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Lima Locomotive Works

During the time Mr. Ephraim Shay was building his locomotive, he dealt with a machinery firm in Lima, Ohio, known as Carnes, Harper & Company. This firm supplied the loggers with sawmill equipment and various parts. The firm also manufactured reapers, threshers, and flour mill machinery. Surviving the panic of 1873, Carnes, Harper & Company expanded their small business to include boilers. The business was incorporated in 1877 and re-named The Lima Machine Works.

Lima turned their attention to locomotive building. In August 1879 the firm finished its first three locomotives for the J. Alley Company, presumably a logging firm. The first of the three locomotives was a Shay, but as far as is known this was the only one of its kind. It is quite possible that this locomotive was a direct copy of Shay's own locomotive.

Shay had earlier been in touch with the Lima people about his ideas for a geared locomotive. John Carnes, co-owner of the Lima Machine Works, joined with Shay in working out some of the problems of the locomotive. The results were the use of gears attached to the wheels and a combination journal box to hold the line shaft as well as the wheel axle bearing.

Additional information on the Lima Locomotive Works can be found here.



 Midwest Central Railroad  Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641 319−385−2912 (updated 01Aug16)