·       Genesis in the Niagara frontier, Buffalo, upstate New York where I resided for 21 years…………………………………………………


·        The effect of living in the Niagara frontier and its influence on my development…………………………………………


·        Economic and Social Changes, Industrial Development…………………………………………


·       Finally, travel to far away places…………………………………………………


In the words of its architect, John J. Wade, City Hall “expresses primarily the masculinity, power, and purposeful energy of an industrial community.”  Wade, who studied architecture at the Beaux-Arts Institute in New York, admired greatly the romantically futuristic visions of skyscraper cities drawn by Hugh Ferriss.  In City Hall’s soaring mass and dramatic nighttime lighting he embodied essential elements of Ferriss’s architectural fantasies.


One of the outstanding Art Deco public buildings in the country, City Hall is appropriately decorated.  Above the eight giant columns of the figures represents aspects of the city’s cultural and economic life.  The bronze doors of the entrance bear symbols of the Indian tribes who once inhabited the region.

At the corners of the building stand bronze statues by Bryant Baker of Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland, the two U.S. Presidents who came from Buffalo.  And high above the square the brightly colored roof of the central tower glitters day and night, a festive crown for the Queen City of the Lakes.

Kleinhans Music Hall

Symphony Circle, North Street at Richmond Avenue

Architects: Eliel and Eero Saarinen, F.J. and W. A. Kidd

Acoustical consultant: Charles C. Potwin


Named by Edward Kleinhans as a memorial to his wife, Mary Seaton Kleinhans, and his mother, Mary Livingston Kelinhans, the music hall has one of the first important American commissions on which Eliel Saarinen and his son Eero collaborated.  It was also one of the few such buildings erected during the Depression years.  The curving shapes of the exterior, which faithfully reflect interior volumes, look forward to Eero’s later architecture, while the clean lines and careful craftsmanship, evident on the interior, hark back to the elder Saarinen’s devotion to Arts and Crafts ideals.  Originally, the east end facing Symphony Circle was mirrored in reflecting pools which have now been filled in. Inside the music hall, the orphic form of the flaring, wood-paneled auditorium gives almost literal embodiment to Schelling’s contention that architecture is frozen music.

The Saarinens’ concert hall quickly gained renown for its acoustical excellence and became a place of pilgrimage for architects and acoustical engineers from all over the world.  Many post-World War II concert halls show its influence, notably, Festival Hall in London (1951).




New York Central Terminal, 1929 – Memorial and Paderewski Drives Architects: Fellheimer and Wagner Vaulting: Rafael Guastavino Company

For its size, the city of Buffalo possessed a remarkable diversity of architectural masterpieces from the late 19th and early 20th century.


The context of building the city of Buffalo was within a citywide park system including broad tree lined parkways designed by a world-class architect Frederick Law Olmstead. In addition the city and its environs are represented by other world famous architects-Eero and Eliel Saarinen who designed Kleinhans Music Hall.




Marcel Breuer, Paul Rudolph, Frank Lloyd Wright and the firm of Skidmore Owings and Merrill.  All of this was in no small part due to the enormous wealth created by industrial development which in turn was due, in part, to two great waterways, i.e. Erie Canal and Lake Erie as only an industrial fresh water port, (no beaches!) which handled he mighty steel industry with coal, limestone, and iron ore.  Buffalo became one of the largest flour milling centers in the world with great lakes freighters disgorging enormous quantities of wheat and other grain products for further processing. The city had over 13 major grain elevator sites.                                                                      

The development of railroads with Buffalo acting as a major hub for the New York Central, Pennsylvania, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh Valley, Nickel Plate, and many subsidiary lines owned by the major railroads.  With direct connections to other great eastern and midwestern cities, such as Chicago, and Saint Louis.  No fewer than 5 homes and the world famous Larkin building were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


For a fascinating and thoroughly researched book, refer to: Buffalo Architecture, I.Banham, Charles Beveridge, Henry Russell Hitchcock MIT Press (1982), Cambridge Mass.


Grain Elevators


Grain elevators on the Buffalo River

Great Lakes Freighters unloading at Grain Elevators



It all started with model railroading and my love of trains has never left me. What probably catalyzed our fascination with railroads was the good fortune of growing up in a city where more than six railroads had operations, some major, and some minor…. it was not the lure of travel, because we were real homebodies, but all my childhood friends “got the bug” and became avid devotees of model railroading first and then it had to be the “real thing.”  They say, adult train fans always identify with the railroads of their childhood, Wow, is that ever true!


