The English Influence On American Railroads*



Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin, no. 91 (1954)


* As an original paper, prepared by the author while at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., this article was thoroughly documented, and its footnotes gave many pertinent sidelights to the text. Due to space limitations of the bulletin it was necessary to omit the documentation and footnotes. A comprehensive bibliography which accompanied the article, is included, in the belief that it will be of infinite value to anyone wishing to delve further into this unusual phase of American Railroad history.


The debt the United States owes to England for our railroad system is far greater than either the average American or Englishman realizes; greater than historians of either nation effectively state. Most Americans at first would deny any obligation to England for the transportation benefits we enjoy today. Under pressure they might admit that the locomotive did develop in England and that a few came to this country over a century ago. A biased enthusiast might retort that English inventor Trevethick stole the locomotive from American Oliver Evans before 1800; the locomotive is an American invention.


This paper proposes to trace English transportation ideas across the Atlantic, and American reaction to these ideas: to follow the surprising number of Americans, who visited England, especially to observe the railroad and the locomotive, and the far-reaching results of these observations; to show the American adaptation of and improvement on the English locomotive; to enumerate some of the many publications and republications of English-inspired books and pamphlets, which preceded and followed the introduction of the railroad into the United States; to relate an example of construction by English engineers with English capital, equipment, rails and labor in America during the Civil War; and, finally, to relate a small part of the economic and political story of British financial aid, which accompanied the English locomotive and, especially the rail, to the United States.


Contrary to popular opinion, the dissemination of information on steam and rail transportation within the United States antedates the great triumphs of George Stephenson, antedates both the 1825 Stockton and Darlington opening and the 1829 Rainhill Locomotive Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railroad. English newspapers, magazines and books exported the latest facts to the English-speaking world. Visitors to England carried the ideas home. English commercial houses informed inquiring American customers. American engineers went to England for training, or were sent by organizations to learn the latest practice. Early nineteenth century communications may have been slow and unsure, but the ideas crossed the ocean despite obstacles.


Had George Stephenson carried out either his 1808 or 1819 deliberations about emigration to the United States, America might have been the scene of Stephenson's locomotive successes rather than England.


 His son, Robert Stephenson, in returning to England from South America, made a short tour of the United States and Canada in 1827, but left little record of where he visited, other than Niagara Falls, or of his impressions of the United States and its transportation problems.




Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820) studied and worked with the famous English engineer, Smeaton. In answering Gallatin's request for information on canals and turnpikes, he volunteered information on railroads. First, a railroad might be used as an adjunct to canals, "a last resort," an expensive, inconvenient and imperfect means of crossing high areas where water is scarce. Then, in a critical analysis of the canals already built along the Susquehanna, Potomac and James Rivers, he suggested that railroads could make the coal from the James River Field more available to tidewater, especially by a line from Ampthill up hall's Creek.


In a postscript, Latrobe added a "few remarks on railroads . . . [because] public attention has been often called to this sort of improvement, and the public mind filled with very imperfect conceptions of its utility. " Telling that either timber or iron rails might be used for construction and that cast iron laid on stone was more durable, he advised that cast iron rails on beds of timber were both durable and within the ability of this country to finance. The gauge recommended varies from 31/2 to five feet; rails are described at 5/8" thick and L-shaped (wheels unflanged) laid on timber rails. Cost per mile of double track is estimated at $10,000, with the iron being nearly three-fourths of the cost, $7,240. Capacity with a single horse is rated at eight tons in four wagons.


The astonishing loads drawn by a single horse on English railroads, Latrobe told, had raised hopes that railroads would soon be built in the United States. Their utility, he repeated, would be confined to the James River Coal Fields, or from the marble quarries near Philadelphia, to the Schuylkill River. Finally, railroads as a means of overcoming difficult parts or artificial navigation are termed " invaluable and in many instances offer the means of accomplishing distant lines of communication which might remain impractical even to our means for centuries to come. "


Printed in two 1808 editions, this report was reprinted twice in 1811, and four times in the next eleven years. Latrobe's sons, John Hazelhurst and Benjamin H., and his pupils, Robert Mills, of South Carolina, and William Strickland, of Philadelphia, built and planned America's earliest railroads. Latrobe, however, hadn't recognized the value of Oliver Evans' 1786 high-pressure steam carriage, a predecessor of the locomotive. He reported to Philadelphia's American Philosophical Society that it was impractical.


Colonel John Stevens (1750-1838) took Latrobe's railroad recommendations, added information from the English magazine, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the arts, edited by W. Nicholson and advocated that New York build a three-hundred-mile railroad, rather than a canal, from Albany to Buffalo. Predicting speeds of a hundred miles per hour to be possible, but holding that twenty to thirty miles would be the practice, Stevens published his arguments as a forty-three page pamphlet, in 1812. In addition to this magazine, Stevens had direct connection with England. John Cox Stevens, visiting England to patent his father's multi-tubular boiler in 1805, purchased an order of books for his father and visited Watt, in an effort to persuade the inventor to build high-pressure steam engines. Stevens' plans to visit England in 1810, like Stephenson's emigration, never materialized. English engineer, Marc Isambard Brunel, who aided in the construction of Stevens' first steamboat in 1798, and Stevens were correspondents in 1810.


Between 1815, and 1823, Stevens secured legislative permission to construct railroads from the Delaware to the Raritan Rivers, in New Jersey, and from Philadelphia to Lancaster, Pa. In 1820, he petitioned the Pennsylvania Legislature to build a line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Four years later, he patented the application of his tubular boiler to the steam locomotive. By 1826, Stevens built and operated a locomotive on a circular track at his Hoboken estate, the first constructed and operated in America. Stevens' citation of the successful railroad operation at Hetton, in England, the same year, shows that he was keeping himself informed of progress abroad. John Stevens lived to see his predictions come true. The work that his sons accomplished in carrying out his ideas will be noted later.


Railroad articles in Rees' Cyclopedia, by a Doctor Anderson, read as a boy, inspired Philadelphian George W. Smith to visit England in 1820, expressly to study its railroads. In the next four years Smith printed six editions of three assays on his observations and had given away two thousand copies. Through Smith's efforts these essays were reprinted in seventy American papers and periodicals. Several were even reprinted in Europe. The Berks and Schuylkill Journal, of Reading, Pa., the nearest city of size to Pennsylvania's Southern Anthracite Coal Field, reprinted Smith's ideas on the superiority of railroads over canals, just as the Schuylkill Navigation was opening in 1825.


Smith's predictions before 1824 of locomotive speeds above fifteen miles per hour, while modest compared to those of John Stevens, brought severe criticism, especially after Wood's 1825 English edition told American purchasers that twelve miles per hour was the top speed to be expected. Smith, in editing an 1832 American edition of Wood, refers to six English publications for more current information than the original work presented: three magazines, two encyclopedias, and publications of the Highland Society. It is in this work that Smith claims the pioneer 1804 locomotive, built by Vivian and Trevethick, was copied from the plans of Philadelphian Oliver Evans, when his agent to England displayed them to engineers in 179495. Smith further claims that he proposed a railroad from the Potomac to the Ohio, in 1824, but that, at the same time, he predicted a line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh could be built at less cost.


James Renwick (1792-1863), Professor of Natural Sciences and Experimental Chemistry at Columbia College, New York City, was another American who credited Doctor Anderson for rousing his interest in railroads. Born in Liverpool, Renwick was brought to New York by his emigrating-merchant father, who maintained trading relations with Liverpool. The presence of Liverpool papers, letters from his father's commercial correspondents, and English scientific magazines may be taken for granted in a home with this background. Renwick graduated with highest honors in his Columbia class of 1801. After working for the United States as a topographical engineer, he became an instructor at Columbia College in 1812. In 1820, he began his career as professor, a position he held until 1853.


In addition to the influence Professor Renwick may have had on turning the interest of engineer Horatio Allen, a Columbia graduate of 1823, and the first man to operate an English locomotive in the United States, toward railroad building, he contributed information on inclined planes to an 1823 New Jersey Canal Prospectus, which was printed in two editions. Recognition for this work came to Professor Renwick three years later in the form of an eighteen-page pamphlet issued by Franklin Institute. The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company employed him as a consultant in November, 1827, on their railroad. In 1828, he edited and made additions to an English work, Lardner's Popular Lectures on the Steam Engine. The popularity of this work caused three additional editions, two in 1836, and the last in 1838. Renwick's own Treatise on Steam Engines was issued in 1830 and 1838. A work more directly linked with railroads was his 1831 comparison of costs between the Mohawk and Hudson, New York State's pioneer railroad, and a canal.


The Charleston (S.C.) City Gazette carried a letter proposing the railroad as a means to gain for that city a better position in the cotton trade, as early as Nov. 22, 1821. Although signed "H" and credited to Senator Robert Hayne, this early stand for railroads was probably motivated by Robert Mills (1781-1855), a pupil of Latrobe. The year before, this South Carolinian circulated his proposals (in a hundred page pamphlet) that the Washington, D. C.-Pacific Coast trip could be cut to sixty-five days, by a rail or turnpike road over the Rocky Mountains, between the headwaters of the Missouri and the Columbia. In 1821, Mills declared that the Charleston, S. C.-Pacific Coast trip might be made via canals, rivers and a railroad over the Rockies, in sixty-two days. This same year a model railroad was displayed in Charleston. Speedy mail service between New Orleans and Washington was one of the benefits promised to the Postmaster General, on a timber railroad proposed by Mills in 1827.


Active in the pioneer South Carolina Railroads, Mills advocated' in 1828, Stevens' pile construction, as on the Delaware and Hudson, assumed that locomotives be used, and made a complete estimate of the whole cost of construction, including locomotives, cars and coaches. A Committee of Inquiry, reporting on Nov. 11, 1828, established correspondence with England, referred to English railroads, English engineers' advice to other American lines, and of the dispatch by other states of American engineers to observe English practice. E. L. Miller, Charleston merchant, elected a director at the first 1828 meeting after the incorporation of the line, sailed to England to observe construction and expressly to see the Liverpool and Manchester Locomotive Trials. The far-reaching results of Miller's visit will be recounted later.




The visits made to England to observe the progress in the railroad, and the effect these visits had in the United States, will be discussed in detail. Some are well known, but the results occasioned by the lesser-known warrant exposition.


An 1824 prospectus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railroad tells of American interest in their line. Evan Thomas, of Baltimore, though not mentioned by name in this prospectus, probably was the American in Liverpool gathering data for a railroad projected between the Potomac and the Ohio. Thomas sent this information to his brother, Phillip E. Thomas, whose interest in railroads had been aroused by accounts of the Stockton and Darlington. William Brown, later an M.P. from Liverpool, about this same time sent information to his brother George, of Baltimore. Together, George Brown and Philip E. Thomas sparked the organization of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1827. Baltimore also obtained the most accurate and latest railroad information through their relations with English commercial houses.


Moncure Robinson (1802-1891), son of a Richmond, Va., merchant, studied engineering both at home and in Europe. While observing the public works of England, between the years 1825-1828, he met and became well acquainted with George Stephenson. Upon his return he worked as engineer on the Allegheny Portage Railroad of the Main Line of Public Works of Pa., the Little Schuylkill Railroad in the Schuylkill County Coal Fields, which purchased English locomotives by 1833, the Danville and Pottsville, all in Pennsylvania, as well as on the Chesterfield Railroad and the Petersburg and Roanoke in his native state. In addition to the railroads in Pennsylvania, Robinson surveyed the " Catawissa Route, " later the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad, between the Upper Schuylkill, the Lehigh and the Susquehanna Rivers, and the proposed Nescopec Canal route between the Upper Lehigh and the Susquehanna Rivers. After locating an extension of the Little Schuylkill Railroad to Reading, Pa., in 1833, he laid out, during 1834-1836. the final rail link between the First Anthracite Coal Field and Tidewater, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.


Moncure Robinson returned to England, in 1836, to secure an English loan to complete the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad to Mt. Carbon, in the First Anthracite Coal Field, and to purchase eight locomotives from Braithwaite, Milner & Co., of London. These eight-ton 0-4-0 engines, arriving in the United States between 1838 and 1841, were the last of the early locomotives imported from England by any American railroad. One, the "Rocket," survives at Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The loan came from the London bankers Gowan and Marx, who had heavy investments in American railroads. The Philadelphia and Reading honored these financiers by naming a Robinson-planned 4-4-0, the "Gowan and Marx." Built by Eastwick and Harrison, of Philadelphia, this engine established its builder's reputation by bringing 423 tons from Reading to Tidewater. Seventeen publications on railroads, written by Robinson between 1829-1838, survive today.


The Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Internal Improvements, in 1825, sent architect and engineer William Strickland (17841854), a pupil of Latrobe, and his assistant, Samuel H. Kneass, to gather facts on English canals and railroads. Upon his return, Strickland recommended that Pennsylvania construct railroads rather than canals. "Canal fever," the completion of the Schuylkill Navigation, and the near-completion of the Union Canal, linking Philadelphia with the Susquehanna River, caused the Pennsylvania Canal Convention of 1825 to vote down the engineer's railroad proposals as too impractical. Strickland's trip created the railroad sections of the Pennsylvania Public Works, the Philadelphia and Columbia and the Allegheny Portage Railroads. Later, Strickland engineered the Wilmington and Susquehanna Railroad, part of today's Pennsylvania Washington-New York Line.


Kneass, Strickland's assistant and the creator of the drawings for Strickland's Report, became the 1828 engineer for another pioneer Schuylkill County anthracite road, the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven. This line fed its tonnage into the Schuylkill Canal. The next year English experience was carried to Kentucky's pioneer line, the Lexington and Ohio, by this engineer. Like Robinson and other early engineer visitors to England, Kneass made a return visit in 1840, to observe the latest improvements and methods on the English railroads. In the United States, after his return, he practiced his profession on the Philadelphia and Trenton, the Philadelphia and Wilmington, (sections of the Washington-New York Pennsylvania line today) the Pennsylvania and the Northwestern Pennsylvania.


An English locomotive made a trip over an American railroad before the 1829 Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester. Had the track construction equaled English standards, or the locomotive been built nearer to their specified weights, Stephenson's success would have occurred a month after the Honesdale trials on the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company Railroad. Because of this occurrence, Horatio Allen's visit to England was the most momentous of the railroad inspections made by Americans, from 1820 to 1844.


Influenced by newspaper accounts about the locomotives of the Stockton and Darlington, Horatio Allen (1802-1889), American born, Columbia-trained engineer on the sixteen-mile railroad of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, resigned his job that he might observe English railroads. Just before he sailed, the D. & H. commissioned him to purchase locomotives and rail for their line.


However, English influence on the Delaware and Hudson antedates Allen's visit. Benjamin Wright (1770-1842) recommended on May 21, 1825, before the September, 1825, opening of the Stockman and Darlington, that a railroad rather than a road be built over the Moosic Mountains, between the Delaware and Hudson Canal terminus and the Susquehanna Valley. Early in his career he secured "from abroad [England] the best books, maps and instruments" for his own instruction. Wright boldly made this recommendation for a railroad "without a qualifying clause for his own protection."


The Delaware and Hudson acted on Wright's recommendation, in the spring of 1827. John B. Jervis, the new chief engineer, began his survey on April 4, and completed it October 24, 1827. A Pennsylvania railroad was in operation ahead of this survey, Josiah White had opened his Mauch Chunk Railroad in the Lehigh Valley in May, 1827, a much-publicized line, which repaid its cost in fourteen months. Jervis recommended the use of six- or seven-ton locomotives on the eleven miles of trackage between inclined planes. He estimated that seven locomotives would cost $12,600, but this cost would soon be repaid by saving the company $30.50 daily, by eliminating the use of horses and by carrying coal at the rate of .018 per ton-mile. Basing their action on Jerks' figures, the managers decided, on January 16, 1828, to commission Allen to buy English track iron and four locomotives, specifying that the engines should be capable of four miles per hour, to have four or six wheels, with a gauge of 4'3". Jervis had based his recommendations on English engineers and engineering publications. The Jervis library at Rome, N. Y., today possesses in his personal collection three titles of Tredgold's works, the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and Encyclopedia of Royal Engineers, and other early publications bearing London imprints.


Jervis, while engineering on the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, suggested, from experience gained with the imported Stephenson locomotive used on the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, that a pivoting, four-wheel front truck replace the non-flexible, front pair of wheels. This arrangement, which allowed long-wheel-base, English-type engines to negotiate the sharp curves of American lines without derailment, was adopted by George Stephenson on the " Davy Crockett, " the first locomotive to operate on the Saratoga and Schenectady, on April 6, 1833.


The West Point Foundry built the first locomotive with this improvement, in 1832, for the Mohawk and Hudson, where it made a mile in forty-five seconds. Baldwin, Norris, and Eastwick and Harrison quickly adopted this flexible truck to their great profit. Herapath, in England, quotes Stevenson, in 1839, as saying that this American locomotive improvement was ingenious.


Horatio Allen left New York on January 24, and arrived at Liverpool on February 15, 1828. (This was before a B. & O. group, which followed, left America.) Six days later, he met George Stephenson "with whom he immediately established most agreeable relations; receiving from him every kindness and all the aid he could render." Allen visited the Liverpool and Manchester, the Stockton and Darlington, and Newcastle, the center of locomotive and railroad matters. At Stourbridge, he received rail bids from Foster, Rastrick and Co., and in the Welsh iron regions from the Guest Iron Works, at Merthyr Tydvil, the scene of Trevethick's 1804 locomotive trials.


On July 19, Allen reported to the Delaware and Hudson Company that he had contracted with Robert Stephenson and Co., of Newcastle, for a locomotive, the "Pride of Newcastle," and for three with Foster, Rastrick & Co., of Stourbridge. The Stephenson engine left Newcastle on October 20, 1828, on the ship " Columbia," and arrived in New York on January 15, 1829, at a delivery cost of $3,633.30. After assembly at the foundry of Abell and Dunscomb, 375 Water Street, it was demonstrated under steam (on blocks), on May 27, to the great amusement of crowds attracted by the novelty of a steam locomotive.


The "Stourbridge Lion" left Stourbridge in February, 1829, Liverpool, on April 8, aboard the "John Jay," and arrived at New York, May 13. Landed at the wharf of the West Point Foundry at the foot of Beach Street, the "Stourbridge Lion" was set up at this company's shop under the direction of William Kemble. After a demonstration under steam, on June 11, 1828, which attracted thousands, it and the "Pride of Newcastle" were sent up the Hudson, arriving at Roundout on July 4. The "Lion" arrived at Honesdale and the railroad before July 23.


On the morning of August 8, 1829, two months before the Rainhill Trials of the Liverpool and Manchester, Engineer Allen and the " Stourbridge Lion" made the first trip on a commercial railroad in the New World. A second trial of the same locomotive followed on September 9. Engineer Allen later expressed the belief that had the Stephenson locomotive, (the "Pride of Newcastle," modeled on Stephenson's winner, the "Rocket") been prepared for the trials at Honesdale, Pa., rather than the "Stourbridge Lion," the U. S. would have had the glory of the first successful locomotive trial rather than England. However, the light track structure was unable to carry the burden of the overweight, operating locomotive, and as a result these four pioneer English locomotives never hauled coal for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. D. & H. stock dropped from $82 to $74 per share when news of the unsuccessful trials reached Wall Street by the middle of August, 1829.


Horatio Allen had been hired by the South Carolina Railroad as chief engineer, early in the summer of 1829, but his duties did not begin until September. He worked for that pioneer line until 1834. After a three-year visit to Europe, Allen become engineer of the New York and Erie Railroad. These roads, the longest in the world when projected, though built on the pile system advocated by John Stevens. in 1811, received English ideas from Allen. That Allen's faith in the locomotive was unshaken, even though the Delaware and Hudson locomotives had failed, was forcibly demonstrated when he convinced the South Carolina Railroad of the value of locomotives, in September, 1829. Further, this recommendation was accepted by the Board without a dissenting vote. If this adoption did take place in September, 1829, then the South Carolina committed itself to the use of steam before the Liverpool and Manchester Trials, as Allen and others claim. However, the date of adoption may have been January 14, 1830. Allen's arguments were based on Stockton and Darlington costs, and, most effective, a comparison of the expectation of development possible in the steam engine with small chances of improvement in the breeding of horses. One Allen recommendation, however, that a flange rail be used on the line, was not accepted because of higher costs. This type of rail was used only on the few curves of the road.


E. L. Miller, the Charleston merchant, whose interest in the future of railroading drew him to Liverpool to witness the Rainhill Trials of October 6, 1829, returned to Charleston convinced of the value of the locomotive. Earlier, Miller exhibited a thirty-inch-long model, with a boiler holding only a gallon of water, but capable of pulling a man on a circular seventy-foot track, in Charleston, during February, 1830. Backing his belief with action, he made an offer to the Board of Directors of the South Carolina road to personally finance the construction of a locomotive. Upon the acceptance of his proposition by the Board, on March 1, 1830, Miller contracted with the West Point Foundry, who had set up and demonstrated the "Stourbridge Lion" for the Delaware and Hudson, to construct the " Best Friend of Charleston. " Designed by C. E. Detmold, of Charleston and New York, the engine was to be capable of ten miles per hour and pull three times it own weight. Miller supervised construction and explained its features to visiting directors during the summer of 1830.


Exhibited under steam at N. Y. before shipment, in October, 1830, the "Best Friend of Charleston" arrived at Charleston on October 22. As no machinist accompanied the shipment, the local firm of Dotterer and Eason assembled the engine. Julius D. Petsch and Nicholas Darrell, apprentices of Thomas Dotterer, had the "Best Friend" ready for experimental trials before November 1. Miller and others made the first trial trip with Darrell as engineer on the next day. The rigid front wheels with wooden spokes, then English style, sprang sufficiently on the curves that the engine derailed. With this weakness corrected, Miller accepted the locomotive on December 9. On trials made on December 14 and 15 the "Best Friend" ran at speeds from sixteen to twenty miles per hour pulling four and five cars, each carrying ten passengers. The railroad purchased the "Best Friend" from Miller on December 24, 1830.


Miller's influence on the locomotive didn't end with this single purchase. He visited Baldwin shortly after that manufacturer's first locomotive, "Old Ironsides," successfully operated on the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad, on November 23, 1832, and suggested that Baldwin visit the Mohawk and Hudson line in New York, to observe the operation of the unpatented, Jervis four-wheeled, pivoting front truck. as a substitute for the pair of rigid front wheels. Baldwin adoption of this design brought an order from Miller for Baldwin's second locomotive, the "E. L. Miller," a 4-2-0 with Baldwin's newly invented half-crank, a Bury boiler and brass driving wheels. This locomotive was completed February 18, 1834.


In 1834 he patented a method for increasing locomotive adhesion which threw part of the tender's weight on the rear of the engine. Baldwin first paid $100 royalty per locomotive for the use of this idea then purchased the rights for $9000, on May 6, 1839.


The "West Point," the second locomotive on the South Carolina Railroad, was also built by the West Point Foundry, but on designs drawn up by Horatio Allen. English influence was reflected in its horizontal boiler. The South Carolina eight-wheeled locomotives, also designed by Allen and built by the same firm, were an American innovation, but their double-valve arrangement was styled after the practice of the Liverpool and Manchester


The Camden and Amboy Stephenson locomotive, "John Bull, " served as a model for the South Carolina's seventh West-Point-built locomotive, the "Hamburg," in 1833. Finally, this line, goaded by its -stockholders, imported, in the years 1834-36, fourteen English locomotives to bolster its motive power.


