Early 20th Century Railroad and American Locomotive Archive

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The American Locomotive Company was the second largest steam locomotive builder in the United States. Many major railroads favored American’s products, including Delaware and Hudson Railroad, New Haven Railroad, New York Central Railroad, Union Pacific and Southern Pacific.  American Locomotive also built the first steam locomotive in North America to use roller bearings.

Five typed letters signed, three autograph letters mostly signed by company engineer of machinery John C. Hoar and vice president C.K. Lassiter and all addressed to James Eden Jr., engineer, from Springfield, MA. Archive also includes a five-page list of repeat customers; list of patents owned by British Internal Combustion Engines, Limited; a two typed letters signed, one by Consolidated Machine Tool Company of America and The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company; and a one-page (1895) offering for a railroad bond from Lynn & Boston Railroad Company; other miscellaneous items.

The letters, in small part, “I would like to know what the ball universal joint…would cost in quantities…Does Bausch Machine Tool Company own the patent [list of patents included]…We have been making the joints for our own use, but they are very crude…

Hoar writes Eden stating his dissatisfaction with not moving up the job ladder quickly enough. “…The company…is very well satisfied with me and my work and, in a way, I am satisfied, but when I make fair comparisons with some of my superiors I really feel I should be doing a lot better.

“I do not like the idea of leaving and I have not looked for anything, but for reasons as mentioned above and as a business proposition, I feel that I should be doing a lot better. With this in mind, it occurred to me that you might possibly learn of something that might interest me…

“Mr. Neatly worried so much about his job that he is now in the insane asylum and is not expected to recover…”

In another letter, Hoar writes to Eden: “I…was very glad indeed to learn that the demonstration of the staybolt heads was so successful…Harold Welch, manager of Niles, Bernut, Rand called today with reference to a boxing mill we are considering and during our conversation he referred to a letter and wanted to know what make of machine we were using for drilling staybolts. I told him it was your machine – he told me…everyone was well pleased…I told him…you had…designed a much better machine…”

In the final letter, Hoar writes “…Company affairs are about the same as when I wrote you last. The tell tale hole drilling machines are on the budget, but like everything else on the list nothing has been done about them. A representative of Williams White & Co. called last week and informed me that they were working on a roll for making reduced body staybolts. He saw in New York some samples which…showed him…They are trying to roll the bolt with the axis of the bolt parallel to the axis of the roll. I made no comments but that cannot be done on an iron bolt. My idea is to rough down a small pile of iron and have the finishing rolls grooved for the reduced body…” More. Archive is in very good condition and a wonderful collectible for locomotive, railroad or business Americana.

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