Re: XLT Slack Adjuster use

Jim Mischke

Despite the intellectual property and primitive marketing measures John Tatum took for his ideas, such as the trade name XLT and 64 company-sponsored patents, I cannot think of a single instance where anyone but his employer B&O used them. I have looked and come up empty.

Many of his ideas only made sense in a B&O context. B&O was a vertically integated company with many parts made in-house. B&O had a large rolling mill and forge complex in Cumberland (adjacent to the station, now a big empty lot south of the interstate). This mill was originally built to make rails when rails were expensive and scarce; and kept busy for decades with smaller tasks.

B&O would salvage its retired equipment for every metal and wood part for recylcing and reapplication. Old tie rods were feed stock for a variety of new parts. Tatum's XLT brake step was just folded (and reclaimed) sheet metal.

Tatum could make a cost case to his management for his XLT parts. Absent the mill, other potential users with no such capability .... which may be all of them ... could pass on any XLT licensing.

--- In STMFC@..., "ltctilley" <ltctilley@...> wrote:

Greetings all.
I'm curious to know if any roads other than B&O ever used the XLT Slack Adjuster. It was patented by JJ Tatum (B&O General Superintendant) in 1932. Spotting feature is a rectangular plate with a gear on it, below the side sill on the right side of the A end (looking toward the A end), usually inboard of the wheels, but sometimes as far outboard as the body bolster.
I know it is not likely, but it is possible that other roads may have used this feature.
thanks for your comments.
Chris Tilley
Modeling B&O 1953.

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