The use of automatic couplers for freight cars throughout the United States, introduced in 1893-1900, greatly reduced the number of deaths and injuries in coupling, and the use of air brakes on freight cars, now universal, has reduced the risk to the men by making it less necessary for them to ride on the roofs of high box-cars, while at the same time it has made it possible to run long trains with fewer men; but except in these two features the freight service in America continues to be a dangerous occupation.
Another form of coupler, which used to be universal in the United States, though it has now been almost entirely superseded by the automatic coupler, was the " link and pin," which differed fundamentally from the couplers commonly used in Europe, in the fact that it was a buffer as well as a coupler, no :side buffers being fitted.
28, and, the locking-pin dropping into place, the couplers are made fast.
At that time a member of the Association referred to the disappearance of automatic couplers which had been introduced thirty or forty years before.
Many different couplers of the Janney type are patented and made by different firms, but the tendency is to equip new cars with one of only four or five standard makes.
The adoption of automatic couplers was stimulated in some degree by laws enacted by the various states and by the United States; and the Safety Appliance Act passed by Congress in 1893 made it unlawful for railways to permit to be hauled on their lines after the ist of January 1898 any car used for interstate commerce that was not equipped with couplers which coupled automatically by impact, and which could be uncoupled without the necessity for men going in between the ends of the cars.
Automatic couplers resembling the Janney are adopted in a few special cases in Great Britain and other European countries, FIG.
Klein, New Constructions of the Force of Inertia of Connecting Rods and Couplers and Constructions of the Pressures on their Pins, Journ.