20th Century Limited

Empire State Express

We were just a few blocks away from a major trunk line of the New York Central System at the magic age, the metamorphosis from steam power to diesel power, 1950, I was all of 13.  What my friends and I witnessed was a revolution in railroading the transition from steam to diesel in front of our eyes.


There are a number of pictures I wish to share with the reader of the various classes of steam locomotives beginning with the magnificent J 3a 4-6-4 Hudson (New York Central) with a pedestal tender.


The Hudson’s pulled both freight and passengers and they were designed in a streamlined version and a conventional version.  Sadly, I never saw the most magnificent of the passing era steam locomotives, the Niagara a tribute to design, engineering, and probably the most efficient use of steam power for passenger and heavy freight service on the New York Central System.  But I have collected a number of pictures of this magnificent machine in all its glory.


J 3a 4-6-4 Hudson (New York Central) with a pedestal tender.

A Streamline Hudson pulling the 20th Century Limited.




Alas, came these diesels and how our gang got to know every single model in our heads, which I still remember today. There were five majors, which we saw almost on a weekly basis, all in freight service some went roaring by accelerating with the roar which literally shook the earth beneath our feet and sent chills up our spines, a combination of fear and some unknown thrill beyond description today, I can paint that very feeling in words. How many of you have ever been to a USAF show where a B-29 Superfortress went over your head at treetop level? Now describe the feeling in words and you’ll know how we felt.


By far the most abundant was the GM (General Motors) E-7, E-8, and E-9

2500 supercharged horsepower pictured to the left.  The top picture is a side view of a nearly new E-8 June 1951.  Each E-7 and E-8 had two V-12 567 horsepower 2 cycle diesels and two of everything else that the engine needed. 

Fuel capacity was 1200 gallons; water for the train heat boiler was 950 gallons, 16 cubic feet of sand, 330 gallons of lubricating oil for two engines and a total cooling water of 400 gallons.  Trucks on both E-7 and E-8 were A1A, the middle axle being an idler only, not power.


Location of Parts – General Motors 2,400-Hp., E9 passenger locomotive,

A unit


  1. Engine—model 12-567-C
  2. Main generator & alternator
  3. Generator blower
  4. Aux. Generator
  5. Control cabinet
  6. Air compressor
  7. Traction motor blower
  8. Hand brake
  9. Fuel tank vent with flame arrestor
  10. Lub. Oil filler
  11. Lub. Oil cooler
  12. Engine water tank
  13. Engine control & instrument panel
  14. Load regulator
  15. Fan & motor


  1. Radiator
  2. Air brake rack
  3. Exhaust manifold
  4. Sand box
  5. Fuel filler
  6. Batteries
  7. Fuel (1,200 gal.) & water (1,300 gal.) tank
  8. Main air reservoir
  9. Air intake shutters & grille
  10. Battery charging receptacle
  11. Engine room ventilator
  12. Lifting lugs
  13. Emergency fuel cut-off
  14. Water filler
  15. Sanding nozzles
  16. A.C. contractor cabinet
  17. Fuel tank sight glass
  18. Battery box vents
  19. Instrument panel
  20. Controller
  21. Speedometer recorder
  22. Air brake stand
  23. Cab heater
  24. Seat



  1. Horn
  2. Coupler
  3. Head light
  4. Door (plain)
  5. Air compressor aftercooler
  6. Toilet
  7. Blue flag bracket
  8. Hinged sash
  9. Fixed sash
  10. Fire extinguisher
  11. Sand box filler
  12. Ventilating shutters
  13. Number box
  14. Water tank vent
  15. M. R. pipe line filter
  16. Marker light brackets
  17. Classification lights
  18. Signal light*
  19. Steam generator*
  20. Liquid water treatment*
  21. Dynamic brake hatch or water tank—600 gal.*
  22. Water cooler*
  23. Exposed coupler pilot*



