• Looking for Photo/Description of Locomotive used 1859-1862

  • Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.
Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

Moderator: Franklin Gowen

  by DonH
Hello, new member, I recently found out at the ripe age of 60+ that my great great grandfather worked for Reading Company from 1847 to 1902, almost 54 years! (References: Reading Eagle articles) I have his documented years of where and what he did with Reading Railroad Company and what I am looking for is a photo at best or at least a good description of the type of locomotive he was an Engineer on during the 1859 to 1862 period, when he ran the passenger service line from Reading to Port Clinton/Schuylkill Haven/Pottsville.
I hope to pass this information down to my grandsons who then would have knowledge that their great great great great grandfather Benjamin Hartman was a long time Reading Railroad employee and a "Choo Choo" engineer to boot. I only have wished that I had known this information when I was a kid growing up in Reading , I would have had a totally different perspective everytime I saw a train go passing by.

Don Hartman, formerly from Reading Pa
  by DonH
I have searched about as much as one can on the internet and the closest I have come to what Locomotive my gggrandfather ran in that time frame was the Hiawatha and Valentia. I did see a reference to a train called "The Schuylkill", not Schuylkill, since that was listed in 1859 for the Lehigh RR and not P&R.

Here is the employment record with The Reading Company that I compiled from a few articles that appeared in the Reading Eagle newspaper over the years. I guess I could also see what Switch Engines he might have used along with the passenger locomotives.

20 MARCH 1828 – 2 JULY 1911
1843 Age 15
Left his father’s Alsace Township farm (Jacob B Hartman) to live with his Aunt, Mrs. Abraham (Hettie Wentzel) Kline in Reading and worked making post fences in the area.
1847 Age 18
On 17 March 1847 was hired by Reading Railway Company, working at the saw mill located opposite of the upper Reading station. He would bank up wood at certain places along the railroad to use in the locomotives. Coal burning engines were not being used at this time.
1849 Age 21
Became a Brakeman - was responsible for applying and releasing the train’s brakes, the brakeman also was responsible for coupling and uncoupling the train’s cars.
1852 Age24
Became a Fireman – was responsible for tending fuel to the boiler, most likely wood during his tenure, also apprenticing to become an Engineer which was the next step in career progression.
1859 Age 31
Promoted to Locomotive Engineer – Ran the passenger train from Reading to Port Clinton/Schuylkill Haven/Pottsville.
1861 Age 33
Became a P & R Roundhouse foreman in Reading
1869 Age 41
Went to Robesonia and ran the Switch Engine at the Robesonia Iron furnace (Historical Site).
1887 Age 59
He became a Switchman – in charge of coupling and uncoupling cars at Reading P&R Main Station until his retirement.
1902 Age 73
January 1st Benjamin was pensioned on age limit at $50 per month after nearly 54 years of service with the Reading Company.
2 JULY 1911 – Age 83
Benjamin passed away after a 2 year period of bed confinement from debility.
References: Reading Eagle June 14, 1908, Reading Eagle May 8, 1910, Reading Eagle Death Announcement July 3, 1911
  by scottychaos
very cool! :)
I have been doing genealogy myself lately, and I have two grandfathers, a great grandfather, and a great-great grandfather who worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad!

For your 1859 to 1862 timeframe, the most common wheel arrangement, by far, was the 4-4-0 "American" type.
For all railroads, and for both passenger and freight service.
Your Great Great Grandfather would have certainty operated many locomotives of that type.
4-6-0 "Ten Wheelers" and perhaps 2-6-0 "Moguls" would have also been around at that time.
but 90% of locomotives in that timeframe would have been 4-4-0's..

Here is a fancy Reading 4-4-0 called the "Hiawatha", says the photo is from 1859:
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/pr_hiawatha.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(that cab style is very unusual, and not at all typical.)

This one is said to be 1863:
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/rdg/rdg-s411ark.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(That is a locomotive of your "Reading Railroad"..the P&R on the tender stands for "Philadelphia & Reading" the "full name" of the Reading Railroad)
That is a "Camelback" locomotive, also sometimes called a "Mother Hubbard" type, with the cab sitting on the boiler..they were made that way because of a special firebox needed
to burn anthracite coal..

Those photos came from here:
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/phil_reading.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here is a "typical" 4-4-0 of the 1860's timeframe:
Although that one isnt from the Reading Railroad, that is the "style" of 4-4-0 that every railroad was running
in the 1850's and 1860's..Your Great Great Grandfathers Reading Railroad would have been no exception.
He certainty would have operated locomotives that looked very similar to that..
I will look for more Reading specific photos!
  by scottychaos
Here is a great Reading photo from 1882:
http://www.readingrr.com/gal/373.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"This view shows an express train from Jersey City at the station in Jenkintown. Brand new 4-4-0 No. 373 is on the point, emerging from Reading Shops in September, 1882. This locomotive would be rebuilt in 1897 and again in 1901, and was ultimately scrapped in 1923. It was renumbered to #196 at the 1901 rebuild. "

From this page:
http://www.readingrr.com/index.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And here is an existing Reading loco from an early era:
http://www.readingrailroad.org/profiles ... m_pr3.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by DonH
Scot, thanks for the reply, I think I will attach a photo or two of the Hiawatha to the genealogical records I have on Benjamin Hartman of the 4-4-0 types from that period. My last train ride on a train from Reading was back when I joined the Air Force, Franklin St station to Reading Terminal in Philly. :)
While doing the genealogy, years ago I found that one of my great great uncles was killed in a train accident, not till today did I realize it was one of Benjamin's sons and at that time I did not know Benjamin also worked for the Railroad . Here is the article in the Reading newspaper on how my gg Uncle Allen Hartman was killed by a train. Kind of gruesome way to go........................ Since Benjamin had three other sons, other than my Great Grandfather who did not work for the Railroad, perhaps the other two brothers did work for Reading RR.
Here is the article in the Reading Eagle newspaper describing the night my gg uncle was killed by a train.