The wreckage of the "Best Friend," after its boiler exploded in June, 1831, was rebuilt by Julius Petsch in Thomas Dotterer's machine shop. Renamed " Phoenix " and having outside connections, straight axles, and cast wheels with wrought-iron tires, this rebuilt engine was back in road service on October 18, 1832. With this construction experience plus that gained in the original assembly of the "Best Friend," Dotterer and Eason ventured to contract for the building of a locomotive for the South Carolina Railroad, on Dotterer's plans, in 1833-34. "Native," the first locomotive built in the South, was the first American locomotive originally built with outside connections and straight axles. Demonstrating great power on its trial trip, the four-ton "Native," after an excruciating delay to its designer, triumphantly returned with the cause of the delay, the disabled regular engine and its train. Horatio Allen praised this Charleston creation for extreme simplicity of operation, direct application of power and substantial workmanship. Costing $4,900, the "Native" earned $187, during AprilÉ


At Charleston, between 1835 and 1837, Eason and Dotterer and Thomas Dotterer built four locomotives for the South Carolina line. In 1838, D. H. Dotterer and Company sent two locomotives to the same road, but, according to the Berks and Schuylkill Journal, of Reading, Pa., the "Branchville" and the "Reading" were constructed at Reading, Pa., where the factory was probably attracted by the increasing supply of iron in the Schuylkill Valley. In 1840 Dotterer and Company, employing thirty journeymen and sixteen apprentices and having an annual capacity of twelve locomotives, rebuilt three engines and constructed six first-class locomotives. The State of Pennsylvania purchased eight locomotives between 1839 and 1841, from this builder, six for the State Road from Philadelphia to Columbia, and two for the Allegheny Portage. The "Lycoming, " a 4-2-0, sold to the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad in 1842, is listed as Dotterer's ninth engine. Later this same year, the "Reading," a 4-4-0, followed from the Reading factory, to the same road.


The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad created shops at Reading soon after its 1838 opening. At first this company borrowed Dotterer's experienced workmen to help solve their engine repair problems; as greater repair capacity was needed and more skilled workmen required, the Philadelphia and Reading bought Dotterer's equipment. Thus, Thomas and D. H. Dotterer lost their identity in the gulping expansion of the Philadelphia and Reading locomotive shops, but, in doing so, became, through Horatio Allen and E. L. Miller, an additional link of English influence on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.


In 1828, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad sent engineer Jonathan Knight, inventor Ross Winans, and two West Point-trained engineers, William McNeil, and George W. Whistler, to examine "minutely English track construction and locomotive development on every line of note of consequence." The group left the United States in November, 1828, and returned (except Winans) in May, 1829. During their visit the engineers contacted George Stephenson and other noted English engineers of the day and examined the operating Brunton and Shields and the Stockton and Darlington railroads. The construction of heavy stone bridges and stone-slab rail was the chief immediate result to the Baltimore and Ohio, while the whole United States benefited from the English experiences of this four-man tour.


Whistler, at the conclusion of his work on the Baltimore and Ohio, engineered the Baltimore and Susquehanna (June, 1830), the Paterson and Hudson (1831), the Boston and Providence, and the Providence and Stonington, and also served as consulting engineer on the Western Railroad of Massachusetts. McNeil built the Long Island, the Taunton and New Bedford, the Boston and Worcester, surveyed the South Carolina-sponsored, never-built Charleston, Louisville and Cincinnati and worked with his brother-in-law Whistler on the Providence and Stonington. Knight spent his professional life, until 1842, as chief engineer of the B. & O., with B. H. Latrobe as his assistant. By 1840 both Knight and McNeil had published eleven pamphlets and reports on railroads.


Like Charlestonian E. 1. Miller, Ross Winans was much more than a passive spectator at the Rainhill Trials. He was the first American to contribute to English railroading; his car axles with outside journal bearings were used on the Liverpool and Manchester early in 1829. Unlike engineers Knight, McNeil and Whistler, Winans spent an entire year in England investigating railroads, locomotive and car construction and negotiating for the English use of his axle and journals.


The B. & O., after considering the reports on English locomotives by Knight, McNeil and Whistler, and the opinions expressed by engineers in England, had decided that these rigid large-wheeled locomotives with long wheel base were unsuited for their sharp-curved line. Stockholder Peter Cooper thought otherwise, as did Winans. Active in the formation of the B. & O. since January, 1828, Winans, upon his return to Baltimore, in addition to the construction of the first eight-wheeled passenger car, assisted Cooper in the building and trial operations of Cooper's "Tom Thumb." This tiny engine, weighing less than a ton, with thirty-inch wheels and a wheel base of about five feet, or little more than the track gauge, made a trial run in 1829. After adjustments, the "Tom Thumb" forcefully demonstrated, on August 28, 1830, its ability by taking the sharp curves of the Baltimore and Ohio at fifteen miles per hour, and pulling four-and-a-half tons. Winans reported the "Tom Thumb" results to President Thomas of the B. & O., in a letter the day of the trial. Comparing the performance to the Rainhill Trials, (and mentioning that he had seen them) Winans credited the "Tom Thumb," in proportion to its cylinder capacity, with three times the power of Stephenson's "Rocket. " This was possible because Cooper used high-pressure steam. Further, Winans held that this trial established the practicability of the use of locomotives on the Baltimore and Ohio.


Winans was the Baltimore and Ohio's Assistant Engineer of Machinery at the time that line held its own "Rainhill Trials," advertised on January 4, 1831, to take place June 1, 1831. Number four of the nine conditions specified a four-foot wheelbase to suit short curves. Like Rainhill, only one of the four locomotives, the "York," performed to the specifications of the contest. Built by Phineas Davis and Israel Gardner at York, Pa., the winner was similar to the "Tom Thumb" in that it had the short wheel-base and an upright boiler. Steel springs were an 1832 innovation on this locomotive.


After the accidental death of Davis, Winans with George Gillingham, a Baltimore and Ohio Superintendent of Machinery, succeeded, in 1836, to the 1834 lease of the Mt. Clare shops to Davis and Gardner, by the Baltimore and Ohio. (In the meantime, Winans is credited with aiding the original firm in the construction of the locomotives, the "Atlantic," in 1832, and the "Traveler," in 1833, at York, Pa.) For several years Gillingham and Winans, with a hundred man labor force, repaired B. & O. equipment on a cost-plus basis, as well as building locomotives for other roads. However, the Baltimore and Ohio had first call on their production, at $5000 per engine, should the need arise.


Winans patented, on July 29, 1837, an upright-boilered locomotive, with four coupled drive-wheels, propelled by horizontal cylinders. The advantages claimed for this short-wheel-base engine were the lower center of gravity, better rail adhesion and greater facility to negotiate sharp curves. In about fifteen months the partners built six of these ten-ton engines and, in 1838, two weighing over fourteen tons for the Baltimore and Ohio. All were the patented type, best known as "crabs, " because the cylinder-propelled spur shaft, which was geared to the drivers, revolved in the opposite direction to the pinion shaft and the driving wheels. The Philadelphia and Reading, being built to carry anthracite to tide, probably because his engines burned anthracite, bought, in 1837, the Winans-built "Delaware." This "crab"-type 0-4-0 locomotive was the first engine to arrive at Reading, Pa., the city soon to become a railroad and locomotive building center. Three twenty-ton 0-8-0 vertical-boilered "crabs, " built by Baldwin on Winans' design, went to the Western Railroad of Massachusetts.


Meanwhile, the Baltimore and Ohio used upright-boilered locomotives exclusively. The 1836 delivery of the English-built "Tennessee" to the Winchester and Potomac Railroad, a line branching off the Baltimore and Ohio at Harpers Ferry, into Virginia, attended with recurring derailments on curves, convinced the management of the correctness of their opinions regarding horizontal-boilered engines. Rumors that Pennsylvania was about to discontinue the use of a hundred-thousand dollars worth of English engines clinched the argument. This report was partly true; Baldwin's better performing locomotives were replacing their English rivals.


A change of great importance in the motive power ideas of the Baltimore and Ohio occurred in 1837, under the leadership of a new president, Louis McLane. Between 1838 and 1843, the line purchased fifteen 4-4-0 locomotives from Eastwick and Harrison, and William Norris. The "Philip E. Thomas," built by Norris in June, 1838, was the first horizontal-boilered engine on the Baltimore and Ohio. More direct English influence in design was the locomotive "Arrow, " an inside-connected (inside cylinders and driving rods) 4-4-0, built by the Newcastle Company of Delaware. Other far-reaching occurrences during the presidency of Louis McLane will be related later.


All Winans' engines to this time had vertical boilers, which permitted a very short wheel base, but now he had to adopt the English horizontal boiler. After building three horizontal-boilered 4-4-0s for the Baltimore and Ohio, between 1843 and 1845, he placed a horizontal boiler on an 0-8-0 with his "crab" running gear. This engine, nicknamed a "mud digger' " was a predecessor of Winans' famous 0-8-0 "camels." Twelve "mud diggers" were built between 1844 and 1846, for the Baltimore and Ohio. In 1847, the Philadelphia and Reading, again because they desired anthracite burning locomotives, purchased four thirty-ton Winans 0-8-0s with a short 11' 3" wheel base. The "Baltimore" came to the P. & R. in June, 1847. Performance is reflected by the $2000 bonus which the P. & R. gave Winans.


Forty-three sisters followed to the Reading between 1850 and 1855. The Baltimore and Ohio purchased three of these Winans 0-8-0s in 1848, naming the first the "Camel," because its cab was placed on top of the boiler, not to the rear, thus naming his new-style locomotive. Ten additional followed during 1851, and the company built two in its Mt. Clare shops. By 1858 this line owned 119 of these powerful Winans freight haulers. On May 9, 1854, Winans received a patent on the large firebox and grates, features of the "Camels, " which made him a large fortune. He retired from the locomotive business after 1860.


Philadelphia soon felt the results of Baltimore's 1828 engineer excursion to England. While the Baltimore and Ohio was deterred for nine years, by its sharp curves, from the purchase or manufacture of locomotives on the English style, Colonel Stephen H. Long (l784-l864) engineer on that pioneer line from 1827 to 1830, was sufficiently impressed by the English experiences of Winans, Whistler, McNeil and Knight, that he began to manufacture locomotives in 1830; the same year he co-authored with McNeil a two-volume report on Baltimore and Ohio engineering. Colonel Long, when he received a Pennsylvania charter for his American Steam Carriage Co., in March, 1830, began the construction of his first locomotive, in Philadelphia. Modeled on English design, with several improvements, (one perhaps on his own patent of 1826) this three-and-a-half ton engine operated with varying degrees of success on the Frenchtown and Newcastle Railroad, in Delaware. The July 4th, 1831, trial was disappointing; a shortage of steam did not permit a continuous two-mile run. The next day, the engine propelled two passenger coaches, with some seventy persons, four miles, and had fifty pounds of steam at the trip's end. Long brought the locomotive to Philadelphia, to build a new boiler. Trials at Newcastle, on Oct. 31, 1831, were again disappointing. Alone, the engine would travel at twenty-five miles per hour, but it could not pull a load. Joseph Harrison, Jr., who soon after this time worked for Long, held that this locomotive would have been successful had Long "more faithfully copied " his English model.


Philadelphian William Norris (1802-1867) built a steam carriage which attracted the attention of Colonel Long. Disregarding his own failure, Long entered partnership with Norris in 1832, and, while the firm lasted only three years, the later success of Norris and the Philadelphia locomotive builders, which developed out of this partnership, was phenomenal. The "Black Hawk, " the firm's first product, operated on the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown in 1833. An inside connected 2-2-0, it had a novel boiler with seven-foot flues. Its single pair of four-and-a-half foot drivers were located ahead of the boiler. Discarding Stephenson's steam exhaust as a means of creating a firebox draft, Long substituted a twenty-foot smoke stack, which could be retracted to clear low bridges. Long and Norris built four duplicates of the "Black Hawk" during 1834. In this year Norris bought out Long.


Norris, hiring skilled mechanics to replace the mechanical and engineering know-how lost in Long's departure, produced several mediocre-performing locomotives on designs which had proved successful with other locomotive builders. However, Norris came up with a winner in his 1836 "George Washington, " a 4-2-0 with four-foot driving wheels located ahead of the firebox. On July 19, 1836, this six-and-three-quarter ton locomotive climbed the 187-foot high Belmont Plane on the west shore of the Schuylkill River, with two cars and fifty-three passengers. Only two minutes and twenty-four seconds were consumed in this half-mile climb on a grade of 369 feet to the mile, a rate of 151/2 mph.


Herapath's English Railroad Magazine, after reporting this accomplishment, dismissed the American feat as "utterly impossible. " This same magazine, in reporting that Norris had sold to Austria eight-ton locomotives capable of pulling 309 tons on level track, said sarcastically,  "No engine will draw more than twenty-eight times its own weight. [224 tons] . . . Unless, therefore, the laws of nature be different in America to what they are in England, we venture to say the stated performances of Philadelphia engines are impossibilities." The 1837 purchase of seventeen Norris locomotives by the Birmingham and Gloucester Railroad reflects Norris's reputation in England, rather than Herapath's statements.


