Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover

Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover

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Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr 147 engravings Soft Cover
 
Early American Locomotives by John H White Jr
147 engravings
Soft Cover
Copyright 1972
This volume presents a collection of reproductions of the more decorative locomotive engravings published during the late nineteenth century, with emphasis on American locomotives. We will not offer a formal history in these pages, but a list of references is included for those seeking more information on the development of the railway engine.
The illustrations are drawn almost entirely from the engineering trade press, most particularly from the Railroad Gazette and Engineering, both of which produced folio-size collections of the better plates appearing in their respective pages. The Railroad Gazette's collection, first published in 1883 under the title Recent Locomotives, treated both domestic and foreign engines; it is from the greatly enlarged second edition of 1886 that we have reproduced so many of the plates in the present volume. Matthias N. Forney (1835-1908), editor of the Gazette when this book was produced, was a respected expert on railroad machinery, who had worked as a locomotive designer as a young man. During these years he obtained patents for a peculiar style of tank locomotive that came to bear his name, and therefore the extended space devoted to this design in Recent Locomotives is not difficult to understand. After 1870, the year in which Forney became associate editor of the Gazette, his rise in railway engineering circles was rapid; he was soon an officer in several national engineering societies. His Catechism of the Locomotive Engine (1874) went through many editions and became the basic American handbook on that subject. The present volume contains several reproductions from the Catechism and from a historical catalog Forney prepared in 1886 for the Rogers Locomotive Works; both of these works are now rare.
The other primary source for the present illustrations was produced by the British journal, Engineering. Entitled A Record of The Transportation Exhibits at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, this 779-page tome presented in pictures and text a very full account of the transportation machinery exhibits gathered at Chicago to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus' first landing. As it happened, the fair opened a year late, but no matter-it was a stupendous attraction that drew thousands of visitors and exhibitors to Chicago's lake front. Among the exhibitors were locomotive manufacturers, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and a few foreign railways. The manufacturers, obviously interested in showing their latest wares, featured engines known as compound locomotives because they used the steam twice before exhausting it to the atmosphere. Great fuel economies were claimed for these locomotives, but the additional machinery necessary cancelled the savings. However, the design, essentially a European development, was just gaining favor in the United States when the fair opened, and each builder was anxious to show off his particular type of compounding.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works, as might be expected from the leading American manufacturer, had the largest exhibit, consisting of sixteen engines. The Brooks Works of Dunkirk, New York, showed eight, while most of the other major builders were content to send only one or two machines. Several tiny industrial locomotives of the H. K. Porter Company were entered, though they must have seemed dwarfed alongside the giant main-line engines. The B & 0 Railroad took for itself the job of portraying the locomotive's historical development through a series of original and full-size wooden models, which were so skillfully done that they fooled "even the very elect." Some of the engravings dutifully made of the replicas for Engineering's book are included in our first part, Historical Locomotives. In all, 62 locomotives were shown at the Columbian Exposition.
James Dredge (1840-1906), the author of this heroic volume on the exhibition, was something of a hero himself, at least to the world of engineering. Coming from a family of engineers, he first worked under the great British locomotive expert Daniel K. Clark. In 1866 he joined Zehra Colburn, the American journalist who founded Engineering magazine in London, and after Colburn's suicide in 1870, Dredge became a joint owner of the magazine. Dredge showed a particular interest in the world's fairs so prevalent during the last century, filling the pages of Engineering with descriptions of the wonders to be seen in Vienna 1873, Philadelphia 1876, Paris 1879 and elsewhere. In 1893 he was appointed British Commissioner to the World's Columbian Exposition, and this event he chronicled most completely, as already noted. Many honors came to Dredge late in his life, including two Legion of Honor awards.
We have reproduced engravings from several other technical publications in addition to the sources already noted. The temptation was present to introduce materials from the popular papers of the period, such as Harpers, or the colorful prints of Currier and Ives, but these views are generally incorrect or imaginary, charming as they may be. For the sake of accuracy, therefore, we preferred to confine our presentation to those materials available in the engineering press.
