above the lower, and the greatest eleva- 
tion of the cables above ground about 400 feet. Another line at Guan- 
acevi, Mexico, for conveying ore from Wilson's Mines, contains a span 
of 1,350 feet. The Penn Glass Sand Co.'s line at Scrubgrass, Venango 
Co., Pennsylvania, crosses the Allegheny River in a span of 1,100 feet, 
the patent locked-wire rope being used on the loaded side. 

The application of the Bleichert system to the conveyance of coal 
is well illustrated in the accompanying views of the Royal Coal and 
Coke Co.'s line at Prince, West Va. The mines are located on a steep 
mountain slope on the south side of New River, and the tramway con- 
veys the coal to the C. & O. Railroad on the opposite side. The total 
length of the tramway is 2,800 feet and the fall 820 feet, developing 
about 50 horse-power on a maximum output of 80 tons per hour. The 
inclination at the loading terminal is very steep. One of the views 
shows the structure of this station looking down the line ; the other is 
a view from the north side of the river looking up the line and showing 
the 665- foot river span. The mine inspector for this district, Mr. H. A. 
Robson, in his last report, says : ** The tramway has proved a great suc- 
cess; but few stoppages have occurred, and no loss of life by this de- 
parture from the usual mode of handling coal." 

As an instance of the adaptability of the system to comparatively 
level ground, where the conditions preclude the use of surface tracks, 
we refer to the line of the Trinidad Asphalt Co., on the Island of Trin- 


idad, for conveying asphalt from the pitch lake to vessels at sea. The 
length is 5,100 feet and the entire structure is of iron, including the 
framework of the terminal stations as well as the intermediate supports. 
The loading terminal is located at a point upon the edge of the lake, 
and the discharge terminal is an iron pier, 350 feet long, built out in 
deep water, 1,750 feet from the shore. A view of this end of the line 
is shown. The fall from lake to pier is but 80 feet, most of which oc- 
curs in the last 500 feet, and there are no intervening hills. Seventy- 
five tons per hour is the capacity of the line, requiring about 20 horse- 
power. At the loading terminal the line connects with a surface tram-: 
way, running in a circuit over the lake, the consistency of the material 
being such as to render this practicable. While the material is quite 
soft in the center of the lake, it is hard enough for a considerable dis- 
tance from the border to support heavy weights ; so hard, in fact, that 
the originiil design contemplated an extension of the Bleichert tram- 
way over this lake, with loading terminal near the center and lateral 
branches to the diggings. It was discovered, however, that the whole 
mass was in slow motion, the movement only being discernible after 
the lapse of long intervals by the relative changes in the positions of 
the small islands and other objects. This led to the adoption of a sur- 
face tramway for the lake haul, the termination of the Bleichert line at 
the border of the lake, and the transferring of the buckets from one line 
to the other. The surface cars each hold two buckets, and are propelled 
by an endless rope running continuously in one direction, to which they 
are attached by means of grips. The same engine that operates the 
Bleichert tramway also drives the surface line. In order to avoid the 
slow submergence of the track, which would occur if it had been laid 
directly on the asphalt surface, the rails are laid on a corduroy of palm, 
resting on a mattress of cocorite palm leaves, as shown in the view on 
page 130. At certain points in the circuit, guy lines extend to anchor- 
ages on the shore, in order to keep the track in place. 

The line of the Split Rock Cable Road Co , near Syracuse, New 
York, used for the transportation of lime rock, is 3^ miles long and has a 
daily capacity of 750 tons. It passes over ordinary rolling ground, 
much of which is farm land, and the contour presents no unusual con- 
ditions. This line has been running day and night for nearly seven 
years, and the cost of operating, as determined from actual records, is 

Wire Ro 

pe (Ble 

CKtRr S 


for tlie E 

ouUi Caroli 
ischarge Te 


Length of lin 

e, 700 fe 

tKM) built by The Trenton Iron 
Shore Terminal Cumpany, Charleston, 
; daily capacity, 5cX) tons. View of 

Wire Rope Tramway (Bleichert System) built by The TRE^TON Iron 
Company, Trenton, New Jersey, for the Old Dominion Copper Company, Globe. 
Arizona. Length of line, 1,250 feet ; daily capacity, 175 tons. 


about 6 cents per ton per mile, which includes, in addition to labor and 
repairs, the expenses of right of way and taxes. The line has proved so 
satisfactory that the company are building an extension and branch 
lines, the total length of which will equal if not exceed that of the 
original line. 

We are building for the Compagnie Haitienne, of New York, a line 
on the Island of Hayti, for the transportation of logwood, the total 
length of which, when completed, will be 15 miles. The tramway is 
divided in three sections, each of which constitutes a distinct line in it- 
self, with independent power, the driving stations being located at points 
where bends occur. The cars at these stations will be transferred in 
the usual way from one section to the next, by means of shunt rails, so 
that there will be no rehandling of material. At the driving stations 
sufficient power is provided not only to run the tramway but also to 
operate pumps for purposes of irrigation. The entire structure will be 
of iron. 

Visitors to the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago will 
recognize in the accompanying view the discharge terminal of an inter- 
esting little line which was an exhibit of the Bleichert system, and used at 
times to carry materials to the Mines building ; for this exhibit the 
Trenton Iron Company received an award. The line crossed the 
Intramural railway to a loading station near the exhibit of the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad Company, and was one of the features of special 

Iron Support used on Wire Ro[)e Tramway (BleIChErT SvaTRM) buik by Thb 
Tkkijton Iron Comi'any. Trenton, New Jersey, for the Compagnie Haitieone, Port 
de Paix, Hayti. Length o( line. 12 miles ; daily capacity, lOO tons. 


From The Trinidad Asphalt Co. 

New York, March 9th, 1896. 

The Trenton Iron Co., Trenton, N. J ; 

Gentlemen — Replying to your inquiry of the 5th inst. we have to 
state that the plant for the loading of crude asphalt from the pitch lake 
in Trinidad has been in operation for the past eighteen (18) months 
and has given very satisfactory results. The asphalt is loaded 
in buckets at the pitch lake, and, by means of the Bleichert tramway 
erected by you, is transported to and deposited in the holds of vessels 
lying alongside the pier with only one handling. We are now trans- 
porting from 550 to 650 tons per day when running, and are putting 
the material on board vessel at a much less cost than under the old sys- 
tem, when the loading was done by means of carts and lighters. We 
have no hesitation in expressing our pleasure at the very satisfactory 
results which have been obtained. 

Very truly yours, 

A. L. BARBER, President. 

From The Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining 

AND Concentrating Co. 

Kellogg, Idaho, March 15, 1896. 
The Trenton Iron Co., Trenton, N. J.: 

Gentlemen — In reply to your favor of the 5th inst. regarding the 
operation of our Bleichert tramway, I am pleased to say that the line is 
working to our entire satisfaction. 

The tramway to date has transported from our mine to our mill 
450,000 tons of ore. On the larger portion of the line the original car- 
rying cables are still in use, and are apparently good for considerable 
additional tonnage. The present traction rope has been in use in 


transporting 180,000 tons of ore, and apparently is still in good condi- 
tion. During the last six months (September, 1895, to February, 1896, 
inclusive) the tramway has transported from mine to mill 236,806 buck- 
ets of ore in a total working time of 2,208 hours, of which 172 hours 
were lost, as follows: 

28 hours changing lugs. 

93 hours because of repairs (includes coupling in three new pieces 
of carrying cable at different times). 

27 hours on account of accidents. 

24 hours on account of telephone line and electric lights being out 
of order and ore frozen in chutes, and other like causes. 

In this period the tramway averaged 107^^ buckets of ore 
per hour of total time, or 116^^ buckets of ore per hour of actual 
time in operation. For the above period the average weight of ore car- 
ried by a bucket was 732 pounds. There are 127 buckets (5 cu. ft. 
capacity) on the line placed 140 feet apart. The tramway carries from 
the mill to the mine 10 to 12 cords of wood per day, and could carry 
more if we required it. The operation of the line develops some power 
which is used for hoisting purposes. 

The total operating and repair crew is as follows : 

1 foreman. 

2 tramway men at mill. 
I brakeman at mine. 

I bucketman at mine. 
4 tramwaymen at mine. 
I hope the foregoing, together with the data you already have, will 
give you all the information you wish regarding our tramway, 

Yours truly, 


From The Vermont Marble Co. 

Proctor, Vt., April 2, 1896. 

The Trenton Iron Company, Trenton, N. [.: 

Gentlemen — We have used constantly the wire rope tramway which 
you installed here in June, 1894, and found it in every way very satis- 
factory. It conveys sand from a bank to our mill, a distance of about a 


From The Trinidad Asphalt Co. 

New York, March 9th, 1896. 

The Trenton Iron Co., Trenton, N. J ; 

Gentlemen — Replying to your inquiry of the 5th inst. we have to 
state that the plant for the loading of crude asphalt from the pitch lake 
in Trinidad has been in operation for the past eighteen (18) months 
and has given very satisfactory results. The asphalt is loaded 
in buckets at the pitch lake, and, by means of the Bleichert tramway 
erected by you, is transported to and deposited in the holds of vessels 
lying alongside the pier with only one handling. We are now trans- 
porting from 550 to 650 tons per day when running, and are putting 
the material on board vessel at a much less cost than under the old sys- 
tem, when the loading was done by means of carts and lighters. We 
have no hesitation in expressing our pleasure at the very satisfactory 
results which have been obtained. 

Very truly yours, 

A. L. BARBER, President. 

From The Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining 

AND Concentrating Co. 

Kellogg, Idaho, March 15, i896. 
The Trenton Iron Co., Trenton, N. J.: 

Gentlemen — In reply to your favor of the 5th inst. regarding the 
operation of our Bleichert tramway, I am pleased to say that the line is 
working to our entire satisfaction. 

The tramway to date has transported from our mine to our mill 
450,000 tons of ore. On the larger portion of the line the original car- 
rying cables are still in use, and are apparently good for considerable 
additional tonnage. The present traction rope has been in use in 


1,700 feet, each crossing the Susquehanna River at this point. We are 

perfectly satisfied with the operation of this tramway, as it gives us 

scarcely any trouble, and the costs for repairs up to this time are almost 

too small to note. We will be glad to show this tramway to any one you 

may wish to send here, and if you wish you can refer parties to us. 

Yours truly, 

J. SMITH, Treas. 

Susquehanna Water Power & Paper Co. 

From The Old Dominion Copper Co. 

Globe, Arizona, April 24th, 1892. 

The Trenton Iron Company, Trenton, N. J.: 

Genthfnen — I have your favor of the 13th inst., and note contents 
of same carefully. 

The Bleichert tramway procured from you last year was erected by 
us last fall, and put in operation on the 6th of January, 1892. Since 
that time it has been running daily. 

The line is 1,224 feet long and is used to convey copper ore and 
limestone from the rock-house at our mines to the smelting plant, the 
grade being sufficient to run the line automatically but not to develop 
any additional power. Over this tramway we are now conveying daily 
no tons of copper ore and 30 to 40 tons of limestone in nine hours, 
working time, at a cost of 8.9 cents per ton. We could easily increase 
the capacity greatly, as we have frequently run at the rate of 25 tons an 
hour, which would of course bring the cost down proportionately. 

We had no trouble in the erection of the line, and have none in 
working it. Everything about it works so smoothly that no extra atten- 
tion is needed and no trouble caused, as we are sure of the ore-supply 
in any kind of weather. I am more than pleased with the working of 
this tramway, and can earnestly recommend it to those requiring a cheap 
and reliable method of transporting ore from one point to another. 

Yours truly, 
(Signed) A. L. WALKER, Suft. 

The Old Dominion Copper Co. 






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The Acme System 


Wire Rope Tramways* 

A. H. DeCamp Patents. 

In this system the functions of supporting and propelling the loads 
are performed by independent members, as in the Bleichert system, but 
it differs essentially from the latter system in the fact that the cars are 
adapted to run on surface rails as well as overhead cables, without de- 
taching from the traction rope. The patent interlocked cable, as 
described on page, 9 is recommended for the suspended trackway, 
although cases may occur where it is desirable to use the *'locked- 
wire '* rope, which is stronger and requires no couplings. 

The trackway is double ; that is, the cars are suspended on either 
side, from two parallel cables, and the traction rope travels centrally in 
respect to them, the cars being attached to it by means of patent grips. 
The double trackway permits of very heavy individual loads, as each 
line supports but half the weight, and consequently it is adapted to a 
heavier output than any other system. 

The principles which govern the height and spacing of the sup- 
ports are the same as in the Bleichert system. The supports may be 
of rough or sawed timber or iron, as preferred, and are simple in con- 
struction and easily erected. The double trackway brings the cables 
nearer the posts, which possesses the advantage of greater rigidity. 

The cars are. detached automatically at the terminal stations, and 
conducted to the ground on to surface tracks, and the terminal struct- 
ures therefore are very simple affairs, since no overhead rails have to be 
provided for. For quarry work this is very convenient ; light, portable 
tracks being used, which can be shifted as the face of the quarry is 
worked off. 

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The cars may be arranged to dump either from the side or bottom, 
as circumstances may require, or ordinary buckets may be used which 
discharge by tilting. The bottom dump cars are preferred, as they 
permit of an automatic discharge at any desired points, a feature well 
illustrated in the views on pages 34 and 36 of the Cedar Hill Lime 
Company's line at Port Kennedy, Pa., one showing how railroad cars 
midway between the terminals are loaded, without arresting the motion 
of the tramway car, and the other how the stone is similarly deposited 
at any of the kilns where needed. 

The use of cars adapted to traverse surface rails as well as sus- 
pended cables makes the introduction of side lines as feeders to the 
main tramway a simple matter. For the same reason the construction 
of automatic curves is much simplified. In passing high ridges, where 
the downward pressure in the moving rope often requires expensive 
rail stations or other special supporting structures, in other tramways, 
the great advantage of being able to come down to surface tracks at 
such points can be fully appreciated. 

By attaching the rope to the bottom of the cars no overhead con- 
struction of any sort is required at the terminal stations, as all the driv- 
ing mechan'sra, sheaves, etc., may be placed below the floor or surface 
level, leaving everything above entirely clear for the passage of the cars. 
On account of the great stability of the cars the speed may be as great 
as, if not greater than, in any other system. 

Where the ground for the greater part of the distance admits of 
surface tracks, but is rugged in places, with ravines and rivers to be 
crossed, a combination of surface tracks and " Acme " tramway may be 
employed to advantage, the latter being applied only to the bridging of 
the valleys, streams, and other points where it would be impracticable 
to lay surface tracks. By transporting the material thus in a continuous 
string of comparatively light loads (each car being provided with an 
independent grip), it is evident that a very large tonnage can be sent 
daily over a surface road of light rails, while the suspended way renders 
bridges and trestlework unnecessary, and the first cost of the roadway 
is therefore considerably reduced. 

We commend the Acme system to quarrymen and miners who have 
large outputs to transport. 


The cost of operation, maintenance, and repairs in this system will 
compare favorably with that of any other mode of transportation. 

We present a view of a line at Ivanhoe, Va , used by the Pennsyl- 
vania Zinc and Iron Co , for transporting iron ore from a branch of the 
Norfolk & Western Railroad to their works on the opposite side of New 
River, the tramway being in one span of 580 feet. The capacity is 250 
tons per day. 

From the Cedar Hill Lime Works, Port Kennedy, Pa. 

Port Kennedy, Pa., August loth, 1893. 

The Trenton Iron Company, Trenton, N. J.: 

Gentlemen — Respecting the operations of our Acme steel tramway, 
bought of you, we are pleased to say that our experience with it, cover- 
ing now something over a year, has been highly satisfactory. We 
investigated all systems and methods that might be applied to our work 
before ordering this tramway, and while advised by you that since it 
was an entirely new thing, it must naturally be somewhat experimental, 
its entirely successful operation from the day of starting has settled our 
opinion that we selected the most reliable and economical machine for 
our work. The cars are taken directly to the rock to be loaded in the 
quarry, which is a great convenience and saves much handling. The 
automatic discharge of the stone, either into the railroad cars, just be- 
yond the quarry, or at any of the kilns, is one point of the operation 
which we greatly appreciate. In short, the tramway is a success — it 
has saved us time, patience and money — just what we bought it for. 
You may use our name freely as reference. 

Yours very truly, 


The Roe System 


Wire Rope Tramways. 

Roe & Bedlikgton & Roe's Patents 

The Roe patent single-rope system possesses the merit of simplicity, 
and is offered to meet the demand for a more economical installation 
than the Bleichert or Acme. As im])lied in the title, but one rope is 
employed, which performs the dual function of supporting and pro- 
pelling the loads. The rope is endless and travels continuously about 
terminal sheaves in a parallel circuit, the two members of which or lines, 
of course, move in contrary directions, the loaded buckets being carried 
by one of these and the empties returned by the other, or if desired 
loads may be carried each way. 

In the original " Hodgson " single-rope system, the first to be in- 
troduced in this country, the buckets were hung from saddles or box- 
heads, as they are more commonly known, which straddle the rope. 
These consisted of light malleable iron boxes, containing what are 
termed "bearing blocks," which are pieces of rubber or wood that bear 
against the rope. The frictional contact between these blocks and the 
rope was depended on solely to keep the box-heads in place, and con- 
sequently the system was barred to lines where grades occur steeper 
than 1 14. On steeper inclinations there is danger of the box-heads 
slipping. In the Hallidie single-rope system this difficulty is overcome 
by suspending the buckets from steel clips of peculiar construction, 
which are permanently fastened to the rope. This, however, necessi- 
tates the loading and unloading of the buckets while they are in motion, 
which is a great objection to this system, as these lines in consequence 
can only be run at a very moderate speed — that is, about 180 feet 
per minute — which requires a large outfit of buckets. To obviate 
the objectionable feature of loading on the fly, an automatic loader has 

BOE Patent Box-Hki 


been devised, consisting of a hopper that travels with the buckets in 
the act of loading, and returns to its original position at the bin after 
each bucket is loaded, but it is little better than a makeshift. Another 
objection to the Hallidie system arises from the fact that it only per- 
mits of a half lap of the rope about the terminal sheaves, so that where 
considerable power is required or developed expensive grip wheels 
must be used. 

