Tom Thumb (locomotive)

1830 American-built steam locomotive / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tom Thumb was the first American-built steam locomotive to operate on a common-carrier railroad. It was designed and constructed by Peter Cooper in 1829 to convince owners of the newly formed Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) (now CSX) to use steam engines; it was not intended to enter revenue service. It is especially remembered as a participant in a legendary race with a horse-drawn car, which the horse won after Tom Thumb suffered a mechanical failure. (See Relay, Maryland.) However, the demonstration was successful, and the railroad committed to the use of steam locomotion and held trials in the following year for a working engine.[2]:11

Locomotives sought by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1831
Quick facts: Tom Thumb, Type and origin, Power type, Build...
Tom Thumb
A 1927 replica of Tom Thumb, the first American-built steam locomotive
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderPeter Cooper
Build date1829
Length13 ft 2+34 in (4.03 m)
Height12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Fuel typeanthracite coal
Boiler27 in × 66 in (690 mm × 1,680 mm)
dia × high
Cylinder size5 in × 27 in (127 mm × 686 mm)
dia × stroke
Performance figures
Power output1.4 hp (1.0 kW) horsepower[1]
OperatorsBaltimore and Ohio Railroad