Engravings were the only practical form of printed illustration before the introduction of the cheap halftone process in the 1890's. Hundreds of artisans were employed throughout the land preparing line cuts for newspaper, magazine, book and catalog illustrations. These illustrations might be cut or engraved on wood, copper, or steel-the finer, more detailed drawings usually being done on metal plates. Some were drawn from nature or the artist's imagination, but much of the work was copied directly from photographs. This was more convenient than traveling to the prototype and more accurate than working from a sketch. The artist may have been only a copyist, but the precision of his images reflects a fine drafting skill, particularly in illustrations of machinery. An example of an engraving that agrees exactly with the surviving photograph is given.
Because we expect this book to be of interest to the artist, a few remarks on the finish and painting of locomotives are included here. The cheap locomotive prints which are available today as decorator items are sometimes mechanically accurate, many being reproduced from the originals, but the colors are often grotesque misrepresentations of the actual finishes. Sometimes the coloring is undoubtedly inspired by the garishly decorated locomotives seen on tourist railways or television dramas; sometimes it can be blamed on the printers' indifference. But in nearly all cases there is too much color. Even at the high point of locomotive decoration in the 1850's, a relatively small part of the locomotive was painted; most of the machinery was polished metal, while the dome and cylinder covers, together with most small fittings, were bright brass. The boiler was covered in russia iron, a shiny rust-resistant sheet metal which came in many hues ranging from brown to blue, but was commonly a silver grey hue. Red paint was often used on the wheels, cowcatcher and cab, or just on the wheels with the cab and cowcatcher painted green. Sometimes the cab was in a natural wood finish of walnut, oak or cherry. The striping and ornamentation were delicate and finely shaded, and never done in a clumsy, circus-wagon style that is too often employed in modern imitations of the original livery.
It was only from about 1845 to 1870 that this highly elaborate style of painting was in fashion; bright colors appear to have been used previously, but the general decorative treatment was more restrained. Actually there is relatively little information available on the subject of color until the late 1840's when locomotive, builders began to produce full-color lithographs of their products, which clearly document the desire for more ornamental machines. However, highly finished locomotives fell from favor during the 1860's, primarily because of cost; another factor was the introduction of coal burning and its sooty smoke which soon covered the engine's brightwork with a stubborn grime. During the next two decades the brightly finished locomotive vanished from the American scene, replaced by the business-like engine with more and more of its exterior painted black. Gone were the elaborate architectural features, much of the brass, and all of the bright paint. By the 1890's some roads were eliminating the lustre of the russia iron in favor of painted black sheet metal coverings. Only the connecting rods and a few other incidental bright steel or brass accessories, such as the bell and whistle, offered any contrast to the sombre black machine.
This book has been arranged in four sections in an effort to divide the locomotives into logical groupings by date, type or place of service. The division is somewhat arbitrary, and some machines might logically fit in two or more categories, but the arrangement should at least help to emphasize the major classifications for those not well acquainted with the subject. In addition to the earliest locomotives, the historical chapter also includes some machines whose design was antique even for their date of construction; the Eddy Clock is a case in point. The second chapter encompasses typical main-line freight and passenger engines for the years 1870 to 1895. The oddities, industrial and switching engines, are dealt with in the third chapter, which also might have included some of the machines shown in Chapter 1, as mentioned in the captions. The last chapter indicates what was going on elsewhere in the world. The export engines, it might be noted, are almost entirely standard American designs with necessary modifications for overseas service.
Because our presentation is confined to engravings it logically ends in the 1890's when the widespread practice of that art died.
The system used to classify the locomotives in these pages is easily explained. The basic classification for locomotives is by wheel arrangement. Since the beginnings of steam railroads, an indication of the number of wheels has been the commonest method of communication between locomotive men; such a simple description as "ten wheeler" conveys a clear picture of the general arrangement and even the approximate size and type of service of the locomotive to anyone familiar with the subject. Errors are possible, however, for a ten wheeler could could mean an engine with four leading and six driving wheels (4-6-0) or an engine with ten driving wheels (0-10-0) or even a machine with two leading and eight driving wheels, (2-8-0) although the term is commonly understood to mean the first-mentioned type. To avoid such misunderstanding the wheel arrangement classes were formalized into a three-number system by a New York Central mechanical official, Frederic M. Whyte (1865-1941), in 1900.
The first figure in the three-number symbol indicates the number of leading wheels, the second figure the number of driving wheels and the final figure the number of trailing wheels. Using the ten wheeler as an example, if we had four leading wheels, six driving wheels and no trailing wheels, the Whyte symbol would be 4-6-0.
In addition to wheel counting, certain types of locomotives also acquired class names, which are used interchangeably with the Whyte symbols. The more common names are listed below, including those which were developed in the twentieth century and are not therefore represented in the present volume.


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