OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Title: Lima Locomotive Works, Inc., Service Department Records
Collection Date(s): 1919-1949
Extent and Forms of Material: 3 cubic feet (17 boxes)
Creator: Lima Railroad, Inc.
Abstract: The Service Department Records document the activity of the service and sales department of Lima Locomotive Works. Lima Locomotive Works manufactured Shay Locomotives in Lima, Ohio, from 1879 to 1980 when production ended. This collection contains cards describing the purchasing and selling of Shay Locomotives, maintenance of the locomotives, and sales calls made by the company.
Collection Number: AC1180
Processing Note: Processed by Rebecca Farris (intern) and Jennifer Burger (intern), December, 2009; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION
Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, Lima Locomotive Works, Inc., Service Department Records, 1919-1949, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX
IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Administrative/Biographical History: Founded in 1879, Lima Locomotive Works manufactured locomotives in Lima, Ohio. James Alley contracted the Lima Locomotive Works (then Lima Machine Works) to build the locomotive designed by Ephraim Shay. A few years later, the first Shay Geared Steam Locomotive was off the production line and on the rails. The Shay Geared Steam Locomotive became an especially popular mode of transporting lumber not only in the United States, but world wide. What made it different was the unusual cylinder arrangement. Two vertical cylinders drove a crankshaft, which in turn drove a pair of geared trucks through a system of universal joints and sliding shafts. By the 1940s, companies were seeking out a faster mode of rail transportation, and the Lima Locomotive Works ceased production of the Shay Geared Steam Locomotive and began its Diesel Locomotive line.
In 1947, General Machinery Corporation and Lima merged to form the Lima-Hamilton Corporation. By this time, the corporation focused solely on the Diesel Locomotives, but still faltered. The Lima-Hamilton Corporation merged with Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1950 to form Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton (BLH). Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton discontinued the production of the Lima-Hamilton’s Diesel Locomotive, and only produced Baldwin’s Diesel. Unable to keep up with its competitors, BLH stopped all locomotive production in 1956, and in 1980, BLH finally closed its operations.
Scope and Content: The Lima Locomotive Works, Inc., Service Department Records document the activity of the service and sales department of Lima Locomotive Works. The records consist of 5” x 7” cards.
System of Arrangement: The collection is one series with sixteen subseries.
Series 1, Service Department Records, 1919-1949
Acquisition Information: Unknown.
Custodial History: Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry, October 2009.
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