Matthias W. Baldwin

Allgemeines

FirmennameMatthias W. Baldwin
OrtssitzPhiladelphia (Penns.)
Art des UnternehmensLokomotiv-Industrieller
AnmerkungenGründer der "Baldwin Locomotive Works" (s.d.)
Quellenangaben[Metzeltin: Die Lokomotive (1971), dort weitere Quellen] www.oldchesterpa.com/history_warfel_2.htm [Bishop: History of American manufacturers 2 (1868) 537]
HinweiseGelernter Gold- und Silberarbeiter, machte sich 1825 selbständig und fertigte Werkzeuge für Buchbinder. Der Erfolg mit einer selbstgebauten Betriebsdampfmaschine veranlaßte ihn 1830, den Bau von Dampfmaschinen aufzunehmen, dem 1832 der Lokomotivbau folgte. Durch zähe Energie entwickelte B. in kurzer Zeit seine Werkstatt zur größten Lokomotivfabrik der Vereinigten Staaten, die bis zu seinem Tod bereits rund 1500 Lokomotiven geliefert hatte.




Biografie

Zeit Ereignis
1827 Umzug von der Walnut Street (oberhalb Fourth Street) in die Minor Street (nahe der Sixth Street)
Herbst 1830 Die Camden and Amboy Railroad hat eine Lokomotive importiert, die eifersüchtig vor der öffentlichen Betrachtung in einem Lagerhaus bei Philadelphia bewacht wird. Auf irgendeine Weise überwinden Baldwin udn sein Freund Franklin Peale die Skrupel des Bewachers und werden hineingelassen, um die Lok zu sehen. Nach einer erschöpfenden Studie von etwa einer halben Stunde erklärt Baldwin enthusiastisch: "I can make it."
1835 Umzug zur Ecke Broad und Hamilton Streets, wo unter der Leitung von Balwin ein Werk mit erstaunlicher Größe entsteht.




