The reference for locomotives and railcars
Baltimore & Ohio Grasshopper “Atlantic”
United States | 1832 | only one produced
Replica at the “Fair of the Iron Horse” in 1927
Replica at the “Fair of the Iron Horse” in 1927
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, September 1927

The first five locomotives delivered to the Baltimore & Ohio were not successful since they were too small. Nevertheless the B&O bought the patents of these locomotives and gave Phineas Davis the task to develop a heavier locomotive that could haul 150 tons with 15 mph. He was assisted by Ross Winans. The result was the “Atlantic” built in 1932 that used many design features of the “Tom Thumb”.

The “Atlantic” had a vertical boiler with a fan to increase the draft. The cylinders were also vertical and worked over levers onto a crank axle. These levers led to the nickname “Grasshopper” for this type of locomotive. The crank axle was connected to the two driving axles via spur and pinion, so the drivers turned twice as fast as the crank axle.

This locomotive is considered the first commercially successful one built in the USA. 20 more were built after the same plans. Although the original Grasshoppers had been scrapped, their second generation was used as shop switchers until the 1890s. One of these, No. 7 “Andrew Jackson” was rebuilt to look like the “Atlantic” and used for public demonstrations, for example at the “Fair of the Iron Horse” in 1927.

ManufacturerPhineas Davis
Axle config0-4-0T (Four-coupled) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Service weight13,000 lbs
Fuel capacity2,000 lbs (coal)
Power sourcesteam
Indicated power63 hp (47 kW)
Optimal speed28 mph
Top speed20 mph
Starting effort1,570 lbf
Power Plant
Driver diameter36 in
Boiler pressure50 psi
Expansion typesimple
Cylinderstwo, 10 x 12 in
Calculated Values
steam locomotive
tank locomotive
Phineas Davis
last changed: 05/2024

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