Model of the 1825 Steam Locomotive, Dewitt Clinton

Model of the 1825 Steam Locomotive, Dewitt Clinton

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This 1/2" scale model of the De Witt Clinton represents an early American built four-wheel connected locomotive. Peyton L. Morgan, the maker, based the model on drawings supplied by Popular Mechanics Magazine between 1931 to 1933. The model consists of the engine with horizontal boiler, steam dome, stack and a four wheel tender.
The De Witt Clinton was the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad's first locomotive. It is named for the governor of New York who promoted the construction of the Erie Canal. Designed by John B. Jervis, the locomotive was the third engine produced by the West Point Foundry Association of New York City. Completed in 1831, it was found to be too light to haul trains of sufficient size and its wheel arrangement too rigid to negotiate sharp curves without incident. It was dismantled piecemeal between 1833 and 1836.
The Erie Canal, completed through the state of New York in 1825, became an artery of trade and travel. Between Albany and Schenectady, the canal travelled forty miles through twenty-seven locks. Over land, however, the distance between the two towns was only sixteen miles. The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, chartered in 1826, linked the Mohawk River at Schenectady with the Hudson at Albany. The New York Legislature intended that the railroad complement, not compete with, the canal, as it allowed traffic to bypass the roundabout section of waterway between the two towns.
Object Name
model, locomotive
date made
De Witt Clinton locomotive built
Morgan, Peyton L.
place made
United States: Virginia, Lynchburg
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
engine: 6 1/4 in x 2 3/4 in x 6 3/4 in; 15.875 cm x 6.985 cm x 17.145 cm
tender: 5 in x 2 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 12.7 cm x 6.985 cm x 13.97 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Janie Morgan Kash
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I recently inherited a Dewitt Clinton train model, like the one in your collection. It is based on the drawings from Popular Mechanics for their contest in 1931. It has been in my family since my grandfather, Louis Sandoz, a Swiss watchmaker, built it in 1931.
My grandfather (Peyton Morgan) won second place in the contest which was a trip to New York. Could not be worked out so they just sent him a check. Do not know who won first place. He also built a working model of a steam locomotive that is still in his house that is now owned by my cousin. I believe work like this belongs in a museum where it can be enjoyed by others.
The winner of the Popular Mechanics DeWitt Clinton model train contest was Mr. Ivar E. Nordstrom, of Falconer, N.Y. It appeared in the September 1933 issue of PM Magazine. The firt prize was $1000 U.S Dollars. That was many money in 1933, equivalent to $18800 US dollars today. I wonder where his model train is today.
"i have the same train, my grandfather had built for the popular mechanics contestplus a certificate from popular mehanics"

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