Winans, Ross railroad equipment supplier 1796-1877
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI
0.15 cubic feet
Winans was an inventor, mechanic, and builder of locomotives and railroad machinery, including wheels, axels, bearings trucks and carriages. In 1828 he developed a friction wheel with outside bearings which established a "distinctive pattern for railroad wheels for the next one hundred years or so. In the late 1820s also he became associated with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, eventually entering their service as an engineer. He retired from the locomotive business in 1860. When Winans died he left an estate worth over twenty million dollars.
Letterbook contains copies of 417 business letters, arranged chronologically, relating to the manufacture and sale of railroad equipment including locomotive engines, tenders, and car wheels. These letters were replicated in a process similar to carbon copies in an almost perfectly uniform handwriting.
Ross Winans Letterbook, 1850-1851, Archives Center, National Museum of American History