Matthew Baird (1817–1877) was one of the early partners in the Baldwin Locomotive Works.
Baird was born in
Derry, Ireland, in 1817. His parents brought him to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1821.
Baird went to work for the nascent railroad industry in the 1830s. He started with an apprenticeship at the
New Castle Manufacturing Company in Delaware between 1834 and 1836. He then went on to become the superintendent of the Newcastle and Frenchtown Railway (N&F) shops. He left the N&F to become foreman of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1838. In this position, he was co-author on a patent for a spark arrestor in 1842 that has since become known as the "French and Baird stack".
In 1854 Baird invested in a share of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, becoming a partner. At this time, he developed (but did not patent) a new fire arch to improve
steam locomotive combustion. The improved fire arch was subsequently patented by George S. Griggs on December 15, 1857 ( ). Upon Baldwin's death in 1866, Baird became the sole proprietor of the company, a position he held until he retired in 1873. U.S. Patent 18,883
The town of
Baird, Texas, is named after Matthew Baird. The Matthew Baird Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. [1 ]
References [ edit ]
. Retrieved April 20, 2005 – connection to Baird, Texas. Baird, Texas MacDougal, D., ed. (1917),
Scots and Scots Descendant in America, chapter 18: . Retrieved April 20, 2005 – birthplace, emigration year, retirement year. Scots in Science and Invention
. Retrieved April 20, 2005 – connection to Baldwin. Matthias W. Baldwin, 1795-1866 Thomson, Ross (October 2004),
( From the Old to the New: The Social Basis of Innovation in the Antebellum U.S. PDF). Retrieved April 20, 2005 – patent details
White, John H., Jr. (Spring 1986). "America's most noteworthy railroaders". Railroad History 154: pp. 9–15. ISSN 0090-7847. OCLC 1785797. – birth and death years
White, John H., Jr. (1968). A history of the American locomotive; its development: 1830-1880. New York, NY: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-23818-0. – patent and apprenticeship details