The Roe system not only overcomes all the objectionable features 
of the Huson and Hallidie, but improvements have been introduced in 
the general design of the supports and terminal machinery which make 
it possible to carry much heavier individual loads, and consequently 
render the system adapted to correspondingly greater outputs. 

In the adoption of box-heads for supporting the pendant buckets 
the Hodgson system has been followed more closely, but the ordinary 
bearing blocks are replaced by iron saddle pieces with small fins or 
lugs on the under faces, which mesh with the strands of the rope in 
such a way that slipping is avoided even on very steep grades. These 
saddle-pieces can be readily replaced as they wear out and constitute the 
distinctive feature of the Roe system. Referring to the accompanying 
cuts it will be observed that the box-head is provided with a pair of 
wheels at one side with grooved rims. The object of these is to free it 
from the rope at the terminal stations, which operation is performed 
automatically by providing rails at these stations, or flat bars suspended 
to the framework, the terminal points of which are bent down or so dis- 
posed to the rope as to come under the box-head wheels. The momen- 
tum of the buckets transfers the box-heads from the rope to the rail, by 
means of which the buckets are conveyed to convenient points of load- 
ing and discharge, as the case may be, while the motion of the rope 
continues uninterrupted. In this respect it is similar to the Bleichert 
system. In attaching the buckets again, the box-heads simply have to 
be pushed off on to the rope, to which they are self-fastening, and there 
are no intricate grips to be manipulated or kept in repair. 

The method of supporting the rope is also novel. On those 
standards that, by reason of long spans or sharp ridges, or from any 
other cause, have much weight to sustain, the pressure is distributed 
over two or more tandem sheaves. These sheaves are mounted on 


beams that oscillate with the passing buckets in such a way as to relieve 
the rope from undue bending strains, so adding greatly to its life. 

Even in lines possessing no unusual conditions of contour this ar- 
rangement, by enabling long spans to be made, reduces the number of 
supports to a minimum, thereby effecting considerable saving in the 
cost of the framework and erection. The sheaves are made with deep 
flanges to guard against the danger of the rope leaving the tread of 
the grooves. 

Where the difference in the elevation of terminal points exceeds 
one-seventh of the horizontal distance, the power developed by the 
descending loads will usually be sufficient to run the line by gravity, in 
which case its operation is controlled by brakes at one of the terminal 
stations, and great economy is effected where such conditions prevail. 

The advantages of the Roe system may be briefly summed up as 
follows : 

I St. — // is simple in construction^ and therefore cheap ; but one rope 
of the ordinary lay being used, requiring no couplings or special fittmgs 
of any kind 

2d — Steep grades can be surmounted^ since the patent saddle-pieces 
effectually prevent slipping. 

3d — The box-heads are self -attaching as well as self -detaching 
and no skill therefore is required in handling them. 

4th — Few supports are required^ by reason of the employment of 
tandem sheaves, as described. 

5th — No danger of the rope dropping from the supporting sheaves^ 
This is a common occurrence in other single-rope lines where the rope 
rests on a single sheave at either side of each support, and the source 
of much delay and annoyance. 

6th — A high speed is practicable^ which enables a given output to 
be transported by fewer buckets than other single-rope lines, which 
must be run at moderate speeds. 

Special Types of Wire Rope 


Cases frequently occur where special forms of wire rope tramways 
may be used to advantage. For instance, lines are sometimes con- 
structed with fixed cables serving as tracks for the cars, in which the 
traction rope is given a reciprocating motion, instead of running con- 
tinuously in one direction, as in the preceding systems. There are 
usually but two carriers in this case, which are so arranged that as one 
arrives at either terminal the other arrives simultaneously at the other 
terminal. This style of conveyor, of course, is limited to comparatively 
short lines of communication, such, for instance, as the transferring of 
material across a river or ravine, or from one building to another. 

Where the inclination is very steep, aerial inclines are sometimes 
constructed which operate in the same manner as an ordinary engine or 
gravity plane, the carrying cables simply performing the function of 
the surface tracks. If the load is an ascending one, the line is run by 
power applied at the upper end ; but if it is a descending one, gravity 
becomes the motive power. The accompanying illustration, represent- 
ing a line of the Bachelor-Commodore Mining Co., Creede, Col., is a 
good illustration of a self-acting wire rope gravity incline. The total 
length of the line is 850 feet and difference in elevation of terminal pomts 
about 400 feet. The two cars each traverse i-in. steel cables and are 
attached to a i^-in. traction rope, operated by brakes at the upper terminal 
station. Loads of 12 cwt. are carried, and the ore delivered to bins, and 
thence to a longer wire rope tramway of the Bleichert type, which 
transports it to the Denver & Rio Grande Railway. One hundred tons 
of ore per day are transported thus at a very low cost. A similar Ime 
is operated by La Gran Fundicion National Mexicana, near Santa 
Catarina, Mexico 


There was a remarkable line of this character at Aalsund, Norway, 
which had one clear span of 2,200 feet, from loading to discharge sta- 
tion, the general inclination of which was about 45 degrees. 

The traction rope is usually endless, passing around sheaves at 
each terminal. This is especially desirable in cases where the sag 
otherwise would bring the rope in contact with the ground or interfere 
with objects under the line. This arrangement also permits of operat- 
ing from the lower terminal if desired, as exemplified in a line for con- 
veying stores from the town of Gibraltar to the fortifications at the 
summit of the rock. This line is 2,200 feet long, has a vertical ascent 
of r,2oo feet, and the two cars each carry loads of 1,000 lbs. The mo- 
tive power is supplied by an engine at the lower terminal, and the cars 
are run at a speed of 450 feet per minute. There are six intermediate 
supports, the last span from a rock bluff to the town being 1,150 feet 
in the clear. 

We also manufacture equipments specially designed for the con- 
veyance of materials from one part of a factory to another, in which 
the carrying cables are replaced by rigid rails. The desideratum of 
rolling-mill men for some efficient means of conveying hot billets, slabs 
and ingots has thus been met. In a line of this character, built for the 
VVellman Steel Co., of Chester, Pa., the trolleys or carriages travel on 
deck beams, supported by iron standards, and move continuously by 
means of an endless traction rope, to which they are permanently at- 
tached, and which is driven by a small electric motor, at a speed of 
about 150 feet per minute. From each carriage depends a platform 
hanger of peculiar construction for supporting the billets. These 
hangers are self-dumping. The billets are also loaded automatically at 
the hot shears, from which point the carriers ascend an incline of 15 feet 
in 66, which connects with the main line, 220 feet in length, extending 
to each side at right angles to the incline. A similar line was built ^or 
the Pottstown Iron & Steel Co., which was designed to carry slabs and 
ingots up to 5,000 lbs. in weight. 

This method of operating carriers, permanently attached to the 
traction rope at a moderate speed, has been applied to a light portable 
rig, specially designed for the conveyance of sugar cane, but instead of 
rigid track rails in this case wire rope is used. 

The cut on the following page illustrates the Lamb Patent Log- 



Skidding Wire Rope Tramway, which is adapted to hauls up to half a 
mile in length. A line of our patent interlocked carrying cable is 
strung over supporting brackets attached to convenient trees. These 
brackets are so constructed that they can be quickly taken down and 
put up in other places as the cutting progresses. The logs are secured 
by grip blocks, suspended from trolleys running on the carrying cable, 
and moved by a light endless traction rope driven by a reversible en- 
gine, with a single oval-grooved drum, about which the rope is lapped 
two or three times. In logging a swamp the engine is mounted upon a 
boat or scow, but when used as a lateral feeder to a logging railroad it 
is mounted on a car designed especially for the purpose. 

By means of a lateral hauling device logs can be drawn in on either 
side of the main cable a distance of 500 feet, thus making the area that 
can be cleaned up at "one setting" a half a mile long by 1,000 feet 
wide. The automatic grip blocks are operated in such a manner that the 
logs are raised without the exertion of manual power. This system 
requires a smaller and less expensive engine than other logging systems, 
and consequently possesses all the advantages of simplicity. The crew 
consists of an engineer and fireman (who also cuts wood for fuel when 
not firing), two tongsmen, one loader and one unloader, in all six men. 

We manufacture equipments for similar lines adapted to be oper- 
ated by electric motors, and special wire rope tramways for con- 
veying refuse material from saw-mills. 

We also manufacture equipments for Lamb*s patent system of 
canal- boat towage by means of suspended traveling electric motors. 




Thomas Craig 

Wellnaan Iron & Steel Co 

St. Bernard Coal Co 

Pottstown Iron Co 

Eagle Oil Co... 

Union Iron Works 

La Gran Fundicion National Mexicans 

Balbach Smelting & Refining Co 

Glens Falls Paper Mill Co 

Joseph Rigney , 

Bachelor -Com inodore Mining Co 


Trenton, N. J 

Thurlow, Pa 

Earlington, Ky 

Pottstown, Pa 

Communipaw, N. J. 

Buffalo, N. Y 

Santa Catarina, Mex 

Newark, N. J 

Fort Edward, N. Y. 
Manzanilla, Cuba... 
Creede, Col 







Iron ore. . . . 
Silver ore.. . 
Lead dross.. 
Paper pulp. 
Sugar cane.. 
Silver ore.. . 












Cable Conveyors. 

Considering the fact that the weight which a cable will sustain 
safely is invoi s ely proportional to the amount of sag or deflection, it 
will be readily understood how it is that very heavy loads are handled 
by means of a wire cable. The greater deflection necessary on such 
lines, however, precludes the introduction of intervening supports, or al 
least renders them undesirable, and as a rule, therefore, such cable lines 
are confined to single spans, the length of which is determined by the 
distance which the material is to be moved and the height of the sup- 
ports And used in the construction of the new dam at Holyoke, 
Mass., has a clear span of 1,615 ^^^*> which is the greatest yet built. 

The plants may be either simple conveyors, such as used in 
transferring materials across rivers or ravines, or they may partake of 
the nature of hoists also, and in this adaptation is found their widest 
application for quarry work, canal excavation, stripping, piling, dam 
building, levee construction, and other purposes, where derricks would 
be cumbersome or impracticable, on account of the limited area which 
they cover. The advantage, moreover, of having a clear space for the 
men to work in is one to commend our conveyors to quarrymen and 
contractors, to say nothing of their exemption from injury by flood, fire 
or explosions. 

■ Lines adapted to hoist as well as convey the loads are of two types, 
one of which, applicable to inclines only, in which the carriage descends 
by gravity and but one operating or hoisting rope is used, and the other 
in which the hoisting and conveying are done by separate ropes, and 
are applicable either to horizontal lines or lines in which the inclination 
is not sufficient for the carriage to run down by gravity alone. In 
either case the cr.rrying cable rests upon saddles or grooved blocks of 
hard wood, forming the peaks of the supports, and is anchored firmly 
to the ground at each end, a turn-buckle or take-up usually being pro- 
vided at one of the anchorages for maintaining the proper deflection. 
The supports are pyramidal towers of wood or iron, as preferred, 


although in many cases, especially when the loads do not exceed one 
or two tons in weight, these are simply A frames or masts guyed with 
wire ropes. 


Inclined cable hoist conveyors have been used for a long time 
and quite extensively in the slate quarries of Pennsylvania and Vermont, 
and also for quarry work in other localities. The hoisting rope is 
operated from a drum with friction connections, and the common 
arrangement is to mount these with the engine and boiler on one bed 
plate. The loading and unloading is effected at definite points. If the 
loads are to be elevated from a quarry, for instance, a stop or buffer- 
block is clamped to the carrying cable at the loading point, which 
arrests the carriage in its descent, and allows the bucket, skip, or what- 
ever appliance may be used for holding the load, to drop to the place 
of loading. The hoisting rope is reeved through the carriage and fall 
block with a sufficient number of parts so that the hoisting resistance is 
less than the resistance to traction. Applying power to the hoisting 
drum the load rises till the fall block encounters the carriage, when the 
latter proceeds to move up the line till the point of discharge is reached. 
Here it engages a latch clamped to the carrying cable, which prevents 
the carriage from running back while lowering the load. The power is 
thrown out as soon as the carriage engages this latch, and the lowering 
of the load effected by means of a brake on the drum. The latch and 
stop blocks are so designed that they can be shifted to correspond with 
varying points of loading or discharge. In some cases where the upper 
point of discharge or loading is fixed the carriage is held by a V-shaped 
frame, pivoted at the mast or support, and which is dropped over the 
carriage. The latter is freed by means of a light rope which hangs from 
the back end of this frame or latch, as the case may be, and descends by 
gravity, pulling ihe hoisting rope out with it. The limiting or least in- 
clination on which such a line will work is about one in three. If the 
load is a descending one the operation is similar, but in this case lighter 
inclinations are practicable, the limit being a fall of about one in five for 
ordinary loads. The power required is considerably less, since this is 
only applied in raising the loads from the ground. 


As an example of a hoist-conveyor of this character a view is pre- 
sented of one at Avondale, N. J., which shows the construction of the 
hoist carriage and fall block; also the latch block for holding the car- 
riage while loading. The support consists merely of a mast guyed with 
wire rope, making a very simple and inexpensive rig. The carriage in 
this case is provided with a lever, which being brought to bear against 
the under side of the main cable serves to hold the carriage at points 
where loads are occasionally raised. This is simply a makeshift to 
avoid the trouble of frequently moving the latch block. 

If it is desired to load and unload at various points along an in- 
clined hoist-conveyor the carriage may be attached to an independent 
rope operated in conjunction with the hoisting rope, except when rais- 
ing or lowering the load, when it is held by a brake on the drum from 
which it is driven. In this case an engine with two drums is required, 
of which there are two styles ; one in which both drums are mounted 
side by side on one shaft, and the other in which the drums are mounted 
on separate shafts, tandem fashion, the back drum being elevated suf- 
ficiently so that the rope from this will not interfere with the forward 
drum. The special conditions of the problem will govern the choice 
of engine in most cases, but the tandem drum arrangement is generally 
preferred where the operating levers are attached directly to the 


Owing to the steep inclination necessary for the successful opera- 
tion of inclined hoist-conveyors their application is confined to locations 
where the conditions are favorable. Where the inclination is not suf- 
ficient for the carriage to descend by gravity, or if the terminal points 
are upon the same elevation, the movement of the carriage is effected 
by means of an independent ro|)e and drum. 

An engine with two drums, therefore, is employed, as illustrated on 
the opposite page, in which the wider grooved drum is for the hoisting 
rope, and the narrower one for the endless hauling rope. The latter has an 
oval or elliptic grooved periphery, around which the rope is lapped a suffi- 
cient number of times to give the necessary f rictional contact. Sometimes 
the endless rope is driven from a drum with spiral grooves, the rope 
moving from one side to the other as the carriage travels back and forth, 


an arrangement manifestly adapted only to comparatively short spans. 
The drums are provided with brakes as well as power connections, so 
that each can be operated independently of the other. In moving the 
carriage back and forth both drums are put in motion, the hoisting 
rope coiling up or paying out, as the case may be, at an even rate with 
the hauling rope. In raising or lowering the power is disconnected 
from the hauling drum and the brake applied, holding the carriage at 
the desired point, while the hoisting drum alone is operated. The 
hoisting or lowering is done at a speed corresponding to the number of 
times the hoisting rope is rove about the sheaves in the carriage and 
fall block, the speed being inversely proportionate to the number of 

Carriers are provided for supporting the hoisting rope, the arrange- 
ment being such that these are spaced at regular intervals along 
the line as the carriage is moved out and gathered in again as it is 
brought back. 

A great advantage which these hoist-conveyors possess is, that loads 
may be raised or lowered at any point under the line. 

We present an illustration showing an interesting line used in the 
construction of the Connecticut River dam at Holyoke, Mass. The 
clear span is 1,615 feet, the longest yet made by any hoist-conveyor, 
and the line is capable of handling loads of 6^ tons. The illustration 
shows a foreground view of the Holyoke end, where the line crosses 
the main Holyoke canal and the Boston & Maine Railroad. The tower 
on this side is 120 feet high. On the opposite or South Hadley Falls 
side the tower straddles a water power canal, and is 100 feet high. The 
main cable is a 2 -in. patent locked-wire steel rope, which is adjusted 
by means of special tackle blocks and a |^-in. steel wire rope of the 
ordinary lay, and each end is anchored to solid rock. The line 
handles all the stone and cement at a rate to employ three gangs of 
15 to 20 men each. 

The adaptability of the system for handling heavy loads is best ex- 
emplified in a line for transporting lumber across the Susquehanna 
River at Glen Union, Pa. The loaded cars, weighing from 12 to 15 
tons, are taken across in a wrought-iron lattice-work cage, ^6 feet long, 
the platform of which consists of a section of track, the rails of which 
abut with those of the tracks on each side of the river. The cage is 

- i 


raised sufficiently to clear the water in transit. The accom|)anying 
view (from a photograph) shows the cage with a loaded car on it 
above mid-stream. 

These hoist-conveyors are used quite extensively in the construc- 
tion of the Chicago Drainage Canal, the towers being mounted on trucks 
so that the entire line can be shifted as the work progresses. 

We also build lines to meet the special reqirements for light and 
rapid work, which can be quickly taken down and set up again in new 
locations, and such lines have contributed perhaps more than anything 
else to the economical working of the phosphate deposits of Florida. 

A patent hoist-conveyor of this order, with self-filling bucket, has 
lately been introduced by us. It is the invention of Mr. James R. 
Hall, of Atlanta, Ga,, and was employed by him in the excavation of 
the Suwanee Canal. The following account of it is from a recent arti- 
cle in the ** Engineering News " : 


As shown in the illustration, a mast is mounted upon skids along- 
side one bank of the canal, and another mast is erected firmly in the 
ground on the opposite side, about 200 feet distant. If a tree is convenient 
it may take the place of the latter mast. These two masts constitute 
the supports for the stationary carrying cable, serving as a track for 
the hoist carriage, through which the operating ropes are rove, and be- 
low which the bucket hangs. They are secured by gay ropes to stumps 
of trees or buried logs, commonly known as "dead-men." For con- 
venience of description we will call the mast on the skids the power- 
station mast, and the opposite one the spoil-bank mast. The skids 
upon which the power-station mast is mounted consist of a couple of 
long, heavy timbers, and the mast is erected near one end of these at a 
point where two cross-timbers intersect or are framed into the skids, 
one at right angles and the other parallel with them, forming a cruci- 
form base, to which is secured four short guy ropes, used to steady the 
power-station mast during the operation of shifting from one position 
to another, which will be described later. At the other end of the 
skids is mounted the engine and boiler for operating the line. 


