The pub is located in the Fitzpatrick Hotel on 44th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues in NY City. Most of the space has a fairly typical “pub like” feel, but there’s also an area that, strangely is open to the sky. This is where we ate (fairly typical pub fare). All around are large pieces of metal. The pub is near where I used to work so I’ve been there a few times, but it never occurred to me to look up what a ‘Wheeltapper’ actual was.

According to Wikipedia:

“A wheeltapper is a railway worker employed to check the integrity of train wheels and that axle boxes are not overheating. Typically employed at large railway stations and in goods yards, they tap wheels with a long-handled hammer and listen to the sound made to determine the integrity of the wheel; cracked wheels, like cracked bells, do not sound the same as their intact counterparts (they do not “ring true”). Wheeltappers also check that the axle boxes are not overly hot by using the back of their hand. Although wheeltappers still operate in some eastern European countries, in countries with modern planned maintenance procedures and line-side defect detectors, such as hot box detectors, wheeltappers are redundant. The job is mostly associated with the steam age. Wheeltappers were vital to the smooth running of the railways as a cracked wheel or overheated axle bearing would lead to delays and the loss of revenue. These were particularly common in the 19th century, when axle bearings were lubricated by grease. At this time, metallurgy was a more haphazard science and thus it was impossible to test steel wheels for cracks: the role of the wheeltapper was of crucial importance.”

Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 R

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