Location of Parts – General Motors 2,400-Hp., E9 passenger locomotive, B unit


1.       Engine—model 12-567-C

2.       Main generator & alternator

3.       Generator blower

4.       Aux. Generator

5.       Control cabinet

6.       Air compressor

7.       Traction motor blower

8.       Hand brake

9.       Fuel tank vent & flame arrestor

10.   Lub. Oil filler

11.   Lub. Oil cooler

12.   Engine water tank

13.   Engine control & instrument panel

14.   Load regulator

15.   Fan & motor


16.   Radiator

17.   Air brake rack

18.   Exhaust manifold

19.   Sand box

20.   Fuel filler

21.   Batteries

22.   Fuel (1,200 gal.) & Water (1,350 gal.) tank

23.   Main air reservoir

24.   Air intake shutters & grille

25.   Battery charging receptacle

26.   Engine room ventilator

27.   Fuel tank gauge

28.   Emergency fuel cut-off

29.   Water filler

30.   Sanding nozzles

31.   “A-C” contractor cabinet

32.   Lifting lugs

33.   Battery box vents

34.   Hostler’s hinged sash

35.   Controller


36.   Ventilating shutters

37.   Air brake stand

38.   Water tank vent

39.   H.R. pipe line filter

40.   Horn

41.   Coupler

42.   Air intake for grids

43.   Door

44.   Air compressor aftercooler

45.   Sand box filler

46.   Blue flag bracket

47.   Hinged sash

48.   Fixed sash

49.   Fire extinguisher

50.   Steam generator*

51.   Liquid water treatment*

52.   Dynamic brake hatch or water tank—600 gal.*

53.   Water tank—1,200 gal.*

54.   Inboard sanding



Key to Location of Principal Parts on the General-Motors 1,750-Hp. F9-A Freight Locomotive


1.       Engine EMB Model 16-567-C

2.       Main generator and alternator

3.       Generator Blower

4.       Auxiliary generator

5.       Control cabinet

6.       Air compressor

7.       Traction-motor blower

8.       Instrument board

9.       Control stand

10.   Speedometer recorder

11.   Air-brake valve

12.   Cab heater

13.   Seat

14.   Hand brake

15.   Fuel-tank vent with flame arrestor

16.   Lubricating-oil filler

17.   Lubricating-oil cooler

18.   Engine-water tank

19.   Engine control and instrument panel

20.   Load regulator


21.   36-in. fan and motor

22.   Radiator

23.   Horn

24.   Exhaust manifold

25.   Fuel filler

26.   Sand box filler

27.   Fixed-beam headlight

28.   Batteries

29.   1,200 gal. Fuel tank

30.   Main air reservoir

31.   Coupler

32.   Air intake-shutters & grille

33.   Air intake engine room

  1. Fuel-tank sight glass
  2. Fuel tank gauge
  3. Plain door


  1. Emergency fuel cut-off
  2. Engine-water filler (both sides)
  3. Toilet
  4. Battery charging receptacle (left side only)
  5. Sanding nozzles
  6. Blue-flag bracket
  7. a.c. cabinet
  8. Number box
  9. Dynamic brake hatch or water tank—600 gal.*
  10. Steam generator*
  11. Liquid water treatment*
  12. Hatch tank water filler—both sides*
  13. Winterization hatch*
  14. Fuel tank—1,500 gal.*
  15. Enclosed coupler pilot*
  16. Lifting lugs*



Just your average every day dirty old work-a-day freight train here.  Hardly!  Brand new F-3’s 1616-1617 head string of brand new, and very beautiful, MDT (Merchant’s Despatch Transportation Corp.) reefers.  Cars have black roof and ends with white sides that have a red and blue stripe near the bottom.


Why did diesel replace steam so quickly and completely?  This scene tells it all.  Eastbound A-B-A F-7’s head reefer train beneath the Elyria, Ohio coal dock that is in process of being dismantled.  We too, have been saddened by the destruction of this and other glorious monuments that are part of our youth, and National Heritage but it falls within the phrase; “The trouble with steam – it’s a people machine”.

American Locomotive Company Series (ALCO)


Probably, the most handsome, in my opinion, of all the diesels of that era was the ALCO Passenger Locomotive Series, Model PA3.


