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History Lesson

Art Fettig's Monday Morning Memo
April 13, 2009
800-441-7676 or 919-732-6994
artfettig@aol.com

In This Issue
o History Lesson
o Say Something Good
o Visit Our Website
o Points To Ponder
o A Little Humor
o Quote of the Week
o To Subscribe 

Railroad
Why was that gauge used?

History Lesson
The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.  Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way the first railways were built in England, and the first US railroads were built by English expatriates. 

Why did the English people build them like that?  Because the first rail lines in Europe were designed and built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who designed and built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.

Okay, why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing?  Well,...  when they tried to use any other spacing, the wagons were prone to breaking down on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who created these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by the Legions of Imperial Rome for the same reason the autobahns were built by Hitler and the Intestates were constructed in the U.S. to facilitate the movement of troops and supplies throughout the Empire - Reich - Country.

And the ruts?  The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were all made to certain specifications for or by Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus, we have the answer to the original questions.  The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification (Military, as it were) for an Imperial Roman army war chariot.

But one "nagging" question still remains. Why did the design of the Roman army war chariots incorporate that specific wheelbase?

Answer:  Because the chariots were designed to be just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

So... the next time you are handed some odd ball specification or proclaimation and you assume that some horse's ass was responsible for coming up with it, you may be exactly right!

Say Something Good
Sunrise Services, Easter Egg Hunts, Deviled Eggs, Chocolate Rabbits, Malted Milk Eggs, Name your own poison but whatever it is it will probably remind you that with Easter and its religious significants comes the temporal fringe benifits.I saw a rabbit out in front of our house as I pulled up the drive yesterday and just a few minutes later I found a little tiny basket on my desk and it had half a dozen of those little chocolate eggs and so, Yes, I do believe in the Easter Bunny.  I truly pray that we are all blessed here in America on this Easter Day weekend.  May God bless all Americans and keep our troops from harm.  

Visit Our Website
I’ve been thriving since 1972 using my creativity and my speaking skills. I learned to use my creative imagination and then to implement my unique ideas creating my own corporation.  My book new E-book titled Beyond Duh-Creativity in Action  is now available at our website artfettig.com It might be just what you need to get started in a new era of your working life.

Check out our website at www.artfettig.com  Learn about our sensational new 101 Kit that allows you to save thousands on speaker and travel fees and implement our fantastic employee positive interaction 101 program yourself.  It is an instant behavior modification commitment program that gets everyone in your organization involved in safety. Remember, you have a ten day money back guarantee too.  Act now.  Go directly to www.artfettig.com And get your safety program cranked up to a whole new level of performance. If you have questions just call me at 800 441 7676 or e-mail me at artfettig@aol.com.  

Points To Ponder
Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this  hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Little Humor
"Oh Adam, do you love me?"  "Who else?" 

Quote of the Week
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it. Margaret Fuller

To Subscribe 
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