.. Spring
Echo Mtn. Echoes Volume 4..

Mount Lowe Power

By John Harrigan

Introduction and Incline Machinery

When I first started looking into the power systems for the Mt. Lowe Railway, I knew that there were pre-1906 and post 1906 designs. I had looked at the pictures in the various books but I had not paid a great deal of attention to what I was look at or reading about until I started the research.

The earliest description of the design for the lift mechanism comes from April of 1893. Initially, the motive power was supplied by a 75-horse power Keith, 500 volt DC motor that turned at about 800 rpm.

There were several safety items that incorporated on the main drive machinery that are of note. Attached to the first intermediate gear shaft was a belt going to a fly-ball regulator mounted on the ceiling. As the shaft turned, the weighted balls would move or "fly" out. If the gears turned too fast, the fly balls would move out past a preset position and the fly-ball regulator would apply the large emergency brake above the main grip wheel.



News of our readers

Mt. Lowe Post OfficeSince our last newsletter a lot has happened starting with a wonderful visit with all of you that could come to the dedication of the waiting shelter at Dawn Station in December. The event was well attended and I am sure you all had as good a time as I did. It is always nice to see old Mt. Lowe friends and to meet new ones. After the dedication we all traveled up to the Tavern where we picnicked and looked at displays put out by Paul Ayers, Brian Marcroft, Michael Patris, and Jake Brouwer.



Remembering the Versatile Kerchief.

By Christopher Nyerges

Access to technology does not automatically mean that we become smarter.

In many ways, today's television culture -- though highly informed in many general ways -- has become incompetent in many practical ways. We think that by looking at something we have actually learned or acquired a new skill. We pride ourselves in our sophistication until we are severely humbled by a real life test. In many ways, staring at the "boob tube" has numbed us, de-sensitized us.

Case in point: One Saturday afternoon, my wife was in the back yard and yelled out to me and a visiting friend: "Fire, the neighbor's house is on fire!" From our vantage point, we were looking at the back side of their house. We raced around to the front of their house and were amazed to see most of the neighbors standing in their front yards watching. One lady was leisurely washing her car with the garden hose.



Collector's Corner

By Michael Patris

When Mt. Lowe became the national tourist attraction it was at the turn of the century people from the world around wanted to take a small souvenir home to cherish. Some of the most common items that come to mind are the souvenir photo taken on the incline, perhaps some P.E. ticket stubs or maybe a postal card, menu or the Mt. Lowe paper.

At the turn of the century, however, one hobby touched the hearts of thousands of people – spoon collecting. These sterling silver reminders of places seen or visited have been passed down generation by generation and have a growing popularity with younger people today.


Visit Mountain Marketplace

Visit Mountain Marketplace - updated with every new issue.


Gosh what a hectic time it has been since the winter issue. Holiday get-togethers, work, selling on Ebay, re-evaluating family relationships, work, buying Mt. Lowe collectibles, and more work. Also since our last issue SMLHC member John Harrigan has been chasing every lead and looking in every nook and cranny for information about the power system for the Mt. Lowe Railway. The result; a fine article for the Echoes and perhaps a future book in the making.


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Last modified: February 12, 1999

No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without written permission from:
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Copyright 1999

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