[The fireman] put his left foot on the lever that swings open the firebox door, to look at the searing inferno within as he...hurled shovelful after shovelful of coal...
R.M. Neal, 1950
High Green and the Bark Peelers
Lowell was a laboratory for technical innovation for the textile industry, water power, and railroads in the nineteenth century. As early as 1832, the Locks and Canal machine shop imported a British locomotive from its inventor, Robert Stephenson, in order to develop an American engine.
In the late 1830s, Engineer George W. Whistler oversaw the construction of the first Lowell made locomotives copied from the British engine. By 1845, seventy-five were running on new railroads throughout New England. By the 1860s, Lowell no longer made locomotives.
Locomotive No. 410
This steam locomotive was built in 1911, by Manchester Locomotive Works. It powered trains on the Boston & Maine Railroad, which had merged with the original Boston & Lowell Railroad in 1887, to create a regional rail network.
The Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society and Lowell National Historical Park restored Locomotive No. 410. The two organizations have also cooperated to restore the adjoining railcar and develop a railroad history exhibit in the railcar.
[Photo captions, from left
to right, read]
· Locomotive "Medford" at Merrimack Street Depot, ca. 1880
· Boston and Maine locomotive No. 1037 and workers, ca. 1920