Coming Through

As railroads were claiming the American West in the 1880s, they ran into a problem — stray cattle and horses kept wandering onto the tracks. What to do?

In 1883 La Fayette Willson Page of Tennessee suggested a spray attachment that would direct a stream of water from the engine’s boiler:

In 1885 Mississippi inventor William Bell proposed a Dr.-Seuss-like set of tongs that would extend a whistle and a spray nozzle closer to the livestock:

And in 1888 Jack William James, also of Tennessee, went full-on crazy and suggested a flatcar mounted with a dummy that would “throw up both hands at each revolution of the wheel and strike [a] gong with a hammer”:

I desperately wish this had caught on. How stubborn are Tennessee cows?