Born Nov 10 1795 - Died Sep 7 1886
Patent Number(s) 8,401x
Matthias Baldwin built America's first great locomotive. The nation's
first train passengers rode behind Baldwin's engines, including the
historic ``Old Ironsides,'' which could go as fast as 28 miles per hour
and pull up to 30 tons. The Baldwin Locomotive Works built more than
1,500 locomotives by the time of Baldwin's death, helping to establish
America's early railroad system.
His full-scale locomotive, Old Ironsides, was the first locomotive to
carry passengers. Baldwin invented a series of improvements, including
a high-pressure steam engine that was much more powerful than prior
The Baldwin Locomotive Works produced more than 1,500 locomotives by
the time of his death. Most of Baldwin's railroad equipment was sold
in America, although some were also sold across Europe and South America.
Born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, Baldwin began his career as a printer,
engraver and bookbinder. After he invented an improved process for printing
calico, a member of the Philadelphia museum approached him about the
lack of Americans able to build locomotives. He responded by building
a small four-passenger demonstration locomotive for the museum.