One end of the carrying cable, which is i^ in. diameter, is fastened 
to a ring at the top of the power-station mast, and the other end, after 
being passed through a block attached to the top of the spoil- 
bank mast, is secured by a hemp rope tackle to a dead-man, tree, or 
stump. The hemp- rope tackle serves the purpose of stretching the 
carrying cable to the proper tension for work, or letting it out during 
the operation of shifting. 

The preferred form of engine is one with double cylinders, three 
drums placed tandem fashion, and an upright boiler, all mounted on 
one bed-plate. The drums are set at slightly different elevations, or 
in steps, as in the usual arrangement of hoisting engines of this type, 
the back drum being the highest and the forward drum the lowest, in 
order that the ropes from the middle and back drums may not inter- 
fere or come in contact with the drums over which they pass. The 
drums are driven independently of each other through friction connec- 
tions, operated by hand levers, and are also fitted with brakes operated 
by treadles. 

The rope from the back drum which is used in the operation of 
loading the bucket and is known as the loading rope, A, (see illustration 
on following page) passes through a block at the top of the power-station 
mast, thence through a similar block anchored to a dead-man in the 
bottom of the canal, at a point some distance from the cable line, and 
thence to a fastening on the bail of the bucket. The rope from the 
-center drum is used for hoisting, also for hauling in from the spoil- 
bank, and is known as the hoisting rope, B. It passes through a 
block at the foot of the power-station mast, and thence around a 
sheave in the hoist carriage to a fastening on the bail of the bucket. 
The rope from the forward drum is used in hauling the carriage out 
to the spoil-bank, and is known as the out-haul rope, C. It passes first 
through a block at the foot of the power-station mast, thence between 
idler wheels in the hoist carriage to a block at the top of the 
spoil-bank mast, through this to a block attached to the carriage, 
and thence to a link on the bottom of the bucket in the middle of 
one side. 

The carriage consists of a pair of iron side plates, between which are 
two upper sheaves that traverse the carrying cable and a lower sheave 



around which the hoisting rope passes. The block, through which the 
out-haul rope passes, is attached to the hook-link. 

The bucket tapers from the top down, and in shape is that of a 
truncated wedge. The bail is rigidly fastened to the body, and the 
link to which the end of the out- haul rope is fastened, as already 
stated, is at the bottom edge in the middle of one of the flat sides, the 
position of which is. quite important, as will be better understood when 
we describe the operation of dumping. The upper plates on the flat 
sides are of crucible steel drawn to a knife edge, so that the bucket 
may plough or cut its way readily through the material to be 

The operation is as follows : Starting with the bucket in the bot- 
tom of the canal, directly under the cable line, and lying on one of its 
flat sides (it matters not which), the loading rope is put into action 
dragging the bucket horizontally along the bottom until it scrapes it- 
self full, when the engineer places his foot gently upon the treadle 
connecting with the brake of the loading drum, throwing out the 
power friction at the same time, and applying power to the hoisting 
drum, also just enough power to the out-haul drum to keep up the slack 
of the out-haul rope. The object of applying the brake to the loading 
drum is to bring the bucket into a vertical position before hoisting, and 
thus prevent the load spilling. As it comes back under the line, the 
engineer releases the brake on the loading drum, and allows the load- 
ing rope to run slack. The bucket is raised sufficiently to clear the 
bank and obstacles under the line, when the engineer applies the brake 
to the hoisting drum, simultaneously throwing out the power friction 
on the same, and applying power hard to the out-haul drum. The 
bucket moves out above the spoil-bank and continues to rise at the 
same time, by reason of the hoisting rope being held taut, which is 
necessary to keep the bucket from turning upside down. When the 
bucket reaches the desired elevation, it engages a latch and the brake 
on the hoisting drum is released. A bumper on the carrying cable 
stops the carriage and prevents the bucket from dropping in the act of 
discharging. When the carriage reaches a point within two or three 
feet of this bumper, the steam is shut off from the engine, the ])0wer 
being still applied to the oul-haul drum, and the brake taken off the 
hoisting drum, when the bucket swings back and at the same time turns 


upside down. It does so with a jerk which very effectually clears it of 
its contents, but, to insure a good discharge every time, it is important 
that the bucket should fall flat side horizontal, and hence the reaspn 
for placing the link to which the out haul rope connects, in the middle 
edge of one of the flat sides. After dumping, the power is taken off 
the out-haul drum and the brake gently applied ; the steam is turned 
on, and power applied to the hoisting drum. When the bucket 
reaches a certain point the power on the hoisting drum is taken off, 
the bucket drops, and at the same time moves forward, till it reaches 
the center of the canal, when a bumper on the carrying cable similar 
to the one over the dump arrests the motion of the carriage, and the 
bucket drops vertically into the canal. During this operation suffi- 
cient power is applied to the loading drum to take up the slack of the 
loading rope. 

If it is desired to land the bucket for loading at a point not 
directly under the line, but some distance from it in a direction oppo- 
site to that in which the bucket is dragged in loading, so as to get a 
longer pull on it, which is frequently necessary to obtain a full load, 
especially after most of the loose material has been removed, it can be 
done in either of two ways. 

First: The empty bucket is brought to a point within a few feet of 
the bottom of the canal, when the brake is applied to the hoisting 
drum and power to the loading drum, bringing the bucket up to a 
position where the hoisting rope makes an angle of about 45^ to the 
vertical. The loading rope is then released, and the bucket swings 
back through the canal to the opposite side of the cable line, and 
upon reaching the extreme point of oscillation, the brake of the hoist- 
ing drum is taken off, and it drops to the bottom in the desired posi- 
tion for loading. 

Second : By attaching a hemp rope to the link on the bottom of 
the bucket, passing it through a block anchored in the bottom of 
the canal on the side of the cable line opposite in direction to that of 
the loading rope block, and thence to a winch-head on one end 
of the hoisting drum shaft, and by this means hauling the bucket back 
to any desired distance within the reach of the other ropes. A plough 
is used in breaking up the bottom after it has become too hard for the 
bucket to fill easily. 


The operation of shifting the apparatus from one position to 
another is performed in the following manner : The bucket is first 
deposited on the spoil-bank, and all the ropes lowered to the ground, 
the carriage having been previously placed so that it will drop in a 
convenient spot for oiling the bearings and otherwise overhauling it. 
The guy ropes are all loosened, the blocks in the bottom of the canal 
removed, the loading rope detached from the bucket, and pulled 
entirely out of the blocks through which it is rove. Before loosening 
the ground guys, the shorter guys which anchor to the ends of the 
cross-timbers, at the base of the power-station mast are tightened. The 
ropes and tail block through which the out-haul rope passes are then 
disconnected from the spoil-bank mast and anchorage, and attached to 
a similar mast and anchorage, about fifty feet further on. A couple 
of blocks are attached to a dead-man about fifty or sixty feet ahead of 
the power-station mast, and a couple more to the skids near the foot 
of the power-station mast. Through these blocks the loading rope is 
rove and the end properly secured. Power is then applied to the 
winding up of the loading rope, and the whole rig on the skids moves 
slowly forward. The distance moved at each shift is usually about 
twenty-five feet, two shifts of the power-station mast being made to 
one of the spoil-bank mast. The dead-men or stumps serving as 
anchorages for the various guys and blocks are prepared in advance 
while the work of excavation is going on. After the power-station is 
moved, the loading rope is rove again through the blocks at the top of 
the mast, and in the bottom of the canal (the latter having been moved 
ahead to the anchorage prepared for it), and the end attached to the 
bucket as before. The mast guys are securely fastened to the anchor- 
ages prepared for them and hauled up tight; and, finally, the carrying 
cable is stretched into position, lifting the carriage and other ropes 
with it, and the work of excavating is resumed. 

The operation of shifting requires from one to one and a half 
hours ; and out of eleven working hours, three are consumed, on an 
average, in moving, oiling, making repairs, &c. The operation re- 
quires one engineer, one fireman, one helper, and one other man who 
watches the bucket, signals the engineer and attends to other duties. 
A couple of men are employed in setting masts and preparing anchor- 
ages for the successive moves. The output is from 250 to 300 cubic 


yards per day for each line, according to the nature of the materials. 
The cost of operating is about $12 per day, including fuel and oil, or, 
taking everything into consideration, the cost is about six cents per 
cubic yard. With more favorable conditions than those encountered 
in excavating the Suwanee Canal, conditions, for instance, conforming 
to a larger output and cheaper fuel, it can readily be understood how 
the cost might be reduced materially. 

A modified form of the Hall rig was built for the Harqua Hala 
Gold Mining Company, of Harqua Hala, Arizona, to work a bed of tail- 
ings, as shown in the accompanying view. This bed, including both the 
old and new tailings, covers a considerable and irregular area of 
ground, there being about 120,000 tons to be delivered to the leaching 
vats, at the rate of 150 tons per day, representing about three years' 
work. The problem was not only to hoist and convey this amount of 
material, but to build a line that would also be self-digging and port- 
able; or, in other words, a line with a self- filling bucket, and with sup- 
ports that could be moved radially about a stationary end support at 
the leaching vats; so as to work over the whole area without requiring 
hand labor. A further condition was that the line must be adapted 
to work in varying lengths, on account of the irregular shape of the 
bed, the longest distance being 825 feet. 

The main trackway for the carriage consists of a f in. steel patent 
lockedwire cable laid double; that is, at the stationary end tower, just 
behind the bins near the leaching vats, it passes around a sheave in a 
shackle, which is securely connected to a ground anchorage, and is 
stretched over the two end towers and intervening supi)orts in two 
parallel lines; one end of the rope is rigidly fastened at the back of the 
movable end support, and the other end is coiled on a drum worked 
by a ratchet, sufficient cable being provided so that it can be paid out 
or wound up on this drum to suit the varying lengths in moving 10 
different positions. The movable end support is firmly secured by 
guy ropes to posts. Below the carriage hangs the bucket of one-ton 
capacity, which is identically the same as that used on the Hall rig, 
and is operated by three ropes in a similar manner. The loading rope 
in this case, however, works parallel with the main cable instead of at 
right angles to it. This rope is attached directly to the bail of the 
bucket, and the main cable therefore is relieved from all strain during 





the operation of loading, which is the heaviest part of the work. The 
three ropes pass over sheaves at the top of the stationary tower in a 
pivoted shackle, which accommodates itself to the different angles at 
which the ropes must work, these ropes only being affected by the 
varying lengths of the line so far as to alter the amount of unused por- 
tions on the drums. How successfully the line does the work is best 
told in the words of R. M. Raymond, the manager of the Harqua Hala 
Mines, and under whose direction the line was built. In a letter dated 
August 13, 1895, Mr. Raymond says: " We consider the tramway most 
satisfactory and a great success. Nothing could suit our purpose bet- 
ter, and we are now able to run it up to full capacity. The way it gets 
down and digs in the sand is fine, and the whole arrangement is com- 
plete. It is so near being alive that if the engineer could be dispensed 
with and an automatic arrangement devised to keep the thing going, it 
would be the most wonderful hoisting arrangement in the field." 

Hoist-Conveyors for Loading and Unloading Vessels. 

We present an illustration of a plant specially designed for stock- 
ing coal yards from masted vessels at a dock. Two patent locked-wire 
cables — i^ in. diam. — are stretched between the terminal structures 
and over intermediate supports about loo feet apart, and constitute the 
trackway for the hoist carriage. The terminal structures and supports 
may be so mounted that they can be moved, or they may be permanent 
affairs,. as desired. The main cables are anchored securely at the dock 
terminal, and at the yard terminal are wound on drums operated by a 
ratchet and lever, the latter being provided in order to relieve the 
cables of tension when shifting from one position to another. If the 
line is a fixture, these drums may be replaced by counterweights. The 
yard terminal structure supports the engine and boiler by means of 
which the line is operated, the engine being similar to that used on 
other endless rope hoist-conveyors. 

In its special application to the unloading of coal, self-dumping 
buckets are used of the ordinary type, such as used in derrick work. 
There are two buckets in an outfit, each capable of holding a ton of 
coal, one being loaded while the other is taken over to the yard and 


The boom at the dock terminal is hinged in such a way that it can 
be raised by a winch, provided for the purpose, in order to clear the 
rigging of the vessels while these are coming in or departing. 

We illustrate another hoist-conveyor designed especially for stock- 
ing the sugar plantations of Louisiana with coal. The general arrange- 
ment and method of operation are similar in some respects to the dock 
hoist- conveyor above described, but in this case everything is designed 
for a floating rig, which is moved about from one plantation to another. 
The main structure consists of a frame tower, which, with the operat- 
ing mechanism, is mounted upon a barge, designed expressly for the 
purpose, as illustrated on page 70. In setting up the line it is neces- 
sary at times to take into consideration the matter of a current flowing 
at the rate of five miles per hour, and a rapidly rising and falling stage 
of the water, conditions which have been successfully met. 

Everything at the outset is so stowed on the machine boat that 
each piece can be readily made fast to the drag chain in the order re- 
quired, and the setting up of the line is accomplished with great 
celerity. At the location shown on page 70 the machine boat lay 400 
feet out in the stream from the levee, two stretches of water filled with 
drifts and stumps and the remnants of an old levee intervening. The 
distance from the levee to the end mast was also 400 feet, making a 
total run of 800 feet. A round trip can be made over this distance in 
less than two minutes, or, in other words, the line is capable of a daily 
output of 350 to 400 tons. 

A special type of inclined hoisi-conveyor used extensively on the 
California and Hawaiian coasts is shown in the view of the line at the 
Gualala Mills Landing, Gualala, Cal., which also shows in the back- 
ground the old style of derrick chute which has given place to the wire 
cable system. 

The anchor for the main cable, weighing about 5,000 lbs., is 
attached to some 300 feet of 2-inch chain, and this chain to about 250 
feet of i-J-inch galvanized iron rope, which is attached to the main 
cable by means of a hook and eye coupling. When shipping is inter- 
rupted for any considerable time, the ropes are uncoupled and the main 
cable coiled up on a drum at the shore landing. At such times the 
chain and iron ro|)e lie in the bottom, with a light chain extending 
from the latter to a buoy, so that the end of the rope can be picked up 


again when wanted. As a precaution against accidents to this chain, 
a similar chain and buoy are attached to the heavy 2-inch chain. The 
anchor lies in about 15 fathoms of water, and the vessel in about 12 
fathoms. In the busy season the main cable is not taken in when a ves- 
sel gets through loading, but the two ropes are coupled together and 
cast off. Another vessel coming, picks up the ropes, uncouples them, 
passes the ends between the masts and couples them again; the main 
cable is then drawn up to a proper distance in the rigging, and the 
conveyor is ready for operation. Means for imparting the proper ten- 
sion to the main cable are provided at the shore landing. Means are 
also provided here for holding the carriage while raising or lowering, 
and a grip or latch on the carriage itself prevents the load from falling 
in transit. The operating drum is mounted on an elevated stage or 
floor, which gives the brakeman an uninterrupted view of the entire 
line. Loads up to one ton in weight are carried, and the time of a 
round trip is two minutes, including time of loading and discharge, 
which corresponds to an output of 30 tons an hour. The carriage 
travels at a good speed down to the vessel, notwithstanding the fall is 
but 45 feet in a run of 550 feet. 





Arnold & Stephens 

Cobb Lime Co 

(i (( t< * * ' 

Ideal Lime and Stone Co 

(t (( (( (( 

Cornelius Hanrahan, Mgr 

Glen Union Lumber Co 

Dunnellon Phosphate Co 

Passaic Quarry Co 

Fred. Kocher & Co 

William Downs 

Empire State Phosphate Co 

Linley & Co 

Manufacturing Investment Cu. 

F. W. Bird & Son 

Kerr Brothers 

Avondale Lime and Stone Co. . . 

Hubbard & Macduf! 

Dennis Long & Co 

Desforges & J ung 

John Kellar 

Coleman, Ryan & Brown 

Wentworth Gypsum-Co 

Crawford & Dugan 

Fruin-Bambrick Const. Co > 

H. S. Hopkins f 

U. S. Government 


Tilly Foster, N. Y 

Rockland, Me 

<; (( 

t( u 

Texas, Md 

Rockland, Me 

Glen Union, Pa 

Ocala, FJa 

Avondale, N. J 

New York City 

Rock M ines, Fla 

J Buenos, Ayres, Ar- I 
j gentine. Rep., S. A. f 

Madison, Me 

East Walpole, Mass 

Wiightsville, Pa 

Avondale, Pa . . 

Ocala, Fla 

Louisville, Ky 

New Orleans, La . 

Lancaster, Pa 

Croton Landing, N. Y . . 
Windsor, Nova Scotia . . 
Audenried, Pa 

Holyoke, Mass 

Britts Landing, Wis. . . , 








Iron Ore 

Lime Rock 



t( • • • • 

Timber on R. R. cars. 

Phosphate Rock 


Phosphate Rock 





Phosphate Rock 

Iron, Ac 
















a tfi 

u .a 
S >. 















The Application of Wire Rope 


Wire rope will always be an important factor in all mining opera- 
tions, and its widest application, perhaps, is to be found in its adapta- 
tion to the surface and underground haulage of coal and ores. Animal 
power may continue to be employed to a greater or less extent in some 
mines, but it is rapidly giving way to improved wire rope appliances, 
and this must necessarily be so as the workings become more extended, 
and the matter of haulage becomes a serious item in the economical 
working of the mines. The ease with which wire rope can be led in 
any direction, and over any grades, its comparative safety, high 
efficiency, and the freedom its use procures from the smoke and gases 
geuerated by the use of steam motors, has brought it into almost ex- 
clusive use for conveying coal and ores from the interior of mines to 
the surface or place of shipping. 

