President Alfred E. Perlman of the New York Central System dedicated a permanent display of three historic locomotives for the National Museum of Transport in ceremonies at the St. Louis Union Station June 13, 1963.
At a luncheon attended by business and civic leaders, Mr. Perlman pointed out that the locomotives span over half a century of development. The oldest is the Boston & Albany No. 39 built in 1876, one of a famous breed called 'Eddy Clocks' after their creator, Wilson Eddy. Some 100 locomotives of this general design built during the period 1852-1881 became known for clock-like mechanical precision. This survivor, numbered '39' and named 'Marmora', was retired in the mid-1890's and served for the next decade as a stationary boiler, bricked up in the basement of the B & A station at Worchester, Massachusetts. The New York Central rescued the relic in 1907 for the Railway Museum at Purdue University. In 1951, the Purdue Collection was transferred to the National Museum of Transport at St. Louis.
Central and Museum officials were surprised to find that old No. 39 had never been officially dedicated to public view in these 56 years.
The two newcomers to the National Museum of Transport are electric locomotive No. 113 and steam locomotive No. 2933.
No. 113 is one of the S-2 class of thirty-four electric locomotives built in 1906 by the American Locomotive Company in conjunction with the General Electric Company for service in the area electrified from Grand Central Station to Harmon after the turn of the century. Larger more powerful electric locomotives gradually displaced the S-2's to switching service between Grand Central and the Mott Haven coach yards.
No. 113 is of the group that was the prototype for Lionel and Ives toy electric locomotives, perhaps reproduced in greater quantity than any other single design. There was scarcely an American boy in the 1910-1930 era who either did not have or did not aspire to possessing a 'tinplate' copy of Class S-2.
No. 2933 was the last steam locomotive of the New York Central. In the period 1916-1943 the New York Central System acquired 544 'Mohawk' locomotives of the 4-8-2 wheel arrangement. Although primarily intended for freight work, dual service features of later versions well adapted this flexible locomotive to heavy passenger runs, supplementing the famous 4-6-4 'Hudson' type.
Locomotive No. 2933 was constructed in 1929 at the Schenectady Works of the American Locomotive Company. From the esthetic point of view, the 'Central style' conveys a pleasing feeling of compact efficient power. No. 2933 is a landmark of industral design that well deserves a niche in a definitive presentation of classics of locomotive construction.
Mr. Perlman concluded that the 3 locomotives are to be in meaningful surroundings with many other examples of transportation equipment illustrating American technical progress to future Generations.
Museum Board Chairman Arthur K. Atkinson welcomed these additions to the nation's most comprehensive collection of historical railroad equipment, declaring that the National Museum of Transport now has 39 steam, electric and diesel-electric locomotives.
Mr. Atkinson said that the acquisitions will be displayed at Barretts Station beginning Saturday, June 15.