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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Quite the Pedigree

The engine in this picture is a 2-8-8-2 Mallet Compound Engine. It is pictured here in La Grande, Oregon. The first compound-compression locomotive with an articulated pair of drive wheel assemblies was designed by Swiss engineer Anatole Mallet (pronounced SORT OF LIKE: "Malley") in France. The front driver assembly included two low-pressure cylinders. The rear driver assembly included two high-pressure cylinders. The single boiler was rigidly attached to the rear driver assembly.

Mallet locomotives in the USA followed the design created by Anatole Mallet and were called Mallet locomotives as a result. Like Anatole's original design, these locomotives used compound expansion where steam was first used the two high-pressures cylinders and then exhausted to be used a second time in the two larger low-pressure cylinders in the front of the locomotive.

The USA later experimented with the same basic design but with four high-pressure cylinders. These were still articulated locomotives but were no longer true "Mallets" because they used simple expansion instead of compound expansion. Unfortunately, no good name for this design ever emerged, and they tended to be loosely called 'Mallets' as well.

This locomotive was built in 1909. Technically, it is classified as an MC-1 locomotive. The diameter of the driving wheels is a mere 57 inches with a tractive effort of 94,880 pounds. This is produced by cylinders that are 26 inches in diameter with a 40 inch stroke. It burned oil as the fuel of choice.

Built for the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company as Number 451 in 1909, it was renumbered to the Oregon Washington Railroad & Navigation Company’s 701 in 1911. From this we can surmise that while the post card is from the divided back era and could be from between 1907 to 1915, the picture (valid from 1909 to 1911) tells us that the post card is from somewhere between 1909 and 1915.


The title of this blog is "Quite the Pedigree". That is referring to the line-up of Companies involved in the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company. When I go to Wikipedia to look up the history of the O.W.R. & N. I find this at the beginning: “The Oregon–Washington was incorporated November 23, 1910, in Oregon for the principal purpose of purchasing and consolidating the properties of certain corporations which were then controlled through stock ownership by the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Oregon Short Line Railroad Company.

Accordingly, on December 23, 1910, it acquired by purchase all of the properties of 12 corporations, except their corporate franchises and certain of their assets, and, on the same date, purchased a part of the properties of 3 other corporations. It subsequently acquired the property of 2 other corporations.”

Then a list follows… there are 34 transactions listed. They vary from “sold to”, to “conveyed to”, to “named changed to”. The list ends in the year 1916; but, it all starts with the incorporation of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company by a special act of the Washington Territory on December 16, 1860.

The post card is from the Divided Back Era (1907 - 1915) and it was published by the Pacific Novelty Company. The following is from the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York: This publishing company printed many postcards that were duplicates of postcards published by Edward Mitchell. Mitchell was a partner with other photographers in this publishing company than at some point he bought the others out. A major publisher and printer of view-cards depicting California in halftone lithography. They produced cards in different styles, most of which were printed in Germany. They eventually sold off their own printing department to Herman Vogel who renamed it Quadricolor Press. Pacific Novelty went on to produce photochromes that were manufactured in the United States.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.