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Full text of "Development of the early types of locomotives used by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company / submitted by D.D. Burnside."

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;^ O'T.-iST-iL^St--^- ' -.4 

TIiE rj.J:' LI'''^ OF THE B ^c AB0Y13 ffi.T^PERS FERRY 


It has been for soroe time so extremely easy to ride a Tast passenger 
train to nearly any point one may wish to go, that one usassailabl^D fact 
has quite gjenerully been i'or/otbeji, or at least, unnoticed and overlookedt 
This fact is, - that the railroad, is a transportation veh' cle, which does this 
carrying, iiad to have it's bej;;innin{:,. 

In America this be^^lnnin^ occurred not quite one hundred years ago. 

In 1627 a group of people in Baltimore, Karyljind, organasad and 
obtained a charter for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ^oinpany, the object of 
T/hich was to provide overland transportation frcn Baltimore to the Ohio Rivert 
It IVES the ori^i'i^l plan of the officials to operate this road by steam, even 
though many people thought that this idsa v.'ould never be practical t However, 
through the faith of some of the mors progressive members and interested parties, 
the orii;inal plan was finally carried out. 

It must be rentembered that at the time of organization the company 
had no trackage and no rolling stock of any kind, and no incentive other than the 
vision and faith of its organizers already mentioned. 

However, in 1830, the first section of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road Company trackage was completed. This ran from Baltimore to Ellicott' s Kills 
(now Ellicott City), a distance of fifteen miles, ?nd during the next two years, 
the road was extended to Frederick, liaryland. The road was first operated by 
horse power and for a while it was an open question as to whether horse or steam 
power would be the more satisfactory mode of operation. Reports of siicoess with 
steam operation in England in 1829 proved the deciding factor and actual exper- 
imentation vdth steam engine locomotives began in this country. 

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One of th? orgpnizers, Petar Cooper, who was a irerchent in 
Baltimore, Maryland, built s small looomotive which he called the "Tom 
Thumb" in 1829, This wss the first stesm locomotiire ever used in Aaerica. 
This was a smell four wheeler, hardly larger than a modern hand car, having 
one upright cylinder # three and one-four inch bore by thirteen and one-half 
inch stroke. This cylinder was placed "upside down", or the cylinder head 
was underneath. The Di$ton rod connected to a horisontal member which ran in 
euldes similar to a modern cross head, flnd Fron> one end of this cross Tieniber, 
a connecting rod ran to « short shaft carrying a spur gear which -neeh'sd with 
an intermediate or idling gear which in turn meshed -ff^ith a large gear fixed on 
©ne axle of the locomotive. 

The boiler was vertical, and was a fire tube boiler, using gun 
barrels as tubes. The fire box was vary small, and the fire gas area very 
sioell, so that a fan was necessary to create draft enough to mointain steam. 
The "Tom Thumb* actually did work, find was a definite progressive step in 
the right direoticn. The company had carried on experiments with sail oars, 
one - the "Thomas" sail ear, nanied the "Wetaor* actually attained a spe^d of 
twenty miles per hour alone, but was incapable of drawing any load, and a sec- 
ond, the "AeoluB would net even perform creditably alone; also horse locomo- 
tives were experimented with - thft is, horses aroviding the motive power through 
a treadmill, but these trials were experiments only and nothing mora. 

It wfis the "Tom Thumb which weighed less than one ton end developed 
barely one horse power which really gave impetus to the Railroad, 

The success of the "^Toi! Thumb" encouraged the eomoany to try to de- 
velop better engines, so in 1331 the company offered a ppemlum of four thousand 
dollars for the most approved locomotive that would be delivered for trial upon 
the road, on or before the first of June 1331, and three thousand five hundred 
dollars for the engine that would be adjudged the next best. The requirements 


±i^:^K '^ 

The steam engine was an 
unkno'iL'n factor before 1830 
so the first B, ^' 0. passen- 
ger car ivas a one-horse affair 

This is a B. ^- 0. freight car of 18S2— 
the first operated by the road 


THE Y OR'y<' 

Lint « 1 a ^ 

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'.were as follows: -"The engine when in operation must not exceed three end one- 
half tons weight, and inist on a level rosd be capable of dra"wing day by day 
fifteen tons inclusive of the weight of wagons, fifteen miles per hour." 
This contest developed five eng'ines which may be described ss 


il, Johnson Engine, - made by G. ;T(. Johnson, a fpachinest of 

This engine had four wheals, two of which ware drivers, these 
being placed under the fire box* It had two vertical cylinders 
one on each eide of the foot board, a walking team on top of the 
fire box, and used e horizontal boiler with twin fire boxes. 
\ 2, The "York", - made by Davis »nd Gartner fron: designs ^y Phineas 

This was also « four wheeler using an upright boiler and two 
cylinders, one on each side of the boiler. This engine was one 
of the first to have the now conventional cross-head installed. 
From the cross-head a connecting rod ran to the center of the 
driving rod connecting both wheels on a side, so that the >'oric 
was the first outside connected four-wheeled driver. This engine 
had the disadvantage that the spring action changed the clearance 
in the cylinder so much that the cylinder had to be so long that 
it wns highly inefficient. The engine complete weighed about 
eight thousand pounds, (Note: Ses accompanying line diagram). 
^ 3. Costell, - built by Stecey Sob tell, a watch maker. 

