Records include manufacturing and sales records, drawings, and photographs generated by the Whitcomb Locomotive Company and
its predecessor the George D. Whitcomb Company.
The Whitcomb Locomotive Company was a builder of gasoline and diesel powered industrial locomotives that supplied companies
around the world with a variety of configurations for moving cars within factory environments.
The George D. Whitcomb Company was incorporated by George D. Whitcomb on May 6, 1896 in Illinois. George’s son George Card
Whitcomb replaced George D. Whitcomb as General Manager in 1907, and after George senior’s death in 1914 he took over the
The company sold its first gas-mechanical locomotive in 1906. In October of 1914 Whitcomb introduced and shipped its first
electric storage battery locomotive. Its first gas-electric locomotive was manufactured in 1928. Whitcomb introduced its
first diesel-electric locomotive in 1929.
A friendship between Baldwin President Samuel L. Vauclain and Whitcomb President George Whitcomb led to Baldwin taking a financial
interest in the George D. Whitcomb Company. In 1927, Baldwin Locomotive Works began representing Whitcomb in the sales division.
Baldwin acquired a half-interest in Whitcomb stock in 1928. After suffering a downturn in orders during the Great Depression,
Whitcomb lost control of the company to Baldwin Locomotive Works. After declaring bankruptcy on behalf of Whitcomb in 1931,
Baldwin reorganized it as the Whitcomb Locomotive Company and operated it under that name until 1940. Starting in 1934 the
Baldwin Locomotive Works took over the sales, repair, and renewal parts business from the Whitcomb Company.
In July 19, 1932, Whitcomb acquired the Milwaukee Locomotive Manufacture Company.
Whitcomb became a division of Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1940. During World War II, Whitcomb supplied the United States
Army Transportation Corps with diesel-electric switchers.
In December 4, 1950, Baldwin Locomotive Works bought the Lima-Hamilton Company and became the Baldwin – Lima – Hamilton Corporation.
Whitcomb construction facilities moved from Rochelle, Illinois to Eddystone, Pennsylvania. BLH continued to use the Whitcomb
name until December 1952.
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