Albums that all begin with “S” – Shop, Solid State, and Special Photos.

Just in time for Turkey day ….    Three more albums for you to browse thru instead of watching those boring-ass parades on the telly all day.

Shop Photos – all sorts of miscellaneous items, machines, close ups, and code equipment.    Many of these photos can be seen in various bulletins and pamphlets .   Pictured is a 510 code demo setup – complete with a B60 machine for the office and cabinet to display controls  and simulate field indications.   Neat!


Solid State State Systems – transistorized boards, code equipment, computer boards.  Some of these photos are repeats seen in other books  – industrial controls, pipeline, etc.



Special Photos – Illustrations, line drawings, miscellaneous photos, and closeups – all bound in one chapter that didn’t seem to fit in with any of the others.    Many of these can be seen in various US&S literature over the years too.


With these updates, this completes all scanning and posting of the books in the current collection.    Unless I missed something, which is possible.   And it only took 6 years!   Hopefully more groups or books may surface over time – if you have any  and would kindly share, I’ll put your name up in lights and credit you.

I hope to start adding some other bits of USS history to this site now – maybe some catalogs, UD notes, signal engineer articles, not sure yet.   We’ll see in coming months.

Thank you all for your encouragement and kind words over the years!   -Rich

Industrial Control Systems

Six books of Industrial Control Systems photos are scanned and online.   The majority of the photos are of pipeline control equipment – along with an album of Readall Readouts and Crystal and Miniature relays.   There’s also an album of Rectifiers  that I almost forgot about.   And along with all the Switches albums from last week, you’ll have plenty of photos to waste your time browsing thru.  Enjoy!

Wow – 1750 photos in two weeks.   Where did I find all this free time?  Two words – Ankle Surgery.  So if you find any glaring mistakes – it may be related to the painkillers  (both prescribed or served over ice.)      Kindly drop me a note and I’ll correct…

Carrier Telephones

Happy New Year!   More photos and updates are coming soon…. and in fact this update has been over a year in the making.   Here’s two “then and now” photos of Union Switch’s Carrier Telephone equipment – the office carrier phone and a portable field phone.    Union Development –  Number 252 explains the history and application of this equipment.     Both require 110V AC as they contain tubes and operate at a frequency of 35 kilocycles.    When clipped onto a DC code line, clicking can be heard during a code cycle.    When clipped onto a carrier code line (such as US&S 507), I can barely hear the 15.3 kilocycle transmitting frequency switching on and off during a control code.     The indication frequency of 24kHz is too high for a  human ear – however it probably drives the local dogs crazy.  🙂




Holiday Signal Photo Bonanza….

Final update for 2013 are three volumes of books labeled “Signals” – for when you need to escape the inlaws and family to browse the internet.   There may be some duplicate photos – we’ve seen some of the Cincinnati Union Terminal photos before under E.P. Interlockings.  But they’re still worth another look as this is the way US&S organized them.  There’s a lot of other gems too, like these:


Under the wires on the Reading Company, Philadelphia. Diamond Street tower in the background, looking north.

Automatic Signals on the P.R.R. near Seward, PA.  (7-11-1933)

Automatic Signals on the P.R.R. near Seward, PA. (7-11-1933)

Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Relay Cases & Houses

Too hot outside to work in the signal garden – so here’s another batch of photos.  “Relay Cases & Houses” consists of five books of relay cases, relay houses, air compressors, and interior shots of racks and relays

Someday, when I wire up a Reading Co. field location of 506A code for Yardley interlocking,  I hope it turns out something like the photo above.  Finding a used relay house close by, that won’t cost an arm and a leg to transport, will be the real challenge.  Wiring it all up is the easy part.  🙂

Springtime update

Some new albums can be found under Radio, Telephone, Infomat, Automatic Car ID, AFO, etc.

10114If you’ve ever wondered what the way-side gear looked like that could read those multi-colored barcodes still found on some older rolling stock, look no further than here.









Another  album is entitled WABCO Radio, which includes photos of all sorts of radio gear – like this portable Carryphone:



You’ll also find photos of Audio Frequency Overlay equipment, Portable telephones, and a bunch of other goodies including updates to the BARTD album under Subways and photos of US Steel’s Columbia-Geneva Automatic Train Operation.



This next update are some photos of Infomat – a Pullman car space reservation scheme developed for the PRR by US&S in the early 1950’s:

Installed on a trial basis in Cleveland, based on this photo – it appears that there were installations in ticket offices at three locations:   City, Pennsylvania, and Euclid (Avenue?).

The PRR logo is a nice touch.

Some close-ups up of the relay apparatus in the back show step-by-step switches, along with cases of type L relays and a KP line relay for the coding equipment perhaps.

To find circuit plans for this would be a real treat – if they even exist anymore?

Note how the bundle of wires in the upper left hand corner grows in size as each row of vertical wires from the front panel joins it.    Imagine how much time and patience it took wire something like this…   All in a days work back then.

I know its a long shot, but if anyone has any details, photos of this system in service, pamphlet U-5134, or even any recollection of how it worked – please share.       Thanks!       -Rich

UPDATE:   More discussion here and US Patent 2622142 info here.   A look at the circuit diagrams reveal those timing relays we all know and love that are common to most US&S relay timecode systems:  1L, 2L, LP, LB …   some things never changed 🙂