The conditions attending its application in different localities are 
so varied that space will permit us to consider only the main features 
of those systems which have come into general use. These may be 
grouped in three different classes : Shafts, Inclined Planes, and Haul- 
age. We will consider the different adaptations in the order named. 


The term shaft applies to vertical or inclined passageways through 
which the materials are raised or lowered in cages or skips. The 
application to vertical shafts covers the ordinary forms of elevators, 
which are so familiar to most people that few words will suffice on this 
subject. • 


The ordinary arrangement comprises two cages, operated by a re- 
versing winding engine at ihe shaft-head. The ropes are led over 
head-sheaves from 6 to i8 feet in diameter, and are attached by means 
of sockets to the cages supporting the cars. 

Fig. I illustrates a common form of cage used in the coal regions. 
Thejguide bars on the posts between which the cage works are usually 


of wood, and in order to guard against accidents in case of the rope 
breaking, the cage is provided with safety catches, the action of which 
is such that the instant the tension is released, as it would be in case 
of a break, the toothed cams shown at the side of the cage imbed them- 
selves in the guide bars, and thus arrest the descent of the cage. 

The cages should always be equipped with " safety hooks." In 
case "overwinding" should occur, due to the carelessness of the 
engineer or accident, these hooks simply detach themselves from the 
rope, leaving the cage suspended in the upper guides, while the loose 
rope-end merely winds around the drum, thus avoiding the wrecking 
of the cage and destruction of the whole head-gear of the shaft. 

The engine drums are either plain or grooved iron cylinders, or 
iron rims lagged with wood, the relative merits of each depending on 
the conditions under which they are operated. In many mines, espe- 
cially where the shaft is of considerable depth, the engine drums are 
made conical. The ropes are attached to the small ends of the drums, 
the one winding while the other unwinds. These are called " fusee " 
drums, and possess the advantage of a diminishing leverage in hoisting 
opposed to an increasing leverage in lowering, so that the effort in start- 
ing is gentle, and the work done by the engine more uniform. The 
same advantage pertains in a greater degree to the use of flat ropes, 
which are coiled on reels, and which possess the further advantage of 
always working in the same direct lines, giving steadier motion to the 
cages. In many of our deepest shafts, where rapid hoisting is desir- 
able, these ropes are preferred on this account. It is advisable, how- 
ever, with flat rope, to use a larger factor of safety than with round 
rope of equal strength, and the proportion between their weight for 
equivalent working strength is about as 7 to 5 in favor of round rope. 

In many European mines this objection is obviated by the use of 
taper ropes, which are said to give very good results with a minimum 
of dead weight. 

The engine drums are sometimes driven from the engine shaft 
through a pinion and gear-wheel, although in most mines direct-acting 
engines are now used, or engines in which the connecting rods are 
coupled direct to the drum shaft. 

Where it is desired to deliver the coal or ore at the shaft-head 
without further handling, an automatic-dumping cage, similar to that 


shown in Figs. 2 and 3, is used. By this arrangement the material is 
dumped on to the screens or chutes, as the case may be, without the 
car leaving the cage. The cage is shown at the point just about to 
tilt, the position in the act of tilting being indicated by the dotted 


Where the shaft is a very steep incline, the materials are hoisted 
in peculiar-shaped cars called skips (shown in Figs. 4 and 5), and 
such shafts are commonly known as skip hoists. At some mines these 
cars are called " gunboats," and are made to hold from 3 to 5 tons. 
Fig. 4 illustrates the arrangement at one of the mines of the Lehigh 
Zinc and Iron Co. The skip is provided with a bail composed of two 
side bars crooked at their lower ends, and hinged to the sides of the 
skip near the lower corners. The upper ends of these bars are con- 
nected by a square bar with round ends, to which the chain at the end 
of the rope is attached. The rope passes over a head-sheave at the 
top of the framework to the engine. For a short space at the shaft- 
head the track bends down to a lighter inclination, and the ends of the 
rails are turned up to fit the wheels of the skip. When the front 
wheels reach these turned-up ends, the engineer is signalled to hoist 
slowly, lifting the back end of the skip off the track sufficiently to dis- 
charge the load into bins or cars. The engine is then reversed and 
the skip runs back into the mine. 

Another arrangement is illustrated in Fig. 5. 

The skip is constructed with one set of narrow-tread wheels in 
front and a set of double width of tread in the rear. When the skip 
arrives at the shaft-head, the front wheels run on to the bent portion 
of the track, ^, passing between the rails, r, extending from x to y, 
while the rear wheels, on account of their broad tread, reach the rails, 
r, and continue on to the proper height for tipping and dumping the 


When the load is a descending one, gravity may become the 
motive power, and the cages operated by means of brakes applied to 


the head-sheaves. An arrangement of this kind, illustrated in Figs. 6 
and 7, was recently built by us for the Solway Process Company, of 
Syracuse, to deliver limestone from the upper benches of a quarry to 
the loading bins of a Bleichert wire rope tramway. 

The head-sheaves are fitted with brakes, and the grooves in which 
the ropes work are made elliptical in shape, as shown in Fig. 8. The 
rope in each compartment is given three laps about the sheave, which 
is sufficient to prevent slipping. Counterweights are provided, as 
shown, which are heavy enough to lift the cage with the empty car, 
and light enough to be lifted by the cage containing a loaded car. 
The arrangement of the brake-operating levers is shown in Fig. 9. 
The rod, r, attached to the levers, / and /, extends to the bottom of 
the shaft, and by means of this the cages are stopped or started from 
any level. 


Inclined planes are of two kinds ; engine planes, where power is 
used to raise the loads, and gravity planes, where the load itself is used 
as the motive power. Before considering the distinctive features of 
each, a few remarks in regard to track rollers, mine cars, tipples and 
some other features common to all inclined planes and other rope- 
haulage lines, will not be amiss. 

The style and disposition of the track rollers for supporting the 
rope is an important consideration. Ordinarily they are of wood, from 
5 to 8 inches in diameter, and from 16 to 24 inches long (Fig. 10), 
with i" or i" axles. Gum wood, as a rule, is preferred. The bearings 
are generally mere blocks of wood, although for permanent work it is 
advisable to make them of iron. These rollers are spaced from 15 to 
30 feet apart, the distance depending largely on the contour of the 
ground; the closer distances being observed on convex slopes, and the 
greater distances on straight grades and concave slopes. Steep slo])es, 
with straight, even grades, require fewer rollers than those with lighter 
grades. On steep or concave slopes the distance between the rollers 
may often be from 40 to 50 feet, and if the concavity is greater than 
the catenary corresponding to the tension of the empty cars, the rollers 


may be omitted altogether without detriment to the rope, as it lifts 
clear of the ground the moment it is under tension. It very frequently 
happens, in underground lines where there is a concave dip, that roll- 
ers have to be placed above the tracks to prevent the rope scraping 
against the roof of the gangway. In such cases iron rollers are gen- 
erally used. 

The expense of keeping up these rollers in long lines often 
amounts to considerable, and for this reason they do not always re- 
ceive the best attention; but to neglect them is poor economy. 

The rapid wear of the track rollers is a source of constant ex- 
pense in the operation of any plane. If they are not kept in good re- 
pair, the rope soon begins to suffer. The irregularities of the surface 
of the ordinary kinds of rope is the chief cause of this rapid wear, 
which is always greatest when the rope is new ; as the interstices be- 
tween the rope strands become filled up and the outer wires worn 
down, the wear becomes less. The use of the patent " locked wire 
rope,'* which is perfectly smooth from the beginning, does away with 
all of this wear, and wherever it is used the life of the track rollers is 
extended indefinitely. 

Fig. 1 1 represents a very good type of track roller. A wooden 
cylinder fits into iron rings at each end. , The axle consists of a bolt 
with a collar at one end and a nut at the other, the ends being turned 
down. The hole in the wooden cylinder is large enough to allow the 
axle to pass through easily, but fits tightly in the iron rings at each 
end. On the inside of the end rings are ribs which imbed themselves 
in the wood when the nut is screwed up. These rollers not only give 
better service than the ordinary wooden roller, but as the cylinders 
wear out they can be quickly replaced by new ones. Although 
wooden rollers appear to meet with most favor, iron ones are preferred 
in many mines. Common forms of these are illustrated in Figs. 12, 13 
and 14. Fig. 13 shows the same style of roller as Fig. 12, with a re- 
movable wearing ring. The roller is made in halves, which are bolted 
together at the center, and when a ring wears out it is a simple matter 
to replace it with a new one, thus saving the expense of an entire new 
roller. This style of roller is recommended for places where the wear 
is excessive. In going over sharp knuckles, the track rollers should be 
placed from three to four feet apart, or as close together as possible. 
An excellent thing at such points on inclined planes is the arrange- 


ment of deflecting and compensating sheaves devised by Eckley B. 
Coxe, of Drifton, Pa., and illustrated in Figs. 22, 23 and 24. The two 
sheaves are connected by friction-wheels, as shown, and as either one 
is moved the other is set in motion in the opposite direction. When 
the rope, traveling at a high rate of speed, strikes this sheave, it finds 
it already revolving at the exact speed required, and the heavy friction 
that with ordinary sheaves would be developed in setting them in mo- 
tion is thus avoided. In guiding the rope around curves, iron rollers 
are generally employed, placed close together. The two methods in 
common practice are illustrated in Figs. 18, 19, 20 and 21. Where 
the rollers are between the rails, as in Fig. 20, they are from five to six 
inches in diameter, and usually secured in a slightly inclined position, 
as shown in Fig. 21. The axles of the rollers sometimes simply con- 
sist of pintles bolted to the ties, but they are generally secured to cast- 
iron base plates. Where space will permit, the arrangement shown in 
Fig. 18 is to be preferred, as it is easier on the rope. The sheaves in 
this case are just outside the track, are larger in diameter, and fewer in 


Mine cars are of such various sizes and patterns that it would be 
impossible to give details of more than one or two. The style repre- 
sented in Fig. 25 is a type pretty often used in bituminous coal mines; 
where space permits, but where the entries are narrow, the box form 
shown in Fig. 26 is preferred. In the car shown in Fig. 25 the door 
is hinged at the top of the middle band. When the car is run on to 
the tipple, the upper band of the door catches in a hook, which opens 
the door in the act of tipping. Fig 27 represents a car without any 
door, the front end having an inclined board in the bottom, as in- 
dicated by the dotted lines, which occasions the loss of some space in 
the corner. In the car shown in Fig. 26 the door is hinged to a rod 
adjoining the tops of the front band. This necessitates a lock bar, 
which has to be knocked out as the car is run on to the tipple. The 
lumps of coal are more apt to clog in these cars than in those with 
doors hinged to the middle band. Sometimes the cars are furnished 
with brakes, as shown in Fig. 25. The manner of coupling the cars is 

DeflecliniJ and Compensating Sheaves. 

— Ej, I7-] 



a feature worthy of notice ; the simplest coupling consists of a short 
chain, with hooks at each end, but it is more common to use clevises. 
Sometimes rigid bars are used, especially where the grades are such that 
the cars are likely to run together. 

The attachment of the front car to the rope is usually made by 
means of a chain from 15 to 20 feet long, socketed to the rope-, and 
provided with a clevis or hook. This chain saves the rope from kink- 
ing, owing to the end being tossed about more or less in attaching and 
detaching ; and even when so provided this end of the rope will wear 
more rapidly than any other portion, so that as it gives out short pieces 
are cut off or the rope turned ends about and re-socketed. Descrip- 
tion of sockets will be found on pages 143 to 147. 

A few words in regard to tipples will not be amiss. The ordinary 
tipple consists simply of a small platform, pivoted and counterweighted 
in such a way that when the mine cars are run on to it, their weight over- 
balances the tipple counterweights, causing them to tilt and discharge 
over screens or crushers, into bins or cars, as the case may be. The 
rails on the tipple are turned up at the ends to fit the wheels of the 
mine cars, and hold them in place during the act of discharging. 

Figs. 31 and 32 illustrate an arrangement of tipple, provided with 
a brake lever and ratchet, by means of which the cars can be dumped by 
the weighmaster. The counterweight beam, ^, which is suspended from 
the front end of the tipple beam, b, hangs between two horizontal beams, 
e and ^, the former being stationary, while the latter is hinged at one 
end. The opposite end of the beam, h, is attached to a rod that leads to 
the operating lever, /, in the weighmaster's office. This lever is provided 
with a ratchet and pawl, as shown, by means of which the tipple is 
securely held until the weighmaster is ready to tip. With this tipple, 
the coal, instead of being discharged in a mass suddenly over the 
screens, as with the ordinary tipple, may be dumped gradually, causing 
less breakage and giving a more thorough screening. 

Figs. 33 and 34 illustrate a patent coal tipple, controlled in a 
similar manner, in which the cars are held in the act of dumping by a 
rod attached to a coil spring. This rod is hooked into the draw bar of 
the car. As soon as the car is dumped and has righted, the car is 
unhooked and shoved ahead over the tipple. A sharp inclination in the 
track at the end, in conjunction with an automatic switch, operates to 

o o o o 



e o e o 

o o o o 



o o o o o I 



bring the car back on to a side track, the tracks being laid on a slightly 
descending grade. It is claimed that runs of 300 tons per hour can be 
made over one of these tipples by one man. 

Most inclined planes are provided with safety devices of some kind 
to guard against accidents. Of these a variety have been devised, but 
all those depending on throwing the cars from the track by means of 
obstructions, mechanically placed on the track, are crude and unreli- 
able. This may also be said of the safety switches, which, to be effect- 
ive, are thrown into position by the engineer after the accident hap- 
pens. The only reliable method is the automatic safety switch, which 
is always set to run the cars off on it, unless the operator holds it open 
while the cars pass down the main track, the ascending trains opening 
the switch automatically. A switch of this kind is shown in Fig 47. 
In gravity planes a block is frequently used in the center of the track, 
as a safeguard to prevent the cars running off on the incline before 
they are properly attached to the ropes. This block is counterweighted 
in such a way that it always projects up in the center of the track, and 
must be pressed down out of the way, when the cars are ready to de- 
scend, which is done by means of a lever at one side of the tracks. 
The best safety appliance for planes where the load is an ascending 
one, is the old-fashioned "growler," which consists of an iron bar 
about two inches square and from four to five feet long, attached to 
the draw bar of the last car, and which drags over the ground and track 
rollers as long as the cars are running ahead. In case of a breakage of 
rope or coupling chains, this bar, which is pointed at the end, is im- 
mediately driven into the ground, and thus prevents the cars from run- 
ning back down the slope In some mines this bar is called the 
^'doctor"; in fact it goes by a variety of names. Several styles of 
these "growlers" are shown in Figs. 15 to 17. 


Engine planes may be either single or double ; in the latter case 
a double-drum engine is used. Non-reversing engines are usually em- 
ployed, the drums being driven by friction, and fitted with brakes to 
control the descent of the empty cars. These inclines are often of 

*-'■ Jnm 


Tipple wilL Operaling Lever, 

r = 

B " -J 

Fig 32, Side Elevation 



considerable length, with curves and varying grades. In cases where 
the grades at the upper end of the slope are too slight for the empty 
cars to start on, or where the tipple is located some distance back from 
the head of the slope, on a level track, it is advisable to adopt some 
mechanical method of starting the train, such as is employed on one of 
the mines of the Cahaba Coal Mining Company, at Blocton, Ala., and 
illustrated in Figs. 35 to 38. This is accomplished by means of 
counterweights or counterweight levers, which have previously been 
raised by the ascending train, and which in falling back start the re- 
turning cars. 

Engine planes are frequently operated as shown in Fig. 39, in 
which the raising and lowering of the cars is done by means of a smaller 
car, known as the *' barney," permanently attached to the end of the 
rope. The " barney " traverses a narrow track within the main track 
and drops into a pit at the foot of the slope out of the way. By this 
method of working the loss of time which occurs ordinarily in the coup- 
ling and uncoupling of the cars is avoided. 

An engine plane may be adapted to work a series of side entries 
in a mine, as illustrated in Fig. 40. Each side entry has a parting at 
its junction with the main gangway for the accommodation of the trips 
in going in and coming out of the different entries, the empty cars be- 
ing delivered to the various partings in succession, and the loaded cars 
standing on the opposite track taken out. A horizontal sheave is 
placed at each bend within a few inches of the track, to guide the rope 
around. By means of marks on the rope, or an indicator, the engineer 
is enabled to stop the " empties" alternately at the different junctions. 
A man passing from one junction to the other attends to the switches, 
attaches and detaches the rope, and gives the proper signals to the 

Under ordinary conditions the minimum grade for an engine plane 
is about 3 per cent. On lighter grades than this the empty cars will 
not descend freely. There are so-called ** inclined planes " where the 
grades are lighter, which are worked by means of an endless rope, but 
they should be classed more properly as types of the endless rope 
haulage system, and will be referred to under that head. While it re- 
quires a fall of at least 3 per cent, for empty cars to descend freely, 
loaded cars will descend much lighter grades. A train of twenty-five 


to thirty mine cars, for instance, holding a ton each, will descend a 
grade of if per cent., and in such cases where the grade is not suffi- 
cient for a ** self-acting " gravity plane, an engine is required to haul 
up the empty cars. Inclines of this kind are frequently applied to the 
feeding of long lines of coke ovens, the latter being built on an incline 
sufficient for the loaded larry to descend easily; the engine simply act- 
ing to haul the larry back. A line of ovens at Blossburg, Ala., is fed in 
this way, the inclination of the tracks being i to 35, or a grade of about 
3 per cent. 


