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Engraving of the factory of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor, Paterson, N.J., 1832.

Descriptive

Location
PhysicalLocation (authority = other); (type = text)
Rutgers University. Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives
Location
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Extension
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Digital exhibition
AssociatedEntity
Role
curator
Name
Fowler, David J. (David Joseph)
AssociatedEntity
Role
curator
Name
Perrone, Fernanda.
AssociatedEntity
Role
project manager
Name
Radick, Caryn.
AssociatedEntity
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metadata contact
Name
De Fino, Melissa.
AssociatedObject
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Exhibition case
Relationship
Forms part of
Name
Technology
Detail
At its simplest, a locomotive is a “boiler-on-wheels.” In practice, of course, it is a much more complex machine. Imagine what went through the mind of the Camden and Amboy Railroad’s master mechanic Isaac Dripps, when he was confronted with the task of assembling—without instructions—the imported John Bull locomotive. American builders were soon applying their ingenuity to replicating and modifying the British invention. They were motivated by pragmatism, conservatism, and economy in constructing railroads to suit both their needs and the demands of their environment.
The growing industrial city of Paterson was the headquarters of several leading locomotive manufacturers, such as Danforth and Cooke, Grant, and Rogers. Several other firms located there did not survive the Panic of 1857. During the decade of the 1850s, the Rogers Locomotive Works was “the most progressive builder in the country.” In its peak year of production in 1870, Rogers turned out 145 locomotives; that same year it had in service on all railroads 1818 locomotives. Over the entire life of the company (1837–1900), Rogers produced an aggregate of 5,654 locomotives. During that time, Paterson had evolved from a bucolic town to the major industrial city in New Jersey.
Locomotives were at the center of railroad technology, but were only part of the story. Robert L. Stevens’ invention of the T-rail, for instance, has been deemed “one of the most rational structural shapes ever devised.” Several different track gauges were in use in the United States. For example, the Camden and Amboy used 4 feet 10 inches, the Erie 6 feet. This resulted in much expense and time lost in off-loading passengers and freight. In the 1860s, Ashbel Welch (1809–1882), chief engineer of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, began advocating the standardization of track gauges. Eventually, a gauge of 4 feet 8½ inches became the norm.
Amazingly, locomotive wheels did not have brakes until the 1870s—a train was stopped either by reversing or by brakemen applying brakes on individual cars. George Westinghouse’s invention of the air-brake was thus an immeasurable contribution to safety. Other improvements to safety were the automatic coupler, automatic block signaling, and telegraphic communication.
In order to keep abreast of an increasingly technical field, aspiring engineers, mechanics, and machinists could study works such as M. N. Forney’s Catechism of the Locomotive (1875) or The Car-Builder’s Dictionary (1879). Several periodicals were devoted in whole or in part to railroad technology and related matters, such as Railroad Gazette, Railway Age, Journal of the Franklin Institute, and Scientific American. As Anthony J. Bianculli has pointed out, during the nineteenth century there was overall a “symbiotic relationship” between railroading and technology, “each dependent upon the state and progress of the other to a large degree.”
AssociatedObject
Type
Exhibition caption
Detail
Engraving of the factory of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor, Paterson, N.J., 1832. The land the works were built on was forested, and Paterson was a small village. From: Locomotives and Locomotive Building (New York, 1886).
Label
All aboard! Railroads and New Jersey, 1812-1930.
TitleInfo
Title
Engraving of the factory of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor, Paterson, N.J., 1832.
Subject
Name (authority = LC-NAF)
NamePart (type = corporate)
Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works.
RelatedItem (type = is part of)
TitleInfo
Title
Locomotives and locomotive building in the United States (New York, 1886). p.2.
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
All aboard! Railroads and New Jersey, 1812-1930.
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rucore00000002143
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StillImage
OriginInfo
DateIssued (encoding = iso8601); (keyDate = yes); (qualifier = exact)
1886
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.1/rucore00000002143.Document.000063075
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3KH0MFT
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Rights