Harrison, the long-Norris employee already mentioned, held that the "George Washington" was "an heir of the earlier efforts of Colonel Long, " and explained that this amazing performance was made possible by an adjustment of the tender draw bar, which threw extra weight on the rear of the locomotive, thus greatly increasing traction. With the success of the "George Washington" Norris became famous; he successfully built locomotives for the next thirty years. Septimus Norris, a brother, patented a ten-wheel locomotive, the 4-6-0, in 1846.


In 1835 Garrett and Eastwick, Philadelphia steam engine and machinery manufacturers, received an order to build a locomotive for the Beaver Meadow Railroad, the first rail line in the Lehigh Valley to use locomotives. Garrett, who, as a manufacturer of lathes, had employed machinist, Joseph Harrison, Jr., during the years 1832-33, now re-hired him as foreman of the new locomotive factory. Harrison had spent the years away from Garrett working as a machinist for Long and Norris and Norris and Co. In 1837, with twelve years of machinist experience behind him, Harrison became a partner in the firm.


The company's first locomotive, "Samuel Ingham, " was a 4-2-0 with outside cylinders; its driving wheels were behind the firebox, and the boiler was the domed Bury type. Eastwick used for the first time on this engine his newly patented method of reversing a locomotive, which was easy to build and effective in operation. Another first was the use of a covered rear platform for the protection of the engineer and fireman. The success of this locomotive brought orders for duplicates.


In 1836, Henry Campbell, of Philadelphia, patented the use of four driving wheels on a locomotive, placing one pair before and the other behind the firebox. Using this patent, Garrett and Eastwick built a fifteen ton 4-4-0, "Hercules," in 1836-37, for the Beaver Meadow Railroad. Eastwick also applied to this engine his patented center pivoting frame, an improvement which allowed the four driving wheels to adjust themselves easily to the inequalities of the light track of that day. The Beaver Meadow track structure from Parryville, on the Lehigh Canal, to Beaver Meadow, consisted of 5" x 7" wooden rails, capped with 2-1/4" x 5/8" iron: ties were three feet apart where the wooden rail consisted of 5" x 7" timbers, and four feet center-to-center under 5" x 8" rail. An underlying mudsill of 2-1/2'' thickness and a width of 10" or 12" was beneath the ties and under the rails. With its weight so well distributed, this track supported the (nearly) four ton per axle of the "Hercules." Another Eastwick patent, an improved firebox, was noted in England by Herapath, in 1839.


 Harrison, a junior partner in 1838, patented, that year, an improvement on Eastwick's frame, an equalizing lever, which supported the driving wheels, which was simpler, lighter and cheaper to build. In a very short time all locomotive builders were paying Harrison royalty on this improvement.


This was the stage of locomotive development when Moncure Robinson ordered the "Gowan and Marx" from Eastwick and Harrison. To meet the specification that this locomotive carry nine of its eleven tons on its drivers, Eastwick & Harrison moved the rear axle to a point just in front of the center line of the firebox. With a five-foot firebox, a Bury boiler, 2"x5' flues and 42" diameter drivers, this engine handled 423 tons, forty times its own weight, on Feb. 20, 1840, from Reading to Philadelphia at nearly ten miles per hour. The Philadelphia and Reading immediately ordered ten duplicates from the Locks and Canals Company, of Lowell, Mass. The successful performance of the "Gowan and Marx " attracted the attention of Russian engineers inspecting American railroads for their government. Upon their offer, Harrison visited Russia, in 1843, and, with Thomas Winans, a son of Ross Winans, contracted, as Harrison, Winans and Eastwick, to build locomotives for the Russian government, in Russia. Eastwick and Harrison closed their Philadelphia plant in 1844.


Visits to England, which were of great importance to the United States, continued after the Rainhill Trials. The Stevens-backed Delaware and Raritan River, for which New Jersey legislative approval had been secured on February 6, 1815, was revived as the Camden and Amboy R. R., within six months after the L. & M. success. Robert L. Stevens, the Colonel's son, visited England, met and established friendly relations with George Stephenson, attended the trial of his new-type locomotive, the "Planet," on December 4, 1830. Designed as a freight engine, the "Planet" carried the first freight, fifty-one tons, between Liverpool and Manchester. In this lading were 135 bags and bales of American cotton. Two days later, Stevens ordered a reproduction of this engine, the important and famous "John Bull," which made its first run on the Camden and Amboy, on November 12, 1831. Of equal or greater importance was the incentive the "John Bull" presented to American mechanics. Robert Stevens also purchased English-made rails for the Camden and Amboy while on this trip. Made on his own design, this rail, 39 pounds to the yard, was the beginning of the American "T" rail, which, unlike the English, was laid directly on the ties, thus saving the cost of chairs.


Solomon White Roberts (1811-1882) was present at the birth of the railroad in Pennsylvania, having assisted his uncle, Josiah White, in building the 1827 Mauch Chunk Railroad. After locating the Portage Railroad of the Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works across the Alleghenies, Roberts visited Welsh and English iron districts to inspect rail being rolled for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. In addition to English railroad practice, Roberts brought information about the new Welsh hot-blast iron reduction using anthracite coal. The Thomas Iron Company was instituted in the Lehigh Valley, in 1839, as a direct result. As the Lehigh Coal and Navigation helped finance this furnace to increase its freight income, so the Lehigh Valley R. R. interests later aided in the construction of the blast furnace of the Bethlehem Iron Company. To credit the presence of Bethlehem Steel in the Lehigh Valley today to Roberts' visit is not outside the realm of potentiality.


Through Roberts' visits English influence reached several railroads. He worked on the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna as chief engineer, in 1838-39. This pioneer line attempted to link the Schuylkill, Lehigh and Susquehanna Valleys, and is today divided into the Reading Company's Catawissa Branch and part of the Lehigh Valley's Quakake line. In 1848 Roberts surveyed an extension of the 1828 Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven Railroad to Ashland, in the second Anthracite Field, and, finally, he built and managed the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad, now the Pittsburgh-Crestline, Ohio, portion of the Pennsylvania Main Line to Chicago.


One of the last visits to England by early American railroad men was that of politician, financier, and diplomat Louis McLane. McLane became president of the Baltimore and Ohio in 1837, and directed expansion westward and financial operations for a decade, and, as already mentioned, adopted English-style locomotives, thus forcing Ross Winans to drop his use of the upright boiler. McLane had been Minister to England, (1829-1831) served in Jackson's cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury (1831-1834) until the president's dispute with the Bank of the United States, when he was shifted to the State Department. Upon his retirement from public service in 1834, he became president of the Morris Canal and Banking Company of New Jersey.


McLane brought added transportation and financial know-how gained in this combination banking house and transportation company, which, with the Biddle Pennsylvania-chartered Bank of the United States, controlled a paper canal and railroad route extending from New York, via the Lehigh River, through the Susquehanna Valley, into Western New York, and from Philadelphia, via the building Philadelphia and Reading and the completed Little Schuylkill Railroads. After building and operating an anthracite-carrying canal from Newark to the Lehigh River's junction with the Delaware, at Phillipsburg, N. J., these companies financed railroad construction from the Lehigh, via the Beaver Meadow and the Little Schuylkill Railroads, to Catawissa on the North Branch, and Williamsport on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, through today's Carbon and Schuylkill counties. The Williamsport and Erie Railroad was to extend this line towards Erie Canal and the projected New York and Erie Railroad. In the financial smashup following the Panic of 1837 and the crash in 1841, funds of Indiana and Michigan, whose bonds the Morris Canal and Banking Company had purchased on credit and marketed, were so involved in the partly constructed Little Schuylkill that both states were forced to default their interest payments and refinance their state obligations largely owned in England.


 McLane in an initial effort to extend the Baltimore and Ohio from Harpers Ferry to the revenue producing Cumberland Coal Fields ordered engineers Knight and Latrobe to make a survey of locomotive operation and track construction of American railroads. This resulted in the adoption of the horizontal, English style locomotive by the Baltimore and Ohio, as already related. As president of the Baltimore and Ohio, McLane twice visited England. In 1840 he arranged with Baring Brothers a special issue of 6 percent bonds (issued June, 1842) to finance the rails necessary to reach the coal field. Seven shiploads of fifty-four pound English rail enabled the line to reach Cumberland by November 5, 1842. Thus, McLane and Barings enabled the Baltimore and Ohio to increase its income, not only to meet interest on these special rail bonds, but also to pay dividends on stock owned by Maryland and Baltimore. These dividends in turn aided Maryland to resume interest on her bonded debt largely held in England. The Baltimore and Ohio was one of the few state-sponsored enterprises at this time able to meet its interest out of its own revenues. McLane returned to England in a dual role in 1844. In addition to unsuccessful efforts to secure more financial aid to the Baltimore and Ohio, he served as U. S. Minister for the settlement of the Oregon Question. A detailed study of English railroads, made by him at this time, resulted in a management plan for the B. & O., which lasted for years.




English-built locomotives were a direct and indirect influence on American railroad activities. Not only did they eventually prove their own practicability, but their very presence became a challenge to American ingenuity. The building of locomotives by the West Point Foundry, after that company's experience in setting up the "Stourbridge Lion," has been recounted, as has Jervis' invention of the four-wheeled, pivoting truck, which enabled locomotives to manipulate the sharp curves of most lines.


Matthias Baldwin, founder of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, builders of locomotives today near Philadelphia, began his career as an apprentice jeweler and opened a shop of his own, in 1819. As the demand for jewelry fell off, he shifted into machinist work in partnership with David Mason. Unsatisfied with the operation of a steam engine purchased to power their shop, Baldwin built an engine on a very compact design. Occupying only a space five feet square, it was natural that orders for similar engines followed.


To capitalize on the great public interest of the time in locomotives and railroads, Franklin Peale, proprietor of the Philadelphia Museum, requested Baldwin to construct a model locomotive. Relying only on the descriptions and sketches of the Rainhill Trial locomotives as a guide, the machinists completed the model capable of drawing four persons, and had it operating on a circular track in the museum, on April 25, 1831. This demonstration of constructive skill brought Baldwin an order for a full-scale locomotive from the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad. About this same time the Newcastle and Frenchtown Railroad, the line linking the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays hired Baldwin to assemble two Stephenson locomotives. On this assembly job Baldwin gained experience through handling parts of English locomotives in the latest design and of the best workmanship. Further, as a skilled mechanic, he had the opportunity of making accurate measurements and drawings. In addition, the Philadelphian visited Bordentown, N. J., to inspect the unassembled "John Bull," modeled on Stephenson's "Planet." The Frenchtown and Newcastle experiences and a memoranda of principal dimensions of the "John Bull" served Baldwin well in the construction of "Old Ironsides." A close copy of the Frenchtown and Newcastle English engines, Baldwin's locomotive performed successfully, making about twenty-eight miles per hour, on November 23, 1832, and later thirty with its usual train. Baldwin had introduced at least one improvement of his own on his initial engine; the reverse gear was not copied from the English models. However, Baldwin's second locomotive, the already discussed "E. L. Miller, " had a "Bury" or haystack boiler, an English design used on all Baldwin locomotives until 1850.


One of the five locomotives completed by Baldwin, in 1834, was the "Lancaster," a 4-2-0 duplicate of the "E. L. Miller." The ability of this engine to handle nineteen loaded cars across the grades of the State Railroad between Philadelphia and Columbia, on the Susquehanna, convinced the Pennsylvania State Legislature to adopt steam power. Two duplicates began work on this railroad later this same year.


