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The motors were not sufficiently powerful. They took the car along, but just as a single horse might take it up a heavy grade: with a great deal of difficulty. We were thus compelled at once to adapt our car to the work required. We had a great deal of correspondence with street car gentlemen throughout the country concerning our system, and desiring us to make guarantees ; but we were not in a position to do it at the time. We preferred to start out and exhibit our system at our own expense on streets that presented heavy grades (as Fourth avenue and Madison avenue, New York, do) in a crowded city, like New York; and we determined to put on a group of ten cars, in order that the street-railway men of America might inspect our system under the most trying conditions. On the seventeenth of September we put this car on, car number one, and every day since that time, with the exception of Sundays, that car has been running in regular passenger service, carrying passengers. Car number three was put in service but two or three days ago ; car number two will be in service to-day ; certainly by the time any of you gentlemen may be passing through New York it will be in service, so that this week there will be three cars in actual daily service; and, of course, we shall follow them in due order with the remaining ten cars. Mr. Brill, who is building our cars, says that the remaining seven cars will be forwarded to us as soon as we are ready for them. We have suffered under some disadvantages in our present undertaking, in the fact that our space is small. We have found it no small task to put in the space
would allow to four horses, sufficient batteries to run ten cars. compelled to put enough batteries to run ten eighteen-foot cars in that small space, and you can imagine that we have difficulties to contend with. We cannot occupy a lot of ground and take all the space we require. Mr. Vanderbilt places at our disposal a portion of his stable at Eighty-sixth street, and we must be content with that.
The President: What rate of speed do you make ?
Mr Bracken : To say we could make any rate of speed would be exaggeration ; but the present car is geared to run about ten or twelve miles an hour maximum.
The President: Does it actually do that ?
I think there are a number of gentlemen in the room who know it makes that rate. You
can see that there is no practical object in the present instance in putting a car on Fourth avenue geared for high speed, as the horse cars do not average seven miles an hour. We geared car number three at one time so that it made seventeen or eighteen miles an hour. I should say that with a storage battery car properly geared for the purpose, you could attain a speed of twenty miles an hour, if desired.
The President : Can that rate of speed be maintained for any length of time?
Mr. Bracken : Yes, sir; it can be maintained throughout. It is merely a matter of energy ; you have it there ; it is stored in your battery and you can apply it ad libitum until exhausted. We put it in our batteries; we have enough energy in the battery to take the car about twenty-three miles; theoretically, we ought to go forty miles ; but you cannot safely do it in the City of New York; you may carry two hundred and fifty passengers on the trip, or you may carry only twenty; you cannot afford to run any risks, because your car must get back. The result is that we go to work and take out our batteries at the end of each trip and place them in the charging circuits in connection with the dynamo, and we get sufficient energy while the car is out with the other set. The battery that has just made the trip is taken out and the charged battery put in ; the car and the battery taken out is charged sufficiently while the car is making a round trip to the City Hall and back, about twelve miles, and taking about two hours ; so that we get along with two sets of batteries.
Mr. Wright, of St Louis : Mr. President, I would like to ask the gentleman what is the weight of the battery and car, how long it takes to charge the batteries, and what is the length of service when they are charged? The gentleman has anticipated the question as to the amount of space required.
Mr. Bracken : The weight of a sixteen-foot car, which is the kind that will be in universal demand, and which we expect to equip, exclusive of passengers, will be about six and one-half tons. The number three car, which is a sixteen-foot car, in which Mr. Julien has put a great deal of iron in order to brace it, weighs nearly seven tons. Our eighteen-foot car weighs over eight tons, exclusive of passengers, with the battery, motor and everything else. This car has double trucks and eight wheels. · The weight of the battery is over two tons. A single truck car
like number three would weigh about six and one-half tons.
Mr. Lawless, of Kansas City: There are several gentlemen here, as well as myself, who are very desirous of investigating this question thoroughly, with a view to adopting electricity in our own cities. How many miles, I mean now for actual running purposes, how many miles will one of these storage battery cars run without any recharging?
Mr. Bracken : It depends on the track and grade. I should say on a level road that a battery ought to run forty miles without recharging. The battery contains about sixty or seventy electrical horse power hours, when it is charged, and on a level, with a car of that kind, with an economic motor, such as may now be obtained, it would propel the car on the level with a little over one-horse power expenditure per mile. You have so many electrical horse power hours in your battery, and you can determine by experience how far they will take the car; the energy will remain stored till it is drawn upon.
Mr. Lawless: So that a car would have to be charged twice a day in order to do a day's work?
