Steam Locomotive "Sam Hill," 1858

Summary

The design of this 1858 Rogers locomotive accommodates factors and limitations directly connected to the character of American railroads. Its flexible wheel arrangement, high power output, and light weight allow it to perform on the tight curves, steep grades, and hastily-constructed track that characterized cheaply-built American railroads. Cost cutting approaches a preference for cast iron components and the use of thin boiler plates contrast with lavish embellishments. These early locomotives balance practicality, safety, economy, and exuberance; they were rooted in advanced steam technology but were the result of practical problem solving by hands-on engineers. With further refinements, increased size, and a lot less ornament, this basic design remained workable almost until the end of the nineteenth century.

The design of this 1858 Rogers locomotive accommodates factors and limitations directly connected to the character of American railroads. Its flexible wheel arrangement, high power output, and light weight allow it to perform on the tight curves, steep grades, and hastily-constructed track that characterized cheaply-built American railroads. Cost cutting approaches a preference for cast iron components and the use of thin boiler plates contrast with lavish embellishments. These early locomotives balance practicality, safety, economy, and exuberance; they were rooted in advanced steam technology but were the result of practical problem solving by hands-on engineers. With further refinements, increased size, and a lot less ornament, this basic design remained workable almost until the end of the nineteenth century.

Material

Brass (Alloy)
Leather
Metal
Wood (Plant material)

Color

Black (Color)

Inscriptions

Sides of tender: ATLANTIC & GULF R.R. Sides of cab: SAM HILL Number plate on front of smokebox: BALDWIN LOCOMOTIVE WORKS 1860 / THE PRESIDENT / OCT. 21, 1929

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