The ordinary arrangement of operating gravity planes is illustrated 
in Figs. 41 and 42, and consists of a drum at the head of the slope, 
located preferably below the tracks, as shown. Where space will not 
permit of this arrangement, the drum may be mounted in a frame above 
the tracks. The drum revolves on a horizontal axle, and the two ropes 
attached respectively to the loaded and empty cars coil and uncoil on 
it alternately. The construction of the drum varies according to the 
requirements; they are sometimes entirely of iron, but more generally 
lagged with wood, as shown in Fig. 43, being provided with a rim for 
the brake band to work in. The sizes of the drums vary according to 
requirements, but it is not advisable to have them less than four feet in 
diameter for wire rope. For the convenience of the operator in watch- 
ing the cars, the brake levers are preferably placed near the top of the 
slope. Instead of one large drum, two smaller ones keyed to the same 
shaft (Fig. 44) may be used. In either case one rope leads from the 
top and the other from the underside of the drum. Where this is an 
objectionable feature, the arrangement shown in Fig. 45 may be used, 
which allows of both ropes leading from the top. The two drums in 
this case are on different shafts, connected by a pair of spur gears, and 
consequently revolve in opposite directions. In using double drums it 
is necessary to provide for the unequal stretching of the two ropes, 
and this is very easily effected by the special arrangement of spiders 
which we have designed for this purpose, shown in Fig. 46. The end 
spiders of the drums are secured by means of pins, ^, p^ to a central 
spider, j, keyed to the shaft, and by changing the relative positions of 

^^#M|^M I < =^^ 


these spiders any desired adjustment may be made. This style of 
drum is also applicable on engine planes where it is desirable to work 
from different levels. 

There are several plans of laying the tracks for gravity planes. 
Fig. 49 represents a regular double-track line on which the loaded cars 
descending on one track pull up the empty cars on the other. This is, 
of course, the safest, though most expensive arrangement. A cheaper 
arrangement, and one which answers the purpose quite as well, is 
shown in Fig. 50, and consists of a three-rail track, having a " parting*' 
or double track at the middle of the incline, long enough to allow the 
descending and ascending cars to pass each other. A still cheaper 
arrangement is that shown in Fig. 51. This line has three rails from 
the top of the slope only to the parting, and a single track below that ; 
a self-acting switch at the lower end of the parting guides the cars alter- 
nately from one to the other of the upper tracks. Fig. 53 shows a 
common arrangement of this switch, and, as shown in the cut, an 
empty car going up will take the track, j, and the loaded car coming 
down the track, w, will shift the timbers to the positions indicated by 
the dotted lines. At the next trip the empty car will run on the track, 
niy and the loaded car, this time descending on the track, j, will shift 
the timbers again to their original position, the same play being re- 
peated at every alternate trip. This switch is effective, and accidents 
with it are of rare occurrence. In cases where difficulties occur to 
prevent obtaining sufficient width to permit the passing of two cars, 
automatic gravity planes, worked with a counterweight and generally 
known as " bob planes," can be used ; such an arrangement is illus- 
trated in Figs. 54 and 55, and consists of a double track, one inside 
the other ; the outer for the mine cars, and the inner, of lighter rails, 
for the balance car (Fig. 55). This is built in the shape of a shallow 
iron box, on wheels, heavy enough to pull an empty car up the plane, 
and light enough to be raised by a descending loaded car. The wire 
rope is secured to an angular bar behind the balance car, which drops, 
in case of an accident to the rope, and arrests the car. The head drum 
may be a grip-wheel, or what is better and cheaper, an elliptic-grooved 
sheave, around which the rope makes several laps, similar to that 
described in connection with gravity hoists (Fig. 8). 


Fig. 48 represents a type of switch commonly used at the head 
of gravity planes, and consists of three pivoted tongues — A^ D and E 
— which govern, according to their position, the disposition of the cars. 
The tongue A has a spring or weight attached to it which always keeps 
it closed. With the tongues arranged as shown, a loaded car coming 
from the track M opens the switch A and passes to the track Q. The 
switch A closes immediately after the car passes it. The empty car 
ascending by the track P opens the switch E and passes to the track 
N, The next loaded car from the track M will pass to /*, the empty 
car from the track Q passing to N. The loaded cars thus descend 
alternately by the tracks P and Q^ and the empty cars always pass to N. 

In gravity planes where the grades are very steep and the duty 
great, requiring heavy ropes, large drums and powerful brakes, the 
arrangement illustrated in Fig. 56 is to be recommended, which repre- 
sents the head gear of the gravity plane at Whitwell, Tenn. There are 
two horizontal drums — Figs. 57 and 58 — seven feet in diameter, ten feet 
between centers, grooved for four laps of the rope, which is i^" diam. 
Lang-lay. The rope passes over a couple of leading sheaves, seven 
feet in diameter, at the head of the incline. The brakes are operated 
by means of a hand- wheel, hj attached to the upper end of a vertical 
rod, r, which communicates motion to a horizontal rod, R^ through a 
pinion and gear-wheel at the lower end. The rod, R^ is threaded and 
works in a fixed sleeve or nut, the gear-wheel working on a feather. 
This rod connects with the levers, /, /, which work the brake bands. 
The plane is about a mile in length, and has a fall of about 1,200 feet. 
It starts from the top with a fall of 46 feet in 100, running on to a 
lighter grade at the middle, and then rounding a knuckle to a steeper 
grade at the lower end. Two cars, holding 6 tons of coal each, are 
lowered at a trip, the combined weight of the coal and cars being about 
18 tons. The capacity of the plane is 100 tons per hour. The track 
rollers are of iron, 9" diameter, and spaced from 25 to 30 feet apart. 
The incline develops so much power that the brakes at the start were 
found inadequate for the work required of them, and it became neces- 
sary to assist or relieve them in some way, which was done by adding 
a fan-governor, shown in our illustration. This fan is located above 
the ** check-house," and consists of four wooden wings 36 ' x 20" on a 


4' shaft, which extends down through the roof of the check-house, and 
is driven from the main shaft of the back drum. Even with this 
governor the work on the brakes is still excessive, and the wooden 
blocks burn out rapidly. A similar gravity plane may be seen at 
Whiteside, Tenn., but the duty is not nearly as great, and no fan- 
governor is used. 

A style of gravity plane sometimes used is illustrated in Figs. 59 
and 60. It consists of a platform car on which the mine cars are car- 
ried two at a time. This platform car is attached to a rope which makes 
a half lap on a brake sheave at the head of the incline, from which it 
leads to a sheave on a balance car, around which it makes a half lap, 
and extends up the slope to an anchorage near the check-house. The 
balance car, commonly known as the ** dummy," travels on a separate 
track parallel with the main track, the movement being one -half that 
of the incline car on the main track. The dummy is weighted just 
sufficiently to lift the incline car, supporting the two empty mine cars 
on tlieir return to the workings. This style of plane is peculiarly 
adapted to mines that are worked in terraces, or on a series of '* head- 
ings," as they are termed, at different levels along the side of a hill. 
Wooden track rollers are generally used, with a few iron ones inter- 
spersed where the wear is heavy. In laying out these planes allowance 
must be made for the variation in the weight of the ropes on the two 
tracks. This adjustment may be effected in the profiles of either the 
main or dummy tracks, or partially in both. It is usually more con- 
venient to make it in the dummy track, as this is but half the length of 
the other, and independent of the location of the headings. In effect- 
ing a landing at any heading, the incline car is brought to a stop or a 
slow speed, within a few feet of it, by the brakeman on the car, who 
works the brakes gently, till the rails at the heading abut nicely with 
those on the car, when the car is stopped. The brakeman at the head 
of the incline then applies the brake to the head sheave ; the empty 
mine cars are run off and replaced by loaded ones. The main objec- 
tion to this system is the loss of time in making each landing, and the 
close adjustment of balance weights required to permit of this being 
done by the brakeman on the car. This difficulty has been avoided by 
arranging to dump the mine cars, from tipples at each heading, into a 


box car, or skip on the incline. In the best-constructed planes of 
this class, the tracks at the various headings are so arranged that the 
transferring of the cars to and from the main incline is done entirely 
by gravity, either by self-acting slopes, or more frequently by taking 
off the empties at a point above the workings, and taking on the loaded 
cars at a point below, so that there is a fall, in either case, sufficient to 
operate by gravity. The main incline is operated by the brakeman at 
the check-house, an indicator being provided to mark the position of 
the car on the incline. This method does Tiot require as delicate an 
adjustment of the balance weight as when the stopping is governed by 
the brakeman on the car, and landings are effected with regularity and 

Incline cars for gravity planes are sometimes constructed to 
dump automatically, as shown in Fig. 6i. The car is fitted with a pair 
of wheels in front which have a wider tread than those in the rear. 
These run on to a short section of track at the foot of the plane, the 
rails of which are level, or nearly so, and are wide enough apart for 
the back wheels to clear, the latter running on to the steep end of the 
main track, and discharging the contents from the rear end of the car, 
as shown. An incline car is used at the Gilreath Mines, Ala., shown 
in Fig. 62, which discharges from the front, the door being secured by 
an ingenious latch, which opens automatically on reaching the foot of 
the incline. The construction of this latch is shown in Fig. 63. . The 
limit of grade at which an inclined plane ceases to operate automati- 
cally is difficult to fix arbitrarily, as the conditions of each case vary 
jconsiderably. No rule can be given for determining the least angle of 
inclination, as this varies with the length of the plane, the weight and 
construction of the cars, and road-bed. For planes up to 500 feet in 
length, the minimum grade may be assumed at about 5 per cent. For 
longer planes, from 500 to 2,000 feet, it varies from 5 to 10 per cent., 
being greater in proportion to the length of the line and less in propor- 
tion to the load. 

The profile of the plane should be concave, if possible, with the 
steepest inclination at the top. 

Very frequently two or more slopes are operated by a system of 
inclined planes, which may all dip the same way or in different direc- 



tions, and may be either self-acting, or require power, according to the 
grades. The best method of working in any case will depend upon 
the special requirements of the location. 

The stresses upon the ropes of inclined planes may be determined 
from the subjoined table, but it should be borne in mind that while the 
table is based upon an allowance of 40 pounds per ton for rolling fric- 
tion, there will be an additional stress due to the weight of the rope, 
proportional to the length of the plane : 


Rise per loo ft. 

Angle of 

Stress in 

Rise per loo ft. 

Angle of 

Stress in 

1 , 



pounds per ton 
of 2,000 pounds. 



pounds per ton 
of 2,000 pounds. 




2° 52' 



46- 24' 















11^ 10' 



50« 12' 









16° 42' 



52<» 26' 



19^ 18' 



53° 29' 



21° 49' 






24^ 14' 






26^ 34' 



56« 19' 



28^ 49' 



57° 11' 



30^ 58' 



58° 00' 



33« 02' 



58° 47' 



35® 00' 



59^* 33' 



36^ 53' 



60® 1 6' 



38® 40' 






40° 22' 






42° 00' 



62® 15' 



43° 32' 

141 5 


62° 52' 



45® 00 



63° 27' 




Where grades are so slight that gravity cannot be utilized as a 
motive power, a continuous system of wire rope haulage is commonly 
applied. There are two general arrangements of this kind, known 
respectively as the " tail rope " and the " endless rope *' systems. 


The tail rope system is one by which the haulage of the loaded 
cars is accomplished with one rope, while the empties are drawn back 
by a separate light rope known as the tail rope. The two drums upon 
which these ropes coil may be located at the opposite ends of the line 
and driven by independent engines, as in Fig. 64, or preferably located 
at the mine entrance, and driven from the same engine, as in Fig. 65. 
The latter arrangement requires more tail rope, but saves the expense 
of an extra engineer, besides permitting the erection of the engine out- 
side the mine. At the end of the main line and of each branch there 
is a sheave from 4 to 5 feet in diameter, called the ** tail sheave," 
around which the tail rope passes. 

The drums are generally driven by friction or clutch connections, 
from the engine shaft, so that each maybe alternately driven, or left to 
uncoil loose, as desired. These drums are provided with brakes 
wherever the grades make it necessary. Fig. 66 illustrates an im- 
proved type of the tail rope engine as now generally used. Two inde- 
pendent lines are often operated by one engine, in which case four 
drums, as shown in Fig. 67, are arranged to be worked by one man. 

In all cases the size of the ropes should be proportioned to the 
strains they have to bear ; as a rule, rope of 7 wires to the strand is to 
be recommended for the main rope, and rope of 19 wires to the strand 
for the tail rope, since the main rope is subjected to the greatest sur- 
face wear and the tail rope to the greatest amount of bending. The 
tail rope is conducted to the tail sheave over rollers, usually of iron, 
supported at an elevation of 3 or 4 feet above the track on upright 
timbers along the side of the gangway, as shown in Fig. 68. The track 
rollers are generally of gumwood, although iron rollers are frequently 
used to advantage, especially at points where the wear is heavy. 


Curves may be made at any angle and of comparatively small 
radii, but where the radius is less than sixty feet, the trips should be 
taken around the curve at a moderate speed. The ordinary speed at 
which the ropes may be run varies from 8 to 12 miles an hour. The 
number of cars composing a trip depends largely on the grades, and 
varies usually from 25 to 50. In some mines, however, as many as a 
hundred cars are handled at one haul. 

Couplings are provided in the tail rope, by means of which the 
proper attachments may be made with the various branch ropes, which 
simply complete the tail rope line on their respective entries. In tak- 
ing a trip into any side or cross entry, therefore, it is understood the 
branch ropes on the other side entries, as well as that portion of the 
tail rope on the main gangway which is disconnected for the time 
being, simply lie idle. There are three methods of attaching the 
branch ropes, as illustrated in Figs. 69, 70 and 71. In the first two 
the change is effected when the trip reaches the junction of the main 
and branch ways, and in the last when the trip is at the entrance or 

In the first arrangement, Fig. 69, a shelve is fixed near the roof or 
under the track, around which one end of the branch rope passes. In 
going in, the rope end C replaces Z>, on the front end of the train, and 
the end E replaces F in the tail rope. In the arrangement illustrated 
in Fig. 70, the tail rope always remains entire ; the end A replaces B^ 
and the latter end, being pulled in a little further, is attached to N. 

In changing the ropes by the method illustrated in Fig 7 1, a differ- 
ent course entirely is pursued. The branch ends are changed by a boy 
while the trips are being made up at the entrance or shaft, the coup- 
lings in the tail rope being set to come opposite the loose ends of the 
branch rope, as shown, when the ends A"", ^ are replaced by K, Y. This 
plan is much more expeditious than either of the others, since no time 
is lost in changing the ropes, as they are generally ready at the branch 
before the trip at the entrance is ready to be taken in, and the change 
is made when there is no strain on the ropes. In the first two methods 
there is a loss of time, not only by reason of the additional stoppages 
at the branch, but also due to the fact that the trains usually arrive at 
the branch with the ropes under considerable tension. This makes it 


necessary very often, in changing the ropes, to use a winch to bring 
the ends together. A wooden clamp, fixed at one side of the entry, is 
sometimes used to hold the tail rope while the branch rope is being 
attached, the clamp being applied before the tail rope is released, 
which prevents it from springing back. 

To uncouple the ropes while under strain it is necessary to use 
peculiar hooks, known as " knock-off *' links. There are various styles 
of these, the most common of which are illustrated in Figs. 78 to 83. 
Their operation will be readily understood by a glance at the illustra- 
tions. Fig. S;^ represents a self-acting knock-off link. When the train 
arrives at the point where the rope should be released, a bar of iron 
fixed at the proper point comes in contact with the bell-crank lever lift- 
ing the chains connected with the knock-off link, and releasing the rope. 
These links are usually applied both to the main and tail ropes. Fig. 
75 represents a common style of tail rope coupling, which is simply a 
hook and loop socket connected by a link. The link may be dispensed 
with by using two hook sockets, as shown in Fig. 76, that go together 
like the hooks of a bell-cord. This is safer where the tail rope is 
likely to become slack at times. Fig. 77 represents another style of 
connection, where two strap sockets, with a single link in each, are 
connected by a flat steel hook attached to one of the links as shown. 
The opposite link has a notch in it through which the hook is passed, 
the opening being just wide enough to slip over the link at this point. 

Stations on either side of the main or branch lines are usually 
worked by an arrangement of tracks, as shown in Fig. 72. The ropes 
are knocked off the empty train in going in at the points A, A, oppo- 
site to which is the train of loaded cars ready to go out. A gentle fall 
in the track causes the empty train to run forward over the switch .9, 
on to the siding B. 

In mines which have been opened by vertical shafts or steep in- 
clines, the tail rope system of haulage operates only to bring the cars 
to the foot of the shaft or incline, whence they are hoisted to the sur- 
face by methods already described. Under these circumstances the 
tail rope engine may be placed either at the foot of the shaft or at the 
surface, as may be deemed most desirable. The latter position is 
preferable, notwithstanding the extra length of ropes required, owing 
to the advantage of having the engine out of the mine. 


If the slope into the mine is an easy one, the trips may be hauled 
directly out, by providing an engine of sufficient power, and if at the 
same time the grade is steep enough for the empty trips to descend by 
gravity, the tail rope connections may be made at the foot of the slope. 

Where the slope from the mine entrance to the tipple is in favor 
of the loaded trips, these may be lowered directly by means of the tail 
rope, the main rope being knocked off as soon as the trip comes out of 
the mine. In fact, a variety of conditions may occur to modify the 
character of the line and method of operating , the grades being a 
most important feature in this consideration. In laying out and esti- 
mating on any line, therefore, the importance of having an accurate 
profile to work to is manifest. 


The endless rope system, as its name implies, is based on the 
operation of an endless rope. Usually this is run continuously in one 
direction, the engine being fitted with a fly wheel and governor, and 
requiring but little attention. The cars are attached at any point, by 
means of clutches or grips, of which a variety of styles have been 

Sometimes, however, the rope is operated in both directions, in 
which case a reversing engine is required. This is practically a modi- 
fication of the tail rope system, as the trips are handled in the same 
manner, excepting that the attachments are made to an endless rope. 
These attachments usually consist of links socketed in the rope, which 
are not as ojectionable in this cas2 as they would be in the other, 
since they do not have to pass around the engine drums. 

