Friday, February 23, 2007

Bottle Jack.

Somebody asked me to figure out what the hell something was. That something was a bottle jack. What's a bottle jack? Mrs. Beeton?
image hosted by bloggerTHE BOTTLE-JACK, of which we here give an illustration, with the wheel and hook, and showing the precise manner of using it, is now commonly used in many kitchens. This consists of a spring inclosed [sic] in a brass cylinder, and requires winding up before it is used, and sometimes, also, during the operation of roasting. The joint is fixed to an iron hook, which is suspended by a chain connected with a wheel, and which, in its turn, is connected with the bottle-jack. Beneath it stands the dripping-pan, which we have also engraved, together with the basting-ladle, the use of which latter should not be spared; as there can be no good roast without good basting. "Spare the rod, and spoil the child," might easily be paraphrased into "Spare the basting, and spoil the meat." If the joint is small and light, and so turns unsteadily, this may be remedied by fixing to the wheel one of the kitchen weights. Sometimes this jack is fixed inside a screen; but there is this objection to this apparatus, -- that the meat cooked in it resembles the flavour of baked meat. This is derived from its being so completely surrounded with the tin, that no sufficient current of air gets to it. It will be found preferable to make use of a common meat-screen, such as is shown in the woodcut. This contains shelves for warming plates and dishes; and with this, the reflection not being so powerful, and more air being admitted to the joint, the roast may be very excellently cooked.1
More 19th-century cooking fun.


1 From the Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton. 1st published in 24 monthly parts 1859-61, & compiled in 1861 as a bound edition.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Eastmoreland / Errol Heights Line

In 1910 the Ladd Estate Co. laid tracks east of existing PRL&P tracks on Milwaukie up Bybee to the site of the under-construction Reed College.1 Two years later the tracks to the campus were removed, & new tracks laid heading south of Bybee at S.E. 32nd, terminating at Rex Avenue. The LEC leased trolleys from PRL&P to service the new real estate development, called Eastmoreland. That same year the line was donated to PRL&P by the LEC.

In 1913 track was laid by another real estate developer, the Fred A. Jacobs Co., off the 32nd Ave. Eastmoreland tracks heading east on Knapp.

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Red line is the original Eastmoreland line, green the Errol Heights extension.

Maintained by the Errol Heights Railway Co., w/ a car & operator supplied by PRL&P at 91.4 cents per car-hour, the car ran 10 & a half hours a day. Riding the Errol Heights line was free, FA Jacobs/EHR assuming all costs. 150 or so people rode the line each way daily, but despite this ridership, offers by EHR to sell the line to PRL&P were rejected, PRL&P citing a policy of not operating lines 5 miles from the city's center.2 Its unclear how & why, but the line was merged into the Eastmoreland route in the 1920s anyways (I would guess EHR simply surrendered the line).

The merged Eastlmoreland/Errol Heights line trundled on until 1926, when most of the line was converted to gas bus. The Errol Heights section, at least, appears to have been completely abandoned in 1929.

While there are no photos of trolleys on the Errol Heights line, the only car known to have operated on it was the 1500. Built in 1892 by the Patton Motor Car Co. as an experimental single truck (one set of four wheels) gas-elec. trolley, it first made runs on the Metropolitan Railway's3 standard guage line, which ran 6 miles from downtown at 2nd & Glisan south to Riverview Cemetary. Use of the 1500 on this line was considered a failure, but the car was remodeled in 1903 into a double-truck all-elec. car.

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No. 1500 as a mail car.

From thereon, it moonlighted variously as an interurban car, parlor car, funeral car, mail car, &, finally, a passenger car on the Errol Heights line. Retired in 1921, it was the only car w/ a center entrance to have seen significant use.4

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No. 1500 as a funeral car.

Trolley funeral cars were available in many large American cities in the early 20th Century. W/ unpaved roads & horse-drawn hearses, trolley funeral cars offered a more civilized journey for the deceased. Trolleys were chartered to transport the funeral party to & from a cemetary along an existing trolley line. They usually included a small door on the side of the car at floor level for loading & unloading the casket. Usually, upon arrival at the cemetery, the casket would be transferred to a hand carrier & wheeled to graveside.


1 Boxcars were also rented by LEC from PRL&P to assist, presumably, in the construction of Reed College's oldest buildings.
2 Labbe, John. Fares, Please!: Those Portland Trolley Years. Caxton Printers, Ltd. Caldwell, Idaho. 1980. p. 158-159.
3 Incorporated 1889, sold to the Multnomah Street Railway Co. in 1892.
4 Thompson, Richard. Portland's Streetcars. Arcadia Publishing. 2006. p.98