Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 132 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891.

  Water-cocks changed from right to left side of the boiler.

  Bell, whistle and headlight were added.

  Balance safety valve scale was changed forward to a point over
  barrel of boiler, the secret valve being over the new dome.]


During 1831-35 the company’s shops were located at Hoboken, N.J., and during the winter of 1832-33, three locomotives were commenced at these shops (two completed before March, 1833, the other in April), the valves, cylinders, pistons, etc., coming from England, the boilers being made under the direction of Robert L. Stevens.  It was his opinion that the “John Bull” was too heavy, and the new boilers were built smaller and lighter, so that the engines, when completed, weighed eight instead of ten tons.  With these three engines, which were delivered to the railroad company at South Amboy, the stone blocks and other material for the permanent track was delivered along the line of the road.


The importation of the locomotive “John Bull” was destined to have a far-reaching influence in moulding the types of early American locomotives.

After the demonstration of November 12, 1831, the engine was taken from the track and stored in a shed constructed to protect it until such time as the track should be completed.

It was about this time that the proprietor of Peale’s Museum, in Philadelphia, applied to Matthias Baldwin, an ingenious mathematical instrument maker, for a small locomotive to run upon a circular track on the floor of the museum.  Mr. Baldwin had heard of this locomotive.  He came to Bordentown and applied to Isaac Dripps for permission to inspect it.  Mr. Dripps tells me he remembers very well the day that he explained to Mr. Baldwin the construction of the various working parts.

Mr. Baldwin built a toy engine for Mr. Peale, which was so successful, that in 1832 he was called upon by the Philadelphia and Germantown Railroad Company to construct the old “Ironsides,"[7] which was similar in many ways to the “John Bull,” as an examination of the model preserved in the National Museum will show.  The success of this engine laid the foundation for the great Baldwin Locomotive Works, which is in existence to-day, sending locomotives to every part of the globe.

  [Footnote 7:  A handsome model of the “Ironsides” was presented to
  the United States National Museum by the Baldwin Locomotive
  Company in 1888.]


The Camden and Amboy Company having obtained control of the steamboat routes between Philadelphia and Bordentown, and between South Amboy and New York, directed their energies to completing the railway across the State.

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Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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