Model of the 1876 Steam Locomotive Centennial

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This is a model of the Centennial, a locomotive built by William Mason in 1876 for the railway that circled the grounds of the U.S. Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. The model shows the engine, boiler, cab, fuel, and water tank on one frame. Its wheel arrangement is an 0-4-4 (no leading wheels, 4 powered and coupled driving wheels, 4 trailing wheels).
In designing the Centennial, William Mason modified the 1866 plan of Robert F. Fairlie, a British engineer. The “Mason Bogie,” locomotive was articulated, meaning that the frame supporting the wheels and cylinders swiveled freely under the boiler. This arrangement allowed the engine to negotiate sharp curves and rough track. However,
the difficulty of maintaining the flexible steam joints and pipes between the boiler and cylinders was a decided drawback. Despite efforts to promote the design, Mason built only 150 of these locomotives, mostly for narrow-gauge lines.
After the Centennial Exposition, the Centennial was sold to the New York and Manhattan Beach Railroad, a short resort line connecting Brooklyn with the eastern end of Coney Island Beach. The engine was renamed the C. L. Flint. When the New York and Manhattan Beach was leased to the Long Island Railroad in 1880, the locomotive was renumbered as 103 and rebuilt to standard gauge.
Currently on loan
date made
used date
Neubert, Oscar
place made
United States: Colorado, Aurora
Associated Place
United States: New York
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 6 1/8 in x 3 1/2 in x 16 1/4 in; 15.5575 cm x 8.89 cm x 41.275 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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