USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
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#1
1554237336417.png

http://www.classiccarweekly.net/wp-...hwaite-and-Ericson-Mississippi-Locomotive.jpg

Used under both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War and believed to be the oldest Southern locomotive in existence
c.1835 Brathwaite and Ericson "Mississippi" Locomotive

It is believed that commercial locomotive manufacturer Braithwaite and Ericson of New Road London and Liverpool built the engine in about 1834. This manufacturer is known to have exported approximately 14 locomotives to the United States in the 1830s. In 1836, Braithwaite and Ericson changed its name to Braithwaite, Milner and Company and it appears to have exited the locomotive business about 1841. One source indicates that Braithwaite built a locomotive for the 'Natchez and Hamburg', (The 'Natchez and Hamburg' doesn't appear to have existed, and may be a colloquial term for the Mississippi Railroad). and was possibly assembled on site in Mississippi. Other sources indicate that the locomotive was sent in pieces (probably packed in shipping crates) by ship to New York City where it was assembled and sent to the Mississippi Railroad at Natchez. Its cost has been stated as $2,000. Accounts of Mississippi's early years vary. It appears to have entered service in 1837, and may have pulled the first train on the Mississippi Railroad, which is reported to have occurred on April 24, 1837. It seems that its service with this original owner only lasted for a few years. It was also reported that during the American Civil War the locomotive served the Confederates during the Union Army's Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Ultimately the engine was captured by the Union, and pressed into service to aid in the supply of Union troops.


Full write up can be found here - https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22793/lot/205/

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
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#7
I take it that the photo is some of kind of reconstruction?...
Apparently not, according to this 2015 auction announcement:

“…The auction included not only its typical fare of unrestored automobiles but also pre-Civil War locomotives. The locomotives had been part of the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry collection and sold to what Bonhams termed “institutional” buyers ...A circa-1835 Brathwaite and Erickson “Mississippi” locomotive sold for $220,000..." (from journal.classiccars.com/2015/10/09).

The four other engines sold from the CMSI collection were, however, replicas (per the CMSI web site).
 
Last edited:

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
3,833
#8
I take it that the photo is some of kind of reconstruction? Were any original parts used?
Sir, the postbellum history and background of this loco seems to be documented...kinda...

After the (Civil) war the locomotive's history again becomes hazy. Around 1880, after a period of disuse, the engine was salvaged by railroad contractor J. A. Hoskins and restored for service hauling gravel. Illinois Central inherited the engine in 1891, and recognized it as being far more than an ordinary antique. At that time it was thoroughly restored and dressed up as a 'Natchez and Hamburg' engine, and operated under its own power to Chicago to participate in the Columbian Exposition of 1893. (The 'Natchez and Hamburg' doesn't appear to have existed, and may be a colloquial term for the Mississippi Railroad).

In this guise, the Mississippi served a roll kin to that of other very early engines that were similarly displayed at that time by their host railroads. Over the next forty years the Mississippi made numerous prominent public appearances and was viewed by millions of people. During the late-1920s, Illinois Central made arrangements to convey to the locomotive to the newly formed Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. It made appearances at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago held in 1933 and 1934. And it was finally made a part of the museum's permanent collection in 1938. At that time it was displayed with an awkward, and historically questionable wooden frame cab.

In 1965, Illinois Central gave the locomotive a thorough restoration for the museum. This was aimed to restore the engine's appearance to as close as possible to the way it would have looked more than 130 years earlier. However, since commercial photography didn't exist at the time of Mississippi's construction, how the locomotive actually appeared when it was built can only be surmised by contemporary sketches of similar engines.

Other elements of the locomotive likely date to later overhauls in the mid-19th century. Rebuilding and alteration of steam locomotives was a common practice, and during the course of any active locomotive's career, old components were routinely replaced when these broke, wore out, or were deemed functionally obsolete. The Mississippi's service life spanned more than fifty years which in itself is remarkable for railway locomotive of the period. In the 1920s, then owner Illinois Central reported that the engine's weight was 19,700 lbs. (Not including the tender). An inspection in 1928 found that the locomotive was probably still capable of being steamed. Its present condition is largely the result of a substantial restoration in 1965.

The above is from https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22793/lot/205/. The underlining is mine. Use of the word 'restoration' leads me to believe that it is the original article. How many of the 'original parts' remain after wear-and-tear, the restorations and any potential re-builds / modifications wasn't stated.

After the war, the little locomotive operated on a short line between Vicksburg and Warrenton and reportedly derailed in 1874. Left submerged in mud and nearly forgotten, the engine was purchased in 1880 by J.A. Hoskins, who repaired the locomotive and put it back in service on a line near Brookhaven known as the Meridian, Brookhaven & Natchez Railroad, all of seven miles in length. James Hoskins was no stranger to railroads. During the Civil War, he was a captain in command of the Brookhaven Light Artillery. In June, 1862, men from Hoskins’ Battery, as it was known, converted a locomotive and rail car on a rail line near Grand Gulf into an armored train (perhaps the first in history), firing an artillery piece mounted on the car at the Federals. It’s at least possible that the engine used in this affair was the “Mississippi.” Regardless, when the Illinois Central Railroad purchased Hoskins’ Brookhaven railroad line in 1891, the now-outdated locomotive was no longer of much use. Rather than sell it for scrap, however, Hoskins had a better idea. He donated the engine as a piece of railroad history.
In 1893, the “Mississippi” traveled under its own steam power to Chicago to be part of the World's Columbian Exposition. During the event, the “Mississippi” was housed at Jackson Park. After the 1893 fair ended, the locomotive was moved to a building that had been used as the Palace of Fine Arts (above) during the World’s Fair. The “Mississippi” was displayed again, after being refurbished, at the Chicago World's Fair of 1933-1934. Four years later, the engine was permanently installed in the Museum of Science and Industry. Since 1938, the locomotive “Mississippi” has been on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.


