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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Chicago 1933 - 34

Continuing with the theme set by last week's blog entry....

As part of its program of experimentation with steam locomotive design in the 1930s, the Delaware & Hudson Railroad equipped two P-1 Pacific type engines, including No. 653 seen on the post card below, with the Caprotti poppet valve gear. As built in 1929 by the railroad's Colonie Shops, these 4-6-2s exerted 41,027 pounds of tractive effort, having 73-inch drivers, a boiler pressure of 260 p.s.i., and 22x28-inch cylinders. They weighed 300,000 pounds, and their wide firebox — designed to burn anthracite coal — had a grate area of 87 square feet. As rebuilt, No. 653 boasted a very high 325-pound boiler pressure, 3200 square feet of evaporative heating surface and 1500 square feet of super-heater surface.
The locomotive was displayed at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1934, as shown on this post card. She displays the clean lines and uncluttered appearance favored by Delaware & Hudson president Leonor F. Loree, who admired the British "look" in steam engines.

There is no mention of the printer or the publisher as such on the back of the post card, although I would assume that the A Century of Progress International Exposition is the publisher. One could probably purchase these post cards at the Exposition in Chicago.
A Century of Progress International Exposition was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Chicago. Its theme, as given in A Century of Progress Chicago International Exposition of 1933 Statement of its Plan and Purposes and of the Relation of States and Foreign Governments to Them (Chicago, 1933) was to "attempt to demonstrate to an international audience the nature and significance of scientific discoveries, the methods of achieving them, and the changes which their application has wrought in industry and in living conditions." This was done through exhibits that appealed to the public in general, often with miniaturized or replicated processes.

The fair was held on 427 acres (much of it landfill) on Lake Michigan, immediately south of Chicago's downtown area, from 12th Street to 39th Street (now Pershing Road). Today, Meigs Field and McCormick Place occupy this site. A Century of Progress officially opened on May 27, 1933 and closed on November 12 of that year. Although originally planned for the 1933, season only, it was extended for another year, reopening on May 26, 1934, and closing on October 31, 1934.

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