This was 8 novel engine having two oscillating cylinders pivoted 
under the boiler on a coiiinon shaft in the frame. The power was 
transmitted to the wheels through gearing from a counter shaft. 

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A four way oook was used for valvee «nd also served the purpose 
of fi reverse gear, 

4, Child's Rotary - using one rotary cylinder with steam fed frorr 
froir a center port end emitted at the opposite end. Details are 
not eve liable for this engine, but it proved to be no good* al- 
though « splendid example of ingenuity, 

5, J-imes Engine - another four wheeler* which had horizontal cylinders. 
The novelty of this engine was that it had two eccentric* for each 
cylinder, connecting with a curve reversing lever. 

This contest was won by the "York which was altered to obviate the 
spring action. Incidentally the **York" was ths first engine to be equipped with 
steel springs, 

FroTfi the "York it was only a step to the "Atlantic" which bsoame the 
first stand<ird type used by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The "Atlantic" 
had two vertical cylinders placed en the fr;'me near the boiler and connected 
through cross heeds and connecting rods with walking benms pivoted near the top 
of the vertical boiler. From the ends of the beans connecting rods ran to cranks 
on 8 shaft carrying a spur geer which was geared tc e live axle in the ratio of 
two to one, so that the engine having three foot drivsrs was equivalent to one 
having six foot drivers. The two cylinders were each ten by twelve and the en- 
gine operated ^rost su'?,c9ssfully, Besause of the hi?h joints end up and down 
action of the connecting rod the engine was known es the "grasshopper Type." 
There were twenty of these engines built and some were in actual operation 
from 1332 to 1895. 

The performance record of this engine is as follows:- 

.Veight cf engine six Find one-h«lf tons equels fourteen thousand, 
five hundred and sixty pounds. 

Cylinders - two - tan by twenty. 

The old and the new— Ailaatic and Mikado at WiUard Golden Jubilee. The former could hau^ fifteen tons flfteea mUes an hour. The latter takes five 

ttiousand tons over the bills mucb faster 


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Drivers thirty-six inchss, 

Steam pressure - fifty pounds gage - sixty-five oounds absolute. 
Gross load hauled to Parr's Ridge, a dist&nos of fifty miles, 
up e grede rising thirty-seven feat in e mile - fifty long tons 
at speeds ranging from twelve to fifteen miles per hour. 
The total cost for an eighty mile run was sixteen dollars, includ- 
ing one ton of anthraaite coaj. at eight dollars, wages of engine m&n, tender, 
and laborer, three dollars end fifty oents, oil and packing fifty cents, 
^vear snd te-^r (eatimnted) and interest on the investment three dollars, and 
water station expense of one dollar. The engine replaced forty-two horses 
which cost thirty-three dollars to TiBintsin. The totrl cost of the engine was 
apDroximately fourthousand five hundred dollars. 

It may not be awiss at this point to -rientlon some of the type of 
boilers used on these eirly engines. It is reedless tc say that nuch progress 
has been iiade, filthough many of the features introduced on the early engines, 
are maintained today, from the boiler to the flangsfe nn the wheels. 

As has been stated, the boiler used on the "Tom Thumb" wa^i a fire 
tube teller using gun barrels as tules. This boiler worked wall «o long as a 
draft could be maintained to keep the fire going. This necessity was proved 
in a rf.ther humorous way, when in 1630 a race w(^6 run between & one oar train 
hauled by the "icir Thumb and a on© car train hauled by a horse. The engine 
puffed itself serenely away from the horse drawn vehicle until the fan which 
was lised to create drelt in the flue ceased to operate through the failure of 
the belt used to drive it. Nowadays the result would be celled ** a moral 
victory'* for Fteam. 

