The Baldwin Stationary Steam Engine
Copyright © 2005 - 2020
Richard Carlstedt All rights reserved.
Model Steam Engines
Matthias William Baldwin
In 1824-25 Matthias Baldwin ordered a steam engine from England where almost all steam engines were made (Birthplace of the Industrial
Revolution). The engine was so poorly designed and of such low power, that Matthias knew he could do better. He set about
designing and building his first steam engine, a stationary device that produced 5 horsepower of output and remained in
use in the shop for four decades.
Baldwin's engine not only the most powerful for it's size, but incorporated mechanical
innovation in producing rotary motion. His engine placed the cross-head(s) on the outside of the cylinder itself, parallel to the
piston, and this allowed for a very long Connecting Rod and a reduction in friction and wear, while improving power output. His contributions
lead to improved design for marine and other transportation applications.
The original engine still survives in the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Matthias William Baldwin (December 10, 1795 – September 7, 1866) was an American inventor and machinery manufacturer, specializing
in the production of steam locomotives. in 1825, Baldwin formed a partnership with machinist David H. Mason, and engaged
in the manufacture of bookbinders' tools and cylinders for calico printing. Baldwin then designed and constructed for his own use
a small stationary steam engine, the workmanship of which was so excellent and its efficiency so great that he was solicited
to build others like it for various parties, and thus led to turn his attention to steam engineering.
Baldwin's small machine shop,
grew to become Baldwin Locomotive Works, one of the largest and most successful locomotive manufacturing firms in the United States.
The most famous of the early locomotives was Old Ironsides, built by Matthias Baldwin in 1832.
History of The Baldwin Steam Engine