Monday, February 12, 2007

Portrait of Asa Whitney???

From: "John Bentley"

I am doing some historical research for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. In our archives we have uncovered an oil painting identified only as "Mr. Whitney." I am wondering if it is Asa Whitney, the man who first proposed the idea of the transcontinental railroad. Thus far my research has been stalled and I am trying to find a picture or Mr. Whitney to compare to the portrait we have. ...

John Bentley
Public Relations Dept.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
Cleveland, Ohio


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

The University of Pennsylvania shows a portrait of "Merchant Asa Whitney, benefactor of Penn’s first endowed professorship, the bequest from his estate established the Asa Whitney Professor of Dynamical Engineering in 1877."
Don't know if this is the same Asa Whitney who petitioned Congress in the 1840's to build a Pacific Railroad.

2/12/2007 1:23 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Bentley, John wrote:

Thanks for the response. I had seen that photo as well and am not sure it is the same Mr. Whitney that I am trying to track down. The Whitney portrait I have is of a much older, heavier-set gentlemen with distinguished facial hair.

I have attached a copy of the photo of the portrait ...

John Bentley
Public Relations Dept.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

2/12/2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Here are portraits of two other famous Mr. Whitney's: Josiah Whitney, after whom Mount Whitney is named, and Eli Whitney, cotton gin inventor.

2/12/2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

Be careful researching Asa Whitney and thinking you have the right stuff. There were two of them involved with railroads. One with a plan for the Pacific railroad, and one worked for Baldwin, and perhaps one of the upstate New York railroads. I believe the one who planned for a Pacific railroad looked like Napoleon. See what David Bain said in Empire Express.


2/12/2007 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia Brodrick said...

Asa Whitney of Groton was the one involved with the transcontinental railroad. Asa Whitney of Townshend Mass, then later Philapdelphia was an inventor and engineer involved in railroads, and was a benefactor of University of Penn -- and he's an ancestor of mine. We have a portrait of him but it's in private hands so that can't be the one you are speaking of. Perhaps there's another portrait?

12/28/2011 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Asa Whitney [of Townshend Massachusetts] is best known for his contributions to the process of heat annealing iron. The heat annealed iron was used to make railroad car wheels. The discovery of heat annealing, as applied to chilled cast-iron wheels, marked an era in the history of railroads. It enabled trains to safely increase both loads and speed. Previous to this discovery it was impossible to cast wheels with solid hubs, and therefore impossible to secure them rigidly to the axle." —Bill Husband

Courtesy of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List.

11/08/2021 6:55 AM  

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