Mr. Bracken: It depends on the number of miles run.
Mr. Lawless: The financial result is what we want principally; can you give me any idea of what the cost of one of these cars placed on the road, ready for work, will be ?
Mr. Bracken: It ought not to exceed four thousand dollars.
Mr. Bracken: Two sets of batteries, two motors, and the car complete.
Mr. Lawless: How long do you think it would take to recharge one set of these cells; suppose we had to take it in, how long would it take to change the set; that is, to put the car out for the purpose of running again?
Mr. Bracken: Just the time it takes to change the horses; perhaps two minutes.
Mr. Lawless : How long would it take to fully recharge the cells?
Mr. Bracken: About six hours.
Mr. Lawless: How many men would it take to recharge them?
Mr. Bracken: One man in charge of the dynamo; one man in charge of the whole battery station.
Mr. Lawless: For say an equipment of about twenty or thirty cars, how many generators would you require in the power house to charge the cells ?
Mr. Bracken: Eight-horse power for each sixteen-foot car.
Mr. Bracken: As to the lifetime of the cells, I would require time to answer that question fully. Any man who thinks he knows exactly the lifetime of a battery, knows more than I do. There are some men who maintain they do. I do not know ; but I can say this, that I know of storage batteries that have been in use over two years, subjected to hard work, that to-day are in service and doing good service. I will instance the Pennsylvania Railroad, to which we sold batteries on June 28th, 1886; and if there is any gentleman who is interested in applying to the Pennsylvania Company, they will inform him that these batteries have been in constant use since, and not a single cell exchanged. The Executive Mansion at Albany is lighted by our batteries; they have there over two hundred lights, and we are informed by the gentleman in charge, whom I have never seen, entirely disconnected with us, that he has not changed a single cell in that time. I will go further and state that if the batteries will last only six months, as I believe the most skeptical will admit they do—I do not care if they last only three months—they will be cheaper than horses.
Mr. Lawless : What is the cost ?
Mr. Bracken : The cells will cost six dollars. It would be dangerous for you to offer less; I might give them to you for four dollars and a half. I believe it requires eight horses to run a car for a day; and you can see for yourself the difference.
Mr. Lawless: Mr. President—What I want to get at is the financial result, in order to be able to report to my Company whether it would be a financial success for them to adopt electricity.
The President : I am ready to equip ten lines to-morrow if I can get the right sort of thing to do it with. I want to know fully about it, and all these gentlemen do.
Mr. Hurt: I would like to ask the gentleman the cost of renewal of the batteries?
Mr. Bracken : Two men, to whom you will pay a dollar and seventy-five cents or two dollars a day, and two girls, and a ma
chine costing five hundred dollars, with one-third of the original Cost of the battery, will in four days replace the battery. In Cimden we pay forty cents a day to the two girls. It is heartless, we know, but then we are trying to protect them, all the
[Laughter.] Say the cells cost five dollars apiece; the material of your cell, with the exception of the active matter, is never destroyed, and is perfectly good to cast over and be remade, and by putting your elements into the solution, in four days you can reproduce the battery of the car.
Mr. Keefer, of Ottawa, Canada: The cost of the material in reproduction ?
Mr. Bracken : It varies ; some people buy the lead cheaper at one time than at another; it may be cheap now and next week it may be dear. Assuming, however, that the active material and the lead itself would amount to five cents a pound, for two tons that would be two hundred dollars for the material in the whole battery.
Mr. Wm. Richardson : Do you use copper?
Mr. Bracken : Nothing but lead; lead is the chief ingredient; ninety-four and one-half per cent.
Mr. Eppley: I would like to ask the gentleman what is the cost of the motive power equipment, exclusive of the car. He said the car cost four thousand dollars, complete. I want to get at the cost of putting the machine under a new car.
Mr. Bracken : I assume the car body costs one thousand dollars ; that makes the other equipment three thousand. If you please, I will make one statement more in relation to the Fourth
I went over the line in the electric car with an officer of the New York Central Road the other day just about dark. This is simply an illustration of the effect it produces. lighted with sixteen candle power incandescent lights. We got off at Seventy-first street to return to our hotel, and took one of the horse cars, with dim, struggling lights, one at either end, and the officer looked about, and he said, “Skitt, this will never do ; we must have electric traction.” REMARKS OF MR. JOHN C. LOVE ON THE UNDERGROUND
SYSTEM OF ELECTRIC TRACTION. Mr. John C. Love, of Philadelphia: Mr. President, we have heard the able remarks of the gentleman who represents the storage battery system; we all listened attentively. The overhead