Four Baldwin improvements, patented in 1834, were applied to that year's production: a half-crank drive which employed the wheel itself as the other half, making crank construction much simpler; a new method of constructing wheels; ground joints for steam pipes, which replaced the canvas and red-lead used on English engines of this time, enabled Baldwin to use 120 pounds of pressure compared to the English sixty; and an easy-to-clean feedwater pump which was built into the piston-rod guide. These improvements gave Baldwin's locomotives such a degree of efficiency that the Stephenson engines on the State Railroad were either laid aside or sold. The "Blackhawk," one of the fourteen engines built in 1835, was the first Baldwin locomotive to have outside connected drivers, as well as the first upon which Miller's patent for increasing track adhesion was used. Baldwin began the standardization of parts, the great feature of the American machine age, on his 1839 locomotives. The outside frame was discarded on his hundred and thirty-sixth engine, and the eight-wheeled tender was first used this year. Baldwin's 1842 invention of the flexible-beam driving truck, which enabled a heavier six-coupled driving-wheel locomotive, (an 0-6-0) to safely negotiate sharp curves, and pull a greater load, brought him financial success at a time when he verged on failure. As Eastwick and Harrison had done, Baldwin bought patents of others. E. L. Miller's has been mentioned several times. In addition, he purchased, in 1845, the rights to Campbell's eight-wheeled engine and Eastwick and Harrison's equalizing beam. Thus equipped, he built his first eight wheeled locomotive in 1845.


Beginning with number one, " Old Ironsides, " Baldwin saw his production reach a thousand in 1861. His company was well on its way for the second thousand, achieved in 1869, when its founder died in 1866.


The career of George W. Whistler has been traced through his engineering life in the United States except for one facet, that as a locomotive builder. While managing the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals, of Lowell, in 1834, Whistler reproduced a British locomotive, which the Boston and Lowell Railroad had imported. Whistler, as the Baltimore and Ohio had sent himself nearly a decade before, sent an employee, Burt, to England to observe Stephenson's latest operations. Whistler having contracted to construct railroads in Russia, left the Lowell locomotive plant in 1837.


English influence in several forms enters the story of the New Jersey Rogers Locomotive Works. Starting a chain of reaction was the first locomotive to be operated on the Whistler-engineered Paterson and Hudson Railroad, the English-built "McNeill." As the West Point Foundry adapted from the pioneer Delaware and Hudson locomotives, Baldwin from the "John Bull," and Whistler from the English locomotives of the Boston and Lowell Railroad, so Engineer Swinburne, with the aid of English-trained mechanical draftsman Hodge, drew from the "McNeil!." Both men were employees of the manufacturing firm of Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor of Paterson, N. J., whose sole railroad experience, until this 1835 incident, had been the construction of a hundred sets of wheels for the South Carolina Railroad, on a contract from Horatio Allen.


Sixteen months later number one of this firm emerged as the  Sandusky," and became, when sold, the first locomotive owned by the Ohio pioneer line, (other than the Michigan-built Kalamazoo and Erie) the Mad River and Lake Erie. When the "Sandusky" arrived at Sandusky, Ohio, November 17, 1837, aboard the schooner "Sandusky," there was no track built; its gauge, 4' 10", set the standard for the owning line and the State of Ohio. Rogers' notable improvement on this locomotive over the "McNeill" was the first use of counterbalanced driving wheels. Rogers built seven additional locomotives in 1837. Englishman Hodges, while visiting his homeland in 1847, sent the Rogers Company a drawing of Robert Stephenson's unpatented 1842 link-motion valve control, which became a standard on Rogers locomotives. This transmittal, however, was not the movement of an English practice across the Atlantic, but the return of American innovation first used by William T. James, of New York, in 1832. Rogers' locomotive "Stockbridge," this same year, pioneered with outside cylinders.


William S. Hudson was even a closer link between Rogers and England. After working as an apprentice and working for Stephenson, in Newcastle, Hudson emigrated to America. From the position of  Master Mechanic with the Attica and Buffalo Railroad, he moved to Paterson as superintendent of the Rogers Locomotive Works, In 1864 Hudson patented a method of equalizing the springs of the front pair of locomotive driving wheels with those of a two-wheeled leading truck, thus securing a three-point suspension for the engine. Both Rogers and Baldwin used this device. It is fitting to add that Engineer Swinburne, who helped initiate Rogers and Paterson, N. J. into the locomotive business, Alger-like, became the proprietor and operator of his own locomotive works. It is sad to relate that he lost most of his fortune in the railroad-inspired depression of 1857.




In addition to the several English publications already mentioned, London newspapers and magazines carried the latest railroad information to United States subscribers. George W. Smith's English-inspired articles appeared in seventy American papers. A steady stream of reprints of English materials, sponsored by the Federal and State governments, societies, cities, and railroad companies, flowed from the press before and after the 1829 Rainhill Trials.


Two 1825 treatises on railroads came across the Atlantic in quantities too small for the demand. An American edition of Tredgold's work was reprinted in New York the same year as it appeared in London, while Carey and Lea, Philadelphia publishers of many railroad pamphlets during this period, reissued Wood's book in 1832. Editor George W. Smith, in bringing this work up to date by his own comments from current English sources and chapters on American railroads, criticized the canal policy of Pennsylvania and predicted the absolute necessity of linking and extending the state-owned railroads to Pittsburgh, even before the hybrid canal-rail system began operations. In 1826 Carey and Lea reproduced the two-volume work of English Civil Engineer John Nicholson. A revised American edition followed within five years.


The hunger of the American public for the most recent information from England is reflected by the two editions of Strickland's single letter and a September, 1825, Liverpool and Birmingham Railroad Report which his Society issued in the same year. Three editions, within two months, of a railroad pamphlet, based on material from an essay by the Highland Society of Edinburgh, further illustrates this desire. Carey and Lea published Strickland's 1826 Report of fifty pages, and accompanied it with a six-page resume.


There was no sectional monopoly in this progressive work; the 1825 Virginia House of Delegates ordered Grahame's London edition on railroads and canals to be republished in Richmond. The pre-incorporation organization of the Baltimore and Ohio reported, on Feb. 19, 1827, that 2000 miles of completed and building English railroads had convinced many Englishmen and Americans that railroads would supersede canals, as the canals had replaced turnpikes in England. The spokesman for American canal interests, the Chesapeake and Ohio, whose route paralleled that of the Baltimore and Ohio up the Potomac Valley, and a competitor for Maryland financial backing, issued and circulated adverse facts on the English lines. These often were printed in the same volume as the pro-railroad facts. House of Representatives Document No. 101 is an example. The canal side accused the Baltimore and Ohio of gathering its 1827 arguments from Thomas Gray's Observations on a General Iron Railroad. Though this work warranted five English editions by 1825, seemingly it was overlooked by American publishers. Columbia Professor Renwick's four editions of Lardner's work, from 1828 to 1838, needs to be recalled in this classification. Apparently, shortly before Rainhill, the Baltimore and Ohio, in a probable effort to justify its calls for city, state, and national aid, publicized, in 1829, the results of English railroad experiments, without mention of the Trials.


Stephenson's success at Rainhill, in October, 1829, which the United States was "anticipating . . . with eager hope," found this country "ripe to accept the results." Though the locomotive was now generally accepted in the United States, the Liverpool and Manchester results, magic words, were called to the attention of the American public for another decade.


Josiah White, the builder of the 1827 Mauch Chunk railroad in the Lehigh Valley, in a letter of May 18, 1830, referred to an article on Liverpool and Manchester locomotive operating costs, which appeared in the London Mechanics Magazine of October, 1829. Part of White's letter and the reference to the Liverpool and Manchester were reprinted in a congressional document.


Massachusetts described the Liverpool and Manchester locomotive success story in an 1830 Internal Improvement Report, and, the same year, Paterson, N. J., reproduced an accurate description of it in a thirty-page pamphlet, as an argument for the success of their proposed railroad to the Hudson River. John Stevens' son, Edwin, made reference to a Liverpool and Manchester Report in Mar. 1830. To satisfy a public demand, Carey and Lea, in 1831, included a description and additional L. & M. facts in a 206-page book. The next year Congress republished accounts of the Liverpool and Manchester dating from both before and after Rainhill, in Document 101. Two years later the same body cited Liverpool and Manchester costs in a pamphlet favoring the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal.


Not all accounts were favorable. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and its friends seized upon both the locomotive upkeep costs and track damages reported by the Liverpool and Manchester as arguments for building canals. The South Carolina Railroad recorded in their motive power investigations English accounts of 1831, which told of the great repair expense for Liverpool and Manchester locomotives, and that usually only one-third, six or seven of twenty-four owned, were fit for use. Horatio Allen made a comparison with the locomotive weights of the L. & M. in determining the one-and-a-half ton axle weight limits for the South Carolina line. A South Carolina report two years later told that six months' repair and maintenance of the L. & M. locomotives cost $52,910, which, including track repairs made the yearly cost $175,000. Working and repair cost of locomotives was $4000 per mile a year. However, in spite of the very high costs, the dividend paid was twice the usual rate of interest. Despite these startling figures, the South Carolina Railroad continued to order additional American-built locomotives, and, from 1834 to 1836, imported fourteen British locomotives for their road. The 280 per cent advance in the Liverpool and Manchester shares was used, in 1835, to promote the sale of the proposed Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad.


A description of the L. & M. and other writings of Nicholas Wood and George Stephenson came to America, via France in an 1833 translation printed in Boston. One of the last English items to cross the Atlantic for reprinting was the twenty-page 1835 Report of the Grand Junction Railroad, which linked Liverpool with Birmingham. While the Thomson list of 2671 surviving American publications continues through 1840, this citation is the last mentioning the Liverpool and Manchester or English railroads. From the great frequency of their use, the words Liverpool and Manchester really were magic to the American publisher and reader of railroad information.


English recognition of American railroad progress came in the 1838 London publication of David Stevenson's Sketch of Civil Engineering in North America. A member of a famous engineering family, David Stevenson had worked on the Liverpool and Manchester, while his uncle was of sufficient repute in English engineering circles, in 1825, to be quoted four times by Wood. Written after a professional tour of the U. S. and Canada, this work of 320 pages, fourteen plates, and a map warranted a five-page review in Herapath.




The railroad caused a movement of men from its inception; Irish laborers helped build the 1828-29 Liverpool and Manchester and the early lines of Scotland. Horatio Allen had been authorized to engage two English locomotive engineers to superintend Delaware and Hudson locomotive operation, but there is no record that Englishmen came to America with either the Stephenson or the Foster and Rastrick locomotives. Englishman N. Cummings, who had eighteen months locomotive experience with Stephenson's four-wheeled Liverpool and Manchester engines, accompanied the famous Stephenson engine, "John Bull, " to the Camden and Amboy Railroad. In addition to working on this New Jersey pioneer line, Cummings ran a six-wheeled engine on the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad, before moving on to the South Carolina Railroad by 1833. Engineer Wm. Robinson, (or Robertson) long experienced with the L. & M. four-wheel locomotives and backed with a Liverpool and Manchester recommendation, likewise came to America with a Stephenson engine, and was working for the South Carolina Railroad in 1833. Of the two English engineers, who accompanied the Bury-built locomotives, purchased by the Little Schuylkill Railroad in 1832-3, one returned to England shortly after the locomotives were placed in operation. George Mann never returned to England, but worked many years on the Little Schuylkill between Port Clinton and Tamaqua, Pa. William Hudson, apprentice and workman at Stephenson's Newcastle factory, has been mentioned in connection with the Rogers Locomotive Works.


The most notable movement of men into the United States, occasioned by boom-time railroad construction and the labor shortage during the Civil War, is an illustration of the boom-time railroad operations by the great English railroad contractors, employing as many as 30,000 men. Sir Morton Peto, often, as other great contractors did, built railroads, and, after construction ended, ran the railroad until companies he organized bought the line. Peto, with other British contractors and financiers, brought his engineering and financial skills to the United States, to build the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad, today's main line of the Erie Railroad from Salamanca, N. Y., to Marion, Ohio.


James McHenry, a former Philadelphia merchant, who became a British-American railroad financier, used money-control of the English Railroad News to "hysterically promote" the Atlantic and Great Western. Publicized as a six-foot gauge link between New York City and St. Louis, and between the Erie and the Ohio and Mississippi Railroads, both well known and partially owned in England, McHenry built the road without investment of his own funds; on paper he made ten million dollars. By pledging stock to London banks for ninety-day bills, as publicity created their demand, he began his campaign. A million dollars worth of 7 per cent bonds, issued at eighty, sold well because the Bank of London guaranteed payment of the first four coupons. Other bonds, issued at fifty cents on the dollar, paid for 55,000 tons of English rail.


