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Old Chester, PA: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Eddystone, PA

Baldwin Locomotive Works

Presidents | Other Employees | Company History | Recollections

More Pictures:
Tank Shop, December 21, 1943 - courtesy of Bob Felix
Propeller Shop, March 8, 1951 - courtesy of Bob Felix
Welding Shop Product, July 15, 1944 - courtesy of Norman Carrigan
Baldwin Locomotive Works, May 14, 1943 - courtesy of Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE

Mike P., ngauger@comcast.net, has a very informative site on the web
about the history of Baldwin and the demolition of most of the buildings which began in 1994.
Click here to visit his site.

Presidents: Matthias W. Baldwin, founder
Alba B. Johnson
Samuel M. Vauclain
Ralph Kelly (1949)

Other Employees Ashby, Edward J. Sr. - 6

"my grandfather, Edward J. Ashby, Sr., worked at Baldwin as an electrician. He was also the head of one of the unions there for a while."

Ashby, Joseph - 6

"Brother of Edward J. Ashby, Sr.; worked in a management capacity."

Carrigan, N. John

d. June 6, 2002 at age 90

Fisher, Vivian

Krasowski, Ludwig A.

Lemke, Ella Margaret (Peggy) - 3

Machette, Howard - 4

"My father, Howard Machette, also worked on the locomotive that is in the Franklin Institute.  He was a Foreman and welder at Baldwins in the 30's and 40's."

Ramonat, George, in charge of the electrical generating plant until it closed. - 1

Smith, Andrew Vauclain - 5

"My Father's name was Andrew Vauclain Smith. My Father served and completed his Machinist Apprenticeship at Baldwin in the late 1930's. I have his Papers. His Father, James Leonard Smith was Superintendent of the Foundry at Baldwin during the 30's and early 40's. He went to work for the Baldwin Company as an inspector around 1910. My Father's middle name was given after Sammy Vauclain. Sammy and my Grandfather were very close friends. My Father was raised in
Thorton, Pa. His Father walked several miles each day to ride the train to work. My Grandfather is buried in the Masonic cemetery in Tucson, Arizona in an unmarked grave. It took awhile for me to find this out. My Father is buried at the Grove Cemetery near West Chester."

Smith, James Leonard - 5

"James Leonard Smith was Superintendent of the Foundry at Baldwin during the 30's and early 40's. He went to work for the Baldwin Company as an inspector around 1910."

Williams, Clarence (c. 1950) - 8

Zatznewski, Marion [Obituary] - 9

Zimath, August, blacksmith in the 1930's - 2

Company History: Baldwin Locomotive Works was established by Matthias W. Baldwin in 1831.  Between that time and 1954, 75,000 locomotives were built.  The Eddystone Plant was opened in 1906 and that year alone 2,500 locomotives were built.  During the presidency of Alba B. Johnson and Samuel M. Vauclain, Baldwin employed over 7000 people.

BLW Pictures:

"My late father, Herbert L. Broadbelt, worked for BLW for nearly twenty years in the engineering department until the plant closed. When he left he was allowed to rescue the entire photographic collection and many other items. The negative collection is now in the Pa. railroad museum at Strasburg. Other items may be found at the Historical Society of Pa. and DeGolyer library in Tx. Some pictures of the plant including a few taken by my father were recently donated to HSP.

I forgot to mention that I have some Baldwin items left I have not yet sold or donated to institutions or sold to collectors. I have an ad on one or so free railroad websites, but if anyone asks about Baldwin items for sale you might refer them to me."

- Herbert L. Broadbelt

Recollections: "Not much has been written about BLH with regard to it's endeavors beyond locomotive building. They not only built locomotives but also manufactured turbines and ship propellers. I saw that someone referred to the fact that BLH built tanks during WWII. This is true, they did." - 7

"My Mother, Ella Margaret Lemke (Peggy) worked for the Cramp, Brass & Iron Division of the Baldwin Locomotive works in Eddystone from 1939 to 1945.  She started as a file clerk. Her first boss was Mr. Ashenfelter who advised her to go to Keystone Secretarial School. She then became his secretary and also filled in for the secretary of Mr. Nelson whenever necessary.  Their office was moved out to the foundry where she became the private secretary for Mr. Bill Armstrong.  The only other employee that she remembers working with is Vivian Fisher." - 3

"My grandfather,  August Zimath, was a blacksmith at BLH sometime in the 30's, and worked on the large wheels on the locomotive in the Franklin Institute. We're very proud of that bit of family history."

Betsy Boyce Loth, GoTodo@aol.com
Watertown, CT

Many thanks to the following for contributing information for this page:

1 - Fred Ramont, nephew, fredram@pacbell.net

2 - Betsy Boyce Loth, granddaughter, GoTodo@aol.com

3 - Barbara Stafford, daughter, Bes46@yahoo.com

4 - Bonnie Stevens, daughter, BonJim@aol.com

5 - LeBaron Vauclain Smith, lebaron.smith@attbi.com, son and grandson

6 - James Edward David Ashby, jeda_88@hotmail.com, grandson of Edward J. Ashby, Sr.

7 - Bob Felix

8 - Iris Christensen Weingarten, granddaughter

9 - Gene "Zac" Zacniewski, grandson



If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about Baldwin Locomotive in Chester, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 10/18/05