June 11, 2016

Locomotive Devereux

Ken Montero stopped by today to drop off a framed print of the USMRR engine Devereux. The print formerly belonged to G. William Hammer, a former judge who was also an avid model railroader. He was a legal adviser to the NMRA. The print was originally a gift to Judge Hammer from a group of lawyers as a token of their respect for him.  Judge Hammer passed away at the age of 92. You can find a copy of his obituary here.

Missing from that obituary (because his daughter did not know it when it was submitted) was that, before World War II, Judge Hammer not only was an Able Bodied Seaman on a Great Lakes boat, but also worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad - on one of the Pennsy's watercraft on the Great Lakes.  Judge Hammer told Ken this story one night after they quaffed some certain beverages.  Judge Hammer got into model railroading after he got through law school. His primary interest was narrow gauge logging railroads in the Deep South - steam, of course (he called internal combustion engines "dis-easels", as if it were some contagious disease)

Jane Hammer, G. William's daughter, asked Ken if he could find a home for the print. Ken asked me if I would be interested in it. Of course I said, "Yes." The print is now hanging in the stairwell leading to the layout room. I am planning on adding an engraved plate explaining the provenance of the print.

J.H. Devereux was the USMRR Superintendent of the railroads in Virginia. He also was in charge of the construction of the Presidential passenger car that I have blogged about before.

The USMRR engine J.H. Deveraux was a 4-4-0 locomotive  that operated out of Alexandria, VA.  It was an 1863 product of the New Jersey Locomotive & Machine Works. There are at least two known photos of the locomotive.  Devereux was a respected and admired superintendent, and the locomotive bearing his name was embellished in handsome and colorful form, even more so than was common for the time. With polished brass, polished iron, vivid red and blue paint, fancy lettering, and elaborate portraits of Devereux on the sand dome, the locomotive was the epitome of 1860s decoration.

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