Next, in the latter oart of 1B29 a-d in 1830 the cheese boiler 
was introduced. It was s plain open doTie boiler which had a portion of the 
water held over th? firs in the ^ofbustion space by usans of « large tank 

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suspended frow the oentar of tha doii« by e pipe. (See line difigr&m)* 

This boiler proved unsatisfactory becsause of sediment flnd sosle 
soon clogged the weter tfink and the jacket soon burned out, msking the up- 
keep a nuisance and prohititivsly expensiT©, 

Then in 1830 a modifioution was made which improved matters 
greatly, Fror the top of the combusticn chamber a series of tubes were ox- 
tended vertically which terminated in a chamber above the water line which had 
a single outlet through the staok. (See line diagram), This» however, was 
wasteful of heat, and therefore expensive, so in the "Atlantic** a modification 
of this type was iriftde» which was retained until the vertical boiler was discarded 
in favor of the horl?ontal boiler. This H'odifi cation was in effect to raise 
the upper gas chamber nearly to the top of the boiler so th-^.t a large increase in 
heating surfsea was secured, (Se.% line diagram). This type of vertical boiler 
was the only really successful cne, and its suooess itay be noted by reference to 
the performance record of the "Atlantic , given elsewhere in these pages, 

Horiicntal boilers did not come into general use for quite a few 
years, the first being i'troduced about 1650 on a locomotive known as the Camel 
type in which the boiler was placed very high with the working oarts placed 

These later locomotives were the result of an advertisement by the 
Baltimore end Ohio Railroad in the American Railroad flournal of October 23, 1647, 
of its need for heavy freight locomotives. This aihrortisement is given on the 
next three sheets. 




7 /i<i- Ch<^^3G £^oi/et" 

The '/^fho-ffC 

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To LocomotiT© Engine Buildsrs:- 

■ProDosals under seel will be received by the undersigned up to 
Saturday, the 6tk of Kcveirber inolusive» for furnishing the ^sltimore and Ohio 
Railroad iJompnny four loooinctlvg engines in conformity with the following 
speci ficeti on s:- 

1, The weight not to exceed twenty tons of two thousand two hundred 
and forty pounds and to come as near to that limit as possitle. 

2. The weight to be uniformly distributed over all the whesls when 
the engine is drawing the heaviest load, 

3. The numbgr of wheels shall be eight* 

4, The diameter of the wheels shall be forty-three inches. 

5. The four intermediate wheels ahall be without flanges, 

6. The boiler to contain not less than one thousand square feet fire 
surfaoe, of which there ahall be not less than one-fifteenth in 
fire box, 

7, The tubes shall be of number eleven flue iron, with a space of 
not less than three-fourths rf a foot between them and the tube 

8, Fire box, except tubes and orown sheets, to be of copper two- 
thirds of p.n inch thiok. 

9, Tube sheets to be three-eighths of an inch thick, 

10, The boiler to be of number three iron of the ■best quality, 

11. The fire bojt to be not less than twosty-fcur inches below the 
cylindrical part of the boiler. 

12. Steam to be taken to the cylinder from a separate domo on the 
fore part of the boiler. 

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13. The frsma inoluding the pedestals to te entirely of wrought 
iron and the boiler to be connected therewith, so ss to allow 
of contractions and expansions '/nthout strain on either. 

14. The cylinder to be twenty-two inch stroke and not leas than 
seventeen inch diametsr. 

15. The cut-off to be effected by ft double valve wor'tced by 
sgparate ecoentrios. 

16. The nngle of the cylinder to be not greater then thirteen and 
one-half degrees -with the horisontal line, 

17. The fraTBS snd beerings to be inside the wheels end the direction 
frorr the cylinder direct with the baiV pair of intermediate wheels. 

18. The centers of extrs'TjS wheels to be not more thfin eleven and 
one-half feel apart, 

19. The wheels to be of csst iron with chilled tire, 

20. The means to be provided of varying the pcwer of the exhauee in 
the blast pipe, 

31, The engine to be warranted to do full work v»ith Cumberland or 
other bituminous coal in a raw state as the fuel, - and the 
furnace to be provided with an upper and lower fire door with 
that view, 

22. The STiiokeataok to be provided with a wire gauze covering. 

23. Two safety valves to be placed upon the boiler, each containing 
not less than five square inches of surface and one to be out of 
reach of engine nan, 

24. The tender to be upon eight wheels *■■ nd constructed ui^on such a 
plan as shall be furnished by the comp'^ny and to carry not less 
than three cords of .vood or its equivalent in coal, and fifteen 
hundred gallons of water, 

25. The fratsriels and wbrkmanship to be of the best quality, - the 

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engine to be subjected zo a trisl of thirty dsys steady work with 
freight upon the road before acceptance by the coT:pany, 

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Incldentftlly, the Hayes "CaiEel", in 1853, was the original tan wh9'?ler used 
by the Baltimore and Ohio and was the first Icacnotlve to oross the Alle- 