The engine drums, two in number, are from 4 to 8 feet in diam- 
eter, placed tandem on horizontal shafts, and usually mounted on one 
bed-plate with the engine, as shown in Fig. 84. The rope is lapped a 
sufficient number of times about these drums to prevent slipping, the 
drums being grooved accordingly. The engine is geared to the back 
drum, while the forward drum, vyhich is set at a slight inclination, in 
order that the rope will lead properly from one groove to the other, 
runs free in its bearings. The latter drum, in the engine we have illus- 
trated, consists of a set of independent sheaves mounted in such a way 


as to compensate for irregularities in the wear of the grooves, which in 
ordinary drums has a tendency to stretch the rope unduly. The bear- 
ings of this drum are on slides actuated by long bolts, and a single 
lever working a double ratchet to provide for taking up the stretch of 
the rope. These engines are made in a variety of sizes. 

In all lines of this class a certain amount of tension in the rope is 
necessary. This should be so proportioned that the driving can be 
effected with the minimum number of laps on the drums, while the 
rope still remains slack enough to enable the cars to round the corners 
without too much side pressure. The tension may be applied at either 
end, but preferably at the end where the line is driven. The ordinary 
arrangement is to mount the tail sheave on a carriage, as illustrated in 
Fig. 100. A chain attached to the carriage passes over a small wheel 
and supports the tension weights. 

The illustration on page 122 represents the arrangement of an 
endless rope line at the East Fork Mine of the Tennessee Coal, Iron 
and Railroad Company, at Tracy City, Tenn. The line traverses a 
main tunnel through the mountain, 6,000 feet long, to No. 10 mine, 
and a branch tunnel, 1,800 feet long, to No. 11 mine, making in all 
7,800 feet, as exhibited in Fig. 86. The loaded track at the entrance 
is on a one per cent, grade, descending to the tipple, while the empty 
track, after passing over a slight knuckle, is on a one per cent, grade 
descending from the tipple for a distance of 250 feet, then level for 
about 50 feet, then on a three per cent, rising grade, until it reaches 
the level of the loaded track. The loaded cars from No. 10 mine and 
the empties to No. 1 1 mine run by gravity across the places where the 
rope is lacking at the junction of the main and branch lines. Figs. 
89a and 89b show the style of grooved curve sheaves and track rollers 
used, which were designed by Mr. Chas. E. Bowron, the engineer at 
the Tracy City Mines. 

The rope is J" diameter steel, 7-wire, Lang-lay, and travels at a 
speed of 4 miles an hour. The rope is greased continuously with a 
mixture of coal tar, car oil and axle grease. The tension sheave near 
the entrance is 5 feet diameter, and is mounted on a carriage, actuated 
by weights suspended in a gallows frame. The sheave is slightly in- 
clined to the vertical in order that the rope may lead on and off prop- 
erly. The tail sheaves are 6 feet diameter, and mounted on " take- 


up " slides. The engine is located directly in front of the mine en- 
trance ; it has double cylinders, 16x20, and is geared 1:4 to the back 
drum. This drum is 6 feet diameter, and the forward drum 5 feet 
diameter. The loaded rope leads direct to the upper side of the back 
drum, makes three half laps about this and the forward drum, one 
half lap next about the tension sheave, one half lap finally about a 
sheave which revolves freely on the driving drum shaft, and leads out 
under the tension carriage around some small guide sheaves to the 
left. Twenty cars make up a trip, holding each about 1,500 lbs. of 
coal, and weighing, empty, about 750 lbs. The road is comparatively 
level, the steepest grade being less than 2^ per cent., and the maximum 
daily capacity of the line is 1,200 tons. The average cost of hauling 
for the three years, during which the output amounted to some 580,000 
tons of coal, was 7.14 cents per ton, which includes, besides the rope 
haulage, the cost of delivery from face of entries at the two mines to 
the rope terminals by mules, this additional distance varying from a 
quarter to one mile. The cost of hauling from the rope terminals to 
the tipple is about 4 cents a ton or 3 cents a ton per mile ; this figure 
including depreciation of plant, etc. 

The manner of attaching the cars to the rope in this system 
claims special attention, as its successful operation depends largely on 
the effectiveness of the grips. There have been a variety of these grips 
and other devices invented for taking hold of the rope. One of the 
oldest, simplest, and by many mine operators still considered the best, 
is tlie grip tongs illustrated in Figs. 90 and 91. They have been used 
for years in the English collieries. The tongs are attached to the draw 
bar of the front car by a short chain (Fig. 91), which provides for the 
necessary lateral motion in going round curves. Fig. 92 illustrates 
another style of grip, with a fixed lower jaw consisting of a projection 
at the bottom of the box which contains the mechanism for operating 
the upper or movable jaw, by means of the handle shown. The box 
is attached to the draw bar of the front car by a rod, in such a way as 
to prevent the grip turning over. The grip works very well so long as 
there is a pull on it, but on down grades, where the cars are likely to 
run ahead of the rope, it must be taken off. In such cases the trips 
may frequently be checked by applying brakes to the front car, 
especially if the descent is in favor of the empty trips. Where this 

Self-Acting Knonk-Off Hook 
Hg 83. 


cannot be done, a grip car must be used, as illustrated in Figs. 93 and 
94. The grip is attached to a plate pivoted at the back end of the 
car, to provide for the necessary lateral motion in going around 
curves, and avoid the racking that would occur from vibrations of the 
rope if the grip was rigidly attached. The grips and cars are made in 
sizes to correspond with the work they have to do. 

An endless rope line is also used at Tracy City for charging two 
double lines of coke ovens, known as the East Fork and Lone Rock 
batteries, and covering a total length of 3,700 feet, in which there are 
several bends. Two double discharge larries, each of 10 tons capacity, 
are employed, one for each battery, which travel upon single tracks 
between the two lines of ovens, and are attached to the endless moving 
ropes by means of grips similar to that illustrated in Fig. 92. The 
rope used is |" diameter, 7-wire, Lang-lay, and runs along the center of 
the tracks back and forth in double lines over iron rollers spaced from 
15 to 20 feet ajDart, similar to those shown in Fig. 89b. The grade on 
the East Fork battery is ^V P^^ cent, in favor of the loaded larry, and 
on the Lone Rock battery it is level. An engine of 10 horse power 
operates the plant. 

The endless rope system may be used on either single or double-track 
lines. With single tracks, however, turnouts must be provided for the 
trips to pass, and on this account the double track is to be preferred. 

Connections are made with side entries, as illustrated in Figs. 95 
and 96. The rails must be cut out where the rope crosses, in order to 
allow the grips to pass. Short bars, pivoted at one end of each, are 
introduced, which are usually opened and closed by the train riders. 

Fig. 97 illustrates the automatic rail latch devised by Mr. Tyler 
Calhoun, and consists of a cast-iron plate, B, firmly bolted to the ties, 
with a groove, .^, through which the rope runs. The latch, /, pivoted 
at/, has a beveled end, abutting with the rail end, which is also beveled 
to fit. This latch completes the rail line, and is set so that it offers no 
resistance to the passage of the grips. The latch is provided with a 
spring, s, which closes it after a grip has passed, and therefore requires 
no attention. On single-track lines two of these are placed end to 
end, as shown in Fig. 96. 

Fig 98 illustrates the arrangement of a turnout in a single-rope 
line, rail latches such as we have just described being required at each 


of the points marked B, Fig. 99 shows the manner of leading the rope 
around a curve. An arrangement by means of which a side entry may 
be worked by the rope line is illustrated in Fig. loi. The rope passes 
around a series of curve rollers between the rails of the ingoing track 
leading into the branch, and in returning is deflected about a sheave, 
as shown below the ingoing track on the main entry, and continues on 
down this entry. The ingoing trains not intended for the branch must 
be detached at this point. 

An adaptation of the endless rope system is employed in several 
English mines, in which the rope, instead of being supported on rollers 
close to the ground, travels above the cars, the attachments being made 
in a variety of ways. In some cases the rope simply rests in grips on 
the cars, and supporting rollers are dispensed with altogether. None 
of these methods have met with much favor in this country, principally 
on account of the awkward rope connections and cumbersome arrange- 
ments necessary at the curves. Where the dip is all in one direction 
only a single connection is necessary ; but where the grades are un- 
dulating, connections must be made at each end of the trip. There is 
perhaps one condition of roadway in which this adaptation of the end- 
less rope system might be economically applied, and that is, when a 
main gangway ivithout branches has a dip only in one direction. 

The endless rope system is sometimes applied to the operation of 
inclined planes, where the inclination is comparatively light and duty 
very heavy. There are a number of planes of this character in the 
anthracite region of Pennsylvania, among which may be mentioned 
the planes of the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, at Ashley, 
Pa , and the plane of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company, 
at Mahanoy. Whole trains of loaded cars, as used on the above rail- 
roads, are handled on these planes, the raising and lowering being done 
by means of " barney " cars attached to the ropes, which drop into pits 
at the lower ends of the planes, out of the way. 

At Ashley there are three inclines, one above the other, with a 
combined length of 13,020 feet, and total vertical elevation of 1,066 
feet. Over 24,000 tons have been taken up these planes in 24 hours, 
the ropes used being of iron 2^ and 2J inches in diameter. 

The Mahanoy plane is 2,466 feet in length, with a vertical eleva- 
tion of 353 feet, and maximum capacity of 1,000 cars in 24 hours, or 

O Uh 


> tf 


S '^ 

O «j 

i= rd — 



i «' 

^.. r 





^ 05 

H 'i 


I^^^Mj CO 


1 1 


I^^MI tD 


K^ 1 






UneJSOOjtionl^^fe - 




about 25,000 tons. The rope used is 2^ inches in diameter, but it is 
proposed to replace this with a 2i-inch rope. 

The amount of artificial tension to be applied in an endless rope 
to prevent slipping on the driving drum, depends on the character of 
the drum, the condition of the rope and number of laps which it 
makes. If T and 6* represent respectively the tensions in the taut and 
slack lines of the rope ; W^ the necessary weight to be applied to the 
tail sheave ; R^ the resistance of the cars and rope, allowing for fric- 
tion ; fly the number of half laps of the rope on the driving drum ; and 
/, the co-efficient of friction, the following relations must exist to pre- 
vent slipping : 

T= Se^^^' ^=- r+ 5, and R= T—S; 
from which we obtain — 

fftTZ -\- I 



JnTZ — I 

in which e represents the base of the Naperian system of logarithms. 
The following are some of the values of /; 


• ( 




< ( 

1 1 





< ( 

< ( 

( t 


Dry rope on a grooved iron drum, 









wood filled sheaves, 


rubber and leather filling, 





« ( 


t ( 

JnTZ + I 






The values of the co-efficient —^ ^» correspondmg to the above 

fmz — I ^ ^ 

values of /, for one up to six half laps of the rope on the driving drum 
or sheaves, are as follows : 

n =• NUMBER 


















3 833 



I 714 

I 505 










2 418 


1. 416 


1. 154 






1. 149 






I 165 






I 245 

I. no 

1. 051 




1. 176 




1. 001 




1. 019 


1. 001 



It requires but a glance at these figures to convince one of the im- 
portance of keeping the rope dry. 

When the rope is at rest, the tension is distributed equally on the 
two lines of the rope, but when running there will be a difference in the 
tensions of the taut and slack lines, equal to the resistance, and the 
values of 7' and ^may be readily computed from the foregoing formulae. 

The increase in tension in the endless rope, compared with the main 
rope of the tail rope system, where the stress in the rope is equal to 
the resistance, assuming/ = 40, is as follows : 

;/ = 

Increase in tension in 
endless rope, compared 
with direct stres«. 






Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 


Per cent. 


Per cent. 


The above figures will be found useful in determining the proper 
size of rope. For instance, if the rofpe makes two half laps on the 
driving drum, the strength of the rope should be 9 per cent, greater 
than a main rope in the tail rope system. 



As to which is the better of the two systems of haulage is a matter 
that depends largely on the local conditions. The tail rope system 
possesses the decided advantage that crookedness of the line, irregu- 
larity of gradient and numerous branches, offer no obstacle to its 
effective working. To obtain a large output, however, the ropes must 
be run at high speeds, and as the workings become more extended, an 
increased number of cars must be handled at each trip. This strains 
the engine and rope considerably, and the wear and tear therefore is 
heavier than with the endless rope system, where the rope is run at a 
moderate speed, and the load more uniformly distributed. The end- 
less rope system requires one-third less rope than the tail rope system, 
but this advantage is offset by the fact that the rope must be of uniform 
diameter throughout, and of a size corresponding to the greatest ten- 
sion under which it will be worked. The power required to operate is 



less than with the tail rope system, since the rope travels in most cases 
at less than half the speed, and the friction of an unwinding drum and 
unloaded rope is not added to the weight of the trips. This fact, in ad- 
dition to the less quantity of rope required on a line without branches, 
makes the first cost of the plant somewhat less. The greatest objec- 
tion to the endless rope system appears to be the difficulty encountered 
in working branches. These may be operated by independent lines, 
and conditions may occur where this method of working might be em- 
ployed to advantage, but in most cases where the length of main line 
is no drawback, the tail rope system is to be recommended in working 
lines with branches. 

The extensive application of both systems to surface as well as 
underground lines has demonstrated beyond all question the economy 
of wire rope haulage, and this economy is very marked where the 
grades are unfavorable to the load. The cost of wire rope haulage, by 
either the tail rope or endless rope systems is about the same, and 
varies, according to the grades, from 2 to 3 cents a ton per mile, which 
is less than one-third that of mule haulage. The above cost is dis- 
tributed in percentages about as follows : 






Tail rope 





Endless rope. . 

The main difference in the above comparison appears in the items 
of power and labor. While the endless rope system is more economical 
of power, it is more costly for the labor in handling the cars, and this 
fact should be taken into consideration in the selection of either 

Preliminary estimates of cost of construction and expense of 
operating these lines will be furnished in response to applications, 
stating length of line, number of curves and their angles, maximum 
grades in favor or opposed to loads, difference in levels of terminal 
points, daily output and terminal requirements. Definite estimates 
can be furnished only after an exact profile of the ground has been 

Method of Working Endless Rope on Side Enliy. 

Endless Rope TaJl Slieave. 

Wire Rope and Attachments. 

General Remarks. 

Ordinary wire rope is composed of six strands, each containing 
seven, or nineteen, wires, laid up about a hemp or wire strand center, 
and is commonly known as *' seven-wire " or nineteen-wire rope, as 
the case may be. 

Rope made with a hemp center is more pliable than that which 
has a wire center. 

The nineteen-wire rope with hemp center, therefore possessing the 
greatest flexibility, is to be recommended as a rule for all purposes where 
running ropes are used ; on the other hand, it is not as well adapted to 
stand surface wear as the seven- wire rope, and where this is consider- 
able the latter rope is to be preferred, and also where the rope must be 
run at a high speed, as in the transmission of power. 

For special purposes, ropes of twelve and sixteen wires to the 
strand are made, which are intermediate in flexibility between the 
seven and nineteen-wire ropes. 

We have recently introduced a rope made of eight nineteen-wire 
strands instead of six, to meet the demand for a more flexible rope than 
the ordinary hoisting rope and one better adapted to withstand severe 
bending. This rope, made of plough steel wires, has met with much 
favor, especially on the Pacific Coast, for logging machines on which 
comparatively small drums are used. 

Hawser ropes are made of six strands, each of which is composed 
of twelve wires laid about a hemp center. 

Tiller ropes, which are the most flexible of all, are composed of six 
small seven-wire ropes laid about a hemp cenfer. 


The nineteen-wire rope is as pliable as new hemp rope of the 
same strength, and can be run over drums and sheaves of the same 
diameter as the latter. Since wire ropes suffer more from bending 
strains than from abrasion, it is desirable to use the largest sheaves 

The wear increases with the speed, and it is therefore preferable 
to increase the load rather than the speed. 

Wire rope should not be coiled or uncoiled like hemp rope. 
When it is wound upon a reel, the wheel should revolve on a spindle 
while the rope is paid off ; when laid up in a coil, not on a reel, roll 
the coil on the ground, like a wheel, and pay off the rope in that man- 
ner, so that there will be no danger of untwisting or " kinking." 

To preserve wire rope, cover it thoroughly with raiv linseed oily or 
with a paint made of equal parts of linseed oil and lamp black ; when 
it is subjected to the corrosive action of water it should be saturated 
with pine tar, applied hot, or with a mixture of coal tar neutralized 
with slaked lime, using a bushel of fresh slaked lime to a barrel of tar. 
A number of compounds expressly prepared for covering wire ropes 
are offered by parties making a specialty of such materials. 

Wire ropes are made with a short or long twist, or "lay," according 
to the purposes for which they are to be used ; the former, being more 
elastic, are preferred where strains are suddenly applied, as on shafts 
and inclined planes ; the latter are preferred on long haulage lines, 
on account of their stretching less. 

We make our own wire, and the best quality of material only is 
used in our ropes. Our " special" cast-steel wire combines in a high 
degree ductility and tensile strength, and is subjected to careful tests 
to insure uniformly good quality. 

Under certain special conditions, it is often desirable to obtain 
considerably greater tensile strength without increasing the diameter 
and weight of the rope. For this purpose, what is known as '* Plough 
Steel," which will bear a strain of from 100 to 150 tons per square 
inch, has been found suitable, and is generally used. It should be 
borne in mind, however, that the increased strength in *' Plough Steel " 
ropes is gained at the sacrifice of some pliability ; hence it is vitally 
necessary, in order to secure the best results, that they should always 
be provided with drums and sheaves of considerably greater diameter 


than those used with ordinary cast-steel ropes of corresponding sizes* 
Before putting these ropes into use, it will be advisable to confer with 
us as to their suitability for the proposed service. 

The foregoing grades of rope are sometimes made up of galvanized 
wires (wires coated with zinc to prevent oxidation) for special pur- 
jDOses, such as suspension bridge cables, etc., where an extra quality 
of material is required ; what is commonly known as '* Galvanized 
Wire Rope," however, such as is used for the standing rigging 
of ships and for guy ropes, is made of a cheaper material, laid 
up in six strands of either seven or twelve wires each. For both of 
these, purposes the latter rope has practically superseded hemp rope, 
since it is more durable, stretches less with changes of weather, and for 
rigging possesses the further advantage of much less bulk and weight 
than hemp rope of equal strength. 

