Jim Skeevers' Object Lessons

On Railroading for Railroaders

John A. Hill

American Machinist Press
New York


A fact, a rule, a law or a principle of mechanics, when stated simply and alone, is hard to remember - especially so to men who do not make daily use of the statement.

Recognizing that the same thing can be remembered, and the truth and value of it be quicker recognized, if clothed in the garb of a story, a trite saying, or a poem, the author commenced these insignificant little preachments some ten years ago.

He wanted to teach some things to locomotive engineers, firemen, master mechanics, etc., and took this way to impress on their minds the lessons.

Of the true life of the men who operate and maintain the American locomotive, no man can write, talk or think understandingly, except he has devoted some years of his life to living and working and sympathizing with them - and this the writer has done.

Under the pen name of John Alexander, these little sketches went out to the railroad world through the columns of "Locomotive Engineering," and were received, enjoyed and appreciated far beyond their true merits.

The author now gathers them into this little volume, partly for the benefit of those of his old friends who enjoy such things, and partly for his own satisfaction.

New York, October, 1899.

Table of Contents

  1. The Way Engineer Skeevers Illustrates a Point.
  2. Jim Skeevers Explains a Principle.
  3. Jim Skeevers and a Gentleman.
  4. A "Holy Terror" Steamer in the Hands of Jim Skeevers.
  5. Jim Skeevers as Traveling Engineer.
  6. Smoke Preventing - Jim Skeevers and the Fourth Vice Try Experiments.
  7. Doctor Skeevers' Sure Cure for Throttle Fever.
  8. An Object Lesson on Jim Skeevers.
  9. A Few Object Lessons by Jim Skeevers - and One by His Wife.
  10. Jim Skeevers Takes an Object Lesson Himself.
  11. Jim Skeevers has Some Object Lessons Not All of His Own Make.
  12. A Few Everyday Incidents of Shop Management.
  13. How to Scarf Flues - Great Inventions That Can't Be Patented.
  14. Sixty-nine Years of Useless Work on a Clinker Pit.
  15. Train Delays - Sullivan's Lesson.
  16. Experimenting with Stay Bolts.
  17. Piston Fits - The Worship of the Standard Idol.
  18. Oil Economy and the Hereafter.
  19. The New Performance Sheet Where Light Trains Were Not Wanted.
  20. Skeevers Runs Up Against a New General Manager.
  21. How a Good Thing Gets Introduced.

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