Ingersoll-Rand Number 90 Diesel Locomotive, 1926

Summary

By the 1920s steam locomotive designers were applying scientific research in areas such as thermodynamics and metallurgy to the hard-won practical know-how that had driven locomotive development throughout the nineteenth century. At the same time, breakthroughs in other areas such as electrical engineering and internal combustion power were being recognized as having likely railroad motive power applications. This locomotive represents a convergence of those technologies. Its body houses an Ingersoll-Rand Diesel engine that drives a General Electric generator, which in turn powers electric motors mounted on the axles. The flexibility and economy of Diesel locomotives ultimately drove the demise of steam locomotives in the United States, but when this locomotive was built those advantages were not yet entirely apparent.

By the 1920s steam locomotive designers were applying scientific research in areas such as thermodynamics and metallurgy to the hard-won practical know-how that had driven locomotive development throughout the nineteenth century. At the same time, breakthroughs in other areas such as electrical engineering and internal combustion power were being recognized as having likely railroad motive power applications. This locomotive represents a convergence of those technologies. Its body houses an Ingersoll-Rand Diesel engine that drives a General Electric generator, which in turn powers electric motors mounted on the axles. The flexibility and economy of Diesel locomotives ultimately drove the demise of steam locomotives in the United States, but when this locomotive was built those advantages were not yet entirely apparent.

Artifact

Diesel-electric locomotive

Date Made

1926

Creators

American Locomotive Company 

General Electric Company 

Ingersoll-Rand Company 

Place of Creation

United States, New Jersey, Phillipsburg 

Creator Notes

Made by General Electric Company, American Locomotive Company, and Ingersoll-Rand Company of Phillipsburg, New Jersey

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Transportation - Trains

Object ID

70.96.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ingersoll-Rand Company.

Material

Metal
Steel

Color

Black (Color)
Yellow

Dimensions

Length: 399 in

Weight: 120000 lbs

Inscriptions

Outside markings: IR, #90/"Make Safety a Habit." ["Make Safety a Habit" was lettered on the locomotive as accessioned; it is not present on the restored locomotive] Present lettering in white: INGERSOLL-RAND / 90 (JCL 4/29/97) Builder's plates: OIL-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE / CLASS B-B 120/120 -0-4HM840G / GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. / AMERICAN LOCOMOTIVE CO. / INGERSOLL-RAND CO. / G.E.CO. NO. / 10132 / U.S.A. / DEC 1926 / A.L.CO. NO. / 66752 Metal tag: 1935 / 2872

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