Large Scale Central

Locomotive stack info

Here is a blog site where the guy has some information on locomotive stacks that modelers might find useful.

Cool. I will have to remember to save that, when I get back home.

That’s not meeeee! “Mr Wood pf New South Wakes wrote to Live Steam magazine saying he had been unable to find any details pf the internal workings of a typical diamond smokestack. To answer the magazine reprinted a piece from their magazine of May 1973 would you believe.”

I have John H. White Jr.'s book on the engineering history of the early American locomotive; are several pages on the matter in there. And the commentary that there were something over a thousand patents on spark arresting stacks - not all were practical - but then, the whole affair was one of impracticality as the conditions were contradictory - get a good free draft for a good efficient fire & then interrupt and impede that efficient draft so as to knock down the sparks and cinders.

Yeah but burning down your fuel or revenue source probably is counter productive also ( I do get what your saying also. I would be interested to read that information on the development.

Books to look for would be;

A History of the American Locomotive: Its Development, 1830-1880 By John H. White

and especially

American Locomotives: An Engineering History, 1830-1880 by John H. White, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997 - 593 pages

They gotta be in a library somewhere, even on the other side of the planet. As a point of trivia, White was a curator at Smithsonian for some years. Has written other books, somewhere, I think I even saw one on history of shipping containers.

My eyes glassed over when the writer of that article took more time to show how clever and funny he thought he was, than to provide any actual thoughts on the subject. Most Stack designs were patented in the post industrial revolution era when every Tom, Dick and Harry was patenting ideas, and the Patents Office was a little lax on vetting the practicality of said design. All designs dealt with spark suppression with a secondary thought given to efficiency of exhausting the post firing effluvia. I pick my Stacks for how well they look on the particular loco. No research involved there!


I agree the guy was a bit too “clever” for me. But the stack design info was nice, if for nothing else than to see the different shapes and their respective fuels. Even if your picking what “looks good” in my very humble opinion it should look correct. A straight pipe stack would never appear (well I better be careful of using the word never as I am sure as soon as I do 1000 pictures will show up showing I am wrong) on a wood burner. I also am fairly certain on an oil burner you will not find a Radley Hunter door knob stack. But that is also my opinion and that a buck will get you coffee at Denny’s.

For me I also liked to see the dimensional proportions. Since I like to make my own stuff its nice to have an idea of the dimensions.