Matthew Baird

Matthew Baird (1817–1877) was one of the early partners in the Baldwin Locomotive Works.

Matthew Baird
Born1817
Died1877

Baird was born in Derry, Ireland, in 1817. His parents brought him to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1821.

Baird went to work for the nascent railroad industry in the 1830s. He started with an apprenticeship at the New Castle Manufacturing Company in Delaware between 1834 and 1836. He then went on to become the superintendent of the Newcastle and Frenchtown Railway (N&F) shops. He left the N&F to become foreman of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1838. In this position, he was co-author on a patent for a spark arrestor in 1842 that has since become known as the "French and Baird stack".

In 1854 Baird invested in a share of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, becoming a partner. At this time, he developed (but did not patent) a new fire arch to improve steam locomotive combustion. The improved fire arch was subsequently patented by George S. Griggs on December 15, 1857 (U.S. Patent 18,883). Upon Baldwin's death in 1866, Baird became the sole proprietor of the company, a position he held until he retired in 1873.

The town of Baird, Texas, is named after Matthew Baird. The Matthew Baird Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]

References

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