ALCO 2,250-hp. passenger locomotive


Location of Parts—ALCO 2,250-hp.  Passenger Locomotive, A Unit, Model PA-3


1.       Engine

2.       Main Generator

3.       Exciter

4.       Auxiliary generators

5.       Traction motors

6.       Contractor compartment

7.       Turbosupercharger

8.       Turbosupercharger filters & silencers

9.       Dynamic brake grids & blowers (modification)

10.   Control stand

11.   Brake valves

12.   Traction motor blowers

13.   Radiators

14.   Radiator shutters

15.   Radiator fan


16.   Radiator fan clutch

17.   Lubricating oil cooler

18.   Lubricating oil filters

19.   Engine water tank

20.   Air compressor

21.   Main air reservoirs

22.   Steam generator

23.   Batteries

24.   Sanitary fixture

25.   Fuel tank

26.   Fuel tank filling connection

27.   Fuel tank gauge

28.   Emergency Fuel Cut off

29.   Water tanks

30.   Water tank filling conn’s.

31.   Sand boxes

32.   Sand box filling holes

33.   Generator air duct

34.   Hand brake

35.   Cab heaters

36.   Seat

37.             Horn

38.             Bell

39.             Number box

40.             Tool box (modification)

41.             Fan control panel

42.             Water filling conn. For sanitary fixture

43.             Engine cooling water filling conn’s.

44.             Lube oil strainer

45.             Gauge board

46.             Motometer


Location of Parts—ALCO 2,250 Passenger Locomotive, B Unit, Model PB-3


  1. Engine
  2. Main generator
  3. Exciter
  4. Auxiliary generators
  5. Traction motors
  6. Contactor compartment
  7. Turbosupercharger
  8. Turbosupercharger filters & silencers
  9. Dynamic brake grids & blowers (modification)
  10. Hostler control
  11. Brake valve
  12. Traction motor blowers
  13. Radiators
  14. Radiator shutters
  15. Radiator fan



  1. Radiator fan clutch
  2. Lubricating oil cooler
  3. Lubricating oil filters
  4. Engine water tank
  5. Air compressor
  6. Main air reservoirs
  7. Steam generator
  8. Batteries
  9. Horn
  10. Fuel tank
  11. Fuel tank filling connection
  12. Fuel tank gauge
  13. Emergency fuel cut off


  1. Water tanks
  2. Water tank filling connection
  3. Sand boxes
  4. Sand box filling holes
  5. Generator air duct
  6. Hand brake
  7. Fan control panel
  8. Engine water filling
  9. Fuel oil tank drain
  10. Lube oil strainer
  11. Motometer
  12. Gauge board


Handsome matched A-B-A set of Alco FA-2 units pass beneath an equally handsome upper quadrant semaphore signal bridge as they approach Harmon, N.Y.


Key to Location of Parts ALCO 1,600-Hp. Dual-Purpose Locomotive—A Unit


  1. Engine
  2. Main generator
  3. Exciter
  4. Auxiliary generator
  5. Traction motors
  6. Contractor compartment
  7. Turbo supercharger
  8. Turbo supercharger filters and silencers
  9. Control Stand
  10. Brake valves
  11. Traction motor blowers
  12. Radiators
  13. Radiator shutters
  14. Radiator fan
  15. Radiator fan clutch
  16. Lubricating oil cooler
  17. Lubricating oil filter
  18. Engine water tank
  19. Air compressor


  1. Main air reservoirs
  2. Batteries
  3. Fuel tank
  4. Fuel tank filling connection
  5. Fuel tank gauge
  6. Emergency fuel cut off
  7. Sand boxes
  8. Sand box filling holes
  9. Hand brake
  10. Generator air duct
  11. Cab heater
  12. Number boxes
  13. Horns


  1. Toilet
  2. Headlight – fixed
  3. Seats
  4. Bell
  5. Engine control panel
  6. Battery charging receptacle
  7. Dynamic brake girds and blowers*
  8. Steam generator*
  9. Water tank*
  10. Water tank filling connection
  11. Water tank gauge
  12. Headlight—oscillating*

Fairbanks Morse Series


In 1952 Fairbanks Morse built 8 A unit C-Liners, of a most unusual design, for the Central.  These passenger units were FM model CPA-24-4 (NYC DPA-6) and numbered 4500-4507. 


They were only 56’6” long and had 4 wheel truck in front and 6 wheel (A-1-A) in the rear.    Heavy duty rear truck was necessary to help carry the 12 cyl. (24 piston) 2400 h.p. O.P. engine which made them by far the most powerful units on the Central at that time.  Total weight was 313,800 lbs. With 258,300 of that on the four driving axles.  4500-4501 (above) are real beauties, even with their odd truck arrangement.

13 car No. 49 “Berkshire” at Newtonville, Mass. Nov. 24, 1956.  The B unit MU’d with 4505 is, believe it or not, and EMD F-3.  The Central did have 2 F-3b’s equipped for passenger service but we can’t read the number to verify if this is one of them.


Fairbanks Morse Series


Side elevation of Fairbanks-Morse, passenger and freight C-line A unit with four-wheel trucks.


Side elevation of Fairbanks-Morse C-line freight and passenger B unit with four-wheel trucks.



