1839 · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This one-page stampless folded letter measures 15" x 9.75" and is datelined Philadelphia, May 1st 1839. It is addressed to E. H. Lathrop of the State Commission. It bears a circular Philadelphia postmark dated May 2nd in blue and a manuscript "25" rate mark indicating the cost to send mail over 400 miles. Small hole were the wax seal was pulled during opening. In nice shape. Transcript attached.
In this letter Baldwin writes:
"On the 23rd last month I forwarded for you State Road a pair of Driving Wheels, and axles, according to order given by Mr. Briscoe your Superintendent of Machinery. It was sent by the National Line. Instructions have been given to have the Engine made for you last Fall (and which has been laying at Detroit all Winter) taken across the Lake, as soon as possible. I presume it has been done before this.".
In addition to needling the State of Michigan about the locomotive the company shipped to Detroit last fall, Baldwin uses one panel of the letter to provide a $700 invoice for the current shipment as shown in one of the accompanying images.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was an American manufacturer of steam engines and railroad locomotives from the time of its founding by Matthias W. Baldwin in 1825 to 1956. Originally located in Philadelphia, it moved to nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania, in the early 20th century. The company was for decades the world's largest producer of steam locomotives but struggled to compete as demand switched to diesel locomotives. Baldwin produced the last of its 70,000-plus locomotives in 1956 and went out of business in 1972. (See Wikipedia for more information.)
Matthias Baldwin letters appear sporadically on , however, most have little or no railroad content. This letter does. (Inventory #: 009643)