The above is from http://andspeakingofwhich.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-little-locomotive.html. (Thanks to @7th Mississippi Infantry ) The underlining is mine. Sunken in mud, repaired, refurbished - maybe like some WWII Warbird rebuilds, the only thing original is the factory manufacture's plate. Can't find anything that states otherwise.

The Bold Italic Underlined is interesting...
145

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,552
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#9
Sir, the postbellum history and background of this loco seems to be documented...kinda...

After the (Civil) war the locomotive's history again becomes hazy. Around 1880, after a period of disuse, the engine was salvaged by railroad contractor J. A. Hoskins and restored for service hauling gravel. Illinois Central inherited the engine in 1891, and recognized it as being far more than an ordinary antique. At that time it was thoroughly restored and dressed up as a 'Natchez and Hamburg' engine, and operated under its own power to Chicago to participate in the Columbian Exposition of 1893. (The 'Natchez and Hamburg' doesn't appear to have existed, and may be a colloquial term for the Mississippi Railroad).

In this guise, the Mississippi served a roll kin to that of other very early engines that were similarly displayed at that time by their host railroads. Over the next forty years the Mississippi made numerous prominent public appearances and was viewed by millions of people. During the late-1920s, Illinois Central made arrangements to convey to the locomotive to the newly formed Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. It made appearances at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago held in 1933 and 1934. And it was finally made a part of the museum's permanent collection in 1938. At that time it was displayed with an awkward, and historically questionable wooden frame cab.

In 1965, Illinois Central gave the locomotive a thorough restoration for the museum. This was aimed to restore the engine's appearance to as close as possible to the way it would have looked more than 130 years earlier. However, since commercial photography didn't exist at the time of Mississippi's construction, how the locomotive actually appeared when it was built can only be surmised by contemporary sketches of similar engines.

Other elements of the locomotive likely date to later overhauls in the mid-19th century. Rebuilding and alteration of steam locomotives was a common practice, and during the course of any active locomotive's career, old components were routinely replaced when these broke, wore out, or were deemed functionally obsolete. The Mississippi's service life spanned more than fifty years which in itself is remarkable for railway locomotive of the period. In the 1920s, then owner Illinois Central reported that the engine's weight was 19,700 lbs. (Not including the tender). An inspection in 1928 found that the locomotive was probably still capable of being steamed. Its present condition is largely the result of a substantial restoration in 1965.

The above is from https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22793/lot/205/. The underlining is mine. Use of the word 'restoration' leads me to believe that it is the original article. How many of the 'original parts' remain after wear-and-tear, the restorations and any potential re-builds / modifications wasn't stated.

After the war, the little locomotive operated on a short line between Vicksburg and Warrenton and reportedly derailed in 1874. Left submerged in mud and nearly forgotten, the engine was purchased in 1880 by J.A. Hoskins, who repaired the locomotive and put it back in service on a line near Brookhaven known as the Meridian, Brookhaven & Natchez Railroad, all of seven miles in length. James Hoskins was no stranger to railroads. During the Civil War, he was a captain in command of the Brookhaven Light Artillery. In June, 1862, men from Hoskins’ Battery, as it was known, converted a locomotive and rail car on a rail line near Grand Gulf into an armored train (perhaps the first in history), firing an artillery piece mounted on the car at the Federals. It’s at least possible that the engine used in this affair was the “Mississippi.” Regardless, when the Illinois Central Railroad purchased Hoskins’ Brookhaven railroad line in 1891, the now-outdated locomotive was no longer of much use. Rather than sell it for scrap, however, Hoskins had a better idea. He donated the engine as a piece of railroad history.
In 1893, the “Mississippi” traveled under its own steam power to Chicago to be part of the World's Columbian Exposition. During the event, the “Mississippi” was housed at Jackson Park. After the 1893 fair ended, the locomotive was moved to a building that had been used as the Palace of Fine Arts (above) during the World’s Fair. The “Mississippi” was displayed again, after being refurbished, at the Chicago World's Fair of 1933-1934. Four years later, the engine was permanently installed in the Museum of Science and Industry. Since 1938, the locomotive “Mississippi” has been on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.


The above is from http://andspeakingofwhich.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-little-locomotive.html. (Thanks to @7th Mississippi Infantry ) The underlining is mine. Sunken in mud, repaired, refurbished - maybe like some WWII Warbird rebuilds, the only thing original is the factory manufacture's plate. Can't find anything that states otherwise.

The Bold Italic Underlined is interesting...
145

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
I'd speculate the cast iron frame is original. Maybe Cylinders. Wheels and moving parts likely replaced at some point.
 



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