Early Prediction

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Oct 19 10:44:52 EDT 2009

I mentioned my latest read, Cyclopedia of Engineering Vol.III and have
just finished it. The final two pages in the section, Self-Contained
Railway Cars, include a prophecy of where we are 100 years later.

" It is according to human nature, and not unreasonable, for steam
railroad men, ... to be disposed to look down on and take a disparaging
view of the internal-combustion engine. Many of these, and engineers in
general, having closely studied the steam engine, have an inherent
prejudice in its favor and regard the internal-combustion engine as an

and, in conclusion, the prophetic words come off the now yellowing pages
as clear as a locomotive bell,

" ... small engines... when constructed on this principle and coupled
together would give any desired power for heavy trunk-line service."
(See attached scan.)

For those who enjoy steam (count me as one) we can only marvel that the
folks in Roanoke kept right on improving steam locomotives for another
50 years regardless.

Mike Pierry, Jr.
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