Spanish financier and politician, Don Jose Salamanca, added prestige and credit to the line by taking the first building contract. Banks in Liverpool and London turned Salamanca promises into cash. Under McHenry's direction British engineers began work; Sir Morton Peto moved on to the job. In spite of the Civil War shortage of labor, fifteen thousand laborers, one-third of them English, completed the road. By late 1864 trains ran between Salamanca, N. Y., and Dayton, Ohio. A third rail on the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad, Dayton to Cincinnati, completed the connection between New York and St. Louis, by a six-foot gauge line. This amazing construction had cost McHenry 50 per cent in London and these debts cost 10 percent. However, he lost no money on his contracts. With a capitalization of sixty millions, bonds at fifty per cent brought McHenrY thirty millions, while the road cost twenty. He could make ten millions, providing he could unload the new line quickly. In 1865, Sir Morton Peto and a group of British capitalists visited the United States in an effort to dispose of the Atlantic and Great Western. The bankrupt Erie, resisting threatened competition, refused to purchase. The Baltimore and Ohio, which already connected with the Ohio and Mississippi, declined to buy a duplicating connection. Unable to earn its interest, the Atlantic and Great Western had to be supported by its bankers. Its 1866 failure revealed stock manipulations similar to 1928 operations in the U. S.


Leases and contracts for lines in eastern and central Pennsylvania, one through Bethlehem, made before the Atlantic and Great Western failed, show that Sir Morton Peto attempted to secure a New York outlet for the line. The Morris and Essex Railroad from N. Y., to Phillipsburg, N. J., and the Catawissa, Williamsport and Erie, (today's Reading line from near Tamaqua to Williamsport, and the Little Schuylkill ) were leased. A railroad was to be constructed by the Philadelphia and Reading-controlled East Pennsylvania Railroad, from Phillipsburg, through Easton and Bethlehem, to its own line at Allentown. The Philadelphia and Reading, then financed by English bankers McCalmonts, was to finish the nearly-completed Allentown Railroad to t he Philadelphia and Reading, at Port Clinton, from the East Pennsylvania line. Two railroads through central Pennsylvania, the Western Central and the Lewisburg Centre and Spruce Railroads, were to be constructed by the Atlantic and Great Western, between the Catawissa terminus, at Williamsport, and Oil City, Pa.


The Philadelphia and Reading actually began work on the Allentown Railroad, completing the road to Kutztown, Pa., but the Atlantic and Great Western failure ended construction. The partially graded right-of-way and an uncompleted tunnel may still be seen and easily traced in southern Lehigh and northern Berks Counties. The corporation of this line existed until War II, when it was merged into the Reading Company. English financial control of the Philadelphia and Reading lasted almost to the twentieth century; another English influence ended on May 12, 1890, when left-hand operation on double-track line ceased.


Upon the failure of the Atlantic and Great Western, a London family bank, Bishoffsheim and Goldschmidt, reorganized the road for McHenry. Later, this same bank cleaned up the Erie Railroad by ending Jay Gould's management. Other casualties of this American railroad venture by English capital, were the London Joint Stock Bank and Overend, Gurney and Co., known as the bankers' bank, as early as 1807. Thomas Richardson, backer of the great firm of Overend, Gurney and Co., had financed railroads before 1824. Then he furnished his cousin, Pease, with capital to complete the Stockton and Darlington, and, in 1824, he and Pease furnished part of Stephenson's capital to begin the Newcastle Locomotive Works.




"Rails and capital . . . the United States could not fully provide for itself." When the financial demands of the railroad rose after 1829, the United States turned to England for capital as she had for decades. Shares and bonds flowed across the ocean in greater amount than ever before, to pay for English rail, locomotives and trans-Atlantic freight charges. Money in the period 1828-32 being cheap, 11/2 per cent in London, the 5 to 10 percent American state securities, financing banks, canals, and railroads, were quite attractive to British investors. However, some slave-hating purchasers refused to buy bonds of the Slave States despite the high interest. Scare-buying came from fearful Tories, who converted English investments into American bonds during the Reform Bill discussions, as protection against the coming wrecking of England. Moreover, these English investments in the United States were made while there was a great demand for capital in England's own railroads; the success of the Liverpool and Manchester influenced Parliament to authorize $190,000,000 capital, between 1830 and 1837.


Baring Brothers and Company, one of the dozen big British merchant-banking firms competing for the purchase of American cotton and grain, as well as American securities, sold $27,000,000 of state bonds at home by 1830. In 1832 Barings purchased Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York bonds, and, reflecting their faith in certain states, publicly linked their name with the securities of Louisiana, South Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts. South Carolina borrowed $2,000,000, in 1838, for its Southwestern Railroad Bank, a pre-Civil War southern banking stronghold, which controlled, at this time, the pioneer South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, and which was proposing a railroad to Cincinnati. Barings, in financing half this loan, sent $500,000 specie to South Carolina. Once Barings publicly connected their reputation with a state, they went to considerable lengths to protect that reputation. To keep control of Maryland bonds, this firm bid 117 for a 6 percent loan in 1835. Other costly efforts to keep their shield untarnished will be told later.


Active competition existed among the British financial houses. Barings lost the purchase of Pennsylvania State bonds financing rail purchases, by a 1/2 percent bid of an English competitor, but won the Massachusetts bonds and rail sales for the Boston and Providence, the Boston and Lowell and the Western Railroads. However, the biggest competitor to all foreign houses was Nicholas Biddle's Bank of the United States. Biddle information gave a large Pennsylvania issue to Gowan and Marx, later the English financiers of the Philadelphia and Reading. This Biddle competition was partly possible because Barings, while the agent in England for the Bank of the United States, had recommended and sold 80,000 bank shares to their own customers, and, in 1836, lent it $5,000,000. However, Barings refused to invest in the Morris Canal and Banking Company, later a Biddle associate.


Securities of private companies as well as state bonds attracted English investment very early. Stevens' Camden and Amboy, the Harrisburg and Lancaster, the Philadelphia and Reading, (hauling coal to the sea as did the money-making Stockton and Darlington) as well as the early lines in the Lehigh Valley, the Hazleton Coal and the Lehigh Coal and Navigation companies, were particularly owned in England, in the late 1830's. The Baltimore and Ohio claimed to have marketed the first American railroad loan in England, $500,000, sent to Brown, Shipley & Co., of Liverpool.


The advent of the railroad brought a heavy demand for iron rail on both sides of the Atlantic. W. and I. Sparrow, of Wolverhampton, England, rolled the Delaware and Hudson 21/4" x 1/2" iron to Allen's' specifications and shipped much rail of his design to other railroads in the United States. The Delaware and Hudson had sufficient rail by November 5, 1828, to loan the Baltimore and Ohio five tons. The Baltimore and Ohio wrought-iron rail cost $58 a ton delivered, compared to American bids of $92. The state of Pennsylvania, before 1832, purchased ten miles of strap rail, 21/4" x 5/8" x 15', which was laid on stone rail, (as the Baltimore and Ohio) and 76-1/2 miles of rolled edge rail, 41 pounds to the yard. This edge rail, similar to T-rail, costing $50.50 a ton at Philadelphia, was mounted in chairs, as the English use today, on stone blocks or wood ties. The Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown purchased a Clarence-type rail, also chair-mounted, 36 pounds to the yard. Stevens' T-rail, 16' long and 39 pounds to the yard, cost about $40 a ton in England.


State aid to the construction of railroads, as by Maryland and Ohio, or outright state construction and ownership, as in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana, was taken for granted in the 1830's. Hopefully, both the undeveloped new states and the older coastal states expected that internal improvements would not only be able to pay the interest on funds borrowed to construct them, but also to earn a surplus income which could be applied to ordinary government costs. Though Federal aid had been sought and denied, requests for tariff rebates on imported rail were frequent. The Delaware and Hudson and the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Co. presented petitions to Congress on April 7, 1838. The latter effort saved $17 a ton on their rails, through a reduction from a flat $30-a-ton charge to 25 percent ad valorem. Based on this rate, the South Carolina company paid $22,000 duty out of the $109,453 cost delivered at Charleston.


Five 1828 petitions to Congress about English rail illustrate the bitter trade rivalry between Baltimore and Philadelphia. The latter port countered within the month Baltimore's four petitions; Congress refused to remit rail duty for Baltimore. Seven years later, Pennsylvania requested this same relief, as did the city of New Orleans, the New York and Harlem, the Newcastle and Frenchtown, and the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroads. The petition of the Alabama, Florida and Georgia Railroad for the same aid in 1838 being denied, that company issued bonds to cover this unanticipated expense. The P. & R. was among the 1838 beneficiaries of such reductions. The total tariff refund on imported rail (England was the sole source), in the decade 1831-41, was $4,800,000. If the rate of collection were steady at the South Carolina payment of 1838, the English exports would be 369,245 tons, at a cost to America of $19,200,000.


In England, home and American railroad demand increased the price of iron 85 percent, from June, 1835, to February, 1836. The actual, orders from abroad were nearly 450,000 tons, 180,000 a year for five years "to supply the demands of a new trade, or 26 percent of that made. The needs of the United States, just to double track the existing 3000 miles, were held to be 714,000 tons, a demand, which without a mile of new construction, would bring in the next seven years $250,00O,000 to England. Another estimate declared that the 750,000 tons of rail needed in the United States could only be procured in England. David Stevenson's 1837 survey of American railroads concurred that the rails must come from England even though the United States had the necessary ironworks to manufacture them. In one week's rail order for June, 1838, America placed 10,000 of the 12,000 tons sold. By 1840, the United States was the most important purchaser of England's fastest growing export, which had doubled in the decade 1829-1839. In this last year America bought 68,000 tons of the 131,000 exported; another decade later, 324,000 of the 554,000 tons exported came across the Atlantic.


American demand for iron climbed with the introduction of railroads; the coal and iron business boomed. The iron business concentrated in Pennsylvania near the anthracite fields; plants quadrupled and output doubled. By 1847, twenty-nine iron companies had erected forty-one hot blast furnaces, with an annual capacity of 125,800 tons, in the Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Valleys.


The time was ripe for the American manufacture of rails. The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company replacement, in 1838, of their 1829 strap-rail with heavier flange-rail from England, at a cost of $440,000 mirrors the potential demand of the existing railroads alone. The Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, Va., claim to have rolled the first American rail in 1837, and to have furnished the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad demand in 1838. In 1842, the Great Western Iron Company, on the Allegheny above Pittsburgh, lost money selling rail to an Indiana railroad at $50 a ton. Two years later, British capital set up the Mt. Savage Iron Works, nine miles from Cumberland on the Baltimore and Ohio, expressly to supply the American rail demand. This project, capitalized at $1,600,000 and with 4000 employees, mostly imported, failed by 1847, and brought only $200,000 at a sheriff's sale. Bradshaw's Railroad Gazette of England reported, in October, 1845, the Montour Rail Works at Danville, Pa., a Biddle-Morris Canal and Banking Company project, operating around the clock except Sundays. In 1844 these three rail mills had an annual capacity of only 24,000 tons, while the whole annual capacity of the U. S. was 119,000 tons, or only rail sufficient to replace, or build, 1200 miles of railroad.


The dependence of the United States on England for locomotives never equaled that for rail. By 1838 twenty-seven American builders had constructed 238 locomotives, while only 103 English locomotives had been imported. Seven plants in Pennsylvania had built 144 of these 238. This same year, Pennsylvania's railroads operated 130 locomotives on 1913 miles of track.


An 1845 valuation of American railroads ($125,000,000) estimates $26,000,000 had been spent on English rails, and that 250,000 tons of T-rail were needed just to replace the light strap rail then in use. Two years later, twenty New York and New England lines, partly fulfilling this prediction, did import 66,000 tons of English rail expressly to replace strap rail.


