The "Stourbridge Lion", 1829.


The "Stourbridge Lion", 1829, was the first locomotive which ever ran in America. This Engine was built by Foster, Rastrick & Co. of Stourbridge, Eng. for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Co., and arrived in America, May 13th 1829 and was put together at the shops of the West Point Foundry Association, New York, after which it was taken by water to Carbondale where it was tried upon their railroad at Honesdale, Pa. making the first trip on the Continent on Aug. 8th 1829. It was a four-wheeled engine, all drivers, with all four wheels connected by pins to the wheels. The boiler was a round cylindrical one; no drop part for the furnace, and the smoke box had a well-painted lions head on it. The cylinders were vertical, placed at the back and each side of the furnace, with grasshopper beams and connecting rods from them to the crank pins in the wheels.


From John White

The first commercial locomotive to turn a wheel in North America was imported from England by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company in 1829 for a short coal railroad in northeastern Pennsylvania. The Stourbridge Lion proved too heavy for the light tracks and was retired after a few test runs. Relics of this historic machine are exhibited by the Smithsonian institution.


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November 2009