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John H. White, Jr. Railroad Reference Collection

Collector:
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903  Search this
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
White, John H., 1933-  Search this
Extent:
31.33 Cubic feet (94 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ephemera
Manuscripts
Writings
Articles
Photographs
Photocopies
Research
Date:
1880s-1990
Scope and Contents:
The archivist has arranged the collection into five separate series: Series 1: CAR BUILDERS, arranged alphabetically by company or individual. Series 2: EQUIPMENT - ROLLING STOCK, arranged in two sections: alphabetically by White's heading: Articles in Progress and alphabetical by type of railroad car under White's heading: Research Files for Book in Progress. Series 3: LOCOMOTIVES, arranged alphabetically by Locomotive builders in two sections, first by individual company and second by individuals. Series 4: RAILROAD COMPANIES AND LINES, arranged alphabetically by railroad companies and railroad lines. Series 5: PUBLICATIONS, White's files for his book The American Railroad Freight Car, which are arranged into two sections, Illustrations and Text. Both sections are arranged numerically by chapters or sections of the book.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series. Most material arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

Series 1: Car Builders

Series 2: Equipment--Rolling Stock

Subseries 2.1: Articles in progress

Subseries 2.2: Research Files for Books in Progress

Series 3: Locomotives

Series 4: Railroad Companies and Lines

Series 5: Publications
Biographical / Historical:
John H. White, Jr., (1933- ), historian and museum curator, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated with a B.A. in history from Miami University, Ohio, in 1958. Shortly after receiving his degree, White joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution as Assistant Curator of the Division of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT). White became Associate Curator of the Division, 1961-1966, Curator, 1967-1985, and Senior Historian, 1986-1989. White specialized in land transportation, particularly the history of railroads. He retired in 1990. His papers, the John H. White, Jr., Papers, circa 1959-1989 are at the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

This collection of railroad materials was begun many years ago by employees of the Smithsonian Institution, and maintained later by curators and museum specialists working in the Division of Transportation, NMHT, later named the National Museum of American History (NMAH).

Some of the clippings date back to the time of J. Elfreth Watkins in the 1880-1890s. In 1885 Watkins was appointed Curator of the Section of Steam Transportation, which was successively known as Transportation and Engineering, and Technological Collections. Other portions of White's collection were clearly from Carl Mitman, author of several hundred entries on inventors and engineers in the Dictionary of American Biography and a Smithsonian employee who served as Curator of Mechanical Technology in 1919. In 1921 Mitman took the title of Curator of the Divisions of Mineral and Mechanical Technology, serving in this capacity until 1931. In 1931 the Division of Engineering was established. Mitman served as Curator of the Division and in charge of Mineral Technology, 1931-1938, Head Curator of the Department of Arts and Industries, 1932-1938, and Head Curator of the Department of Engineering and Industries, 1938-1948.

Some portions of this collection were acquired under the time of Frank A. Taylor (Mitman's protégé) who was Assistant Curator, 1928-1931, Assistant Curator for Mechanical Technology, 1932, Curator of the Division and in charge of Mechanical Technology, 1932-1948, Head Curator of the Division of Engineering and Industry, 1948-1957. In 1955 Taylor was appointed Assistant Director, United States National Museum (USNM), with special responsibility for planning the new NMHT, and in 1958 was appointed the first Director of the new museum. In 1962 Taylor became Director of the USNM with responsibility for both the National Museum of Natural History and NMHT.

Smith Hempstone Oliver of the Division of Transportation also kept up the files to a degree, though his main interest was in automobiles.

When White started employment at the Museum in June, 1958, there were, perhaps, two file cabinets on railroads. As Mr. White mentions in a letter to the archivist in March of 2002, "It was and is a great mix of odds and ends -- photos, news clippings, small prints, manufacturing catalogs, post cards, etc. Some junk and some treasure."

White found the material very useful for research and greatly expanded the collection. It more than doubled in size during his years in the Division, 1958-1990. The collection was White's working file and was set up to meet his needs. According to White, the collections greatest lack was cross referencing -- which was mostly in his head. He could usually find things but the organization might be confusing to other users. It was not intended for public use.

White is the author of many books on railroads, including:

American Locomotives: An Engineering History, 1830-1880. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1968; 1997.

Early American Locomotives, with 147 engraving. New York: Dover Publications, 1972.

