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Information on steam locomotive headlights?

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Information on steam locomotive headlights?
Posted by burbri45 on Monday, December 2, 2019 7:09 PM

When I decided to try my hand at 3D modeling, and printing parts that I could use on my models, I started by making a 14“ Pyle-National headlight, only because I could find a decent-enough diagram for it.

After printing, I began seeing how it would look on some of my models, but compared it to headlights on them and to drawings in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia (which are in the same scale), and found that much of the time, it looked quite small.  However, I did measure with digital calipers and it is indeed a scale 14” round.  This has started to promt some questions in me, though: What if 14” was smaller than “average” size?—but then, what was the “average” size?

And now, I’m curious to know more:

What kinds of headlights did different North American locomotives use?  Which (or how many) shapes, types, styles, and (especially) sizes did they come in, especially from road to road?  Are there any resources out there that cover information about these things in more detail? Are there many, if any, headlight diagrams?  I know there were Pyle-National and Sunbeam headlights, but that’s about where my knowledge stops. It generally seems easier to find information on most locomotives themselves rather than some of the appliances used on them.

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Posted by wvg_ca on Monday, December 2, 2019 7:43 PM

as far as i knew the 'average' size of steamer headlights was eighteen inch , but have absolutely nothing to substantiate that ...  just my 'opinion' for what it's worth, lol

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, December 2, 2019 7:57 PM

Hi,

There are a few dimensions here:

 Pyle by Edmund, on Flickr

I'll post more if I find anything.

Thank you, Ed

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, December 2, 2019 9:28 PM

Bowser (Cal-Scale) has a good selection of headlights (scroll down to Section H).

...and you can download the Precision Scale HO parts catalogue HERE, where you'll find a similar wide selection of headlights.

Wayne

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Posted by burbri45 on Monday, December 2, 2019 11:58 PM

doctorwayne, that’s a nice thought, though I‘m hoping to instead find more prototype, real-world information, partially for modeling/3D modeling purposes, but also just for the sake of learning more about the subject in general.

(Although, I do have to say that having browsed their selection of brass parts before has at least partially contributed to my desire to learn more).

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 1:45 AM

burbri45
....I‘m hoping to instead find more prototype, real-world information, partially for modeling/3D modeling purposes, but also just for the sake of learning more about the subject in general....

I'd suggest that you hunt for a copy of the re-printed version of the 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia.  I found one at a train show, and within its 1131 pages, you'll find pretty-well everything you might want to know about the steam locomotive and its accessories at that time.
 
There are 15 pages devoted to lighting and the generators used to power them, with pictures and drawings. 

Mine shows the original $34.95 price, and while I don't recall what it cost me (quite a bit more) it was well-worth it.

Wayne

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Posted by Jones1945 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:09 AM

You may find some photos in this post useful: 

http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/270914.aspx 

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:27 AM

doctorwayne
I'd suggest that you hunt for a copy of the re-printed version of the 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia.

 (This happens to be the Sixth Edition, 1922. Close)

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=oMY1AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA575&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

Scroll down toward page 613.

 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by garya on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 1:18 AM

burbri45

When I decided to try my hand at 3D modeling, and printing parts that I could use on my models, I started by making a 14“ Pyle-National headlight, only because I could find a decent-enough diagram for it.

 

After printing, I began seeing how it would look on some of my models, but compared it to headlights on them and to drawings in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia (which are in the same scale), and found that much of the time, it looked quite small. 

I have the Precision Scale Pyle-National with visor, 31295, as well as the Cal Scale HL201, and I thought they looked a little big on some locos.  They look to be in the 15"-18" range, so your 14" is probably right on the money.

Gary

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