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Illustrated Catalogue of Locomotives by Baird

[Illustration: BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE WORKS.

[Bird's-Eye View.]]

BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE WORKS.

ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE OF LOCOMOTIVES.

M. BAIRD & Co.,

PHILADELPHIA.

MATTHEW BAIRD, GEORGE BURNHAM, CHARLES T. PARRY, EDWARD H. WILLIAMS, WILLIAM P. HENSZEY, EDWARD LONGSTRETH.

PRESS OF J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., PHILADELPHIA.

SKETCH OF THE BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE WORKS.

THE BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE WORKS dates its origin from the inception of steam railroads in America. Called into existence by the early requirements of the railroad interests of the country, it has grown with their growth and kept pace with their progress. It has reflected in its career the successive stages of American railroad practice, and has itself contributed largely to the development of the locomotive as it exists to-day. A history of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, therefore, is, in a great measure, a record of the progress of locomotive engineering in this country, and as such cannot fail to be of interest to all who are concerned in this important element of our material progress.

MATTHIAS W. BALDWIN, the founder of the establishment, learned the trade of a jeweler, and entered the service of Fletcher & Gardiner, Jewelers and Silversmiths, Philadelphia, in 1817. Two years later he opened a small shop, in the same line of business, on his own account. The demand for articles of this character falling off, however, he formed a partnership, in 1825, with David Mason, a machinist, in the manufacture of bookbinders' tools and cylinders for calico-printing. Their shop was in a small alley which runs north from Walnut Street, above Fourth. They afterwards removed to Minor Street, below Sixth. The business was so successful that steam-power became necessary in carrying on their manufactures, and an engine was bought for the purpose. This proving unsatisfactory, Mr. Baldwin decided to design and construct one which should be specially adapted to the requirements of his shop. One of these requirements was that it should occupy the least possible space, and this was met by the construction of an upright engine on a novel and ingenious plan. On a bed-plate about five feet square an upright cylinder was placed; the piston-rod connected to a cross-bar having two legs, turned downward, and sliding in grooves on the sides of the cylinder, which thus formed the guides. To the sides of these legs, at their lower ends, was connected by pivots an inverted U-shaped frame, prolonged at the arch into a single rod, which took hold of the crank of a fly-wheel carried by upright standards on the bed-plate. It will be seen that the length of the ordinary separate guide-bars was thus saved, and the whole engine was brought within the smallest possible compass. The design of the machine was not only unique, but its workmanship was so excellent, and its efficiency so great, as readily to procure for Mr. Baldwin orders for additional stationary engines. His attention was thus turned to steam engineering, and the way was prepared for his grappling with the problem of the locomotive when the time should arrive.

This original stationary engine, constructed prior to 1830, has been in almost constant service since its completion, and at this day is still in use, furnishing all the power required to drive the machinery in the erecting-shop of the present works. The visitor who beholds it quietly performing its regular duty in a corner of the shop, may justly regard it with considerable interest, as in all probability the indirect foundation of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and permitted still to contribute to the operation of the mammoth industry which it was instrumental in building up.


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