Tom Thumb was the first American-built steam locomotive to operate on a common-carrier railroad. It was designed and constructed by Peter Cooper in 1829 to convince owners of the newly formed Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) (now CSX) to use steam engines; it was not intended to enter revenue service. It is especially remembered as a participant in a mythical impromptu race with a horse-drawn car, which the horse won after Tom Thumb suffered a mechanical failure. However, the demonstration was successful, and the railroad committed to the use of steam locomotion and held trials in the following year for a working engine. 11:
The first railroads were little more than tracks on roads; horses pulled wagons and carriages with their wheels modified to ride on the rails. Trains could not be moved by steam power until the steam engine could be mounted on wheels. The first steam locomotives were built in England, the birthplace of steam power, and the first locomotives in America were imported from England. Soon, however, Americans began to plan their own locomotives.
Tom Thumb was designed by Peter Cooper as a four-wheel locomotive with a vertical boiler and vertically mounted cylinders that drove the wheels on one of the axles. The "design" was characterized by a host of improvisations. The boiler tubes were made from rifle barrels 11 and a blower was mounted in the stack, driven by a belt to the powered axle. :12 The engine was fueled by anthracite coal.:
Cooper's interest in the railroad was by way of substantial real estate investment in what is now the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore. Success for the railroad was expected to increase the value of his holdings. 11:
Construction was carried out in the machine shop of George W. Johnson, where the 18-year-old James Millholland was apprenticed.Millholland would later become a prominent locomotive designer in his own right.
Testing was performed on the first section, built in 1829, of the company's future main track line to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). The first section linked Baltimore and Ellicott Mills (now Ellicott City, Maryland), along the upper branch of the Patapsco River Valley. Cars were pulled by horses. Two tracks had been constructed, which led the owners of Stockton and Company, a local stagecoach line providing passenger and freight service, to challenge the new locomotive to a race over the 8 miles (13 km) between the Relay House and Baltimore. If it happened—it has not been documented, and it has been called a myth—the race took place on August 28, 1830, although sources also give the dates of August 25 and September 28 ). The challenge accepted, Tom Thumb was easily able to pull away from the horse until the belt slipped off the blower pulley. Without the blower, the boiler did not draw adequately and the locomotive lost power, allowing the horse to pass and win the race. Nonetheless, it was recognized that the locomotive offered superior performance. The B&O stopped using horses in 1831.
Because Tom Thumb was not intended for revenue service, the locomotive was not preserved. Cooper and others associated with the railroad's early days left detailed descriptions, though, which enabled the general dimensions and appearance to be worked out. In 1892, a wooden model was constructed by Major Joseph Pangborn, a western newspaperman and publicist, who also had models made of many other early locomotives. [ citation needed ]In 1927 the B&O hosted a centennial exhibition near Baltimore, titled "Fair of the Iron Horse", and had a replica constructed for the exhibition. This replica followed Pangborn's model and therefore differed considerably from the original, being somewhat larger and heavier, and considerably taller (note that the dimensions given above are those of the replica). Also, instead of the blower in the stack, a much larger blower was mounted on the platform to provide a forced draft, and the support frame of the cylinder and guides was considerably different.
The replica remains on display at the B&O Railroad Museum. The museum lists the replica as "operational", and the locomotive makes special appearances each year.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tom Thumb (locomotive) .|
Stephenson's Rocket is an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement. It was built for and won the Rainhill Trials of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR), held in October 1829 to show that improved locomotives would be more efficient than stationary steam engines.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the United States, with its first section opening in 1830. Merchants from the city of Baltimore, which had benefited to some extent from the construction of the National Road early in the century, wanted to continue to compete for trade with trans-Appalachian settlers with the newly constructed Erie Canal, another canal being proposed by Pennsylvania, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the James River Canal, which directed traffic toward Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. At first, the B&O was located entirely in the state of Maryland, its original line extending from the port of Baltimore west to Sandy Hook. There it connected with Harper's Ferry across the Potomac into Virginia, and also with the navigable Shenandoah River.
A 2-8-8-4 steam locomotive, under the Whyte notation, has two leading wheels, two sets of eight driving wheels, and a four-wheel trailing truck. The type was generally named the Yellowstone, a name given it by the first owner, the Northern Pacific Railway, whose lines run near Yellowstone National Park. Seventy-two Yellowstone-type locomotives were built for four U.S. railroads.
John Bull is a British-built railroad steam locomotive that operated in the United States. It was operated for the first time on September 15, 1831, and it became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it in 1981. Built by Robert Stephenson and Company, the John Bull was initially purchased by and operated for the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad in New Jersey, which gave John Bull the number 1 and its first name, "Stevens". The C&A used the locomotive heavily from 1833 until 1866, when it was removed from active service and placed in storage.
The Stourbridge Lion was a railroad steam locomotive. It was the first to be operated in the United States, and one of the first locomotives to operate outside Britain. It takes its name from the lion's face painted on the front, and Stourbridge in England, where it was manufactured by the firm Foster, Rastrick and Company in 1829. The locomotive, obtained by the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, was shipped to New York in May 1829, where it was tested raised on blocks. It was then taken to Honesdale, Pennsylvania for testing on the company's newly built track. The locomotive performed well in its first test in August 1829 but was found to be too heavy for the track and was never used for its intended purpose of hauling coal wagons. During the next few decades a number of parts were removed from the abandoned locomotive until only the boiler and a few other components remained. These were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1890 and are currently on display at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.
