Talk:John Bull (locomotive)

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Featured article John Bull (locomotive) is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 15, 2008.
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December 18, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
August 21, 2008 Featured article review Kept
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on October 8, 2004.
Current status: Featured article
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Fetured article, no citations et cetera?[edit]

That would be highly unorthodox, yes? There also appear to be some examples of poor grammar, and parts read like a student essay instead of an encyclopedia article. (talk) 05:36, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

There are plenty of inline citations now. Which phrases are of concern? Slambo (Speak) 14:20, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

A more current photo?[edit]

Is there someone in the Washington DC area that can visit the museum and get a picture of the locomotive as it appears today for me? AdThanksVance. slambo 21:08, Dec 7, 2004 (UTC)

I got this image:

side view

and the replica:


2-4-0 vs 4-2-0 designation[edit]

As described in the "Mechanical Modifications and Early Exhibitions" paragraph: "Effectively, the John Bull became a 2-4-0 (a locomotive with two unpowered leading axles followed by one powered axle and no unpowered trailing axles)" Based on the descriptions at Whyte notation, 2-4-0, and 4-2-0; the parenthetical describes a 4-2-0. also mentions that the John Bull was a 4-2-0 after modification.

I'm going to correct the article text as well as the category to reflect this. Munkee 17:02, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I now see that someone not logged in changed it from 4-2-0 to 2-4-0 recently. Please don't change it back to 2-4-0 unless you can provide some evidence on the discussion page. Munkee 17:05, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

4-2-0 is the correct designation for the post-modification configuration as there were two leading axles and only one powered axle. Thanks for catching this. Slambo (Speak) 17:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
4-2-0? I would think (2-2)-2-0, maybe? The two unpowered axles are independent of each other. It's customary to write it as "4-2-0" only if the leading unpowered axles are on the same truck (bogie). (talk) 05:38, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
That's the way it's listed in the reference material, so that's the way it's listed here. Slambo (Speak) 10:49, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something, but both the 1877 and 1893 photos clearly show a 2-4-0 locomotive. Mjroots (talk) 19:50, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
The construction drawing from 1833 shows it as an 0-4-0. The leading axle was added sometime before the 1860s (I don't have an exact year for it right now). Slambo (Speak) 19:54, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I just re-read your comment. It looks like a 2-4-0, but really the first two axles are both unpowered. The connecting rods were removed from between the two powered axles, leaving only the rear axle powered. This is stated in the article text. Slambo (Speak) 19:59, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Correct date on picture?[edit]

The last picture on the page, which appears to be a painting, not a photograph, mentions the date 1981. Is this correct, and, if so, to what does the date refer? Was it a depiction of a long-ago time which was painted in 1981? It hardly seems likely that the scene was supposed to depict the exhibit occuring the year 1981... -Grammaticus Repairo 17:07, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes the date is correct. The locomotive was restored and operated by technicians in period costume. Slambo (Speak) 17:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
This image really doesn't look like a photograph to me. Is it a painting? If so, why on earth would an artist create a painting of the locomotive being operated by techncians in period costumes that is inteded to depict the machine in the year 1981? -Grammaticus Repairo 18:50, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
It is not a painting, it is a photograph. The locomotive was restored and operated in 1981, the people operating the locomotive dressed up in period costume while they operated it. From [1]: "On September 15,1981, after considerable analysis, a careful examination by a boiler-inspection firm, and a 1980 trial run on a branchline track in Virginia, John Bull displayed its magic before a rapt audience. Belching fire and smoke under the care of White and colleague John Stine, the locomotive ran on the Old Georgetown Branch rails beside the C&O Canal in Washington." It is that run that was photographed and that photograph is reproduced here. There are two other photos from the run on that page too. Slambo (Speak) 10:56, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
It is the fact that this locomotive operated after 150 years from its construction that makes it especially notable. Slambo (Speak) 10:58, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Inspected by Matthias Baldwin[edit]

In going back through the reference materials for this article, I found notes that the John Bull was inspected by Matthias W. Baldwin (founder of Baldwin Locomotive Works) before he built his own first locomotives. This information should be included in this article, but I'm not sure where is the best place for it right now. Refs that mention this include:

  • Alexander, E. P. (2003). Iron Horses: American Locomotives 1829-1900. Courier Dover Publications. pp. p 26. ISBN 0486425312. 
  • Warner, Paul Theodore (1924). Motive Power Development on the Pennsylvania Railroad System, 1831-1924. Pennsylvania Railroad Company. pp. p 7. 

Slambo (Speak) 17:52, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Another tidbit[edit]

The New York Times had a note about the first engineer to drive this locomotive. On November 8, 1909, Tatem Parsons, the John Bull's first engineer who was also noted as being the nation's oldest locomotive engineer, died.

"First Engineer of John Bull Dead" (PDF). New York Times. 1909-11-09. Retrieved 2008-08-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Slambo (Speak) 20:19, 4 August 2008 (UTC)