Difference between revisions of "William Morewood"

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File:BillMoorewood American 440 1953.jpg|Bill Moorewood and his American 4-4-0 at the Pennsylvania Live Steamers Fall Meet 1953.
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File:BillMoorewood American 440 1953.jpg|Bill Moorewood and his American 4-4-0 at the [[Pennsylvania Live Steamers]] Fall Meet 1953.
 
File:IBLS Meet 1953 Purinton 08.jpg|Ralph Knox runs Bill Morewood's 4-4-0 at the 1953 B.L.S. meet at Toronto, Canada
 
File:IBLS Meet 1953 Purinton 08.jpg|Ralph Knox runs Bill Morewood's 4-4-0 at the 1953 B.L.S. meet at Toronto, Canada
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File:Morewood PLS BLS Meet 1952 LiveSteam 1972 06.jpg|[[William Morewood|Bill Morewood]]'s 3/4 inch scale American which was the fourth locomotive to run on the NELS track as long ago as 1948.  This photo was taken by [[Adrian Buyse]] at the BLS meet hosted by the [[Pennsylvania Live Steamers]], August 1952.
 
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Latest revision as of 23:37, 6 October 2019


Tribute

The following tribute to William Morewood appeared in "The PLS Gazette", July/August 2007, Pennsylvania Live Steamers:

WILLIAM H. MOREWOOD
Bill Morewood, renowned designer of the Raritan live steam locomotive, passed away August 6, 2007. Bill joined PLS in the early years of the club. At the first meeting he attended, on a Sunday evening at a member’s home, he brought his remarkable alcohol-fired 3.5” gauge 4-4-0 of typical 19th Century Pennsylvania Railroad practice. He had first become interested in building a live steamer completely on his own while still in high school. After saving enough money to buy a lathe, he rode his bicycle to the Sears and Roebuck Store, purchased a Craftsman 6” lathe, and then pedaled all the way home with the lathe balanced across the handlebars!
Bill entered Cornell University not long after that, but he continued to work on the engine as time permitted while studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The American was just about finished by the time he graduated, and it was notlong after that he became a member of our club.
Bill Morewood's Raritan shares the steaming bay track with Steve Bratina's G5, New Jersey, 1986.
While the Pennsy 4-4-0 was well made it was, by its basic nature, a somewhat fragile locomotive for day-to-day track operations, so Bill decided to design a simple and more rugged free lance locomotive to supplement it. At that time the avalanche toward ever-larger scale had yet to begin and 3/4 inch scale was dominant, so Bill chose that scale for his new engine. He decided on a 2-4-0 wheel arrangement for its simplicity of construction while providing good tracking characteristics compared to an unguided 0-4-0 or 0-6-0. In a nod toward simple construction, the new engine would use slip eccentric Stephenson valve gear that does not require machining of complex expansion links typical of most other gears. All of this was wrapped up in a charming outline on a simple basic chassis, a Disneyesque wide cab for accessibility to controls, attractive boiler components, a large pilot out front, a tall stack (often the “handle” by which owners merrily carried their beloved engine) and a relatively simple two-truck tender.
As the new locomotive was taking shape Bill and his family lived near Princeton, New Jersey, where he was a research engineer at the RCA David Sarnoff Laboratories, so it is not surprising that he named his new creation Raritan, after a prominent nearby river. At some point early in its conceptual stages Bill must have realized that his Raritan possessed fundamental elements that would be attractive to others, especially newcomers to the hobby. He saw that a kit of simple high quality castings, clear, easily understood drawings, and detailed machining instructions would enable those first-timers to build their own live steam engine, even if they had little or no practical machine shop experience.
The Raritan Three-Quarter Inch Scale by William Morewood hand bound.jpg
Then, through serendipity that could only arise in an active live steam club, fellow member Bill Scott had become one of those interested in making a Raritan for himself! The two Bills established an arrangement where Morewood would hand over castings made from his patterns along with sketches or drawings of the parts to Scott, who would make the first piece, and then return an OK or recommend improvements or corrections to designer Morewood. Thus, Bill Scott became builder of the very first Raritan, with the designer’s a close second, for what was now a thoroughly proven product ready for marketing.
How successful were sales of Raritan drawing and casting sets? In a word: VERY! And Bill didn’t just supply his customers with a basic means to build a live steam locomotive; he was always available for assistance to builders by telephone or correspondence. In addition, he continued to refine his copious construction notes which he eventually compiled in an illustrated book, Building the Raritan, published in 1977. Bill sold more than 360 sets of Raritan castings and drawings before 1996 when Joe Tanski took over the business, and since then Joe has sold about another 120 kits.
Kozo Hiraoka poses with his own Raritan.
Perhaps there is no greater commendation for Bill Morewood and his Raritan than these words from Kozo Hiraoka:
Without his Raritan, all live steam engines of my design had not appeared in the present form. More or less, the basic concept and every part of my engines were developed on his excellent design. The firebox dimensions, the safety valves and the boiler backhead arrangement are only a few examples.
Raritan is the mother of my geared locomotives, so to speak. His work will be alive as long as live steam hobby is alive. (Excerpt of Kozo’s comments to Ed Hume in an email posted on the Home Machinist Live Steam Forum, 8 August 2007.)
A facet of Bill Morewood’s character that many of his live steam friends might not have been aware of was his boundless reverence for humanity. This came to the fore as he contemplated the plight of individuals so handicapped they are unable to feed themselves. Loss of upper limbs or paralyzing neurological diseases deprive thousands of people of their independence and hence, to a great extent, their personal pride. Determined to do something about that, he began using all his leisure time to investigate methods to enable the handicapped to eat and drink on their own. Little by little he developed some of his basic concepts and began turning them into practical mechanisms, but he eventually decided that to achieve the goal he envisioned, he would have to work on the problems full time. So after decades of successful employment at RCA, Bill Morewood took early retirement – and a leap of faith – so he could devote his engineering talents exclusively to development of a practical automated feeding machine. Then followed thousands of hours translating numerous conceptual approaches into mechanisms, trials with real users, further perfection, and finally a practical feeding machine and U.S. patents to protect a commercial product. He then embarked on hand making the entire first production run of machines by himself before relinquishing rights to his invention to a commercial manufacturer who continues today to produce Bill’s product.
Bill Morewood was without doubt a man of accomplishment. He was also a good friend, ever eager to help others with their problems. His familiar lanky frame was always a welcome sight at Paoli and Rahns, as was his nearly perpetual gentle smile. He spoke in a voice that commanded respect despite its softness. He was indeed a gentle man. Our thoughts at this sad time are with his wife Ruth, his son, two daughters, and two grandchildren. Far off in the future whenever we hear the toot of Raritan’s high pitched whistle, something of Bill Morewood will still be with us. It was great knowing you, old friend!
B.T

