Model of the 1849 Steam Locomotive Philadelphia

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This is a 1/2-inch scale model of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad’s Philadelphia, a locomotive built in 1844. The model consists of a six wheel (0-6-0) engine with an open cab and a six wheel tender. It is shown as rebuilt in 1849.
Originally named the Richmond, this engine was completed in August 1844 by Norris Brothers of Philadelphia. The six-wheeled locomotive was designed to haul the slow, heavy coal trains of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Just nineteen days into service, the engine exploded. Soon after, in October 1844, the salvageable parts were reconstructed in the Philadelphia and Reading’s shops. The engine was renamed Philadelphia. Like most early American locomotives, this engine was built to burn wood.
In 1849, James Millholland redesigned the firebox to burn anthracite coal. The design proved unsuccessful, and Millholland rebuilt the engine again in 1851 and 1854. The 1854 firebox proved successful, and the Philadelphia remained in service until 1870. As a result of Millholland’s successful firebox design for coal, the Philadelphia and Reading became one of the first American railroads to switch entirely from wood to coal-burning engines.
Currently on loan
date made
ca 1963
used date
Holden, Ernie H.
place made
United Kingdom: England
Associated Place
United States: Pennsylvania
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 4 in x 19 1/2 in; 17.78 cm x 10.16 cm x 49.53 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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