• Discussion related to Baldwin Locomotive Works, Lima Locomotive Works, Lima-Hamilton Corporation, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton.
Discussion related to Baldwin Locomotive Works, Lima Locomotive Works, Lima-Hamilton Corporation, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton.

Moderator: lumpy72

  by AlcoMD
Lifted en toto from an archivists professional society site

by Henry A. Rentschler, President, Baldwin-Hamilton

" Where have the Baldwin papers gone?" I can shed some light on this question, but first a little history. Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton (B-L-H) was a complex company. Its roots went back to the very beginnings of industry in the United States. Baldwin had its beginnings in 1832; Hamilton in 1846; and Lima in 1869. Baldwin, Lima, and Hamilton merged in 1950. Much of the corporate and product history has been published, some quite recently. I have had the privilege of helping on some of the recent volumes, including one on Lima that is due out later this year.

At the time B-L-H discontinued the manufacture of locomotives in 1954, the firm had attempted to destroy most of its old and obsolete records. It only partially succeeded, and fortunately some drawings were spirited off and preserved. A curator at the Smithsonian Institution told me some years ago that the Baldwin collection alone, if it were still intact, would be valued at over $7,000,000. Too bad it was so scattered, and so much destroyed.

I will not reconstruct B-L-H¨s entire history here, nor can I comment much on the "corporate" records, which were mostly destroyed, or in a few cases ended up with Armour and Greyhound during the litigation of B-L-H in 1971-72. Our group, now known as the Baldwin-Hamilton Company, a division of Ecolaire Incorporated, ended up with certain engineering records patents, files, and tooling directly related to our product lines. Due to the similarity of our company name and that of B-L-H, we often get inquiries about this product or that, and I keep a list of other B-L-H product lines to help the owners of B-L-H apparatus find information. The list contains trade names of products and locations of recordsòeighteen locations, eighteen other companies with B-L-H records.

During a major consolidation in 1975-76 we gave away many original documents and drawings to museums around the country. Among the gifts were: documents pertaining to the Austin-Western and Western dump cars, given to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga manuals for steam and diesel locomotives with Baldwin and Hamilton trade names, given to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento; Baldwin locomotive manuals and other engineering records, given to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden; Baldwin, Southwark, Hamilton, and Hooven, Owens, Rentschler trade catalogues, given to the Hagley Museum, Wilmington, Delaware; records of Hamilton, Baldwin, De La Vergne, Lima-Hamilton, and Hooven, Owens, Rentschler machinery given to the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus; a large collection of locomotive drawings and records of Baldwin, Baldwin Locomotive Works, and BòLòH, given to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg; Southwark, PorteròAllen, Baldwin, and De La Vergne records pertaining to steam engines, pumping engines, blowing engines, diesel engines, refrigeration machines, and locomotives, given to the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington; Hamilton, Pelton, Southwark, De La Vergne, and Hooven, Owens, Rentschler records pertaining to diesel and steam engines and other equipment, given to the Steamship Historical Society, New York records of AustinòWestern dump cars and Baldwin locomotives, given to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Chattanooga; records of Baldwin, De La Vergne, GriscomòRussell, Griscomò Spencer, and LoewyòHydropress, given to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, Colorado Springs, CO.

Additionally, the largest collection of Baldwin Locomotive Works drawings and records, and records of BòLòH, is at the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas; the DeGolyer acquired the collection in 1954. Approximately 15,000 BòLòH and Baldwin Locomotive Works photographs and negatives, including the earliest glass plate negatives, are owned by H. L. Broadbelt of Newport News, VA. And many Lima photographs, drawings, and corporate records are at the Allen County Historical Society in Lima, OH.

Of course, we retain modern (mostly post World War II) records pertaining to our current product linesòlocomotives, diesel engines, steam engines, and dump carsòand current trade namesòBaldwin, Hamilton, LimaòHamilton, Whitcomb, AustinòWestern, and Hooven, Owens, Rentschler. Finally, it is not "paper," but I might add that we have preserved the 1905 statue of Matthias Baldwin, which we display outside our offices here in Malvern, PA.

Where have the Baldwin papers gone? Almost everywhere apparently.

  by railroadcarmover
i purchased an FM h12 - 44 that was used in Fairless Hills PA US Steel mill. I acquired a fair amount of Baldwin and FM books, paperwork, drawings and the like in the process . I have a 1951 blueprint of a baldwin switcher loco. The drawing is huge. I also have blueprints of baldwin trucks drawn back in 51 as well.

  by hankadam
Hey, Neat! This was written some years ago, and I discovered it quite accidently when searching around on the Internet. I will update, since Baldwin-Hamilton was closed in 1991, and the rest of the papers donated and I was successful in getting the statue of Mathais Baldwin to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where he stands, quietly, in the far corner, to the left, as you enter. Take care, Hank Rentschler

  by herbert
The Baldwin negatives once owned by my late father were transferred many years ago to the Pa. rr museum inStrasburg, Pa. I still have many photos printed by my father or BLW some of which are not available at the museum. I recently sold or donated many publications and other mateials to various institutions some of which are named in the above referenced article. I still have a few items available for purchase by collectors. [email protected]