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Ingersoll v. Delaware & Hudson Co.

January 13, 1930


Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

Author: Manton

Before MANTON, SWAN, and AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit Judges.

MANTON, Circuit Judge. The District Court found claim 32 of the patent to Ingersoll, No. 1,339,395, claims 16 and 17 of Ingersoll patent, No. 1,383,633, and claims 16, 17, and 21 of Ingersoll patent, No. 1,547,155, valid and infringed in these suits for infringement of four patents. There were a number of other claims sued on, but, since the plaintiffs have not appealed from the disallowance of such claims as infringed, it is unnecessary to consider them here.

The patents relate to improvements in auxiliary or booster engines used to aid railroad locomotives in starting, or while running at low speeds. The appellant's auxiliary engine is used on the engine tender and is of two forms. The appellees' is a small steam engine mounted on the idle axle on a truck directly under the locomotive cab. A gear is put on the axle, and a driving engagement, with other gears connected with the booster engine, is caused to move by the control system. To make safe operation, the booster controls cannot operate except when the engine throttle has been opened to permit steam to reach the engine cylinders, and when the usual reverse lever, controlling the valves for admitting steam in the main engine cylinder, is placed in an operating position by the hand of the engineer. When the main throttle and reverse lever have been placed in such position, the movement of a latch causes the booster control mechanism to operate automatically to entrain the gears connecting the booster engine and the axle, and then steam is turned into the booster engine, and this brings it into control. This control mechanism is operated by an air pressure system, in which the valve or booster throttle, which admits steam into the cylinder of the booster engine, cannot be open, unless the main throttle is opened, and unless, also, the reverse lever is in its full forward position engaging the booster latch, and, with the reverse lever in such position, the air controls must move the gearing connected with the booster engine into engagement with the gear on the truck axle, and also then moving the booster throttle into position to admit steam to the booster engine, which thereupon begins to revolve and drive the axle on the booster truck. Such action, however, cannot take place until the main throttle is open and the reverse lever is in a forward position, as stated. The patents in suit have complicated organized systems with a multiplicity of automatic devices, and the operation is dependent upon the manipulation of the reverse lever of the locomotive to a certain position.

The patents in suit used saturated steam in the early installations, and the condensation losses from saturated steam were so material as to render very desirable the location of the auxiliary engine as near as possible to the source of steam, and this made the location of the booster under the locomotive advantageous. Because of thus so locating the booster, problems arose for its accommodation in the limited space at the back end of the locomotive, under the fire box and framed extensions. But problems of this kind were common to clutching devices where power is used.

Both the appellant and the appellees have combined old elements for the same function in different ways. The appellant's principle of operation is old. It admits steam to the auxiliary engine only while steam is being admitted to the main engine, and it causes the auxiliary engine to be operated solely while it is being put into operative connection with the axle to exert a tractive effect, and then to operate with full force.

In 1876, Cruezbaur (patent No. 173,164) conceived an arrangement for an auxiliary engine which was coupled only when the power of the other engine was insufficient, and provided a clutch which coupled the auxiliary engine to the axle, to be driven when the engine starts in operation. Evans, in his patent of 1915 (No. 1,136,947), provided an auxiliary engine for starting when the load was excessive, or when ascending steep grades. In the Evans booster, the main throttle controls the admission of steam to the auxiliary engine cylinders, as well as to the main engine, but the pipe leading from the throttle valve to the auxiliary engine is equipped with a valve by means of which the supply of steam to the booster engine may be controlled and cut out when desired. The auxiliary engine shaft is geared to the axle gear by means of a pair of gear wheels, which alternately are brought into engagement with the axle gear by means of a gear shaft lever, which acts, not only as a gear-engaging lever, but also as a booster-reversing lever. Thus there is disclosed by the Evans patent a structure in which steam can be admitted to the auxiliary engine only when it is being admitted to the main engine, and in which gears driven by the booster engine are caused to mesh with the axle gear of the trailer truck when it is desired to use the booster engine, and are disengaged when driving by the booster engine is discontinued.

