I saw the note on the Trains.com forum. Here's a link:
http://www.trains.com/TRC/CS/forums/985 ... wPost.aspx
I knew that Baldwin had been on a steady decline since 1951 with the managment shakups, trouble with Westinghouse, and competition, (I think 1950 was the best year for their products) but I just didn't see any initial trigger for such a precipitous decline. The depression bankrupted virtually everyone, and WWII saw a rebirth of all the great industries, including Baldwin. I know that the WPB really screwed them over as far as product quality and subsequent economic impact goes, but it wasn't too much better for everyone else. The taxes though make sense as a cause for the initial snowball that started the avalanch. The taxes obviously weren't so much that they put Baldwin in debt litereally, (I should have written that better in my previous post) but they could have hindered Baldwins redevelopment for peacetime production to such an extent that they couldn't compete. This may be just all supposition, but I wouldn't doubt EMD had a hand in Baldwins demise, beyond that of just simple competion. GM/EMD was like a corprate mob back then. They manipulated governments and laws to get their way and crush any competition. They were a vicious predator company that had a major hand in eliminating the street car in the 1960s, amoung other things. There was an expose on PBS a while back about how GM bribed officials, stuffed ballot boxes, took over managing boards, and even bought out companies from underneith themselves to get rid of the interurban street car. They even had a subsidiary company that would buy a streetcar company and use it's asset value to buy another one, then use the combined value to by another one, and carry on until they had so many companies, then they just liquidated it all. They sold all the rolling stock, track, ROW, buildings, and equipment, which would pay off their dept while giving them a tidy profit left over. Then GM would follow up selling busses to the cities that suddenly found themselves without public transportation. GM was reaping in profits.
EMD may not have gone that far with Baldwin, but I'm sure that at least in some extent they pulled some strings, bought a few favors, and manipulated the company into a downward spiral. That's why I hate EMD, It is so galling that EMD succeded with massive profits and a terribly inferior product while Baldwin failed even though they had a product that EMD wouldn't match for at least 20 years after BLH left the locomotive business.
I like that definition of EMD posted earlier, but I think I got a slightly better one:
EMD = Electro-Mechanical Disaster
And Mr Rentschler, when were you out to our museum last? I hope you got to see #10 running. She is an awsome locomotive, even though she is rather worn. It's still hard to imagine that engine could pull 159 50-ton cars at 10mph on level track. It's no wonder they call 'em Dragons!
-Mechanoical Vollenteer, Arizona Railway Museum
Anyone got any Baldwin engine parts to donate?