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Nineteenth Century Railroad Journal Box Inventors Patent Model for Railroad train wheel self-lubricating model in hand carved Mahogany wood in custom-made leather and velvet interior case. Models of the inventions were required as a part of 19th century patent applications. The initials on side are engraved “MCB” which stands for Master Car Builders, a group that was formed in the 1800s to standardize railroad equipment to assure interchangeability amongst the various railroad companies. The front door is engraved “P. Brown” we believe Patent Model Inventor’s own model to show improvements on device (no tags, but all inventors kept their own model) and the other side engraved “4 1/3 x 8” we assume to be the real metal cast Journal Box Size. The model design pivots on the bolt to open and facilitate lubrication of the train axle in, which enters the journal box from the large hole in the rear to prevent, wear. On the top are openings for cotton wadding or patented journal packing and was placed which was soaked with oil to lubricate the axle. These were used for the early Arch Bar type of R.R. truck, that is the side frame was assembled from strap steel bars and bolted together, with the journal boxes becoming an integral part of the side frame. You will notice that there are ears with holes through which the assembly bolts would pass in order to assemble the side frame. Later methods produced the all cast steel side frame, which are still used today. Size 5” x 5” x 7”. Case is 8” square.
Beginning Antiques Collection,
Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.