1860's Steam Powered Locomotive Unknown family photo

1860's Steam Powered Locomotive

Taken in Richmond, Virginia United States of America in .

This photo of a damaged locomotive was taken in 1865 in Richmond Virginia. I believe (could be wrong!) this to be a steam powered locomotive that was badly damaged during the Civil War. This train c ... show more

This photo of a damaged locomotive was taken in 1865 in Richmond Virginia. I believe (could be wrong!) this to be a steam powered locomotive that was badly damaged during the Civil War. This train closely resembles the Farm Locomotive Engine which took 3 operators to run and that began to become available in 1860. To put the date into perspective, in 1840 there were just 4500 miles of railway around the world. By 1910 there were over 130,000 global railway miles.

If you have additional information on this locomotive please leave a comment!


*UPDATE*: Thanks to all of the community for chiming in on this one! It looks as though we have a few more details:

* It is likely that this particular locomotive was designed and built by Tredegar Iron Works located in Richmond, Virginia. A division of the Tredegar Iron Works, the Tredegar Locomotive Works, produced approximately 70 steam locomotives between 1850 and 1860. - Submitted by Cathy Davis

* As far as I can tell it was used by the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad company. On a Wikipedia page, there is a photo of a very similar locomotive showing more damage to it.

It's my suspicion that the photo you have was from when the Union forces attacked Richmond and the locomotive sheds suffered a huge fire. If you take a look at the sleepers under the rails of the loco, they appear to be charred and burned. The loco is also showing signs of extreme rust, but none of the surfaces have paint on - this indicates extreme fire and exposure to moisture. Otherwise surfaces such as the wheels should have paint at the tops where they are somewhat protected from the elements etc.
I have a book with a picture of this type of locomotive on it, being used at the Depot of the U.S. Military Railroad, at Centre Point, Virginia, around the time of the civil war. Although the book is too big to scan properly, and the photo is in an odd spot. As best I can tell the loco was built by Schenectady in New York, around the late 19th Century.

Links to checkout: [external link] [external link]
- Submitted by Nick Henderson

* it is a VERY early 4-4-0 wheel type steam locomotive (4 leading wheels,4 driving wheels,0 trailing) the cylinders and valve gear as well as driving rods were in the inboard side of the wheels on this locomotive, this make general maintenance a difficult proposition.does not appear that there was ever a cab on this locomotive either.later 4-4-0 locomotives became the standard wheel arrangement on most American railways,and this is a direct forbear of this type. - Submitted by Richard Burdick

[Richmond, Va. Damaged locomotives]
1 negative (2 plates) : glass, stereograph, wet collodion.
Photograph of the main eastern theater of war, fallen Richmond, April-June 1865.
  • Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 / compiled by Hirst D. Milhollen and Donald H. Mugridge, Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1977. No. 0495
  • Title from Milhollen and Mugridge.
  • Two plates form left (LC-B811-3155A) and right (LC-B811-3155B) halves of a stereograph pair.
  • Forms part of Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress)
  • Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints
  • Civil War
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Transportation.
  • Richmond (Va.)--History--1865.
  • Railroad locomotives.
  • United States--Virginia--Richmond.
  • Stereographs--1860-1870.
  • Wet collodion negatives.
Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress)
Karl Brennecke My Great Grandfather was supposed to have worked on the rail road bridge at Harper's Ferry in 1840-1842. His picture is on this site.
Aug 12, 2012 12:15 pm · Reply
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Photo provided courtesy of the United States Library of Congress.