Flat ropes are made of iron or cast steel wire — usually of the lat- 
ter. They are composed of a number of round wire ropes (alternately 
right hand lay and left hand lay) alongside one another, sewed together 
with annealed iron or steel wire. The component round wire ropes 
are not made in the same manner as ordinary wire ropes, each being 
composed of only four strands and having no hemp center. Flat ropes 
can be made of almost any required width and thickness. 

The following tables give the weight, strength, etc., of the differ- 
ent ropes referred to : 

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A preference has recently been manifested, both in this country 
and abroad, for the use, under certain conditions, of a style of wire 
rope differing from the ordinary wire rope in the manner of laying up. 
In wire rope, as ordinarily made, the component strands are laid up 
into rope in a direction opposite to that in which the wires are laid 
into strands ; that is, if the wires in the strands are laid from right to 
left, the strands are laid into rope from left to right. In the particular 
style of rope above referred to, the wires are laid into strands and the 
strands into rope in the same direction; that is, if the wire is laid in 
the strands from right to left, the strands are also laid into rope from 
right to left. The subjoined cuts show the difference between the two 
methods of laying up. In England this style of rope has been known as 
'* Lang-lay "; in this country sometimes as ** Lang-lay " and sometimes 
as ** Universal lay." Its use has been found desirable under certain 
conditions and for certain purposes, mostly for haulage plants, inclined 
planes, and street railway cables, although it has also been used for ver- 
tical hoists in mines, etc. Its advantages are that it is somewhat more 
flexible than rope of the same diameter and composed of the same 
number of wires laid up in the ordinary manner; and (especially) that 
owing to the fact that the wires are laid more axially in the rope 
longer surfaces of the wires are exposed to wear, and the endurance of 
the rope is thereby increased. The difference between the " Lang-lay " 
and the ordinary lay wire rope when new, and the appearance of the 
former after being subjected to a lengthened period of wear, are shown 
in the cuts on next page. The ordinary rope shows in use a tendency 
in the component wires to break on the crowns of the strands, which 
tendency is in the " Lang-lay " rope very much diminished. In conse- 
quence of its greater flexibility, moreover, fewer wires may be used in 
the strands of the *' Lang-lay " rope ; in fact it is almost always made 
with 7 wires to the strand, although occasionally with 12. There are, 
on the other hand, some drawbacks to the use of the ^' Lang-lay " rope; 
it cannot be spliced to a rope of the ordinary lay, and it is in itself 
somewhat more difficult to handle and splice, owing 10 the fact that 
great care has to be taken to prevent unwinding of the strands, which 
is apt to occur unless the rope is well served or otherwise secured be- 
hind the place where the splice is to be made. 



Fig. I02. " Lang-Lay " Rope, New. 

Fig. 103. '* Lang-Lay'' Rope, Worn. 

Fig. 104. Rope of Ordinary Lay, New. 



Fig. 105 illustrates the construction of our patent locked wire 
rope, so named from the fact that the exterior wires are drawn to such a 
shape that each one interlocks with its neighbor in such away as to pre- 
sent a smooth cylindrical surface like a solid round bar. This rope 
will not only outwear two to three ordinary ropes, but, on account of its 
smooth surface, the life of the sheaves and rollers over which it runs, or 
which traverse it as the case may be, is also proportionately greater, which 
is an important item to be taken into consideration. The wires are 

Fig. 105. Patent Locked Wire Rope. 

made of the best tempered cast steel, and it is evident th^t with this 
construction such a thing as unstranding is impossible. Should any 
of the wires break, which rarely happens, it cannot result in projecting 
ends and a ragged surface as in the case of ordinary ropes. Another 
advantage it possesses is that it has no tendency to twist in working as 
ordinary ropes have. These ropes have wire cores, and on this 
account are somewhat stiffer than ordinary ropes of the same size ; 
but they are also much stronger. Compared with ordinary ropes of 
equal strength, the locked wire rope is quite as flexible. In the 
ordinary ropes the strength is only about 80 per cent, of the aggregate 
strength of the individual wires, whereas in the locked wire ropes it is 
about 95 per cent., and in substituting the locked wire ropes for 
ordinary ropes, therefore, a size smaller should be used. 

This rope cannot be spliced like ordinary rope, but joints are 
readily made by means of steel couplings, as illustrated in Fig. 106. 

Inquiries for locked wire rope should always state the purpose for 
which it is intended, diameter of drums and sheaves employed, and 
size and style of rope hitherto used. The following table gives the 
weight, strength, etc. of the different sizes. 



Fig. 106. Locked Wire Rope Coupling. 


Estimated Weight 
per Foot, Pounds. 

Breaking Stress 

(approximate) in 

Tons of 2,000 

Proper Working 
Load, in Tons of 

Minimum Diameter 
of Drum or Sheave, 


2,oco Pounds. 

in fert. 









19 00 



4 50 










2 90 



































Lemont, III. 5-13-1896. 
Trenton Iron Co., Chicago, Ii,l.: 

Gentlemen — Your letter of the 6th inst. received upon the writer's 

return here. 

In reference to the efficiency of the '* Patent Locked Cable ** fur- 
nished us by your Company, will say that results obtained by its use 
have been very satisfactory to us. We have conveyed an amount of 
over 80,000 cubic yards over this line with little or no perceptible wear 
on the cable. Yours respectfully, 


C. H. LoCHER. 

Louisville, Kv., May 26th, i896, 

Trenton Iron Company, Trenton, N. J.: 

Gentlemen — Replying to your favor 18th inst., regarding the two 
inch Patent Locked Wire Rope you furnished for our cable line : This 
rope has been in use about one year, during which time our cable line 


has been bringing the raw material to the cupolas and carrying offal 
from our shop. We take pleasure in writing that this cable line has 
given very -satisfactory service. Yours respectfully, 


By A. F. Callahan, Vice- P res' I. 


Rockland, Me., April 12, 1895. 
To Whom it May Concern : 

This is to certify that we have hoisted fully one hundred and fifty 
thousand (150,000) tons of limestone over the Locke cable tramway, 
erected for us by the Trenton Iron Co., at our Engine Quarry. This 
output covers a period of about five years, and there is as yet no 
apparent wear upon the cable. Yours truly, 


H. N. Pierce, Sec'y, 

From the Gauley Mountain Coal Co., Fayette County, W. Va. 

Telegraph Office, Hawk's Nest. 

Ansted, Fayette County, W. Va., April 15th, 1892. 
The Trenton Iron Co., Trenton, N. J.: 

Gentlemen — Answering your inquiry of the 12th inst., beg leave to 
say that under similar work and conditions I would estimate the life of 
an ordinary twisted steel rope at about three years, and be satisfied 
with such service. Your locked wire rope has been in constant use 
nearly two years, and shows no sign of wear or failure ; not a strand 
having given away as yet. From present appearances, I think it will 
continue its service three years longer, or a total life of five years. 

Comparatively speaking, there is little or no wear on the sheaves 
and rollers. The latter, made of five-inch wrought pipe, have never 
been renewed, and are very little worn, while the sheaves have not been 
re-filled, with an average service of about 240,000 feet daily for the 
two, or 120,000 feet each. 

It is uncertain as yet when we shall require an additional plane, 
upon which I expect to use the same rope. 

Yours truly, 

WM. N. page. 


From the Central Mining Co, (Copper), Central Mine Post-office^ " 

Mich., John Stanton, Treas., Nov. loth, 1891, 

** The rope is li inches in diameter, and has been in use about 
thirteen months, under the following conditions, viz.: The hoist is 
direct acting, /. <?., the rope winding on a conical drum placed on crank 
shaft, the smallest diameter of drum being 14 feet. Rope passes over 
a lo-foot pulley directly down a vertical shaft about 300 feet from 
drum. The shaft is about 2,900 feet deep. Cage and ore weigh about 
6i short tons. The hoist is in constant use day and night ; usual 
speed averages about 2,500 feet per minute. Under these conditions, 
the rope shows no perceptible wear, and the wear on the pulleys is very 
small. Under the same conditions the wear of ropes made in the ordi* 
nary form has always been much greater, while the pulleys not only 
wear out very rapidly, but from their uneven wear cause more or less 
jerking and thrashing motion of the rope, and of course greater strains 
upon it. It is too soon to tell what the life of the rope will be, but 
under the conditions I have named, /. <?., hoisting heavy loads with 
high speed, I am convinced of its great superiority over the ordinary 
form of rope." 



The different methods of making attachments to wire ropes is a 
subject the importance of which is too often overlooked. Two dis- 
tinct kinds of fittings are used : the Thimble, Figs, 107, 108 and 109 ; 
and the Socket, Figs, no to 115, inclusive. Of the former there are 
three methods of securing the thimbles : one (Fig. 107) is by simply 
bending the end of the rope around the thimble and fastening with 
clips ; another (Fig. 108), by fraying out the wires a short distance at 
the end, bending the rope around the thimble, laying the straightened 
wires snugly about the main portion of the rope, and finally serving or 
wrapping with suitable wire and bending back the extreme ends of 
the wires projecting beyond the portion wrapped ; the third method 
(Fig. 109) is by interlocking the strands in the manner of a splice, and 
serving the whole with wire. The latter method is the most difficult 
attachment to make, but possesses the greatest strength, and if well 
done is as strong as the rope itself. 

It is not always practicable to use thimbles, especially with large 
and unwieldy ropes, in which case attachments are made by means of 
sockets ; and these are generally preferred for the smaller ropes also, 
on account of being easier to put on and neater in appearance. The 
ordinary socket (Figs, no and in) consists of a funnel-shaped forg- 
ing or steel casting with a loop or open prongs at the wide end, desig- 
nated respectively as loop sockets and open sockets with keys. The 
rope is secured by fraying out the wires at the end for a distance equal 
to about twice the length of the socket aperture, observing the pre- 
caution first to serve the rope at the point where the straightened wires 
begin and the unfrayedout strands terminate. Some of the wires are 
then trimmed off to shorter lengths, and all bent back upon them- 
selves, hook-fashion, so that the resulting bunch will conform as near 
as possible to the conical shape of the socket This bunch is then 
drawn into the socket, a conical plug rammed in the core, spreading 
the wires out tightly against the sides of the socket, and the whole 
finally cemented with molten Babbitt metal. 

In the case of ropes made of large, stiff wires, the ends are simply 
straightened out and the interstices filled with narrow, tapering pins or 
wedges. Our patent interlocked and smooth. coil tramway cables are 

Fig. 107. The Crosby Wire Rope Clip. 

Fig. 108. Thimble. 

Fig. 109. Thimble. 

Fig. no. Loop Socket. 

Fig. III. Open Socket, With Key. 

Fig. 112. Socket and Swivel Hook. 

Fjg. 113. Socket and Hook. 

Fig. 114, Loop Stirrup. 

Fig. rij. Open Stirrup. 

Fig. 116. Coupling For Interlocked Cable. 

Fig. 117. Wire Rope Clamps. 

Fig. 118. Turn-buckle. 



socketed in this way, the wedges and conical rings being made 
approximately to the shape of the interstices, binding all the wires 
uniformly, so that no Babbitt metal is required. Fig. 116 illustrates 
the patent coupling, for joining sections of our patent interlocked 
tramway cable referred to on page 9, and consists simply of two 
narrow cast steel sockets, joined at the center by a plug with right and 
left hand threads. The act of screwing up the plug drives home the 
wedges so firmly that it is a very rare occurrence for a wire to 
pull out. 

A socket sometimes used is shown in Fig. 30, page 90, and con- 
sists of a pair of tapering trough- shaped tongs, bent to a loop at the 
center, and attached to the rope by pins or rivets. The pins are driven 
cold, after the strands have been forced apart by a spike, the end of 
the rope being soldered to prevent the strands untwisting. This socket 
possesses the merit of being compact and easily put on, but it is not 
as strong as the other and can only be recommended where the strains 
are light. 

Fig. 117 illustrates a clamp used on the larger sizes of ropes with 
special attachments, and Fig. 118 a turn-buckle, such as used in ad- 
justing the tension of a wire rope. 

Attachments to the patent locked -wire rope are made by means of 
sockets, Figs. 119 and 120, and special care is required in putting 
these on, for if improperly done and any of the wires become slack, 
the rope will soon give out. The following directions, therefore, 
should be carefully observed : 

Fig. 119 

Fig. 120. Sections of Coupling Sockets. 



First — Care should be taken to see that the socket is of the 
right size for the rope it is to be put on. (All sockets furnished by us 
have the diameter of the rope they are intended for either stamped or 
cast on them.) 

Second. — Make sure that the inside of the socket is perfectly 
smooth and free from grease or rough spots. 

Third. — When ready, heat the socket gently and regularly on all 
sides up to about 300 degrees ; at this heat a piece of paper placed on 
it will scorch, but should not char or ignite. 

Fourth. — Prepare a ladle of melted Babbitt metal, or any hard 
alloy of sufficient capacity to fill the socket when the rope is in place. 
The metal should be heated to its greatest point of fluidity. 

Fifth. — Now take the rope and serve the end to be socketed with 
a strong and tight serving, previous to cutting off, which should be done 
with an ordinary hack saw. Then, measuring back from the end a 
distance equal to the length of the socket, put on one or two clamps 
tight enough to prevent any slack from the outside wires running back 
into the rope. Now secure this clamp in a vise, or other convenient 
appliance, and then slip on the coupling, unwinding the wire serving as 
the rope is pushed in. When the end of the socket rests against the 
clamp, the end of the rope should be nearly flush with the mouth of 
the bell. See Fig. 122. 

The wires in the rope should now be opened out by inserting a 
a long, tapered marlin spike in the center, care being taken to distribute 
the wires as evenly as possible all around the inside of the socket. 
Then the center pin, C, Fig. 122, which should also have been heated 
by dipping it for a while in the molten metal, is inserted in the place 
of the marlin spike, and gradually driven home with light blows at 
first, and finally with all the power necessary to run it flush with the 
top of the socket. Finally, while everything is still hot, pour in the 
molten metal, so that all the interstices are filled completely (Fig. 123). 
When this is done, cool off the socket from the outside by sprinkling 
water over it. 

Fig. 1Z3, socketing completed, showing aockMa 
Babbitt, central pin and put of rope In MClloo. 



ce, under strain, it will prob- 
; about equal to its diameter 
Should it show any more slip- 

Sixlh. — When the socketing is completed, remove the clamps. ; 
serve the rope for a distance of four or five inches with strong wire 
as to prevent any possible slack from any cause running back into 
rope, as at D, Fig. 125. 

After the rope has been put in ser 
ably pull through the socket a distan 
before every wire comes to a bearing, 
page than this, then the socketing has been improperly made and 
should be done over again. 

Where it is essential that all the wires should be made absolutely 
secure, the style of socket illustrated in Fig. 124 is used. This consists 
really of three or more sockets in steps, one behind the other, the larger 
for the outside wires, the following for the next larger, and so on down 
to the core. This style of socket can be relied upon in all cases to 
withstand ;iny strain that the rope will safely bear. 




We manufacture iron or steel sheaves and tackle blocks of every 
description. To illustrate all the various kinds would require more 
space than is at our command. 

Our transmission wheels. Figs. 125 and 126, are neat in design, 
and as light as it is possible to make them consistent with the requisite 
strength. The rims are either filled with wood or with segmental 
blocks of rubber and leather, soaked in tar and laid in alternately. The 
latter filling is recommended for transmission of power, on account of 
its greater resistance to slippage, but for the terminal sheaves of wire 
rope tramways, where the pressure of the rope is greater, the wood fill- 
ing has been found most satisfactory. 

Our hoisting and derrick sheaves, Figs. 127 to 130 inclusive, are 
designed to resist heavy strains. The former are made with plain V 
grooves and ribbed arms, and the latter with solid webs and narrow 
flanges. Wood-lined hoisting sheaves are only made for special pur- 

We furnish tackle blocks. Figs. 131 and 132, of any desired size, 
with one, two, three or more sheaves, according to the number of 
desired parts in the rope, and grooved to fit the size used; with skeleton 
guards, or with wrought iron or steel plate shells ; with beckets or 
shackles ; with loose fronts or swivel hooks ; with iron or phosphor- 
bronze bushings. We shall be pleased to quote prices for any of these 
on receipt of information as to just what is wanted. 


We are frequently asked **how long a certain wire rope will 
last." This is a difficult question to reply to with any satisfaction, as 
the life of a wire rope is affected in various ways ; for instance, by the 

* From a paper, by Mr. William Hewitt, read before the Engineering Association of the South 
at Nashville, Tenn., March 12, 1896. 

Sheaves for TransmiastoD of Power. 


duty performed, the care taken of it, the amount and degree of bend- 
ing it is subjected to, its exposure to the corroding action of water 
and more especially water containing salts or acids, etc., all of which> 
excepting the first, perhaps, are more or less uncertain factors upon 
which to base any kind of calculations. 

The principal causes of wear are abrasion and excessive bending 
strains. Abrasion results in ihe flattening or tearing apart of the 
wires, while undue bending is manifested in the fracturing of the outer 
wires at the wearing points, as illusirated in Fig. 133. More wire ropes 
are probably worn out from undue bending than from abrasion, owing 
to the fact that space very often forbids the use of proper sized sheaves, 
and the additional cost of large sheaves, especially in mining plants, is 
frequently a serious objection lo their use. 

Fig- 133- 
For good results, nf course, the bending strain, added to the direct 
tension due to the load, should be within the elastic limit of the wires. 
The strain due to bending is very often considerably greater than that 
due to the useful elTort or load, and the importance of the size and 
proper disposition of the sheaves used is a matter that should be care- 
fully considered in any wire rope installation. 


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The preceding table gives the stress per square inch of wire sec- 
lion in ropes, due to bending, for different ratios between the 
diameters of the wires and sheaves, the ratios selecied being those 
most commonly occuning in practice. 

Wire Rope Snatch Block. 

