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It Ran In The Family

July 2024
1min read

The lithograph of the Hinkley locomotive that appeared on the cover of our December, 1970, issue elicited a response from Mrs. Gretchen R. Rändle, librarian and curator of the Newcomen Society in North America, which is situated in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Not only does the society have a similar lithograph in its possession but also a model of an 1870 Hinkley, built for the Boston & Albany Railroad, that has an interesting history. To quote Mrs. Randle: The model was built by George EH Whitney, grandnephew of Eli Whitney and a nephew of Amos Whitney, a founder of Pratt and Whitney Company. George Eli Whitney started the model at age thirteen and completed it eight years later in 1883. He made every part himself using blueprints from the Hinkley Locomotive Works. Each part was carefully checked for tolerances and quality by his uncle Amos. The engine has been operated by live steam on five-inch gauge track.

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