After this long excursion into early American rail importation and production it is necessary to return to the financial conditions of 1830. While the prices of all American stocks were inflated during 1833-34, the 1835 rise in wheat prices brought new faith and a flood of railroad bonds. After being bullish up to 1832, Barings are credited with "relative caution and a restraining infiuence" on the expansion of English-American trade from 1832 to 1836. In the latter year America owed England a trade balance of $20,000,000; English-American trade had doubled. In the same period American state debts rocketed to $66,000,000 by 1835, and to $124,000,000 by 1837. Fuel to the expansion flames was the promised distribution of the Federal surplus among the states during 1837. Of the $42,000,000 surplus, $37,000,000 was to be given out. Actually only $28,000,000 was distributed. Some states, North Carolina in particular, now entered into state-finance of internal improvement on account of this distribution. In addition to over-expansion of banking and transportation facilities, there was heavy speculation in land and cotton. Southern lines paid for English rails with cotton at this time.


When cotton fell 25 percent in February and March, 1837, the financial crisis set off by Jackson's Specie Circular and the war on the Bank of the United States, plunged the U. S. into a panic. Every bank in the nation suspended specie payment by May. But, to England, this was only a financial crisis in the American Trade, involving, by June, the suspension of seven American-British banking houses. The demand for American securities ceased.


In England the railroad boom moved upward. While the United States suffered deflation, the Stockton and Darlington dividends rose from $55 on a $500 share to $90, in 1838, and the value of a share more than doubled to $1300. Fearing overproduction and low prices in 1839, Staffordshire iron makers cooperated to cut production 20 percent for six months, but renewed English and, later, American demands made the cut unnecessary.


With the revival of American business, state debts climbed to $175,500,000, by the end of 1839. New securities and refunding issues to pay interest on older bond issues cascaded on the American and British money markets, passing chiefly into English hands. To protect their customers to whom they had sold Bank of the United States stock and to bolster this bank, in 1840, Barings made a six-month million dollar loan, taking as security $2,250,000 in 5 percent Mississippi and over a million 6 percent Michigan bonds, received by the Bank from the Morris Canal and Banking Company. Biddle had out-bid his American and British rivals, in 1838, for Alabama and Michigan issues.


 As Barings had bolstered Biddle's Bank, now they maintained their own good reputation and Pennsylvania's credit by paying the January, 1840, interest on that state's bonds. When the Bank of the United States collapsed in February, 1841, American bonds fell to their lowest figures. However, Barings endeavored to market Massachusetts, Ohio, and Alabama bonds until July, 1842, when Pennsylvania and Maryland gave notice that interest payments would not be made.


Maryland had been paying the interest on her European-held bonds since April, 1840, through Barings. The bank paid the January, 1842, interest out of their own funds but refused to act as props after the July interest was defaulted. August, 1842, was the greatest depth of this depression; American securities sold only at very low prices.* Having complete control of Massachusetts, Ohio, South Carolina, and Maryland bonds, Barings kept these issues off the market to prevent greater damage to the credit of these states and to protect their own reputation.


To the English investor, after the interest default by nine states, the whole United States was a nation of swindlers. Shrewd English investors, willing to pick up good securities at bargain prices, circulated rumors that all American states would repudiate. British merchants sent these low-cost American securities across the Atlantic in payment for cotton and grain during the next five years. An attempted financial boycott, the refusal of a loan to the debt-free Federal government, by English capital, in 1842, failed because reviving American trade enabled New York bankers to furnish the funds. Proposals by both English and American banking houses that the debt-free Federal Government take over the state debts were disregarded, because of hostility to the source of the suggestion and the campaign of 1840.


Efforts to collect the defaulted interest and to ensure future payment began immediately after the default. When questioned about Federal liability, the U. S. Senate stated that the debt-free Federal Government had no responsibility for the state debts. When Barings asked Daniel Webster about the legality of these bonds, he answered that the individual state had the legal and constitutional power, through the state legislature, to create loans at home and abroad. This opinion, published in England by Barings, had a stabilizing effect on the price of American securities. Other opinions secured by Barings, but not published, held that Pennsylvania would resume payments, and, perhaps Indiana, but little hope was held for the other seven states.


English financiers, Barings in particular, now began to exert direct and indirect pressure on the nine defaulting states to induce them to resume their interest payments. Nicholas Biddle and Daniel Webster were retained by Barrings to influence Pennsylvania to pay her two millions annual interest. New York banker Ward, another of Barings American agents, brought pressure on Governor Porter as part of his activities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, and Louisiana. Boston, New York, New Orleans, and Baltimore newspapers received $10, or more, for reprinting articles urging resumption. Even the clergy were employed. In the fall of 1844, Webster made a series of speeches in Pennsylvania. After paying the February, 1845; interest, half in cash and half in depreciated bank-notes, Pennsylvania began full payment in 1847.



* Baldwin's locomotive production well pictures the up-and-down financial condition of both the railroads and the United States in this period:


                    1835 - 14                               1839 - 26                                  1843 -  12

                    1836 - 40                               1840 -  9                                   1844 -  22

                    1837-  40                               1841 -  8                                   1845 -  27

                    1838 - 23                               1842 - 14


J. H. B. Latrobe, of the Baltimore and Ohio legal staff, brother of the chief engineer, and the leader of the Maryland Whigs, became Barings' special agent in Maryland. It has been mentioned that this state's bonds had been linked directly with the bank's reputation in Europe. Barings were the official agents for both the state and the Baltimore and Ohio, and held bonds both on their own account and as collateral for loans. It was to keep complete control of Maryland's bonds, that the firm had been forced to bid 117.4 per 100 for an 1835 issue. Likewise, the 1840 visits to England of President McLane, of the Baltimore and Ohio, which enabled the railroad to reach the Cumberland Coal Field and thus pay dividends on the railroad stock held by the state, should be recalled at this point. In spite of repeated calls for resumption by the Baltimore papers, between 1843 and 1845, and the introduction of Latrobe bills in the legislature, Maryland delayed resumption.


The next year, English money aided Governor Pratt to restore Maryland's credit; part of $4500 from Barings talked in the election of the legislature. In a resumption bill, which was passed in March, 1847, the state funded her unpaid interest in 3 percent bonds. By this time, Maryland had borrowed at 5 and 6 percent $6,800,000 to finance railroads and $8,100,000 for canal construction. The Maryland efforts cost Barings $15,000, while costs in Pennsylvania were less than half of that amount. Webster received $100 and a canceled 1843 note for $2410, a very small fee when compared to the annual two millions of interest which Pennsylvania paid. As Secretary of State, Webster gave the United States Fiscal Agency, held by Rothschilds, to Barrings, who retained the post until 1867.


The other repudiating states received little direct pressure for resumption, other than the eastern newspaper articles published during 1843-47 campaign in Pennsylvania and Maryland. A memorial from Barings to the Louisiana Legislature brought interest payments in 1843. Mississippi paid neither interest nor principal. Florida and Arkansas received little attention.


Because Illinois refused to levy a tax to enable resumption, the Illinois Central and the Michigan Central Railroads, even though they favored the tax, lost Barings' favor temporarily. Barings protested to the legislature also when compensation was not provided for the Barings-bonded Illinois and Michigan Canal, as the paralleling Rock Island and La Salle Railroad was incorporated. Ten years later, Barings, with four other English Banking Houses, protested that Wabash and Erie Canal bonds had degenerated in value because Indiana Legislature had chartered paralleling railroads. England required her railroads to either buy or compensate by paying a certain sum, the canal company whose territory a railroad invaded.


When Michigan sold her railroad lines and issued refunding bonds in 1846 and 1848, Barings received $255,000 for its Michigan bond holdings. As a part of the Morris Canal and Banking Company financial tangle, through which Michigan funds were invested in the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad, Michigan temporily owned part of that railroad's anthracite coal lands near Linder's Gap, between Tamaqua and Hazleton, Pa., in Rush Township, upper Schuylkill County. Indiana, who also sold her bonds to the Morris Canal and Banking Company on credit, found herself, through this mismanagement holding a $1,250,000 mortgage on the canal of the Morris Canal and Banking Company, 13,600 shares of the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna railroad stock, par value $230,000 but then worthless, and $100,000 stock in the Beaver Meadow Railroad. The most potentially valuable holding of the lot (except New York real estate) was 75,100 shares of the Baltimore and Ohio, then valued at .27 to the dollar Indiana, by selling her internal railroads, refinanced her debt through Barings and other English bankers.


However accomplished, Barings' six-year program to influence resumption of interest payments enabled the slow-paying states to rescue their good name, and, just as important, to borrow funds from abroad by 1848. One result of this repudiation, a Council of Foreign Bondholders, created in England, survived into the twentieth century.


The 1847 blowup of the speculative English railroad bubble, inflating since 1835, made the average English investor wary of all railroad securities. With diminishing home demand English iron manufacturers felt hard times. Rail prices fell; Welsh rails sold, in 1850, at $27.50 a ton FOB. The memories of the U. S. repudiations of 1842 were revived and reinforced until the 1848 Revolution closed Europe as an investment field. Again, money became cheap, while high American interest rates, 16 percent discount by October, 1851, quickly pushed the bad memories aside. New American construction financed by state, county and city bonds, began in the United States. As security prices recovered in America after 1848, railroad and state bonds were sold back to Americans. Barings held their collateral Baltimore and Ohio and Massachusetts bonds until maturity, while other issues were resold at higher prices. Losses on most American securities were recovered This recovery ends the story of the Panic of 1837 with its English finance and American-railroad involvements.


Recovery and low English rail prices attracted large American orders. By 1852 demand forced a 75 percent rise in prices. This year, in spite of the English merchant and banker resales to America, saw $220,000,000 of American securities held abroad. The United States Treasury estimated that $35,500,000 of the $52,000,000 of railroad bonds issued in 1854 were spent for rail. Another spree of expansion, greater than that of the 1830's, had been set off. As Barings had tapered off purchases in that early inflationary period, the firm again bought cautiously during 1852-1855. In carrying out this policy they allowed their name to be linked only with the few railroads in whose managers they felt great confidence, and favored always the east-west trunk lines and especially avoided roads built in advance of settlement.


The Baltimore and Ohio had met all these specifications, and Barings had given that line the financial aid which enabled it to reach the Ohio River by 1853, an 1849 purchase of 200,000 first mortgage bonds and a shipment of 22,000 tons of rail, partly paid by six-to-ten year bonds. However, the bankers weren't satisfied with the light-track construction to Wheeling, on the Ohio; the Cumberland-to-Baltimore coal rate was too low; while Garrett & Co., who handled Baltimore and Ohio securities, were more expansive and speculative than the bankers desired. In addition, Barings' American advisors foresaw and feared severe Baltimore and Ohio competition with the Pennsylvania Railroad west of the Ohio. All these reasons, as well as friendship with Erastus Corning, of the N. Y. Central, and John Murray Forbes, one of Barings' financial advisors on American railroads, led the bankers to shift financial support from the Baltimore and Ohio to the New York Central.


Erastus Corning, of the original Albany-Buffalo New York Central, warranted Barings' confidence to the extent of a half-million dollar rail credit, in 1853. However, business wasn't forgotten; Barings made 21/2 percent on rail purchases, while the interest on the loan was 6 percent. Barings' dependence on American advisors is mentioned in the loss of financial support by the Baltimore and Ohio. In addition to John Murray Forbes, the company at this time received advice from W. H. Aspinwall, William Appleton, William Sturgis, Robert Bennet Forbes, D. A. Neal, W. W. Corcoran and W. S. Wilmore. These men made recommendations on American railroads which enabled the firm to secure bonds safe to offer their customers and which brought credit to them. W. H. Swift, ex-Army Engineer, later president of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (Pa. Main Line Philadelphia to Washington today) and president of the Western Railroad of Massachusetts, by 1850, became a Baring advisor in 1852. Besides American lines, Swift was consulted by Barings on Canadian and Russian roads.


Their fear of a depression having passed, in 1855, these bankers began investments in Forbes' lines, the Central Military Tract, Chicago and Aurora, Joliet and Northern Indiana, and the Hannibal and St. Joseph, the core of today's Burlington System in Illinois and Missouri. These investments were the last Barings made in American railroads. Sales of rails and purchases of bonds were allowed to pass to competitors. Barings, in addition to attempting to apply the English idea of compensation to canals whose territory was invaded by a railroad, exerted pressure to introduce sound financial methods to their client railroads. In 1858, they refused to purchase Michigan Central bonds, because that company had disregarded Baring advice to create sinking funds for interest and retirement.


