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Manuscript Group 422
6 cubic feet

Herbert L. Broadbelt was an employee of the Baldwin Locomotive Works who collected these materials which include approximately 17,500 negative and positive photographs, 3,500 statistical cards, menus, drawings, leaflets, circulars, rosters and indices created for marketing locomotives.

The M.W. Baldwin Company was founded in Philadelphia 1831 as a jewelery firm and later manufactured, in partnership with David Mason, bookbinder's tools and steam-driven cylinders used for printing calico cloth. In 1883 Franklin Peale of the Philadelphia Museum asked Baldwin to construct a miniature locomotive for exhibition at his museum. The success of this model, and the subsequent construction of a full scale locomotive for the Philadelphia, Germantown, & Norristown Railroad, led to further requests for locomotives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Reading Railroad Company, and the Philadelphia & Trenton Railroad Company, among others. Baldwin also constructed numerous engines for railways in Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. By the time construction was phased out in the early 1950s, Baldwin had built more steam locomotives than any other institution in the world. Late in the 1890s, in conjunction with Westinghouse Electrical Manufacturing Company, Baldwin also built small electric locomotives for mining and industrial use. By the mid-1920s, the company started experimenting with diesel engines, and by 1939, was producing diesel electric locomotives. In the early 1950s, Baldwin merged with the Lima-Hamilton Company and the Austin-Western Dump Car Company and became the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Company which continued in operation until 1972.

The bulk of the records pertain to operations in the twentieth century and include bound books of photographs, locomotive specification drawings, correspondence, menus, histories of various railroads, leaflets, pamphlets, and specification note cards.

The collection is housed at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, 300 Gap Road, Route 741 East, Strasburg, PA 17579 and inquiries should be directed to either the Site Administrator or Curator at (717) 687-8628.

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records