Baldwin, Matthias William

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b. 10 November 1795 Elizabethtown, New Jersey, USA
d. 7 September 1866 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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American builder of steam locomotives, founder of Baldwin Locomotive Works.
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After apprenticeship as a jeweller, Baldwin set up a machinery manufacturing business, and built stationary steam engines and, in 1832, his first locomotive, Old Ironsides, for the then-new Philadelphia, Germantown \& Norristown Railroad. Old Ironsides achieved only 1 mph (1.6 km/h) on trial, but after experimentation reached 28 mph (45 km/h). Over the next ten years Baldwin built many stationary engines and ten more locomotives, and subsequently built locomotives exclusively.
He steadily introduced detail improvements in locomotive design; standardized components by means of templates and gauges from 1838 onwards; introduced the cylinder cast integrally with half of the smokebox saddle in 1858; and in 1862 imported steel tyres, which had first been manufactured in Germany by Krupp of Essen in 1851, and began the practice in the USA of shrinking them on to locomotive wheels. At the time of Matthias Baldwin's death, the Baldwin Locomotive Works had built some 1,500 locomotives: it went on to become the largest locomotive building firm to develop from a single foundation, and by the time it built its last steam locomotive, in 1955, had produced about 75,000 in total.
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Further Reading
J.H.White Jr, 1979, A History of the American Locomotive—Its Development 1830–
1880, New York: Dover Publications Inc.
J.Marshall, 1978, A Biographical Dictionary of Railway Engineers, Newton Abbot: David \& Charles.
Dictionary of American Biography.
PJGR

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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