 By 1857, England had $400,000,000 invested in American Railroads The panic of that year, as its predecessor twenty years before, was parented by land speculation and over-expansion of railroads. Beginning with a fifteen-dollar-a-share drop in Michigan Southern stock on August 13, speculative securities slid into panic-selling by the 24th. That day, the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company, heavily involved in railroad finance, suspended. Within six months discount rose to 24 percent. In the depth of this depression, as in 1837 and 1841, many British buyers purchased depressed American railroad stocks and bonds.


Recovery from the 1857 depression was slow. Railroad loans were only 75 percent of par three years later. In the year Grant took office, 1868, 300,000 tons of English rail came to the United States, and foreign investors, mostly English, despite $12,000,000 lost in the Confederate States, owned one-and-a-half billion dollars of United States railroad securities. In these days of billions, this sum needs comparison with the United States debt following the Civil War to realize its true position. That debt, the astounding sum in its day, of $2,453,000,000 was only 66% more than the foreign railroad investment.


Another English railroad improvement, the steel rail, introduced into the United States during the Civil War, began anew an importation of rail which continued to flow heavily into the United States until 1880. In 1864, two years after the first use of the steel rail in England, the Lehigh Valley Railroad placed steel rail on its Beaver Meadow Division. Naturally, when the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company decided to extend its Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad from Mauch Chunk to Easton, after the disastrous flood of 1863, that company utilized the experience of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and ordered English steel rail for the whole distance, though the cost was double that of iron. However, a $5,000,000 bond sale attempted in England near this time, failed to materialize.


Average earnings through dividends and increased market value on English-held railroad securities in the decade 1870-80 demonstrate that American railroads, however financed, built, managed and operated, were the most profitable, paying 9.3 percent to British investors, while Indian lines paid only 6.3 percent and Canadian 2.1 percent.


American expansion drew heavily on England for rail, in 1880, for the last time, when 294,000 tons crossed the Atlantic. Imports fell to only 1800 tons during 1884. The growth of American steel production, especially that of Andrew Carnegie, was responsible for the reversal of this trend. By 1899, Carnegie had so well integrated his holdings of steel plants, coal and ore lands with the cheapest transportation possible, that he was able to deliver steel rail in England at $19 a ton, the English manufacturer's cost, and yet make a profit of three dollars a ton.


British investment in American railroads didn't terminate because heavy rail shipments ended in the 1880's. On the contrary, of the five billions England had invested in the United States in 1914, probably half was in railroad stocks and bonds. A more recent estimate held the total 1914 British investment in the United States at $3,646,340,000, eighty percent of which, $3,090,000,000, was in railroads. The total valuation of American Railroads at this time was between sixteen and seventeen billion dollars. Hence England was furnishing between one-sixth and one-fifth of the capital of American lines at the outbreak of World War I.


We have observed that the influence of England has been an ever constant factor in the development of American railroads. English ideas brought across the Atlantic by English newspapers, encyclopedias, magazines and scientific papers stimulated Latrobe (his sons and pupils) Stevens and Renwick, the pioneers, advocates and builders. This same whirlpool of publicity drew Philadelphian George W. Smith, Charlestonian E. L. Miller, Baltimoreans Evan Thomas and Ross Winans and engineer Horatio Allen into its vortex to satisfy their curiosity.


Through George W. Smith's efforts seventy American papers broadcast his convictions across the whole land. Today such publicity seems almost sheer waste, but, as in England, American railroad proponents had to overcome canal propaganda. However, the bitterness between the two groups was of greater intensity in the United States because the two modes of transportation, separated by half a century in England, were almost contemporary on this continent. The numerous American reproductions of English railroad statistics, especially those of the Liverpool and Manchester, bolstered the home arguments in this formative period like a footnote citation does a history paper.


The visit of South Carolinan, E. L. Miller to the Rainhill Trials and his later work and personal investments in locomotives produced the first American-built locomotive, and initiated locomotive construction at Charleston, in his own state, and at Reading, Pa. The excursions of many American engineers to England carried English ideas into the whole land and began an importation of English money and rail which flowed into the United States for half a century. While the importing of locomotives from England ended around 1841, their presence was seed in the fertile garden of American ingenuity. Baldwin, Rogers and Norris not only adapted from but also quickly improved on the import. Ross Winans was forced to adopt the English boiler and long wheel base, but his efforts to obtain greater tractive force by keeping engine weight on driving wheels are reflected in today's diesels.


Actual construction by English firms, bankers and men seldom occurred except during the Civil War manpower shortage. Financial aid, as administered by bankers Barings, carried to America the English idea of the sinking fund to retire a bond issue, a feature adopted by the most progressive roads. Attempts to introduce the compensation principle to the railroads competing with the Baring-bonded, state-owned canals in Indiana and Illinois failed, but both New York State and Pennsylvania adopted this idea to protect their canal investment.


All of us recognize the Declaration of Independence as the point in history when the United States declared its political independence from England, the mother country. Even though the American railroads have been practically independent since the beginning of World War I, England, because of the flow of ideas, men, materials and, the longest lasting influence, financial aid, can truly be regarded as the mother of American railroads.




1. Manuscript Materials and Correspondence.


Loeser Papers, Correspondence received by Schuylkill County lawyer from 1811 on. Historical Society Schuylkill Co., Pottsville, Pa.


Baldwin, Letter from Mr. Paul T. Warner, ax-librarian Baldwin Locomotive Co., Philadelphia, Pa. December 9, 1952.


Jervis. Letter from Miss Helen Salzman, Librarian, Jervis Memorial Library, Rome, N. Y., January 14, 1953.


Whistler. Letter from Mr. Charles E. Fisher, President, Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass.



11. Government and Company Reports.


American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, from the First to the Second Session of the Tenth Congress, Inclusive: Commencing March 3, 1789 and Ending March 3, 1809, Miscellaneous 1. Washington, 1834.


Leases and Contracts between the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad and the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. 1868. Railroad Pamphlets, Lehigh University Library.


Memorial of the Holders of Certificates of Stock of the Wabash and Erie Canal of the State of Indiana to the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, March, 1857, London, Washington, New York.


Report of the Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley Railroad to Stockholders, Philadelphia, Pa.


Report of the Board of Managers of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, Philadelphia, Pa.


Report of the Directors of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company to the stockholders, May 6, 1834, Charleston.


Report of the Fund Commissioners, to His Excellency, Samuel Biggers, Indianapolis (?), 184.


Report of Steam Carriages by a Select Committee of the House of Commons of Great Britain. Reprinted by order of the House of Representatives, Document 101, Philadelphia, 1832.


Schuylkill County Grantor Deed Book 23, Pottsville, Pa.



111. Newspapers, Magazines, and Scrap Books.


Annual Register, London, 1805.


Berks and Schuylkill Journal, Historical Society of Berks County, Reading, Pa.


Mansfield Gazette and Richland Farmer, Public Library, Mansfield, Ohio. 28 June 1827.


Philadelphia National Gazette, Philadelphia, 1827.


Readinger Adler, H. S. of B. Co., Reading, Pa.


Bradshaw's Railroad Gazette, London, 1845.


Herapath's Railway Magazine and Annals of Science, London, 1837-1842.


Journal of Banking from July 1841 to July 1842, Philadelphia.


Locomotive Engineer, New York, 1888.


Merchant's Magazine and Commercial Review, N. Y., 1836-50.


Jones Scrap Books, Historical Society of Berks Co., Reading, Pa.


Richard's Scrap Book, Reading, Pa.



IV. Reference Works.


British Museum Catalog of Printed Books, 58 V. Ann Arbor, 1881-1900.


Dictionary of American Biography, 20 V. N. Y., 1928-37.


Dictionary of American History, 5 V. N. Y., 1940.


Dictionary of National Biography, 21 V. London 1908-09.


History for Ready Reference, Springfield, Mass. 7 V. Springfield, Mass., 1895-1910.


National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 37 V. N. Y. 1898-1951.


World Almanac, New York, 1915, 1916.



V. Periodicals.


G. H. Gaskell, "The Origin of Locomotive Class Names," Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Bulletin 87, October, 1952.


George M. Hart, "The History of the Locomotives of the Reading Company," R. & L. H. S., Bulletin 67, May, 1946.


Albert H. Imlak, "British Balance of Payments and Exports of Capital, 1816-1913," Economic History Review 2nd Series, London, 1952.


John B. Spears, "John Bloomfield Jervis," R. & L. H. S., Bulletin 30, Feb. 1933.


Paul T. Warner, "Some Early Locomotive Patents," R. & L. H. S. Bulletin 87, October, 1952.



Vl. Secondary Publications.


History of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, 1831-1920, Philadelphia, nd.


History of the Delavuare and Hudson, A Century of Progress, Albany, 1925.


Horatio Allen, The Railroad Era, The First Five Years of Its Development, N. Y., 1884.


J. Snowden Bell, The Early Motive Power of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, N. Y., 1912.


Cecil K. Brown, A State Movement in Railroad Development, The Story of North Carolina's First Eflort to Establish an East and West Trunk Line Railroad, Chapel Hill, 1928.


 R. W. Brown, Some Aspects of Early Railroad Transportation in Pennsylvania, An Address to the Pennsylvania Historical Association, Carlisle, 1949.


William H. Brown, The History of the First Locomotive in America from Original Documents and the Testimony of Living Witnesses, Revised Edition, N. Y., 1874.


J. H. Clapham, A New Economic History of Modern Britain, 3 V, Cambridge, 1926.


Samuel M. Derrick, Centennial History of the South Carolina Railroad, Columbia, 1930.


H. W. Dickinson and Arthur Titley, Richard Trevethick, The Engineer and the Man, Cambridge, Eng., 1934.


Joseph Harrison, Jr., The Locomotive Engine and Philadelphia's Share in Its Early Development, Revised Edition, Philadelphia, 1872.


Ralph W. Hidy, The House of Baring in American Trade and Finance, English Merchant Bankers at Work, 1763-1861, Cambridge, 1949.


M. S. Henry, History of the Lehigh Valley. (Easton, 1860).


Edward Hungerford, The Story of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 2 V, N. Y., 1928.


Leland H. Jenks, The Migration of British Capital to 1875, N. Y., 1927.


S. M. McCool, "History of Schuylkill County, Pa." Shenandoah, Pa., Herald 1874-75, Photostat of collected columns, Public Library, Pottsville, Pa.


Reginald C. McGrane, The Panic of 1837, Some Financial Problems of the Jackson Era, Chicago, 1924.


John B. McMasters, A History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, 7 V. N. Y., 1900.


Henry V. Poor, A History of the Railroads and Canals of the United States, N. Y., 1860.


I. Daniel Rupp, History of Berks and Lebanon Counties, Lancaster, 1844.


Wm. Shultz and M. R. Caine, Financial Development of the United States, N. Y., 1937.


Henry Simpson, Eminent Philadelphians, Philadelphia, 1859.


Samuel Smiles, Lives of the Engineers, The Locomotive, George and Robert Stephenson, London, 1877.


Smith (?), A History and Description of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, Baltimore, 1853.


Charles B. Stuart, Lives and Works of Civil and Military Engineers of America, N. Y., 1871.


Fred A. Talbot, Cassell's Railways of the World, 2 V. N. Y., nd.


Thomas R. Thomson, Check List of Publications on American Railroads Before 1841, N. Y., 1942.


Richard Trevethick, Life of Richard Trevethick With an Account of His Inventions, N. Y., 1872.


L. R. Trumbull, A History of Industrial Paterson, Paterson, 1882.


A. C. Turnbull, John Stevens, An American Record, N. Y., 1882.


George L. Vose, A Sketch of the Life and Works of George W. Whistler, Boston,


John K. Winkler, The Incredible Carnegie, The Life of Andrew Carnegie, 1831-1919 N. Y., 1931.


Stephen N. Winslow, Biographies of Successful Philadelphia Merchants, Philadelphia,


Francis Wishaw, Railways of Great Britain and Ireland, London, 1840.


Nicholas Wood, A Practical Treatise on Railroads and Interior Communications in general. Containing an Account of the Performance of the Different Locomotives at and Subsequent to the Liverpool Contests: Upwards of Two Hundred and Sixty Experiments With Tables of Comparative Values of Canals and Railroads and the Power of Present Locomotives, First American from Second English Edition George W. Smith, Ed., Philadelphia, 1832.



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