This offer is for a scarce Americana Railroad print entitled
"VIEW OF THE FIRST AMERICAN RAILWAY TRAIN"
It is an artist's faithful rendition after a silhouette cut by William H. Brown during his personal observation of the De Witt Clinton train making it's first excursion run on the day of August 9, 1831, between Albany, and Schenectady, NY.
This lithograph is one of only 3 known to exist to date. It measures 19 X 12 inches as published in 1865 by Sage Sons & Company - Buffalo, NY. It is housed in the original wood frame of the period.
One copy is in the Library of Congress collection, but it lacks the publishing date of 1865.
Collection of Library of Congress, Digital ID: cph 3a04991
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-1141 (b&w film copy neg.)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC 20540 USA
Another copy, with the correct copyright information and date is in the "Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation Prints and Ephemera."
Huntington Library San Marino, California. Jay T. Last Collection. Call No. priJLC TRAN 001113
Lithographs that closely resemble this one do exist and were published in 1869, and 1885, by "Leggo & Company," a firm of Montreal, Canada. To date, I haven't found a connection between the publishers and there is very little reference material about the Leggo Company lithograph that explains how the company acquired rights to reproduce the subject.
However, I do believe that the Leggo Company purchased the reproduction rights from Thomas Jarmy who was the original Copyright holder. The scarcity of this lithograph may lie in the fact that after Thomas Jarmy learned that details of the locomotive engine he gave to Sage & Sons to print below the image was totally incorrect he intended to limit his losses. And while excitement of the event was still fresh and before word of the error reached public ears, he sold the rights to the Leggo firm. I have not seen in hand any of the Leggo Company lithographs of this subject but there is a digital copy of it in the Library of Congress records and an image of it was published in the "Complete Encyclopedia of Antiques" -Hawthorne Books, New York - 1962 (page 1024, plate 384.)
Thomas Jarmy's error was that he had Sage & Sons print on the publication specification details of the "John Bull", an English built locomotive. The correct information was not published for public awareness until after William H. Brown (the same person who cut the silhouette upon which the image in this lithograph represents), completed his book entitled "The History of The FIRST AMERICAN LOCOMOTIVES IN AMERICA - From Original Documents And The Testimony Of Living Witnesses" by D. Appleton and Company, New York in the year 1874.
William H. Brown devoted Chapter XXXII of his book to correct the record of errors that Thomas Jarmy incorporated in the historical description of the Dewitt Clinton Locomotive in his lithograph of 1865. A softcover reprint of Brown's book, published in 2003, by the Astragal Press will accompany this lot.
A STRONG, CLEAR IMPRESSION PRINTED ON STURDY WOVE PAPER. A 1 1/2 INCH VERTICAL TEAR RUNNING FROM THE BOTTOM EDGE INTO THE SECTION OF PASSENGER'S NAME LIST. SMALL CHIP OF PAPER LOSS AT TOP, RIGHT CORNER. SMALL WATER STAIN ALONG UPPER EDGE OF LEFT MARGIN WITH A FEW SMALL DIMPLE IMPRESSIONS IN THE PAPER NEAR THE SAME AREA. SOME LIGHT SCUFFING AT THE LOWER REAR SECTION OF THE ENGINE. VERY LIGHTLY TONED OVERALL.
VERSO, SMALL SPOTTY AREAS OF MODERATE TO STRONG TONING, LIGHT SOILING, PENCIL NOTATIONS.
FRAME IS LOOSE AT CORNERS. BACKBOARD HAS REMAINS OF PAPER THAT APPEARS TO BE ORIGINAL TO FRAMING.
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