Cruezbaur's patent showed the sequence of operation. The arrangement is such that the booster engine can have steam supplied to it only when and if steam is being supplied to the main engine, and the auxiliary engine is clutched to the shaft, to be driven almost simultaneously with the beginning of the operation of the auxiliary engine. This is similar to the sequence of operation in the appellant's system. In it steam cannot be admitted to operate the booster engine, unless steam is at first flowing into the main engine and unless the clutch has been set for connecting the auxiliary engine to the shaft in its drive. Thus, there was an auxiliary engine and its mechanism for connecting it with the normally idle axle under the control of the throttle lever. Moreover, Cruezbaur solved the difficulty of butting teeth or lugs between the engaging members of the clutch, which might prevent engagement of the clutch, by providing a spring which would snap the clutch into place as soon as the auxiliary motor shaft began to revolve.

The same idea is disclosed in the Helmholtz patent, No. 516,436. The admission of steam in the Helmholtz auxiliary engine was under the control of the main valve, and, as in appellant's structure, had a main throttle and auxiliary throttle. The Stuller patent of 1912, No. 1,032,516, shows an internal combustion engine which is started by means of an auxiliary engine operated by compressed air stored in a tank. When it is desired to start the auxiliary engine and engage the gear clutch, compressed air from the tank enters the cylinder and forces the piston to the right, to engage or mesh the gear, and at the same time a small quantity of air will pass through the pipe to the cylinders and the auxiliary engine, to start the latter slowly. Thus there was known to the art the principle of operation of admitting steam to the auxiliary engine only while steam was being admitted to the main engine, and causing the auxiliary engine to be operated slowly, while it was being put into operative connection with the axle to exert a tractive effect, and then to operate with full force.

In this state of the art, appellees' patents appeared. The three patents in suit do not admit or contemplate the possibility of putting an auxiliary engine under the tender. Ingersoll's patent, No. 1,547,155, was the first to issue; an application was filed October 2, 1917, and the patent issued July 21, 1925. In it the auxiliary engine cylinders drive the crank shaft, which has fixed upon it a gear designed to mesh with another gear on the truck axle. There is no idler gear, but two other gears are always in mesh, and the axle is driven by clutching one of these to the axle by means of a cone clutch operated by a lever and the piston of a cylinder. Steam is applied to the booster cylinder in one of three ways. The booster steam supply line leads off the main steam supply pipe just before that pipe enters the main cylinders. By this means, the inventor places a control and a steam supply to the booster under the control of the main engine throttle lever. The valve in the booster supply line is the booster throttle valve, which is under control of the engineer by means of the hand lever placed in the cab of the locomotive. When the engine reaches a predetermined speed, the governor, which is driven from the driving axle, will shut off steam from the booster cylinders and the clutch cylinder. The clutch is then supposed to release, but, apparently, it needs some means to pull it out of the clutching relation.

The booster engine is under the control of the reverse lever, for the valve and reversing mechanism of the booster are controlled by a rod which is provided, so that the operation of the booster throttle is synchronized with the main driving means of the locomotive. When the booster throttle is in a fixed position, the booster motor may be used independently of the main engine, and even though the main throttle is closed, so that no steam is supplied to the main engine, again the governor operates to cut off steam from the booster cylinders and the clutch at a predetermined speed, and again steam can operate the booster cylinders only when the reverse lever has been set in such a position as to prevent the operation of the cylinders through the valve and booster-reversing mechanism.

Still another method is to supply steam through a valve pipe, the clutch cylinder, and another pipe to the booster cylinders. This enables the use of the booster, irrespective of the governor, but the booster cylinders may not be operated, unless the steam is also admitted to the valve and reversing mechanism, which may be done with or without the operation of the main engine, but it necessarily involves the actuation of the reverse lever. Thus, in the three methods of the operation of the booster, the control is with the reverse lever, and not necessarily under the control of the main lever. Thus the booster may be operated independently of the main lever.

Having in mind that the system or systems of this patent depend upon the operation of the reverse lever, and comparing it with the appellant's system, it will be found that, in the latter's arrangement, the reverse lever is operated just as it always has been operated, and the booster engine is operated by other means and entirely irrespective of what may be the position of the reverse engine. While both in common have auxiliary engines operated by steam from the boiler and a clutch mechanism, that of itself is not sufficient upon which to base infringement, in view of the state of the prior art to which we have referred.

Where, as now, a separate motor is used to provide increased steam, a superheater is located between the main throttle and the main driving cylinders. The appellant's arrangement provides for a superheater steam supply to the booster under the tender, and the main throttle will cut off or admit superheated steam into the piping leading into the main cylinders and into the booster cylinders. The appellees use superheated steam for their booster, and also locate the booster under the tender. In so doing, both appellant and appellees in their systems provide ...

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