Tätigkeitsbereiche

Tätig ab Bem. bis Bem. Kommentar
Leitung einer Lokomotivfabrik          




Allgemeines

ZEIT1868
THEMAFirmenbeschreibung
TEXTEminent as an inventor and builder of Locomotive engines, was born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, December 10th, 1795. He had the misfortune, in early childhood, to lose his father, who was a successful carriage builder, and the further misfortune to lose, through the mismanagement of the executor, the property which he would have inherited. He was thus dependent for his elementary instruction upon a widowed mother, who was left with five children, to overcome, by her energy, the privations incident to reduced circumstances. From his earliest years the bent of his mind was toward mechanical contrivances, and it is said that the toys he usually played with were those which he himself had made. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to Woolworth Brothers, of Frankford, Philadelphia county, to learn the trade of jeweler, and after serving an apprenticeship of five years, entered the employ of Fletcher and Gardiner, who were then extensive manufacturers of jewelry at 130 Chestnut street. After laboring two years as journeyman in this shop, he commenced in 1819 to manufacture jewelry in a small way for his own account; and while thus occupied he invented a new process of gold plating, which was never protected by a patent, but is now very generally adopted. Instead of attaching the gold leaf to the baser metal, he soldered a thicker piece of gold to the base, and rolled the two together until they were compressed to the requisite thinness. The demand for jewelry, however, shortly after he embarked in business, so greatly declined that he abandoned its manufacture, and undertook that of Bookbinders' tools and Calico Printers' rolls, in which he became associated with David Mason. This was probably the first manufactory of these articles that rendered this country independent of foreign supply. It was located, at first, in a small street running north from Walnut, above Fourth, but was removed in 1827 to Minor street, near Sixth. It was in this workshop that Mr. Baldwin made the designs for, and built his first steam engine, intended to supply the motive power demanded by his enlarged business. It was of novel construction, in several respects, and was finished to an extent entirely unexampled in that day. Its vertical cylinder, so placed for economy of space, its forked cross-head, and pitman guides at the sides of the cylinder, were novelties, in the disposition and form of parts, and its bevel wheels, which gave motion to the governor, were without teeth, doing their duty by friction alone, being noiseless, like the beautiful engine whose motion that governor controlled. This little engine, of five horse power, was the object of much attention among machinists, and excited general admiration by its quiet, though efficient motion, and the fine finish of all its parts. It is at this hour an efficient motive power in the great establishment of M. W. Baldwin & Co., with very slight changes in its parts, a durable evidence of the sound mechanical judgment of him who designed and executed it. His success in building this engine for his own use, induced him to embark in building stationary engines, of which, after his dissolution of partnership with Mr. Mason, he became an extensive manufacturer. In the fall of 1830, the Camden and Amboy Railroad had imported a Locomotive, which was jealously guarded from public inspection in a store-house near Philadelphia. By some means or winning device Mr. Baldwin, and his friend Franklin Peale, overcame the scruples of the man who had it in charge, and were admitted to see it. After an absorbing study for nearly half an hour, he exclaimed enthusiastically: "I can make it." His friend Peale, who was then proprietor of the Philadelphia Museum, urged him to attempt making a miniature Locomotive, to which he assented, and after about four months' labor, with no other assistance than the hurried inspection above referred to, and such drawings as the scientific journals of that day were publishing, he had a beautiful model ready for exhibition. This was placed on a track laid in the rooms of the Museum in the Arcade, April 25th, 1831, making the circuit of the whole suite, and drawing two miniature cars containing seats for four passengers, though eight was often the number, and attracted crowds to visit, for the first time in Philadelphia, or Pennsylvania, the effect of steam in railroad transportation. In 1832 Mr. Baldwin received an order from the Philadelphia and Germantown Railway, for the construction of a Locomotive for that company. This was undertaken and prosecuted energetically, notwithstanding the difficulties of few and insufficient tools and contracted space, and completed in about six months. Begun in Minor street, it was finished in Lodge alley between Seventh and Eighth streets, to which place his shops had been removed, and was placed on the road, November 23d 1832. The experiments which were made with this engine, called the "Ironsides," established the fact of its entire success as a locomotive. The newspapers of the day reported that it was capable of carrying thirty tons gross at an average speed of forty miles an hour, though its own weight, in consequence of the restrictions of the Company, was only between four and live tons. Among the notices in Poulson's American Advertiser of that period, is the following novel advertisement. NOTICE. The Locomotive Engine, built by M. W. Baldwin of this city, will depart daily, when the weather is fair, with a train of passenger cars. On rainy days, horses will be attached. No one need be told, now, that when the rails are wet, there is less adhesion than at other times, and as the grades were steep it is not surprising that one of the lightest engines ever built was unable to draw all the cars, and all the crowd that panted for the novelty of a trip by steam. The Company, however, appear not to have been satisfied with its performances, and demanded a reduction of five hundred dollars from the contract, price which was three thousand five hundred dollars. His initial experiment in building locomotives was not therefore encouraging to Mr. Baldwin, and it is probable that, at that time, he did not expect to live to see the day when No. 1500 would be placed on an engine of this description constructed in his shops. During the next three years, however, he received orders for nine or ten Locomotives; and in 1835 he removed to the corner of Broad and Hamilton streets, where, under his supervision, the Works grew to an astonishing magnitude. Previous to 1835 Mr. Baldwin had made many important inventions, tending to perfect the locomotive engine in its various parts and operative proportions. The plan of attaching the cylinders to the outside of the smoke-box, now almost universally adopted, originated with him, and also the metallic ground joints, and various minor improvements, upon which the present perfection of the Locomotive depends. The curious reader who may desire to see a detailed account of his inventions, is referred to the Journal of the Franklin Institute, April 1835, or to the extended sketch of Mr. Baldwin's life by the Rev. Wolcott Calkins, now passing through the press, for private circulation, under the supervision of his son-in-law and executor, John Clayton, Esq. His subsequent career as a mechanic and manufacturer, after his removal to Broad street, until his decease, September 7th, 1866, is remarkable for the fertility of invention displayed in originating novelties in mechanism, and no less remarkable for the steady heroism evinced amidst financial difficulties and embarassments. One of the subjects to which he devoted all the powers of his mind, and achieved a decided triumph, was in adapting Locomotives to carrying heavy freights around sharp curves, and up ascending grades. Probably the most important invention that he ever made, was the flexible truck Locomotive, patented August, 1842. He no doubt contributed more than any other man to the great result that Locomotives can now penetrate wherever man can go to cultivate the earth with profit. There are engines of his construction that daily draw after them fifty tons of freight and passengers, up grades rising at the rate of two hundred and ninety-six feet to the mile, and swing their trains of eight wheel cars around curves of less than three hundred feet radii. In fact his mechanical career exhibited so much genius, ready adaptation to new pursuits, buoyant and unfaltering faith in the midst of discouragement, patience, foresight and persistence in untried fields of labor, that he may be said to have led public enterprise in this country, and to have been a public benefactor, both by the new branches of industry that lie stimulated, and by the encouraging example he presented to young men, embarking in honorable enterprises with high aspirations. Though the influence that Mr. Baldwin exercised upon the political movements of the day was comparatively limited in extent, he discharged his duties in this respect with his usual zeal and independence. In 1837 he was appointed a member of the convention to amend the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania, and in that body took a decided stand on points that have become vital principles in the general progress of mankind, and always on the side of liberty, freedom, and justice. In 1853 he was elected a member of the State Legislature, and amidst the mazes of diplomacy adhered to the straightforward and consistent course that was a characteristic of his whole life. From early youth he appears to have been impressed with the vital importance of a practical religion, that influenced him, more or less, in all the transactions of his business career. It was not, however, until 1831 that he made a formal profession of his faith, when he joined the Presbyterian Church under the pastorate of the Rev. Albert Barnes. From this time forward his religious fervor never abated, and so zealous was he in the formation of religious associations, and the erection of churches, that he was called the great church builder of Philadelphia. His charities were so unbounded, and his contributions to religious objects so vast, that his income, great as it had become within the last few years of his business life, was almost entirely absorbed in this direction. Mr. Baldwin was a member of various Scientific Institutes and organizations; but was especially noted for his devotion to horticulture and the fine arts. He was president for several years of the Horticultural Society of Philadelphia, and contributed largely to the attractiveness of its exhibitions by a liberal display of the beauties of his conservatory. His favorite country residence at Wissinoming was embellished by every variety of flower, tree and tropical fruit, constituting a paradise that Shenstone would have envied. His houses and rooms, both in city and country, were filled to their utmost capacity with pictures which he had purchased at liberal prices. His loss was felt and mourned by all classes of society in the city of his adoption, but by none more sincerely than the admirers of the Fine Arts and the friends of Horticulture.
QUELLE[Bishop: History of American manufacturers 2 (1868) 537]