This coupling is styled self-acting, because the bolt, beiug placed in its proper position in one car, the instant it comes in contact with the other it couples them firmly together. It will also couple readily on a curve, and should any car of a train run off or overturn, the coupling immediately detaches it from the rest, so that it does not drag the other cars along with it, as is often the case with the present mode of coupling, thus insuring greater safety to passe"gers, and saving a vast amount of property. In our engravings, Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the coupling, and Fig. 2 a side elevation. In both, A and A' represent the platform of a car, to each of which is attached the coupling head, B B', each having a horizontal mouth open at the side, in them. The lower part of each coupling head is provided with a lip or thickness at its outer edge, as seen at a a', and the upper part is turned up to allow of the easier entrance of the coupling bar, C. This coupling bar may have a square head at d, when it will be held in position by the pins, E E', and the locking jaw, G G', which swing upon axes, b b', and project through slots in the coupling heads, B B'. Each of these locking j aws is provided with a lever, c, that can be pressed by the foot, and the cars unhooked when in motion without the operator being at all endangered by contact with the mechanism. A great advantage of this mode of coupling is, that a car provided with the square-headed bolt, G, will couple with an ordinary car coupling as well as with one like itself. The other method of coupling which is also illustrated in the accompanying illustrations is to have the head of the coupling bolt made round in its vertical section, as seen at d d, and having in the coupling head, slots, ff, through which there passes a flat holding plate, F F', in which there is a slot, e. This slot passes over the bolt, C, and prevents it from becoming unloosed in one direction, while the locking jaw, G, holds it in the other. This coupling is remarkably simple, and the head, d, has to become worn down to the same thickness as the bar itself before there is any danger of its becoming uncoupled at an improper time ; and in cases of collision, this coupling being open-mouthed is likely to catch into each other, and thus prevent the cars from jumping on to each other. A patent was obtained March 23, 1858, by the inventor, Henry E. Loane, No. 148 Pine street, Baltimore, Md., who may be addressed for further particulars.
This article was originally published with the title "Loane's Self-Acting Car Coupling"