Steam Locomotive Print – Artifact of the Month

By

Posted on

One of the unfortunate circumstances of a museum is that in most cases only a tiny fraction, about 3% in our case, of the collection is able to be displayed at a given time. To help combat this, we’ve decided to include an object of the month blog post that will highlight artifacts not on display in an effort to allow our readers to become more familiar with our collection. Besides that, all of our objects deserve to be in the limelight at some point!

For our first object of the month, I have chosen an eye-catching lithograph print showing a steam locomotive of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad Company, ca 1859-1860. The museum purchased the piece in September of 1945, and it appears that the print has only been on display once, for a quick exhibition on October 6-7, 1956 that honored the visit to The Mariners’ Museum of the Mid-Eastern Region National Model Railroad Association (what a title!) convention.

Steam Locomotive Print

The green and gold colors are very eye-catching, as is the gentleman in the center and the decorations throughout.

According to the Milwaukee Historical Society, the lithograph was issued in 1859-1860 by the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad Co. ( founded in 1847 as the Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad Co.) to commemorate the locomotive Milwaukee being rebuilt.  It was done by a local lithographer, Henry Seifert, and pays tribute to Cehpas Manning, the master mechanic of the company.  Must be nice to be immortalized in such a beautiful image!  The lithograph is also very rare and other than this one, there are only two others known to exist, one held by the Milwaukee Historical Society and the other by the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in Sacramento, California.

To view more about this print at the Milwaukee Historical Society, you can click http://www.milwaukeehistory.net/mmlitho/ or http://rlhs.org/ for the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society.

Please let us know what you think about our object of the month.  Any questions or comments are very welcome, and if you have a favorite object you would like to see featured, just let us know.  We are very open to suggestions and love to hear from our readers.

17 thoughts on “Steam Locomotive Print – Artifact of the Month”

  1. It was great to find this print, as I had heard there were only the other two. My interest come from the life of M&MRR conductor George E. Price, who died after a train accident at Milton Junction in 1859. This is the type of engine that would have been running at that time. My article about his death can be found by googling “George E Price North Prairie Tombstone.” It appeared on the website of the Wisconsin & Southern RR, which now operates former M&M lines, and is now off the website but is archived. I’ve recently come into some information about his young daughter and will be expanding the article, though I’m not sure where it will appear.

    1. We really only discovered the beauty of this print about a year ago when we pulled it for our photography department. Thanks for letting me know about your article, I’ll be sure to try and find it. And good luck with expanding it with your new information!

  2. Rachel–I took a closer look at the print and it is really fantastic with the colors and the detail in it. Would it be possible to buy a print from the museum? I had missed the detail at right, a rail passenger car that would be similar to the one George Price was riding when he was fatally injured. Also the fact that the lithograph is from the year of his death is significant. The colors in your print appear more vivid than those in the Milwaukee Historical Society print, though perhaps that was from differences in scanning. And, as you said, the detail on the engine is fantastic. Where is your museum located?

  3. Well, my last question was kind of dumb. I checked your website and discovered you are in Newport News. I’ve never been there but perhaps someday will manage to work in an Amtrak trip there. I live in Janesville, Wisconsin, so I’m a ways away.

  4. Hi Den,
    The colors in the print are as vibrant as shown in the image. Our photography department (who are very good) took this photograph (it is a bit too large for us to scan). It is also possible to order a print of this, check this link http://images.marinersmuseum.org/#/gallery/steam locomotive/lp2944-milwaukee-railroad/ It should lead you to our image collection website, right to the page where this image is located (I believe in the second row). Click on the image, and then click on Buy Now in the top right, which will give you a variety of options regarding sizes. The request will go through our photography department who will get the print made for you. Let me know if you run across any problems or have any questions.

    I am glad you enjoy the print as much as we do. If you ever do make it down this way, contact Collections@marinersmuseum.org and we can set up an appointment for you to see the print if you want.
    Rachel

  5. Terrific, Rachel. Even if I have a print, I would love to see the original someday. It’s added to my “bucket list.” I told someone today that if you were in Milwaukee I’d strongly suggest that you sell prints of it. (That’s what led to my Q of where you were.) Take care. Maybe we’ll meet someday. I travel a lot by train, and I think one comes that way. Den.

  6. Yes, we have a train that comes to Newport News right down the road from us. Our found, Archer Milton Huntington was the son of railroad baron Collis Potter Huntington, who brought the railroad here and founded the shipyard.
    Rachel

  7. Rachel–Hate to bother you but it looks like I’ve run into problems. Last Friday night I sent an email to your photography department with Qs about the surface of the paper and getting the entire image on the sheet, but it’s Thursday now and I haven’t heard anything back. Also the image of the locomotive no longer appears in the second row of the steam gallery–I tried a few other sets but didn’t find it. Can you help? I told them I wanted a matte finish but prefer a flat finish, and some mette papers are rough-surfaced, and I don’t want that because it makes the image less sharp. Anyway, I’m not sure what to do next. Thanks.
    –Den

    1. Hi Den,
      I’m sorry for the difficulties. We have been having some gmail problems, but those have now been cleared up. I talked to the photography department and you should be receiving an email from them this afternoon. Let me know if you have any more questions or problems.
      Rachel

  8. Hi again, Rachel. Still no luck on hearing from the photography department. I’ve checked my regular email as well as different places on their ordering website to see if there’s anything for me from them, but haven’t found anything. I send a shorter version of my email to them tonight–mostly about trying to get a smooth but matte paper–which they may not have. Konica used to make one, and it was a great paper, but they are out of the photo business now after their merger with Minolta. You may be interested: my source with findagrave.com sent me more about George Price’s daughter. After losing her dad in a train accident when she was 5, she lost her husband of 18 months when the James gang robbed a Rock Island train in Iowa and Frank James fatally shot him. She never married again, and you have to wonder if she ever went near a train again. I source is doing an excel spreadsheet on the daughter’s life and then I’ll try to expand my original article about her dad to include what happened to her. Anyway, thanks for whatever help you can give.
    –Den

  9. Rachel–The print arrived yesterday (or maybe the day before–things are a bit of a blur this week) and it’s as beautiful as you said. I’ll also email the photography department to let them know. Thanks for all your help. Hope to get there to see the original and to thank you in person someday!
    Den.

  10. Hello Rachel,
    I just discovered this site. It’s been almost a year since this thread was posted so, I hope you are still involved.
    I am very much interested in this print of the locomotive as I am compiling a catalog on the genre (please visit my website locomotiveadvocate.com) which explains the project.
    In my research I have examined both copies of the print mentioned. It seems as though the print shown comes from the collection of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society and not the Milwaukee Historical Society. The clue is that the Milwaukee print does not have the margin with title at the bottom as is shown. Additionally, as seen by me, the Railway Society print is coated with a very dark layer of varnish which obscures much of the color.
    I would much appreciate hearing back from you as I would like to clarify my confusion.
    Sincerely,

    Dave Rousar
    rousar@earthlink.net
    408-923-2341

  11. Hi Rachel,
    After a more careful reading of the item description above I see that the original is in the possession of the Mariners Museum. Sorry about the confusion.
    I would like to contact the curator of this item if at all possible. Can you forward his contact info? Thanks
    Dave

  12. Hi, is anyone available to answer questions I have about this lithograph?
    I believe there are only 3 known to exist as written above?
    Do you still have your print?
    Thank you,
    Rich

    1. Hi Rich,

      The print is still in our collection. I will email you soon to help answer your questions.
      -Rachel

Leave a Reply