William D. Lewis

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William David Lewis (1792-1881) was a 19th-century banker, merchant, and railroad executive based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1][2]

In 1832, Lewis hired future locomotive titan Matthias Baldwin to assemble a locomotive kit for the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad; Baldwin completed the engine, named Delaware, later in the year. This experience allows Baldwin to build Old Ironsides, his first locomotive from scratch, later in the year.[3]

Later in the 1830s, Lewis was a director of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad,[4] which forged the first rail link between the cities. His service is noted on the 1839 Newkirk Viaduct Monument.

In 1839, Lewis was a director of the Philadelphia Museum Company.[5] Founded by famed painter Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), it was one of America's first museums. It went out of business in the 1850s, and the collection was sold for roughly $6,000 to P.T. Barnum and Moses Kimball.[6][7]

In the 1840s, Lewis became president of the Catawissa Railroad.[8]


  1. ^ "William David Lewis papers". NYPL Homepage THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY ARCHIVES & MANUSCRIPTS _ About E Contact D Digitized. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ "William David Lewis papers". Historic Society of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  3. ^ "1832 (June 2004 Edition)" (PDF). PRR CHRONOLOGY. The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. June 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  4. ^ President and Directors of the Late Philadelphia Wilmington, and Baltimore Rail Road Company (1838). Organization of the united companies under the name of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Rail Road Company. Philadelphia: John C. Clark. p. 2.
  5. ^ A. M'Elroy's Philadelphia Directory (1839)
  6. ^ SIA RU007054, Philadelphia Museum Company, Philadelphia Museum Company, 1792, 1808-1842 and undated
  7. ^ Alexander, Edward P. (1995). Museum Masters: Their Museums and Their Influence. Rowman Altamira. pp. 43–72. ISBN 9780761991311.
  8. ^ Lewis, William D.; et al. (1853). The Catawissa, Williamsport and Erie Rail-Road. New York: J.H. Burnet, Stationer. p. 1.