The B&O Railroad Museum is a museum exhibiting historic railroad equipment in Baltimore, Maryland, originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened on July 4, 1953. It has been called one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world and has the largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the U.S. The museum is located in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's old Mount Clare Station and adjacent roundhouse, part of the B&O's sprawling Mount Clare Shops site begun in 1829, the oldest railroad manufacturing complex in the United States.
A camelback locomotive is a type of steam locomotive with the driving cab placed in the middle, astride the boiler. Camelbacks were fitted with wide fireboxes which would have severely restricted driver visibility from the normal cab location at the rear.
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, a 0-6-6-0 wheel arrangement refers to a locomotive with two engine units mounted under a rigid locomotive frame, with the front engine unit pivoting and each engine unit with six coupled driving wheels without any leading or trailing wheels. The wheel arrangement was mostly used to describe Mallet locomotive types.
Novelty was an early steam locomotive built by John Ericsson and John Braithwaite to take part in the Rainhill Trials in 1829.
Ross Winans (1796–1877) was an American inventor, mechanic, and builder of locomotives and railroad machinery. He is also noted for design of pioneering cigar-hulled ships. Winans, one of the United States' first multi-millionaires, was involved in national and state politics, a southern-sympathizer and was a vehement "states' rights" advocate. Winans was briefly arrested after the Baltimore riot of 1861. His outspoken anti-federal stance as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, the lower chamber of the General Assembly, led to his temporary arrest on May 14, 1861. At the time of his arrest, Winans was returning on a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train from an early session of the legislature that was being held in the western Maryland town of Frederick to avoid the Union Army-occupied state capital of Annapolis in April–May 1861 to consider the possibilities of state secession during the early decisive period of the American Civil War. Winans was related to James McNeill Whistler through marriage.
Phineas Davis was a well-known clockmaker and inventor who designed and built the first practical American coal-burning railroad locomotive.
Atlantic was the name of a very early American steam locomotive built by inventor and foundry owner Phineas Davis for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) in 1832. It is in fact the first commercially successful and practical American built locomotive and class prototype, and Davis' second constructed for the B&O, his first having won a design competition contest announced by the B&O in 1830.
On the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, locomotives were always considered of great importance, and the railroad was involved in many experiments and innovations.
Relay, Maryland, or Relay House, Maryland, 39.223940 N, -76.710749W, is a ghost town, former train station, and historic district located 9 miles (14 km) west of Baltimore, Maryland, in Halethorpe, Maryland. Its former focus, behind which the town grew up, was the Relay House, then an important stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, near the intersection of today's Viaduct and Railroad Avenues. There was formerly a general store, a school, and a volunteer fire company, whose building at 1710 Arlington Avenue, at one point the town hall, has survived and is available for rental for events.
The Mount Savage Locomotive Works was a railroad workshop established at Mount Savage, Maryland, US. The Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive shops were established in Mt. Savage in 1866, under the direction of James Millholland. The original locomotive shop was constructed of stone and was 90 feet x 250 feet in size with a 33-foot-high roof. An adjoining car shop, built at about the same time, was also of stone and was later extended with a wooden structure. These buildings still stand in Mt. Savage.
The Ellicott City Station in Ellicott City, Maryland, is the oldest remaining passenger train station in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. It was built in 1830 as the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line from Baltimore to the town then called Ellicott's Mills, and a facility to service steam locomotives at the end of the 13-mile (21 km) run. The station, a National Historic Landmark, is now used as a museum.
The Mount Clare Shops is the oldest railroad manufacturing complex in the United States, located in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) in 1829. Mt. Clare was the site of many inventions and innovations in railroad technology. It is now the site of the B&O Railroad Museum. The museum and Mt. Clare station were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
Canton House is a historic office building located on the northeast corner of Water Street and South Street in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is a 4+1⁄2-story Colonial Revival-style building, with seven bays across the front façade of Water Street to the south and three bays across the side facing South Street to the west. The first story level is in marble and brick is laid in Flemish bond from the second story up. It has a sloped peaked roof with two dormer windows facing west to the side. The main entrance features two fluted Corinthian stone columns.
William Mason is a 4-4-0 steam locomotive currently on display at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It was built for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, carrying that railroad's number 25. The locomotive is named in honor of its builder, William Mason, who built around 754 steam locomotives at his Mason Machine Works firm in Taunton, Massachusetts, from 1853 until his death in 1883. The engine had been one of the oldest operable examples of the American Standard design, and is the fourth oldest Baltimore and Ohio locomotive in existence, the oldest being the 0-4-0 no. 2, the Andrew Jackson from 1836, second oldest is the no. 8 0-4-0, John Hancock built later that same year, and the third being the 0-8-0 no. 57, Memnon of 1848. While operable, William Mason had been one of the oldest operational locomotive in the world, and the second oldest in the western hemisphere, after Robert Stephenson's 1831 John Bull built in 1831 for the Camden and Amboy Railroad, which is the world's oldest surviving operable steam locomotive.