Baldwin Locomotive Works Drawings
NMAH.AC.0353
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0353
Creators:
Baldwin Locomotive Works.
Dates:
1870-1890
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
9 Cubic feet
4 drawers
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
202 assembly drawings of locomotives and tenders, prepared to check the clearances and major component parts of the locomotive. When work was slow, draftsmen hand-colored the drawings. They were not used in the shop but were retained for engineering reference.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was the largest and most successful locomotive building firm in the world. It was begun as a machine shop owned and operated by Matthias W. Baldwin in 1831. Baldwin turned out its first locomotive engine from its shop in Philadelphia in 1832; within a few years the company was producing two a month and employed 240 men. By 1852, 500 engines had been produced; by 1861, 1,000; and by 1868, 2,000. At that point, the company employed between 1,600-1,700 men, and was one of the very largest machine works in the nation. In 1906 Baldwin began construction of a large auxiliary plant in Philadelphia suburb of Eddystone. In 1928 the Broad Street plant was closed and all work transferred to the Eddystone Plant. Baldwin had been forced by hard financial times to take on a series of partners between 1839 and 1846, and the firm's name changed repeatedly as a result. It was known as Baldwin, Vail & Hufty (1839-1842); Baldwin & Whitney (1842-1845); M.W. Baldwin (1846-1853); and M.W. Baldwin & Co. (1854-1866). After Baldwin's death in 1866 the firm was known as M. Baird & Co. (1867-1873); Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. (1873-1890); Burnham, Williams & Co. (1891-1909); it was finally incorporated as the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1909. The company's phenomenal growth ended with in the mid-1920s as the U.S. railroad industry began its long decline. Despite various mergers and acquisitions--and an increased attention to the development of diesel engines--a slow but sure decline set in. Baldwin declared bankruptcy in 1935. World War Two brought a temporary respite, but after the war the steam locomotive was obsolete and orders rapidly diminished. The Westinghouse Corporation bought Baldwin in 1948 but was unable to turn the company around. In 1950 the Lima-Hamilton Corporation and Baldwin merged but in 1956 the last of some 70,541 locomotives was produced.

Administration
Processing Information note
Processed by Mark Seggel (volunteer), April 2007; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Mark Seggel
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
H.L. Broadbelt,,,Gift/Purchase.,July 1959-Nov. 1960.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment.
Preferred Citation
Baldwin Locomotive Works Drawings, 1870-1890, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Copyrights probably expired.

Related Archival Materials
Archives Center #157, the Baldwin Locomotive Works Collection, consists of Engine Registers and Order Books for locomotives, 1833-1956. In addition, a six-reel microfilm edition of collection #157 is located in the NMAH Library (mfm-720). Photographs relating to Baldwin are in the Railroad and Firefighting History Photographic Collection, NMAH Division of Transportation. The DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University has a collection of 8,500 original Baldwin engineering drawings and has published three guides to their records.

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
Transferred from the Division of Transportation

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baldwin locomotives Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Erection drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Locomotive industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Locomotive works--Pennsylvania Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Locomotives Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Locomotives--Drawings Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pennsylvania Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philadelphia (Pa.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad equipment industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads--Equipment and Supplies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads--Rolling-stock Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Technical drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transportation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
archivescenter@si.edu