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Baldwin Locomotive Works: 1908

Philadelphia circa 1908. "Baldwin Locomotive Works." Panorama of two 8x10 inch glass negatives, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Philadelphia circa 1908. "Baldwin Locomotive Works." Panorama of two 8x10 inch glass negatives, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Broadly Worded

@timeandagain: The link you provided may answer your question:

"From its cramped 200-acre site in North Philadelphia, the company moved in 1906 to a 600-acre facility in nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania. (The company consolidated all production to the Eddystone yard in 1928.)"

It seems to say that production continued at North Broad until 1928, even though Eddystone was online as of 1906.

Baldwin Locomotive today

Wibur Buds

The Wilbur Chocolate Company is still alive and well in Lititz Pa. My sister and brother in law live near the factory and send us a few pounds of Wilbur buds each year. They look like Hershey kisses but taste much better imo.

Holy cow!

This is the view from the from the front door of the building I am currently sitting in. Of course that building was not built until years later, and I would say 0% of the buildings in this photo still stand (well maybe that church just beyond the high school), but none the less this is a totally awesome picture from back when North Broad Street was the place to be in Philly.

Baldwin kept 'em rolling

Not just locomotives, but they were also one of the primary producers of the M3 Lee-Grant and M4 Sherman medium tanks, the main battle tanks of US Armored Forces during WW2.


My father worked for for Baldwin for a few years as what we'd now think of as a sales engineer. He'd oversee final checkout and deadheaded on delivery of several locomotives to customers. This would have been 20+ years later than the Shorpy photo, so possibly from the new digs at Eddystone.


Pardon me for asking a question that may have been asked before, but who does the stitching together of the individual negatives to make the panorama? Are they like that in the archives? I've worn my eyeballs out trying to find the seam!

[Dave does that using Photoshop. - tterrace]


My grandfather labored at Baldwin. He was an Eastern European immigrant happy to be employed. On the other hand, he eventually became ill from the toxic dust throughout the factory.


Call me a wuss, but you'll NEVER find me climbing that ladder to the roof! Man, just looking at it gives me the willies!

I guess someone had to put the "I" back in "Baldw n".

[The "I" is there, but mostly hidden by the left ladder member. - tterrace]

Oh no! You're right! That's worse; the poor schlub using the ladder had to be going ALL the way to the roof!

Re: Observatories

tterrace - how in the heck did you figure that out?

The view appears to north on North Broad Street from Spring Garden Street.

The other building in the distance just beyond the observatories with the pointed roof appears to still exist, sans pointed roof, on the corner of Wallace Street and is now occupied by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

The date on the photograph (1908) is interesting in that this site notes that the factory moved from its North Broad Location to a larger facility in 1906.

Where's Dagwood?

As the comic strip "Blondie" was originally conceived, Dagwood was heir to the "Bumstead Locomotive Works" fortune, but was disowned after marrying Blondie, a 1920s "flapper." I always thought "Bumstead" was a thinly-veiled reference to Baldwin.

Battery Electric Double Deck Bus

The bus featured in the Baldwin Locomotive Works panorama was only the second earliest double decker built in the United States. It was operated by the Auto Transit Company, registered in Wyalusing and was one of 16 battery electric, four wheel hub drive vehicles built by Philadelphia based Commercial Truck Company of America and the Imperial Electric Motor Company. Seating 36 passengers the first bus entered service in 1907 on Broad Street from Chestnut to Diamond and thence to Fairmount Park. It was planned to operate a service on Broad Street to the Navy Yard but it's doubtful if this happened because within a year the company was beset by investment difficulties culminating in it going out of business.

Too Small

Baldwin soon outgrew this massive building and built a huge new plant a few miles south at Eddystone, PA. The company struggled in the transition from steam to diesel locomotives and eventually expired in 1956. Here is an overhead view of the plant with the Pensylvania Railroad main tracks crossing through the center. Now all that remains is the distinctive cross-shaped headquarters building with other parts of the property occupied by Boeing's helicopter division, a coal-fired power plant and a shopping center.


Observatories down the block. Was it a university building?

[Central High School. - tterrace]

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