Model of the 1837 Steam Locomotive, H. R. Dunham

This is a 1/2 inch scale model of the engine and tender that represent the general service locomotive, Dunham built around 1837 by H. R. Dunham & Co. of New York City for the Harlem Rail Road. Contemporary drawings reveal that Dunham closely followed Baldwin’s Lancaster design. The locomotive model shows a 4-2-0 wheel arrangment. Steam locomotives are often classified by wheel arrangement, in the order of leading, driving, and trailing wheels. This engine has four leading wheels, two driving wheels, and no trailing wheels.
The proliferation of new railroads encouraged many small machine shops to enter the locomotive business. While some of these firms, like that of M. W. Baldwin, would produce many engines and make a fortune, most, like H.R. Dunham & Co., built only a few machines and went out of business. Dunham constructed sixteen locomotives from 1836 to 1838 for the New York and Harlem, the Camden and Amboy, the Michigan Central and several other lines.
Currently not on view
Object Name
locomotive and tender, H.R., Dunham, 4-2-0, 1836-38
locomotive and tender, h.r.
model, locomotive
date made
Severn Lamb, Ltd.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 3 3/4 in x 13 3/4 in; 16.51 cm x 9.525 cm x 34.925 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, Stratford-upon-Avon
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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