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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n telpherage a transportation system in which cars (telphers) are suspended from cables and operated on electricity
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Telpherage (Elec) Specif., electric transportation of goods by means of carriages suspended on overhead conductors, as of wire, the power being conveyed to the motor carriage by the wires on which it runs. Telpherage and telpher are sometimes applied to such systems in which the motive power is not electricity.
    • Telpherage The conveyance of vehicles or loads by means of electricity.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n telpherage Telpherage lines are formed of steel cables suspended by brackets from poles or buildings and by various devices in crossing streams, turning corners, etc. Such lines may pass through or over buildings, under or over bridges, railroads, streams, or streets, and surmount considerable grades. A telpherage system may include single or double tracks, sidings, crossovers, branch lines, loops, and switches, or any other arrangements required by the business in which it is to be used. To supply current to the telphers, one or, usually, two wires are suspended over each track, every telpher taking its current by means of a trolley. The telphers may run alone, every one carrying a load suspended beneath it, or may have one or more trailers carrying a part of the load or other loads, and two or more telphers may, with their trailers, be made up into a train. The loud, whatever its character, is suspended under the telpher or trailer on a platform, or in a bucket, car, or cage, or it may be carried in a sling or net or by means of barrel-hooks. Nearly all telpherage systems now include an electric or mechanical hoist with each telpher, so that the load can be lifted from the ground to the elevated trackway, and may then be transported to its destination and again lowered to the ground, or to a wagon or freight-car, or to the hold of a vessel. The operation of a telpherage line may be almost completely automatic and managed from one” station, or it may be controlled by an operator, called a telpherman, who rides with the load as it travels on the line. The automatic lines may be controlled from either end of the line, the movement of one electric switch causing the hoist on the telpher to lift the load to the trackway, and also causing the telpher to proceed to its destination with the load, and, in the case of freight in bulk, to dump it and return empty to the starting-point. Automatic lines also employ carriers that may be loaded by hand, hoisted to the trackway, despatched to any point on the line or branch line, and lowered to the car, floor, or storage-place, ready to be unloaded by hand.
    • n telpherage Transportation effected automatically by the aid of electricity; specifically, a system of electric locomotion especially adapted to the transfer of goods, in which the carriages are suspended from electric conductors supported on poles. Every carriage or train of carriages contains an electric motor, which takes the current from the conductors upon which it runs.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Telpherage a term coined by Prof. Fleeming Jenkin for a system of electric traction developed on an absolute automatic block system, the presence of a train on one section cutting off the supply of electric energy to the section behind, any mode of transport effected automatically with the aid of electricity
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Framed from tel(egraph)—Gr. tēle, far, pherein, to carry.


In literature:

The traveling telpherage hoist has a capacity of 6,000 pounds.
"The New York Subway" by Anonymous
The uses of telpherage are many and various.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 3" by Various