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America on the Move
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Sockets (3)
Catalog #: 2002.0075.15, - .17, Accession #: 2002.0075
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Used in steam locomotive repair work.
Physical Description
2 1/2" x 15 1/2", 2 3/4" x 9", 2 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Details
Date Made:
1940s
Dates Used:
1870s - 1960s
Note:
Types used everywhere for heavy work
Credit:
Gift of National Park Service
History

Part of a small array of hand tools displayed in "America On The Move" - such tools were used in the inspection and repair of steam locomotives. Light repairs on steam locomotives were usually done in roundhouses at the many small locomotive terminals throughout a railroad's system; heavy repairs were done in a large, centralized repair shop serving the whole system (often referred to as the "Back Shop"). Most of these tools date from the early- to the mid-20th century, roughly 1900-1955.

Such large sockets were used to tighten or remove bolts and associated nuts. The mechanic used a bar inserted through a hole in the top end of the socket or used a large, open-end wrench to turn the socket. A long-handled bar or wrench gave considerable leverage in turning or holding the socket. An "extender" could be slipped onto the bar or wrench handle to give even more leverage.

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