Title: Thomas Dowrick Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1938-1950
Collection number: MS 7
Extent: 1 document box (5 folders)
California State Railroad Museum Library
Sacramento, California 95814
Shelf location: Big Four Building or off-site storage. Please contact
the Library in advance of your visit.
Gift of Mrs. Betty Kees and Mrs. Ruth Green, 1985
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Senior
Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the
physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Thomas Dowrick Collection, MS 7, California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento, California.
The Thomas Dowrick Papers contain biographical materials, documents, including a diagram, pertaining to the whistle valve
invented by Dowrick and Chase, their patent on the valve, and the marketing of the invention by Viloco. The papers also contain
letters to and from Viloco concerning the whistle valve, and records of royalty payments to Dowrick and Chase.
Thomas Dowrick was born in England in 1890, and after serving an apprenticeship in a shipbuilding firm emigrated to the United
States. In 1917 Dowrick went to work for the Southern Pacific at Sacramento as a machinist. He later worked for the Atchison,
Topeka & Santa Fe, but returned to the Southern Pacific, eventually becoming a foreman at the Sacramento Shops.
In 1938 Dowrick and James Forrest Chase invented and patented a locomotive whistle valve. Eventually the valve became used
on Southern Pacific steam locomotives and was marketed by the Viloco Railway Equipment Company.
Thomas Dowrick retired from the railroad in 1952 and died in 1958.