You are here:

FREE Newsletter

Inventors Railroad Inventions Created by Women Inventors
Return History of Railroads

Print of the Cooper Institute & elevated railroad.

In 1870, Eliza Murfey patented 16 devices for improving the packing of journals and bearings for railroad-car axles. These packings were used to lubricate the axles with oil which reduced derailments caused by seized axles and bearings. In 1879, Mary Walton developed a method of deflecting smoke stack emissions through water tanks and later adapted the system for use on locomotives. In the 1880s, many cities developed a mass transit system using noisy elevated trains. To reduce the noise, Walton invented a sound-dampening system that cradled the track in a wooden box lined with cotton and then filled with sand. She received a patent for the system on February 8, 1881, and later sold the rights to the Metropolitan Railroad of New York City. Other inventions by women included a railway crossing gate by Mary I. Riggin and several patents for the construction of railway tracks by Catherine L. Gibbon.

Portrait of Harriet TubmanAlthough not a traditional railroad, the underground railroad was a critical system of transporting slaves to freedom in the mid-1800s. One of the most famous conductors was Harriet Tubman. Between 1850 and 1858, she helped more than 300 slaves reach freedom.

Harriet Tubman: Moses of the Civil War

information and images provided by United States Department of Transportation
From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

Important disclaimer information about this About site.

Newsletters & RSSEmail to a friendAdd to
All Topics | Email Article | |
Our Story | Be a Guide | Advertising Info | News & Events | Work at About | Site Map | Reprints | Help
User Agreement | Ethics Policy | Patent Info. | Privacy Policy | Kids' Privacy Policy

©2006 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.
Mental Health

Depression Self-Test Vitamins for Depression? Bipolar Red Flags Coping With Disasters Celebrities With Bipolar

What's Hot

Gyroscopes - Elmer Sperry and Charles Stark Draper Gyroscope...Angel AlcalaThe History of the BikiniRusi Taleyarkhan Jack Johnson