For ordinary wire ropes the ratios between the diameters of the 
rope and the individual wires are approximately as follows ; 
7 wires to the strand, 1-9 

19 " " " " 1-15 

The figures in heavy-faced type correspond with maximum effi- 
ciency in the transmission of power under ordinary conditions (see 
page 156). 

The angle that a wire roi)e makes in bending is also a matter to 
be taken into consideration. It has been asserted ihat the degree of 
bending makes no difference ; in other words, that the tension due to 


bending will be the same whether the rope merely touches the sheave 
or wraps all the way around it, which would be so under the assump- 
tion that the rope bends to the curvature of the sheave ; but the fact is 
that the curvature is dependent on the tension, and with certain rela- 
tive proportions, between the tension and bending angle, the curvature 
is not necessarily the same as the sheave in contact, but something 
greater, which explains how it is that large ropes are frequently run 
around comparatively small sheaves without detriment, since it is pos- 
sible to place these so close that the bending angle on each will be 
such that the resulting curvature will not overstrain the wires. This 
curvature may be ascertained from the following table, which gives the 
theoretical radii of curvature in inches for various sizes of ropes and 
different angles for one pound tension in the rope. Dividing these 
figures by the actual tension in pounds, gives the radius of curvature 
assumed by the rope in cases where this exceeds the curvature of the 
sheave. These figures can only be considered as approximate, how- 
ever, since the rigidity of the rope or internal friction of the strands 
and core has not been taken into account. Just what this amounts to 
it is impossible to say from the meagre information at hand and the 
various formulae for determining it, given by the different authorities, 
are all more or less uncertain and indefinite. It seems to be agreed, 
however, that the resistance of rigidity is the sum of two quantities, 
one constant and the other varying with the tension, and that the 
constant values are dependent on the condition of the rope. For new 
wire rope Weisbach gives an example showing this resistance as 
amounting to 5y^ lbs. for a tension of 2,000 lbs. The actual curvature, 
therefore, for any given load will probably be slightly greater than the 
curvature ascertained by the table. 












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I-! •'I 




Transmission of Power by Wire Rope. 

It is evident from the foregoing thr.t in transmitting power by 
means of wire rope, the working tension or force transmitted shuuld not 
exceed the difference between the elastic limit of the material and the 
bending stress, as given in the table on page 152. The workingteniion 
may be greater, therefore, as the bending tension is less, but in ordinarj' 
flying transmissions where the rope makes a single half lap on the 
sheaves, the tension in the slack portion of the rope cannot be less than 
one-half the tension in the taut portion, otherwise the rope would slip, 
A certain ratio exists, therefore, between the diameter of the sheaves 
and the wires composing the rope, corresponding to a maximum safe 
working tension, and this ratio it can be demonstrated is one resulting 
in a maximum working tension of approximately one-third the elastic 
limit of the material ; in other words, under the most favorable condi- 
tions the bending stress will be double the working lensioiL Taking 
the elastic limit of tempered steel, such as used in the best rope> at 
57,000 pounds per square inch, and that of Swedes iron at one-half 
this, or 28,500 pounds, the corresponding diameters of sheaves are 
given in the following table : 





of Rope. 





IS- Wire, 

19- Wire. 




































pi ■ 










It appears from this, contrary to the ordinary belief, that iron 
rope requires larger sheaves than steel rope does. This is due to the 
fact that iron wire, while having the same modulus of elasticity as 
steel, possesses but half the ultimate strength. There are practical 
reasons, however, for advocating in most cases the use of somewhat 
larger sheaves for steel rope than given in the above table, — the recoil, 
for instance, when suddenly released of tension, owing to the springy 
nature of the material, which might cause the rope to jump off the 
sheaves, — but this does not apply to ordinary transmissions of power, 
and it is curious to note that iron rope is still recommended by some 
for this purpose. This is to be explained, perhaps, by the fact that 
objections have heretofore been urged against the use of steel on 
account of its lack of homogeneity which caused it to become brittle 
under continuous bending, while iron, owing to its greater ductility, 
will simply elongate for a considerable period without having its 
strength seriously impaired. On the other hand, this process of elonga- 
tion requires frequent taking-up or re-splicing which is very objection- 
able. We use a special grade of homogeneous tempered steel wire, 
possessing high tensile strength with great ductility, that practice has 
demonstrated to be superior to iron for the transmission of power, and 
since it admits of the use of smaller sheaves it is to be preferred, as 
the saving in the cost of the sheaves will much more than offset the 
additional cost of the rope. 

Under ordinary conditions ropes of seven wires to the strand, laid 
about a hemp core, are best adapted to the transmission of power, but 
special conditions occur very often where ropes of twelve or nineteen 
wires to the strand are to be preferred. 

The tension of the rope is measured by the amount of sag or 
deflection at the center of the span, and the deflection corresponding 
to the maximum safe working tension is determined by the following 
formulae, in which S represents the span in feet. 

Steel Rope. Iron Rope. 

Def. of still rope at center, in feet. . . h ^ '00004 ^^ h ^ 'ooooS S^ 
driving " " " .... hi= 000025 S^ hi= -00005 S^ 
" slack *' " " h2= 000087582 b2= -00017582 

In laying out a transmission of power it is necessary to take into 
consideration the conditions governing the limits of span. When the 


deflections are very small, as on spans of less than sixty feet for 
instance, it is impossible to splice the rope to such a degree of nicety 
as to give exactly the required deflection, and as the rope is further 
subject to a certain amount of stretch, it becomes necessary in such 
cases to apply mechanical means for producing the proper tension in 
the rope, in order to avoid frequent splices, which are very objection- 
able ; but care should always be exercised in using such tightening 
devices, that they do not become the means, in unskilled hands, of 
overstraining the rope. When it is inconvenient to apply tightening 
devices, the sheaves may be refilled with a thicker filling, or a tempo- 
rary lining put in by nailing to the filling already in, and the rope run 
on this as long as possible, when this lining is removed, the rope re- 
spliced, and placed again on the original filling. On the shorter spans, 
moreover, the rope is more sensitive to every irregularity in the 
sheaves and the fluctuations in the amount of power transmitted, and 
is apt to sway to such an extent beyond the narrow limits of the required 
deflections as to cause a jerking motion, which is very injurious to the 
rope. For this reason on very short spans it is found desirable to use 
a considerably heavier rope than what is actually required to transmit 
the power; or in other words, instead of a 7 wire rope corresponding to 
the conditions of maximum tension, it is better to use a 19-wire rope 
of the same size wires, and to run this under the 7 -wire rope tension. 
In this way is obtained the advantages of increased weight and less 
stretch without having to use larger sheaves, while the wear will be 
greater in proportion to the increased surface. 

In determining the maximum limit of span, the contour of the 
ground, and the available height of the terminal sheaves must be taken 
into consideration. It is customary to transmit the power through the 
lower portion of the rope, as in this case the greatest deflection in this 
portion occurs when the rope is at rest. When running, the lower por- 
tion rises and the upper portion sinks, thus enabling obstructions to be 
avoided which otherwise would have to be removed, or make it neces- 
sary to erect very high towers. The maximum limit of span in this 
case is determined by the maximum deflection that may be given to the 
upper portion of the rope when running. Assuming the clearance be- 
tween the u[)per and lower portions of the ro|)e should not be less than 
one foot, and that the sheaves are 10 feet in diameter, hj and hg repre* 


senting respectively the deflections of the 
the rope, 

we have h, + lo = h. 

[ and slack portions of 

+ 1 

we have h, ^ 9 feet. 

This deflection for a steel rope corresponds to a span of 600 feet. 

Much greater spans than this, however, are practicable where the 
contour of the ground is such that the upper portion of the rope may 
be the driver, and there is nothing to interfere with the proper deflec- 
tion of the under portion, as for instance in crossing a ravine. Some 
very longtransmissionsof power have been effected in this way without 
an intervening support. There is one at Lockport, N. V., with a clear 
span of 1,700 feet, and another near this of about 1,200 feet. 

When the distance is greater than the limit for a clear span, it 
becomes necessary to introduce intermediate supporting sheaves, and 
as a rule the driving portion of the rope requires a less number of sup- 
ports than the slack portion. Usually it will be found sufficient to sup- 
port only the slack portion. These supporting sheaves may generally 
be replaced to advantage by intermediate stations, as shown in Figs- 1 34 
and 135- The rope thus, instead of running the whole length of the 

Fig. 134. 
transmission, runs only from one stalio 
equidistant, as far as practicable, sc 

1 lo the 
that a 

which should be 
may be kept on 



hand, ready spliced, to put on any span, should its rope give out. 
This method also prevents sudden fluctuations of motion being trans- 
mitted over the entire line. 

It frequently happens that it is impracticable to use sheaves cor- 
responding to the maximum safe working tension of the rope, in which 
case smaller ones may be used, but it will be understood of course that 
the wear of the rope will be more rapid. 

Transmission sheaves should be well balanced; otherwise uneven 
wear will result in the bearings, and also in the filling, causing the rope 
to sway violently. If the splice is poorly made, the filling roughly in- 
serted, or the sheaves bored untrue, similar irregularities in motion will 
result. It should be borne in mind that no [)ains should be spared at 
the outset to secure th^^ careful alignment and eijual balance of the 
sheaves, on account of the high velocities at which they are run. 

Assuming the sheaves to be of equal diameter, and not smaller 
than consistent with the maximum safe working tension of the rope as 
determined by the table on page 156, the achial korse-poiaer thai may 
be If ansmitted by a steel rope on 7Vood'Jilled sheaves approximately equals 
6y'V times the square of the diameter of the rope in inches multiplied by 
the velocity in feet per second. From this rule we deduce the following: 

Diam. of 



Velocity of 
30 . 40 



N Fkht per h 
60 70 




















: 20 











, 28 




















































1 1 






1 86 





^ . 

































The horse-poiver thai may be transmitted by iron ropes is one-half 
of the above. 

This table gives the amount of horse-power transmitted by wire 
ropes under maximum safe working tensions. In using wood-lined 
sheaves, therefore, it is well to make some allowance for the stretching 


of the rope, and to advocate somewhat heavier equipments than the 
above table would give ; that is, if it is desired to transmit 20 horse- 
power, for instance, to put in a plant that would transmit 25 to 30 horse- 
power, thus avoiding the necessity of having to take up a comparatively 
small amount of stretch. On rubber and leather filling, however, the 
amount of power capable of being transmitted is 40 per cent, greater 
than for wood, so that this filling is generally used, and in this case no 
allowance need be made for stretch, as such sheaves will likely transmit 
the power given by the table, under all possible deflections of the rope. 


It sometimes hap|)ens that the two wheels are not on the same 
horizontal plane, but that one occupies a higher elevation than the 
other. There will be a difference in the tensions in this case at the 
two wheels, the upper one being subject to a greater tension, but this 
difference is so slight, for all practicable spans, that it may be neglected 
so far as it affects the amount of horse-power that may be transmitted. 
It is evident, however, that when the angle of inclination is very great, 
the proper deflections cannot be readily determined, and the rope be- 
comes more sensitive to the ordinary variations in the deflections^ so 
that tightening sheaves must be resorted to for producing the requisite 
tension, as in the case of very short spans. In other words, the span 
to be considered in such cases is really the horizontal distance be- 
tween the two wheels, and practice has shown that when this is less 
than sixty feet, or when the angle of inclination exceeds thirty to forty- 
five degrees, it will be found desirable to use tightening sheaves. The 
limiting case of inclined transmissions occurs when one wheel is directly 
above the other. The rope in this case produces no tension whatever 
on the lower wheel, while the upper is subject only to the weight of the 
rope, which is usually so insignificant that it might be neglected alto- 
gether without materially affecting the problem, and tightening sheaves 
are therefore an absolute necessity. If the rope and wheels are pro- 
portioned according to the preceding rules for maximum efficiency, the 
proper weight to be applied to the lower wheel in pounds, approxi- 
mately equals the square of the diameter multiplied by 7,600, and for 
iron ropes one-half this. 

yifa tjfiind IJ7. 



In very long transmissions of power the conditions do not always 
admit of obtaining the proper tensions required in the ordinary system, 
or " flying transmission of power," as it is termed. In other words, to 
obtain the proper conditions, it would necessitate numerous and expen- 
sive intermediate stations. In case, for instance, it is desired to utilize 
the power of a turbine to drive a factory, say a mile away, the best 
method is to employ a larger rope than would ordinarily be used, run- 
ning it at a moderate speed. The rope thus may be in one continuous 
length, supported, at intervals of about a hundred feet, on sheaves of 
comparatively small diameter, since the greater rigidity of these ropes 
preserve them from undue bending strains. Where sharp angles occur 
in the line, however, sheaves must be used of a size corresponding to 
the safe limit of tension due to bending. The rope is run under a 
high working tension, far in excess of what in the ordinary system 
would cause it to slip on the sheaves. In other words, the working 
tension may be four or five times as great as the tension in the slack 
portion of the rope, and in order to prevent slipping, the rope is 
wrapped several times about grooved drums, or a series of sheaves 
at each end of the line. To provide for the slack due to the stretch 
of the rope, one of the sheaves is placed on a slide worked by 
long-threaded bolts, or, better still, on a carriage, provided with coun- 
terweights, which runs back and forth on a track. The latter pre- 
serves a uniform tension in the slack portion of the rope, which is very 
important. With our self-compensating arrangement of sheaves, any 
tendency of the rope to ** creep," due to the irregular wear of the 
sheaves or drums, is avoided. 

All wire rope tramways are practically transmissions of power of 
this kind, in which the load, however, instead of being concentrated 
at one terminal, is distributed uniformly over the entire line. Cable 
railways are also transmissions of this class. 

The amount of horse-power capable of being transmitted is given 
by the formula : 

N = [c D2— .000006 (w+g,+gg)] V, 
in which D = diameter of the rope in inches, v = velocity of rope in 
feet per second, w = weight of the rope, gi= weight of the terminal 



sheaves and shafts, gg = weight of the intermediate sheaves and 
shafts, and C = a constant depending on the material of which the 
rope is niade, the filling of the sheaves, and the number of half laps 
of the rope on the driving sheave or drum. The values of c for one 
up to six half laps for steel rope are given in the following table : 

€ —for 

Number of Half Laps on the Driving Drum, 

Steel Rope on 









Rubber and Leather 



9 93 


II. 51 

12 91 




The values of c for iron rope are one-half the above. 

It will be apparent from this table that when more than three half 
laps are made, the character of the surface in contact is immaterial as 
far as slippage is concerned. 

From the above formula we have the general rule^ that the actual 
horse-power capable of being transmitted by any wire rope approximately 
equals c times the square of the diameter of the rope in inches^ less six- 
millionths the entire weight of all the moving parts, multiplied by the 
speed of the rope^ in feet, per second. 

Instead of grooved drums or a number of sheaves, about which 
the rope makes two or more laps, it is sometimes found more desirable^ 
especially where space is limited, to use. grip pulleys, such as illus- 
trated in Figs. 136 and 137. The operation of these will be under- 
stood at a glance ; the rim being fitted with a continuous series of 
steel jaws, which bite the rope in contact, by reason of the pressure of 
the same against them, but as soon as relieved of this pressure they 
open readily, offering no resistance to the egress of the rope. 

Suspension Bridges and Ferries. 

We manufacture wire cables and fittings expressly for suS|jension 
bridges, Fig. 138. and are prepared to furnish complete equipments 
if desired, and also competent engineers to superintend their construc- 
tion. AppHcations for estimates should state length of span between 
towers, width of roadway, character of traffic and maximum load. 
They should, if possible, be accompatiied by a profile on the center 
line of the proposed structure, which line should extend back far 
enough to determine the location of the anchorages. The profile 
should show high and low water and the kind of material composing 
the banks and bed of the flream. 

Travel in many places does not warrant the construction of a 
bridge, and in these instances the wire rope ferry is found to be the 
cheapest and most cnnvenieni mode nf pissige We make trolleys for 
running on the rnj e, Figs> 139 and 140 whi h are commonly known 
as ferry blocks. 

Fig. 139. 

The general formula; on the following jiage will be found useful 
in determinint; the deflections corresponding to a given tension at all 
points of a suspended cable, either loaded or unloaded, as the case 
may be, and also the tension corresponding to given deflections. 



Let s = the distance between supports or Span A B; 
m&'n^^ the arms into which the span is divided by a vertical through 
the required point of deflection, x, m representing the arm 
corresponding to the loaded side ; 
y = the horizontal distance from load to point of support corre- 
sponding with m; 
w = the weight of the rope per foot ; 
g = the load ; 
/ == the tension ; 
and/? •= the required deflection at any point x; 
all measures being in feet and pounds. 
Then for 


m n w w s^ ^ ^ - 

h = — at ^, or — — at center of span. 





s^ n y s y 

h = — - at Xy or - — at center of span. 
t s 2/ 

\ly := ^s, /i = ^ a,i X, or —^ at center of span. 




/i = 

^ nt n g s ^ 

li y = m, h = at X, or '^^— at center of span. 

^ Is 4^ 


wnins-\-2sny w s^-\-At^y ^ ^ c 

— - at ^5 or -^r~^ — ^t center of span 



7V m n A- ([ n w s"^ -\- 2gs . 

li y — :}^s, h = 7^^— at X, or J^ at center of span. 



W S^ -\- 2^S 

If y = w, >^ = -^-^^^ at X, or — at center of span. 

•^ 2is ot 

Note. — If the tension is required for a given deflection, transpose t 
and h /// above formulcB. 

■' » • *,. 

New York. 

Managing Director. 

WM. HEWITT. Vice-PrE8'T, 
E. HANSON, Secy, , 


Trenton, New Jersey. 

Cooper, Hewitt & Co, 

17 Burling Slip, New York, 


Wire and Wire Rope, 


Suspension Bridges, Wire Rope Tramways, 
Wire Rope Transmissions of Power and 

Wire Rope Hauling and Hoisting Apparatus. 


** Anchor" Brand of Steel Bale Ties. 

Specialty of 

Smooth Coil and Locked Wire Ropes 







17 Burling Slip, New York. 

New Jersey Steel and Iron Company, 

Trenton, New Jersey. 



Hewitt, N. J. 
. Oxford, N. J. 
Trenton, N. J,