Hello all, I recently inherited a collection of Baldwin Locomotive Works photos (approx.60). I need help to identify what I have. Some of the photos are embossed with "Baldwin Locomotive Works, Burnham, Perry, Williams,& Co., Philadelphia, PA." in the upper left corner but most are not. The photos are of 1870's engines. The paper is a light almost magazine quality, not photo paper as I expect it. The pics measure 8 x 5.  See below  any thoughts

 

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Original Post

Correct. It was a compressed air locomotive made by Baldwin 1876-1877. The purpose was to provide motive power and avoid fire (igniting of air particles), moisture and smoke from steam power. Many dust producing industries used this type or similar. This one was used at the Plymouth Cordage Company in Plymouth Mass. 

I doubt they're authentic, based on the paper description, and the fact that a lot of them feature cut-off pilots and tenders. Builder's photos all, it appears to be. Copies of copies, at best, although the subject matter is interesting. We even have a Lehigh Valley Consolidation--the railroad that got the first one.

Frame 'em up and hang 'em on the wall! They'll make great train room décor. Maybe properly scan them first, though.

Third photo down in the first post is the LIRR's "Meteor," which shows up on page 16 of "The Locomotives that Baldwin Built," by Fred Westing. A couple of the steam dummies are in the book as well. 

Steve

 

david1 posted:

I think they are all Baldwin but get a photo magnifying glass and look at the builders plates on the boiler below the smoke stack. Hope you can identify them.

You don't really need a magnifying glass to see that any engine with a round plate is a Baldwin. They're very distinctive, even if you can't read them.

There are quite a few engines destined for south of the border, as well as the odd narrow gauge engine.

Steve

 

These are pictures of very early locomotives, probably around 1850 with primitive photography. I think the embossments are likely to make them authentic, but I am not an expert. The round builder's plates and the Baldwin embossments are not just a coincidence in my opinion. You might also consult someone at the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in your area or near Philadelphia.

MELGAR

MELGAR posted:

These are pictures of very early locomotives, probably around 1850 with primitive photography. I think the embossments are likely to make them authentic, but I am not an expert. The round builder's plates and the Baldwin embossments are not just a coincidence in my opinion. You might also consult someone at the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in your area or near Philadelphia.

MELGAR

These are not "very early locomotives," and are most definitely NOT 1850s locomotives. These are clearly almost all from the 1870s, if not the early 1880s.

That last photo is a C-16 from the Denver & Rio Grande, "Silver Cliff," built in 1879.

Steve

 

RKV Railroad posted:

While I suspect these may be copies, the question is why are the first pics I posted embossed? 

Are they embossed with a 3-D, raised stamp that you can feel? Or is the lettering just part of the image? That may be a game-changer.

Steve

 

Yep, game-changer. The embossing was done with a large stamp, which I doubt can even be manufactured today. They likely did come from Baldwin. You may indeed have quite a collection there. 

I don't know about print-making in the 1870s/1880s, but these may have been printed from the original negatives. An expert would need to examine the paper. The cropping makes me think they're copies. Original builder's photos will not cut off the pilot or tender at all, and would be on heavier stock. They are all builder's photos, because the backgrounds have all been taken out.

David Fletcher, an expert on engines of the period, may be able to help. I can try to get his contact information if you like.

 

Steve

 

RKV Railroad posted:

Here's another random sample of the collection20190824_12194220190824_12194720190824_12200320190824_12201320190824_122028

These are all great photos whatever they turn out to be.  

This subset caught my attention. They look like trolleys but a couple seem to be associated with ferry transportation. SOmI wondered whether they had a specialized use.  It might not be that hard to Google the street/RR names for these to produce a date range.

Can anyone share more?  I just assumed that Baldwin only built locomotives.

TRRR

TomlinsonRunRR posted:

These are all great photos whatever they turn out to be.  

This subset caught my attention. They look like trolleys but a couple seem to be associated with ferry transportation. SOmI wondered whether they had a specialized use.  It might not be that hard to Google the street/RR names for these to produce a date range.

Can anyone share more?  I just assumed that Baldwin only built locomotives.

TRRR

You realize of course that all of those are in fact steam locomotives? They are a variety of "steam dummies" (designed to look like streetcars so as not to scare horses) and inspection cars. All are steam powered.

Steve

 

smd4 posted:
TomlinsonRunRR posted:

These are all great photos whatever they turn out to be.  

This subset caught my attention. They look like trolleys but a couple seem to be associated with ferry transportation. SOmI wondered whether they had a specialized use.  It might not be that hard to Google the street/RR names for these to produce a date range.

Can anyone share more?  I just assumed that Baldwin only built locomotives.

TRRR

You realize of course that all of those are in fact steam locomotives? They are a variety of "steam dummies" (designed to look like streetcars so as not to scare horses) and inspection cars. All are steam powered.

Well I do now. :-). I assumed they were steam powered but had never heard of "steam dummies" nor seen anything in that shape before. Thanks for filling me in.

TRRR

 

 

While looking for info on logging railroads, I ran across a German language blog focused on modelling US logging railroads.  GOOGLE translation is a wonderful, if not perfect, tool.  Anyway, that blog had links to on-line copies of BLW Illustrated Catalogues of Narrow-Gauge Engines, and the pictures in those catalogs looked amazingly similar to what you posted here.  Your photos may have been tests or extras, discarded because, as noted earlier, most do not show the entire engine.

Chuck

RKV Railroad posted:

Yes, please. Any information would be helpful. Thank you

I've emailed Fletch at the last email address I had for him, and asked him to check out this thread. I will let you know what I hear, and any other information I can provide.

Some of David's work in researching period color schemes can be found here:

Fletcher Drawings

Steve

 

If anybody wants to see a steam dummy, Mammoth Cave Nat. Park has the "Hercules" and its shorty combine, that brought in tourists, on display.  My brother and l climbed in it as kids (now fenced off) and l modeled one off it.  HO probably has a kit for one.  I think l have heard of other prototype "dummies" displayed. 

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Here's what Fletch had to say:

"The photos are a great great collection.  These are most likely contact prints from the original glass plate negatives (same size as the glass plate) The engines are late 1870s - 1880s and many are prints used in their catalogues.  They used to literally glue in the prints for the photo pages in the catalogues of this period, but also printed a LOT of these contacts.  I have many of the same prints myself.  He should keep them and look after them.  They are not specifically rare, but there are some engines there which are not seen often; others you see every day in those contacts. The Uncle Dick photo is one you don't see often. If he wants to identify each engine, this is possible, I know many of them, but others would need to look up.  Value - each print is worth between $10 and $60 generally- that's what they tend to sell for. There are two Auzzie Baldwins [David is from Down Under. -smd] in there too a 2-8-0 and 4-4-0, both from 1877. These are pretty rare. I have the exact same ones I got for $10 each about a decade ago.  Quality today of these prints vary a bit...his collection are all very good. The cutting off of tenders, pilots etc, is normal. Baldwin did this often in their photos."

Hope this helps!

Steve

 

Thank you all for the help. Once again this forum is a great collection of experience and first hand knowledge. I'm concerned that this collection should be in the right hands, be it a serious collector or historical society. Thoughts on what to do next.  Special thanks to Steve and Fletch. 

Re steam "dummies", keep in mind electric streetcars were just being developed in the 1870s. Streetcar / trolley lines were all horse-drawn back then. The steam 'dummies' would be used to replace the horses, like on areas with steep grades. Once electric trolleys came along in the 1880's-90's, steam dummies weren't really needed anymore - although some were kept on for like repair trains.

- Stix

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