American 4-4-0

An American Souvenir

The Miniature Locomotive, November-December 1954

Bill Morewood built this 3/4 inch American type from an old Baldwin drawing and the locomotive first pulled a load successfully last fall (1953) at the club track of the Pennsylvania Live Steamers. Picture shown was taken at that time.

Cylinders have bore of 3/4 inch, stroke of 1-1/4 inch, drivers 4 inches. Stephenson valve gear is used. Boiler 1/16 inch copper with 13-5/16 inch outside diameter flues and one 5/8 inch superheader flue. Grate measures 1-1/2 inch by 3-5/8 inch.

Feedwater is supplied by two crosshead pumps with 3/32 inch diameter plungers or by a hand pump in the tender. The owner is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Bibliography

  • "Building the Raritan: Introduction", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, May 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Valve Gear and Feed Pump", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, June 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Driving Wheels", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, July 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Frame and Exhaust Fittings", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, August 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Cylinders", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, September 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Crosshead and Rods", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, October 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Guides Supports and Covers", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, November 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Valve Gear Part 3", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, December 1968
  • "Building the Raritan: Pilot Truck", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, January 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Cowcatcher", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, February 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Wheel Guard, Smokebox Fittings", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, March 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Accessories", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, April 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Accessories", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, May 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Tender Hand Pump", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, June 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Boiler Details", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, July 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Additional Fittings and Errata", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, September 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Boiler Parts", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, October 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Valves", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, December 1969
  • "Building the Raritan: Whistle", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, January 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Cab", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, February 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Headlight", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, March 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Accessories", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, April 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Wiring", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, May 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Boiler Jacket", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, June 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Revisions and Corrections", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, July 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Tender Part 1", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, August 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Tender Part 2", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, September 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Tender Part 3", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, October 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Tender Part 4", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, November 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Tender Truck Frames", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, December 1970
  • "Building the Raritan: Hydrostatic Test", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, January 1971
  • "Building the Raritan: Operation", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, February 1971
  • "Building the Raritan: Last Installment Part 1", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, March 1971
  • "Building the Raritan: Last Installment Part 2", William H. Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, April 1971
  • "Lathe Dividing Head: Here's a Useful Tool", William Morewood, Live Steam Magazine, February 1990


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