Couplers (HMQ6V)

Location: Union, IL 60180 McHenry County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 13.723', W 88° 31.626'

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The earliest cars were joined together with chains or iron bars. Later cars used many different types of couplers, including the "link and pin." A foot-long iron oval, or link, fit into horizontal slots on the ends of adjacent cars, and was held in place by vertical pins through the slots and link. Because it required switchmen to go between cars to place or remove pins, many men lost limbs.

The modern "knuckle" coupler was patented by Major Eli Janney in 1873. Each coupler has a moveable knuckle. When cars come together with one or both knuckles open, the couplers join and lock together as the knuckles close. To uncouple, the knuckle is opened by a lever accessible from alongside the end of the car.

The Janney coupler was tested in the mid-1880's and selected over 41 other designs by the Master Car Builders Association. Its use was required by the 1893 Federal Safety Appliance Act. All modern couplers are variations on Janney's original design.
HM NumberHMQ6V
Placed ByIllinois Railway Museum
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 9:08am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 373981 N 4676299
Decimal Degrees42.22871667, -88.52710000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 13.723', W 88° 31.626'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 13' 43.38" N, 88° 31' 37.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)815
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1881 Depot St, Union IL 60180, US
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