Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Additional Johnstown Sites

Johnstown's Inclined Plane

Vital Vocabulary

Necessary Knowledge!

              For students to get the most value from the educational materials on this site, they should have an understanding of the vocabulary words defined below.  Teachers may choose to teach an additional vocabulary lesson prior to starting any of the provided activities, or students may be provided lists of these words to use as a reference material.


Brink – on the edge of something

Catastrophic – a sudden and widespread disaster

Charter – a document defining the formal organization of a company or group; constitution

Circumference – the distance around the outside of a circle

Compound machine – two or more simple machines working together to make work easier

Confluence – the place where two or more streams or rivers flow together and form one larger stream or river

Convenient – at hand; easily accessible

Counterbalance – a weight balancing another weight

Cribbing – pieces of timber used to line and strengthen an area

Depreciate – a lowering in value of an object

Disrepair – in need of repair

Economic – involving the resources available in a certain area

Effort—the push or pull needed to move an object. It is equivalent to force.

Fiscal – pertaining to money

Gears – two toothed wheels fit together either directly or through a chain or belt so one wheel will turn the other.

Girders – a beam used as a main support in a bridge

Hoist – to raise or lift

Inclined plane – a sloping surface, such as a ramp. An inclined plane can be used to alter the effort and distance involved in doing work, such as lifting loads. The trade-off is that an object must be moved a longer distance than if it was lifted straight up, but less force is needed.

Insolvent – unable to pay one’s bills

Locomotive – an engine powered by steam, diesel, or electricity

Rationing – receiving only a fixed amount of an object or item

Ridership – the number of people who ride the Inclined Plane in a given period of time

Simple machine – a machine with few or no moving parts. Simple machines make work easier.

Spearhead – to lead or start

Sprawling – to spread out with no organization

Spur – a short road leading off the main road

Summit – the highest point or part of any object

Vivid – lively, animated


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