Leo Daft

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Small electric locomotive Ampère, built by Daft in 1883

Leo Daft (1843 – 1922) was an English professor and builder of early American urban railroads.


He led the construction of an electrical railroad in Newark, New Jersey, in 1883, of the Baltimore and Hampden Electric Railway in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore in 1885, and of the Los Angeles Electric Railway, the first one in that city, in the 1880s. He pioneered the use of electrical geophysics, especially for metal-ore prospecting. Experiments were done in 1903 at a cricket pitch at Ealing, and at Talacre mine, Prestatyn.

In August 1883 he filed for a patent (Pat. US283760) for a compound rail for electric railways. The rail consisted of a hollow section of iron or steel, and an inner strip or section of copper enclosed by the iron section.[1]


  1. ^ "Patent US283760". 

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