B&O 1927 built "York" Replica
This locomotive is a replica of the 1831 "York," built in 1927 at B&O's own Mt. Clare Shop. The original locomotive was constructed in Pennsylvania by a gentleman named Phineas Davis, a watchmaker and early steam advocate. The locomotive is named in honor of its birthplace, York, Pa. It was the first coal-burning (anthracite) steam locomotive demonstrated successfully in the United States, and the first to use wheels coupled together by an external bar. The York could pull 15 tons at 15 m.p.h., a very impressive feat in the 1830's!
The original "York" was scrapped long ago. The replica was built in Baltimore for “The Fair of the Iron Horse.” The Fair was the two-week long extravaganza held at Halethorpe in Fall 1927 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the B&O. After its performance at the Fair of the Iron Horse, the locomotive was sent to Chicago to participate in the Century of Progress exhibition held in 1933 and 1934. The B&O then donated the replica to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry for its permanent collection. In 1966, it was loaned for display in York, Pa., where it resided until 1976, when it was then loaned to the B&O Railroad Museum (then operated by the Chessie System) as part of Baltimore & Ohio’s 150th anniversary displays in 1977. The stay was short one as it was returned to the Museum of Science and Industry in 1980 to be part of a railroad-themed exhibition.
Forward to October 5th, 2015 - As part of an effort to present a wider range of transportation in its galleries, the Chicago Museum elected to put up for auction, the York, and 5 other items from its historic train collection. The York fetched $121,000.00. Another $9,000.00 was added to the total enabling the prized piece to come home. The York will rejoin the other two replicas built in 1927 for the Fair – Peter Cooper’s Tom Thumb (original 1830) and Lafayette (original 1837) at the Museum.