Children seated on a small locomotive at a mini railroad station in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Waltham Massachusetts Date:1932, December 5 Duration:38 sec Sound:NO SOUND
This railroad was built as a hobby by Mr. W. H. Nichols at his Nichols Machine Company in Waltham, Mass. Mr. Nichols was a pioneer in the hobby of building "live steam" locomotives. He built a multi-gauge track at his factory and hosted "meets" of the Boston Society of Model Engineers. The film clip shows his 7-1/4" gauge locomotive "Ella Cinders" pulling a trainload of people around the track. The locomotive was copied after one that Mr. Nichols remembered from his home in Canada on the Hamilton & Dundas Railway. The prototype was a "dummy" locomotive which had a streetcar type body built over the boiler. Mr. Nichols never finished that part, and ran the miniature locomotive with no cab at all. The model still exists, and is owned by decendents of Mr. Nichols. It was still operable into the 1990s, and is scheduled for a rebuild in the near future. The boy in the close-up and running the train in the film is Charles S. Purinton. "Charlie" was the son of the late Charles A. "Carl" Purinton, founder of the Brotherhood of Live Steamers and that group's secretary for many years. Carl built and operated many model steam locomotives over the years until his death at 101 in February, 1999. Charlie also was an avid live steamer and locomotive builder who constructed many model engines. He passed away in November, 2010. The man seen working on the engine in the film clip is W. H. Nichols himself.
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