Boston & Providence, Daniel Nason
The oldest steam locomotive in the MOT collection and one of the oldest surviving locomotives in the nation, the “Daniel Nason” was built between 1858 and 1863 by the Boston & Providence Railroad in its Roxbury, MA, shop, one of 28 which were produced by the railroad under the direction of George S. Griggs. Although Mr. Griggs called himself a “machinist,” he was actually one of the country’s most respected locomotive designers. With a 4-4-0 wheel arrangement, the locomotive is the only surviving “insider,” a design popular with railroads before the Civil War, with cylinders and main driving rods between (rather than outside of) the locomotive side frames. Backdated with a typical woodburner smokestack even though it burned coal, it was displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The locomotive was then loaned to Purdue University, which was assembling a transportation collection. In the late 1930s, the New Haven Railroad requested its return for exhibition at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair.
Boston & Providence,
"Daniel Nason," 1893