RightsDeclaration (AUTHORITY = RU_Archives); (ID = RU_Archives_v1)
Rutgers University owns the copyright in this work. You may make use of this resource, with proper attribution, for educational and other non-commercial uses only. Contact the Special Collections and University Archives of the Rutgers University Libraries to obtain permission for reproduction, publication, and commercial use.
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Source

ProvenanceEvent
Type
Exhibition
Label
All aboard! Railroads and New Jersey, 1812-1930.
Place
Special Collections and University Archives Gallery.
DateTime (encoding = iso8601); (point = start); (qualifier = exact)
2011-10-27
DateTime (encoding = iso8601); (point = end); (qualifier = exact)
2012-01-06
AssociatedEntity
Role
curator
Name
Fowler, David J. (David Joseph)
AssociatedObject
Type
Exhibition case
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Name
Case 5 : Technology
Detail
At its simplest, a locomotive is a “boiler-on-wheels.” In practice, of course, it is a much more complex machine. Imagine what went through the mind of the Camden and Amboy Railroad’s master mechanic Isaac Dripps, when he was confronted with the task of assembling—without instructions—the imported John Bull locomotive. American builders were soon applying their ingenuity to replicating and modifying the British invention. They were motivated by pragmatism, conservatism, and economy in constructing railroads to suit both their needs and the demands of their environment.
The growing industrial city of Paterson was the headquarters of several leading locomotive manufacturers, such as Danforth and Cooke, Grant, and Rogers. Several other firms located there did not survive the Panic of 1857. During the decade of the 1850s, the Rogers Locomotive Works was “the most progressive builder in the country.” In its peak year of production in 1870, Rogers turned out 145 locomotives; that same year it had in service on all railroads 1818 locomotives. Over the entire life of the company (1837–1900), Rogers produced an aggregate of 5,654 locomotives. During that time, Paterson had evolved from a bucolic town to the major industrial city in New Jersey.
Locomotives were at the center of railroad technology, but were only part of the story. Robert L. Stevens’ invention of the T-rail, for instance, has been deemed “one of the most rational structural shapes ever devised.” Several different track gauges were in use in the United States. For example, the Camden and Amboy used 4 feet 10 inches, the Erie 6 feet. This resulted in much expense and time lost in off-loading passengers and freight. In the 1860s, Ashbel Welch (1809–1882), chief engineer of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, began advocating the standardization of track gauges. Eventually, a gauge of 4 feet 8½ inches became the norm.
Amazingly, locomotive wheels did not have brakes until the 1870s—a train was stopped either by reversing or by brakemen applying brakes on individual cars. George Westinghouse’s invention of the air-brake was thus an immeasurable contribution to safety. Other improvements to safety were the automatic coupler, automatic block signaling, and telegraphic communication.
In order to keep abreast of an increasingly technical field, aspiring engineers, mechanics, and machinists could study works such as M. N. Forney’s Catechism of the Locomotive (1875) or The Car-Builder’s Dictionary (1879). Several periodicals were devoted in whole or in part to railroad technology and related matters, such as Railroad Gazette, Railway Age, Journal of the Franklin Institute, and Scientific American. As Anthony J. Bianculli has pointed out, during the nineteenth century there was overall a “symbiotic relationship” between railroading and technology, “each dependent upon the state and progress of the other to a large degree.”
AssociatedObject
Type
Exhibition caption
Detail
Engraving of the factory of Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor, Paterson, N.J., 1832. The land the works were built on was forested, and Paterson was a small village.
ProvenanceEvent
Type
Related publication
Label
All aboard! Railroads and New Jersey, 1812-1930 : exhibition catalog.
DateTime (encoding = iso8601); (qualifier = exact)
2011
AssociatedEntity
Role
curator
Name
Fowler, David J. (David Joseph)
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Technical

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Document
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image/tiff
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application/x-tar
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125327360
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