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  • Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • Transportation
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  • Locomotives
  • Baldwin locomotives
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  • Erection drawings
  • Technical drawings
    Baldwin Locomotive Works Drawings, 1870-1890.
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    Baldwin Locomotive Works (author).
    Baldwin Locomotive Works Drawings, 1870-1890.
    Phy. Description: 
    9 cu. ft.
    4 Drawers
    Digital Reference: 
    Click to view EDAN Slideshow: 
    Bio / His Notes: 
    The Baldwin Locomotive Works was the largest and most successful locomotive building firm in the world. It was begun as a machine shop owned and operated by Matthias W. Baldwin in 1831. Baldwin turned out its first locomotive engine from its shop in Philadelphia in 1832; within a few years the company was producing two a month and employed 240 men. By 1852, 500 engines had been produced; by 1861, 1,000; and by 1868, 2,000. At that point, the company employed between 1,600-1,700 men, and was one of the very largest machine works in the nation. In 1906 Baldwin began construction of a large auxiliary plant in Philadelphia suburb of Eddystone. In 1928 the Broad Street plant was closed and all work transferred to the Eddystone Plant. Baldwin had been forced by hard financial times to take on a series of partners between 1839 and 1846, and the firm's name changed repeatedly as a result. It was known as Baldwin, Vail & Hufty (1839-1842); Baldwin & Whitney (1842-1845); M.W. Baldwin (1846-1853); and M.W. Baldwin & Co. (1854-1866). After Baldwin's death in 1866 the firm was known as M. Baird & Co. (1867-1873); Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. (1873-1890); Burnham, Williams & Co. (1891-1909); it was finally incorporated as the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1909. The company's phenomenal growth ended with in the mid-1920s as the U.S. railroad industry began its long decline. Despite various mergers and acquisitions--and an increased attention to the development of diesel engines--a slow but sure decline set in. Baldwin declared bankruptcy in 1935. World War Two brought a temporary respite, but after the war the steam locomotive was obsolete and orders rapidly diminished. The Westinghouse Corporation bought Baldwin in 1948 but was unable to turn the company around. In 1950 the Lima-Hamilton Corporation and Baldwin merged but in 1956 the last of some 70,541 locomotives was produced.
    Scope and Content: 
    202 assembly drawings of locomotives and tenders, prepared to check the clearances and major component parts of the locomotive. When work was slow, draftsmen hand-colored the drawings. They were not used in the shop but were retained for engineering reference.
    Transferred from the Division of Transportation April, 1987.
    Finding aids: 
    Index available from the Archives Center. Controls collection at folder level.
    Loc. of Assoc. Material: 
    Archives Center #157, the Baldwin Locomotive Works Collection, consists of Engine Registers and Order Books for locomotives, 1833-1956. In addition, a six-reel microfilm edition of collection #157 is located in the NMAH Library (mfm-720). Photographs relating to Baldwin are in the Railroad and Firefighting History Photographic Collection, NMAH Division of Transportation. The DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University has a collection of 8,500 original Baldwin engineering drawings and has published three guides to their records.
    Cite as: 
    Baldwin Locomotive Works Drawings, 1870-1890, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
    Unrestricted research use on site by appointment.
    Copyrights probably expired.
    Locomotive industry
    Locomotive works -- Pennsylvania.
    Locomotives -- Drawings.
    Baldwin locomotives
    Railroad equipment industry
    Railroads -- Equipment and Supplies
    Railroads -- Rolling-stock
    Subject - Geographical: 
    Philadelphia (Pa.)
    Form / Genre: 
    Erection drawings
    Technical drawings
    Repository Loc: 
    Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History : Archives Center. P.O. Box 37012, Suite 1100, MRC 601, Constitution Ave., between 12th and 14th Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. Call 202-633-3270 for appointment. Fax: 202-786-2453.
    Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI (collector).
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Archives Center at American HistoryACNMAH 0353Add Copy to MyList

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