American Single Locomotives and the "Pioneer". Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1973.

The Pioneer, Chicago's First Locomotive. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1976.

The American Railroad Passenger Car. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.

The John Bull, 150 Years a Locomotive. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981.

A Short History of American Locomotive Builders in the Steam Era. Washington, D.C.: Bass, 1982.

Great Yellow Fleet: A History of American Railroad Refrigerator Cars. Golden West Books, 1986

The American Railroad Freight Car: From the Wood-Car Era to the Coming of Steel. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.
Provenance:
The manuscript was donated by Jack White in 1995.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Railroads -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera
Manuscripts
Writings
Articles
Photographs -- 19th century
Photocopies
Research
Citation:
John H. White, Jr. Railroad Reference Collection, ca. 1830-1980, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0523
See more items in:
John H. White, Jr. Railroad Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0523
Online Media:

[The first successful anthracite coal burning locomotive: reproduction of technical drawing.]

Collector:
Millholland, James A., fl. 1860s-1900  Search this
Names:
Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Millholland, James A., Jr. , 1824-1893  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 11.1" x 6.2".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Drawings
Technical drawings
Date:
March 1888
Scope and Contents:
Diagram of the 1852 design built for Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, published in the National Car and Locomotive Builder, March 1888, p. 38, top.
Local Numbers:
AC0163-0000008.tif (AC scan no.)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Locomotives  Search this
Railroad equipment industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings -- 1860-1890
Technical drawings
Collection Citation:
James A. Millholland Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
James A. Millholland Collection
James A. Millholland Collection / Series 5: News Clippings
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0163-ref550

Baldwin Lima Hamilton 75564

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Lima Locomotive Works, Incorporated  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Lima Hamilton Corporation  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Place made:
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Date made:
1952
ID Number:
1986.0844.001
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.001
86.0844.001
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-8f37-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844644

Baldwin 56387

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall:;
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Place made:
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Date made:
1861
ID Number:
1986.0844.002
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.002
86.0844.002
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-8f38-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844645

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 1/4 in x 9 1/8 in; x .635 cm x 23.1775 cm
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Date made:
1918
ID Number:
1986.0844.003
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.003
86.0844.003
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-8f48-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844646

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.004
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.004
86.0844.004
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-8f49-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844647

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Place made:
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Date made:
1905
ID Number:
1986.0844.005
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.005
86.0844.005
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-8f4a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844648

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.006
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.006
86.0844.006
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-7ece-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844649

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.007
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.007
86.0844.007
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-7ed3-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844650

locomotive builder's plate

Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.008
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.008
86.0844.008
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-7ed4-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844651

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.009
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.009
86.0844.009
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-7ed5-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844652

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Date made:
1948
ID Number:
1986.0844.010
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.010
86.0844.010
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-7fef-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844653

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Date made:
1925
ID Number:
1986.0844.011
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.011
86.0844.011
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-7ff0-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844654

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Date made:
1916
ID Number:
1986.0844.012
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.012
86.0844.012
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-939d-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844655

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 9 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 22.86 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Date made:
1948
ID Number:
1986.0844.013
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.013
86.0844.013
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-939e-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844656

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.014
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.014
86.0844.014
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-939f-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844657

locomotive builder's plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.015
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.015
86.0844.015
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-93a0-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844658

Locomotive Builder's Plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Maker:
Baldwin Locomotive Works  Search this
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 3/16 in x 10 1/16 in; .47625 cm x 25.55875 cm
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Object Type:
locomotives
railroads
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
Date made:
1872
Subject:
Industrialization  Search this
Railroads  Search this
Locomotives  Search this
Train  Search this
ID Number:
1986.0844.016
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.016
86.0844.016
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Industry & Manufacturing
Transportation
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-93a1-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844659

Locomotive Builder's Plate

Associated user:
unknown  Search this
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 36 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 91.44 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Object Type:
locomotives
railroads
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.017
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.017
86.0844.017
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-93a2-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844660

locomotive builder's plate

Measurements:
overall: 23 in x 6 in x 19 in; 58.42 cm x 15.24 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Locomotive Builder's Plate
Other Terms:
Locomotive Builder's Plate; Rail
ID Number:
1986.0844.018
Accession number:
1986.0844
1986.0844
Catalog number:
1986.0844.018
86.0844.018
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-93a3-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_844661

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