It must he remembered that before this tiae the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad was a well organised and smoothly operating oonoern. In fact, the 
first tims table on record was published by the Baltimore and Ohio, and read 
a& f oil owe: - 

"a sufficient number of cars now beinf provided for the aooommo* 
daticn of passengers, notice is hereby given th«'t the following 
arrangements for the arrival and departure of carriages have been 
adopted, snd will taVe effect on find efter l^onday ircrning next 
the 5th instant, viz.: 

"a brigade of ears will leave the depot on Fratt ^t, at 6 and 
10 I'olook A. \:,t »n<3 at 3 tc 4 o'clock P. If», and will leave 
the depot at 'Elllcott's Vills at 6 and 8"| •'clock- A. V., and at 
12| end 6 P. V, 
"Way passengers will provide themselves with tickets at the 
office of the Gotrpany in Baltimore, or at the depot at Pratt 
Street and Sllitctt's Mills, or at the Relay House, near Elk 
Ridge Lending, 

"The evening way oar for Sllicott's Kills will continue to leave 
the depot, Fratt St., at 6o'clook P. K. as usual. 
"v. B. Positive orders have been issued to the drivers to receive 

no passengers into sny of the cars without tidfets, 
"F, 3, Parties desirirg to engage a car for the day can be ae- 
eoTiProdated efter July 5th. * 
It mey be noted that the first railroad freight station in Amerioa 
and perhaps in the 'jorld, was built at Frederick, Maryland, in 1829. It was .-» 

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stone structure and w^.s rsbyilt in 1£12, beoaus© it was not large enough to 
handle the present tr&ffio. It was a rather pretentious affair, having a 
handsome belfry, 'fihen th8 station was rebuilt in 1S12, the belfry wati retained, 
but by some mii^ohance, the tel] is now in Wartinsburg, 'ifest Virginia, at the . 
shops cf thfi ecTTpfiny which are located there. 

The sucoess of the company and its present popularity and adtuelity 
would not be extant except for the purpcseful work and enthusiasm of ite founds" s 
and 9'>rly operators. This success was in great tBoaauro due to the develcpment 
of the "Atlantic type of locomotiTe which turned out to be so successful. 
Mr, Benjamin R, Lsthrobe, who for many years was chief engineer of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad wrote «bout this "Srasshcpper engira:- 

"The engine was constructed with special reference to the weak track 
!ind strong curves of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway . It was uada, 
therefore, of inoderate weight and short coupled, so as to oress 
lightly on the track and round the corves easily, and that it icust 
ha-ve done this last is proved by its being nble to work itself 
through the quadrant of sixty foot radius at the straet corners. 
It was supported uoon wheels of smal] Qiemeter and to keep down 
the center of gravity, and also to give tractive power with a 
cylinder of moderate size and pressure of steam such "ss was used 
at that time. The upright boiler was sdonted ir. view of the ad- 
vantages already enumerated and of it? sucoessf\il use in the little 
engine of Mr. Cooper's, which seemed to give the maximum of steam 
generating capacity in the smallest compass, and hence to be 
especially favorable to the compactness required in so short an 
engine. The boiler affording readiest and .staunohest supoort 
to the cylinder was naturally resorted to for that purpose. This 
gave them their vertical position, and involved the lever bean and 
long connecting rod or grasshopper legs. The separate shaft was 

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an accompaniment of the system of gearing required by the 
small wheels and relieved of its objeotions. 
After the statement of this engineer, it nay be interesting to note 
the attitude of the ohief engineer of the road who, in 1830, said, - "with 
tha stear: locomotive an average of ten miles per hour could bo attained nnd 
it might be possible to go higher, but, in his opinion, the speed of ten miles 
per hour should not be exceeded." 

These foregoing data amply illustrate the American attributes of 
vision and stick-to-itiveness, and merely go to show vihat ambition, properly 
directed, rray do. Had it not been for the application snd per si stance of the 
founders of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, coupled with a true belief in 
their product, the mode of transp^ rtation today would be not nearly so 
complst© and comfortable. It is true, as this paper has shown, that the beginning 
was crude, but nothing has ever been developed v/hich was not very incomplete 
at first. 

Therefore, it is the opinion of the v/riter, that the American people 
in general owe a big debt to the founders of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and 
to the men who started real railroading with the early types of engine herein 


The preparation of this paper has teen greatly aided ty, 
and most of the material has been supplied hy* Mr* R* E* Kennedy^ 
RoOTi #1105, Baltimore and Ohio Building, Baltimore, Maryland, and 
I wish thus to thank him for his assistanoe. 

I also consulted "The DeTelopment of the Locomotire 
Engine" by Angus Sinclair, whose book may be found in the Congresft- 
ional Library, Washington, D. C.