Saturday, April 29, 2017

Grand Trunk, What a Big Spout You Have!

I'd heard of steam engines stopping to take on water, of course, but I must admit I never thought about the mechanism by which they did so until I saw this photo for sale.

2017-4-29. Grand Trunk waterspout
(Click on image to enlarge)

Looking at other pictures and film clips on-line, I gather that the photo above is a bit unusual in that the spout doesn't just drop down from the water tower, as in this clip. The water tower or reservoir here, while out of the camera's range, must be connected to the spout by underground pipes. I found one clip where the spout is separate from the water tower.

This photo was not taken at Ainsworth, which never had a water tower as far as I know. I believe Lottaville had one, since Lottaville had a pump man, Charles Popp, who might have been in charge of such apparatus as this — or, more likely, the simpler arrangement of a spout attached directly to the water tower. But I'm not suggesting that this photo was taken at Lottaville!

By the way, I'd always thought that the term "jerkwater town" came from this business of drawing water at some minor place along the line … but now I'm finding that I was mistaken, and also that the term has a murky origin.

Nonetheless, in a figurative sense, Ainsworth was a jerkwater village.

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