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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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Reviving this topic -

It appears the three B&O Grasshoppers are the oldest American built steam locomotives that have been preserved. (1835 - 1836).

What comes next?


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
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Location: Southern California
Maybe El Paso & Southwestern 4-4-0 #1 in El Paso, Texas. Originally built by Breese, Kneeland & Co. in May, 1857 for Milwaukee & Mississippi Rail Road Co. #40

Retired by the EP&SW in 1903 and placed on display in 1909.

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:12 pm 

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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Peoples Railway (Pottsville PA) #3 at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute is an approximately 1842 Eastwick and Harrison 4-4-0. Harrison developed equalized suspension for multiple driving axles and #3 is the oldest surviving engine with Harrison's suspension.

I also think one of the B&O grasshoppers is the oldest.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:33 pm 

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 4:59 pm
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The Hinkley built "Lion" in the Maine State Museum was built in 1846. It last operated in 1890. Since it lived most of its post operational life indoors - on display at the University of Maine Campus in Orono and later at their Machias campus, it was fairly unmolested other than some minor in-period modifications such as a metal jacket rather than the original wood cladding which the museum reverted too.


Last edited by Terry Harper on Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:08 am
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The oldest, surviving, U.S.-built steam locomotive is Baltimore & Ohio’s Grasshopper-type locomotive named John Quincy Adams that is now on display in Carillon Park in Dayton, Ohio. The B&O’s first locomotive, the Atlantic, had been scrapped many decades earlier, and being aware of its seminal importance as America’s first common-carrier railroad, the B&O later regretted this unfortunate act. So, the B&O renamed another old Grasshopper loco in its historic collection to represent the long-gone Atlantic, and for decades most people mistakenly thought that it was the real Atlantic. (The Tom Thumb was strictly an experimental vertical-boiler locomotive built and owned by Peter Cooper, and was never owned by the B&O.) When Col. Deeds of National Cash Register fame wanted an old locomotive for his museum in Dayton, the B&O gladly sold him another old Grasshopper loco named John Quincy Adams, thinking that they (B&O) still owned the oldest loco built in the U.S., the so-called Atlantic. As it turned out, the John Quincy Adams had been constructed in 1835, so was a little older than the so-called Atlantic locomotive, and the B&O stupidly sold to Col Deeds the oldest, surviving, U.S.-built locomotive.

John B. Corns


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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The three preserved grasshoppers were all built from 1835-36. All three are preserved indoors and are on public display. I don't think there were any "stupid" decisions made.

Carillon Historical Park is a wonderful park that also includes the most complete original Wright Flyer.

So thanks to the replies so far it looks like after the Grasshoppers we have...

- Peoples Railway #3 built around 1842
- "Lion" built in 1846.
- William Mason built in 1856.
- El Paso & Southwestern #1 built in 1857.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:09 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
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Getting out my copy of "The First Quarter-Century of Steam Locomotives in North America" and it will tells me the following. The oldest bit of an American built locomotive surviving is the water tube boiler from Col. John Stevens' experimental 1825 machine. The oldest intact locomotive as mentioned before is the B&O John Quincy Adams built in July 1835. The Adams was rebuilt to resemble the Traveler (1833) in the 1890s.
1836 B&O Andrew Jackson & Thomas Jefferson
1836 Chicago & North Western "Pioneer" Baldwin #38 4-2-0
1836? Mississippi Dunham? 0-4-0


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
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Thanks John T... I wasn't aware of the Pioneer! I'll be adding that to my list next time I'm in Chicago.

Was the Mississippi American made?


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
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The Mississippi was suposedly built in New York. It does not conform to British paractice of the time. Here is a photo of the Pioneer:

https://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocom ... isplay=427

Mississippi
https://locomotive.fandom.com/wiki/Mississippi


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:09 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:15 am
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Location: Detroit, MI
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
So thanks to the replies so far it looks like after the Grasshoppers we have...

- Peoples Railway #3 built around 1842
- "Lion" built in 1846.
- William Mason built in 1856.
- El Paso & Southwestern #1 built in 1857.



You might add the 1858 Rogers 4-4-0 in The Henry Ford Museum to that list.

https://www.thehenryford.org/collection ... act/137952

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:20 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:47 pm
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Or also, the 1858 Boston & Providence 4-4-0 at the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis.

Surprising just how many antebellum locomotives have managed to make it just short of 200 years into preservation.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:11 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
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Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
The Morris & Essex (New Jersey) RR's 2nd locomotive, the Essex, may be in the oldest running condition, since it was sold to the Western Ohio RR in 1850 and sank on the steamer Clarion in Lake Erie in 1850. Unfortunately, there are now Zebra mussels that deep.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
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How is a locomotive sunk in a lake since 1850 in "running condition"?


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
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Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
Lake Erie is cold, fresh water, a very good preservative, at least until the Zebra Mussels came over from Europe about 1990. After it sank in 1850, the Essex was no longer subject to the George Washington's ax head and handle alterations. What other complete locomotives have been free from possible alterations for so long?


Last edited by JimBoylan on Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:36 pm 

Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 4:59 pm
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JimBoylan wrote:
What other locomotives have bee free form possible alterations for so long?


Again I would offer up the Lion. During its time on the Whitneyville & Machiasport Railroad (1843 to 1890) which served a saw mill it was little altered. The railroad was isolated and used link & pin couplers and wood rails with iron strapping to the very end.

Apart from repairs such as a local blacksmith welding back together one broken axle and the addition of sheet metal lagging it survived unmolested. When the Maine State Museum performed the restoration they reverted back to the wood lagging and also replaced portions of the armored wood frame that were badly rotted. Apart from the wood lagging the most obvious departure from its "as found" condition is the paint. At some point in its operating life it was painted black. The museum made the decision to recreate a more period correct paint scheme based on period artwork depicting other locomotives from the era to represent a used but well cared for locomotive.

As with many historical artifacts there is some questions. The museum speculated that the tender may not be the original and may have been swapped at some point for the Tiger's tender - the Tiger (1840?) was the Lion's life long companion and vanished in 1890.


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