Baldwin Lima Hamilton Series


Trio of new Baldwin RF-16’s (DFA-8) (nicknamed “Sharknose”)     at Eddystone, Pa. An A unit was 54’8” long, 15’ high and weighed 255,000 lbs.  Engine was their VO in-line 8.  Westinghouse 370-DEZ traction motors drove the 42” wheels.


This model is no longer manufactured.

Location of Parts—Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton 1,600-Hp. Road Freight Locomotive—A Unit Model RF-16.


  1. Engine
  2. Main generator
  3. Auxiliary generator & exciter
  4. Turbocharger
  5. Air intake filter
  6. Diesel engine exhaust stack
  7. Engine control panel
  8. Engine control gauges
  9. Lube oil suction strainer
  10. Lube oil pump
  11. Lube oil filter
  12. Lube oil fill
  13. Heat exchanger—Lube oil cooler
  14. Fuel oil tank
  15. Fuel suction strainer


16.               Fuel supply pump

17.               Fuel pressure filter

18.               Radiators—Engine cooling water

19.               Radiator fan with motor

20.               Temperature control equipment

21.               Expansion tank—Engine cooling water

22.               Radiator air discharge

23.               Water pump

24.               Air compressor

25.               Air reservoirs

26.               Air brake equipment

27.               Hand brake

28.               Electrical equipment cabinet


29.               Storage battery box

30.               Traction motor blower

31.               Sand box

32.               Operating controls

33.               Speed indicator

34.               Bell

35.               Fire extinguisher (portable)

36.               Fire extinguisher (fixed)*

37.               Seat

38.               Cab heater

39.               Alarm bell

40.               Air horn

41.               Water cooler*

42.               Cab signal*

43.               Cab signal equipment*

44.               Train phone*

45.               Train phone equipment*

46.               Motor generator set*

47.               Dynamic brake resistors*

48.               Dynamic brake equipment*

49.               Headlight

50.               Toilet



This model is no longer manufactured.

Location of Parts—Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton 1,600-Hp. Road Freight Locomotive—B Unit Model RF-16


  1. Engine
  2. Main generator
  3. Auxiliary generator & exciter
  4. Turbocharger
  5. Air intake filter
  6. Diesel engine exhaust stack
  7. Engine control panel
  8. Engine control gauges
  9. Lube oil suction strainer
  10. Lube oil pump
  11. Lube oil filter
  12. Lube oil fill
  13. Heat exchanger—Lube oil cooler
  14. Fuel oil tank
  15. Fuel suction strainer
  16. Fuel supply pump


  1. Fuel pressure filter
  2. Radiators—Engine cooling water
  3. Radiator Fan with motor
  4. Temperature control equipment
  5. Expansion tank—Engine cooling water
  6. Radiator air discharge
  7. Water pump
  8. Air compressor
  9. Air reservoirs
  10. Air brake equipment


  1. Hand brake
  2. Electrical equipment cabinet
  3. Storage battery box
  4. Traction motor blower
  5. Sand box

35.   Operating controls

36.   Fire extinguisher (portable)

37.   Fire extinguisher (fixed)*

  1. Dynamic brake resistors*
  2. Dynamic brake equipment*


Niagara Falls Power


Niagara Falls is famous as a symbolic wonder which people from all over the world travel to see… this tremendous waterfall never stopping and never silent.  Because this marvelous world wonder is only looked at as a natural wonder very few of the millions of tourists realize the enormous wealth and technological development derived from harnessing of nature called hydroelectric power.


First, I would like you to try to comprehend some statistics from my era 1947-1960, which will fascinate you. 


The total power generated was 1,560,000 horsepower, every minute, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week every day of the year. The value of this power @ 1¢ per kilowatt was, at that time, $300,000 per day or $110,000.00 per year! That was a wealth that dwarfs the income brought in by millions of tourists.


Driven by the power of falling water, one of these generators alone produces electrical energy sufficient to supply the homes of a city of 300,000 people.




Try to even imagine this enormous flow of all water originated from the great lakes-lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie all ceaselessly flowing over this these two rocky escarpments-the American Falls and the so called Canadian or Horseshoe Falls down through a raging gorge emptying into Lake Ontario.

The establishment of electrochemistry and electrometallurgy is one of the most fascinating chapters in the industrial development of the United States and Canada and involved wonders of the world of science and engineering ever known on this planet, all based on the spinning of enormous hydroelectric turbines some generating 100,000 HP each.

  It is at this point that my inspiration began and what a story in my growth was the mighty Niagara.


Niagara Falls Chemical Technology