Re: Murphy

Rupert & Maureen <gamlenz@...>

About a month ago, there was a posting from Tony Thompson about "Murphy" with the comment -

As far as Richard Hendrickson and I have ever been able to determine, the term (Murphy) refers back to an invention of interlocking metal parts which made the combination water-tight, or approximately so. Thus the term could be applied to any component which employed that arrangement. One supposes that "Murphy" refers to the inventor, rather than to the well- known "Murphy's Law."

I've found a piece in the Railway Mechanical Engineer of 1916 referring to Charles Murphy, CB&Q's tin shop foreman at Aurora, who had devised a new roof using steel sheets taken from the roofs of destroyed cars. The article gave a description of how the roof was constructed consisting of five parts: the roof sheets, transverse and center cover caps, eave flashings and the roof clips, with crimped edges to interlock the pieces.

The article comments that the roof was simple in construction, easy to make, flexible and waterproof. It permitted a large amount of wearing of the car without straining the sheets nor opening up holes for water to leak through. There were no sharp corners nor crevices to collect dirt and hold moisture. Air could circulate freely to all parts of the sheets, keeping them in a dry state, and the sizes of the roof sheets and center cover caps were selected so that old roof sheets could be cut down, recrimped and re-used.

Whether this is THE Murphy, I've no idea but if anyone wants a copy of the full article, contact me off list.

Rupert Gamlen
Auckland NZ

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