The Baldwin Stationary Steam Engine

Copyright 2005 - 2023
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