Benjamin H. Latrobe Photostats, 1839-1862, MS. 1832

Benjamin H. Latrobe Photostats, 1839-1862

Maryland Historical Society


(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)

Benjamin H. Latrobe Photostats, 1839-1862
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Fax: 410.385.2105
[email protected]


Descriptive Summary

Benjamin H. Latrobe Photostats, 1839-1862

MS. 1832

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

Scope and Content

This collection consists of 5 letters, four from Latrobe to Jervis and one from Jervis to Latrobe. Of the two Jervis seems to have had a wider ranging career and was a distinguished author on engineering.


Letter 1: March 9, 1839. Latrobe urges the formation of a National Soc. of Engineers to Amass and [UNK] among its members results of their experiences - to form a self incorporated Society to promote good feeling and esprit de corps in the profession. Latrobe asks him to express his views, as nothing was said at the Convention except about the English Soc. of Engineers. Latrobe has not seen their Constitution and he would prefer not to be associated with the [UNK] Institute here.




Letter 2: May 23rd, 1845 John B. Jervis cutlines the construction of wooden bridges, the [UNK] and counter bracing, the prevention of sinking, etc. He prefers the Pannel type which depends for its strength on iron bracing and uprights and would cost less. He [UNK] at the moment calculate its strength under tension. From sketches he thinks the truss bracing on the B and O bridges good. There follows details on abutments and masonry below the level of the roadway - again says Pannel construction with iron bracing would give greater stability...suggests roof to protect bridge from rot, etc. He again says he is not in postiion to give opinion on use of iron as circumstances differ. He ends letter with request for information on fuel for locomotives: what was the result of experiments with anthracite vs. Cumberland coal or wood - how about sparks?




Letter 3: May 28th, 1845 Latrobe to Jervis: Thanks him for his opinions on fuel and replies to his questions on this subject- wood, coal, coke. Engines were built later for anthracite...technical discussion of engines follows. Latrobe has experimented since 1838 on the three types of fuel and discovered the superiority of bituminous coal. In 1843 he experimented on cost of fuel and consumption per day of wood vs. coal and combustion of both....description of boilers needed...risk from sparks lees from coal.




Letter 4: May 31, 1848. Latrobe thanks Mr. Jervis for valuable description of aqueduct (Croton, N. Y.). He then discusses his experiments with coke. He tells of laying 600 feet of his triple rail as test for perfecting new rail system.




Letter 5: July 28, 1862 Benjamin Latrobe asks Mr. Jervis for further aid in securing money from capitalists to finish the Pittsburgh-Connellsville R. R.. He is about to visit New York and Boston and would like to quote Jervis as supporting his estimates. These he would send at once to Jervis.




Item 2 Two booklets printed by the Jervis Library in Rome, New York in 1966 and 1968: Name Index to Jervis Papers, (1968) and Index to the Papers of John [UNK] Jervis (1966).