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•  Humpage Gears Traced!

My father's side of the family has a long engineering history with roots in Bristol; somewhere back in this, one of them invented something called (reasonably enough) "Humpage gears". The device looks like this:


It's difficult to see from this picture just how it functions; it wasn't till I found this diagram that I worked out what was going on:


In the first picture, the system is doubled to equalise strain; the second shows the single version. The main thing is that the large gear on the output side (left) is fixed and doesn't turn; it's only there for the planet gears to push against. The whole forms a neat small-space in-line reduction gearing.

Recently my son Oliver, who now lives in Bristol, found out something very pleasing: the inventor of the gears is actually buried in the huge old rambling Arnos Vale cemetery, a few hundred yards from where he lives. His family instinct took him not only to the right city, but the right street. Post-rationalists, take heart...!