New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

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CraigH
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New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by CraigH » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:59 pm

A new unpublished image has been added to the Image Gallery.

It's an early shot of Millwood, the NPC's business car, a few of us think the image was taken on Austin Creek. Built by Kimball in San Francisco in 1875. The car was ordered by Milton S. Latham as his personal car on the road. To haul it, he ordered from Baldwin the spectacular 8-18c #9. The loco was fitted with numerous German Silver (nickle) fittings and on the cab, the early style oval panel with his monogram on a German Silver oval plate. This image dates sometime after 1877 but before 1885 or so. The cab and plate were changed probably after the famous "Bull Wreck".
Millwood-1.jpg
Call number 2008-0237. Permission to publish online granted to PacificNG.com. Courtesy of the California History Room, California State Library, Sacramento, California.
http://www.pacificng.com/imglib/main.ph ... emId=15465
This copy of the image unfortunately has been reduced in quality (bandwith, loading time...). The scan I have is from an original photo, in tiff format and about 96MB, about 600DPI.

Of note on the image, material not seen before:
1) In the side window band there are two blanked window spots. The aft one is painted with a scenic image that suggests a mountain gorge with a river, the fore space is either a pair of hunting dogs or a horse viewed from the back left quarter in a field.
2) The oval board centered on the car has a faint NPC Tri-color logo. Originally this board had Milton Slocum Latham's monogram. It was removed after his leaving the road.
3) See also the following image (also in the Image Gallery) published with permission from Bruce MacGregor and from his book "Birth of Calif. Narrow Gauge". Same period, possibly even the same trip.
http://www.pacificng.com/imglib/main.php?g2_itemId=263

4) The loco, NPC #9, of interest is that it was fitted with a pilot on the tender. It no longer sports crosshead pumps, North Pacific Coast is spelled out on the tender, it looks like the factory style lettering remains but the billboard striping is gone. The original Radley-Hunter has also been replaced.

Enjoy the image.

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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by Andrew Brandon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:26 pm

I've noticed several other NPC locomotives with tender paint in this fashion, it certainly does seem as if they're painting out the rest.
The paintings on the car may explain the reason for the painting on #6s headlight in this image http://www.pacificng.com/imglib/main.ph ... ewsIndex=2. Are there any other locomotive shots with paintings? I see in the #6 image that while the panel has been painted out on the tender, the "red" striping remains on the tender in that photo. With that much paint remaining on the locomotive, is it beyond reason to assume that the locomotive is the same base color?
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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by Randy Hees » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:42 am

There is an amazing amount of information it the photo of Millwood and 9 that Craig found…

This needs to be soon after the April 1882 “Bull wreck”… the locomotive has a new cab, but still carries the full “North Pacific Coast” on the tender… the tender pilot, which looks new may be the give-away. I don’t know of any other photos of this loco with a rear pilot (likely a response to the bull wreck… locomotives had to back-up one way on the Rafael/San Quentin run) but before being repainted with the intertwined letter monogram.

Millwood has the intertwinded letter monogram, (maybe the first piece of rolling stock to carry it) but without the name “Millwood” as seen in the photo in Birth p 200 (based on the women’s outfits, I would guess taken in the mid 1890’s)
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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by CraigH » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:03 pm

Attached are some higher resolution cropped portions of the image.

I've made every effort to avoid image smoothing and compression.
Millwood Image-NPC 9 Loco.jpg
Closeup of NPC #9.
Millwood Image-Millwood.jpg
Closeup of Millwood.

The more I look at the creek and gravel bar, I get this gut feeling that it was taken within a couple hundred yards of the creek's mouth at the Russian River. There's not that many spots on the creek that will allow for so much sunlight (unless it's an area heavily logged). I've kayaked it from Cazadero to the Russian...impossible unless you do it during a hard winter storm as the creek's so shallow. The spot would also make sense as it's been a prime fishing hole pretty much forever. That would make it a natural for a photo opportunity.

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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by CraigH » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:17 am

All,

Here's a synopsis (cut and paste primarily of emails off the Forum regarding the image). The image is becoming a "Rosetta Stone" of sorts for some interesting NEW N.P.C. information. Basically what's happening is that several guys who know the road, know connected general trends and tendancies of the period are making some interesting connections. Call it "informed conjecture". Not absolute fact, but likely darned close to it until some new data point clearifies the picture further. Another item of interest is following the back and forth between different folks and watching the thought process unfold.

From Bruce M. to Kyle W.:
>>"This is the earliest photo of Millwood that I've seen. Probably made in the eighties. This file (attached) is a fairly tight crop, with a fair amount of canyon and creek eliminated in favor of the car and NPC 9". <<
>>"The first time I saw this image at this magnification (without pixelization) I wasn't exactly sure what I was seeing in the two smaller windows (3rd and 11th windows visible from the left hand edge). .... it took me awhile but it became clear that these were full-size paintings, occupying almost the entire window area. One theme (left) seems to be a mountain canyon; the other (right) seems to be hunting dogs".<<
>>"Is it just me or is this unique car decoration? Specifically, have you seen an eastern builder apply paintings to panels, in the same locations? I don't believe I have. Paintings on the oval name plate, yes. But full-size window murals? I have not seen the like. The drift of this thinking, you probably guessed, is to question whether this piece of decoration strengthens the case for a Kimball manufacture, since the company had fewer institutional "norms" than say Jackson & Sharp, or Pullman. And of course, the paintings reflect the interest of Milton Latham in art".<<
From Kyle W. to Bruce M.:
>>"Yes, I'm DELIGHTED with the new photo - and look forward to seeing the complete uncropped image. Any indication who the photographer is?

The painted panes between windows are wonderful. but before you read too much into them, consider the painted panels on the tender of the Union Pacific #119 loco at Promontory, numerous headlight side panels, carriage panels and doors, etc. It probably isn't as uncommon as you might think, particularly for a provincially produced car that would likely be somewhat behind the latest trends in decoration.

For all that, it has been a long time since I've seriously questions Kimball as the builder of the Millwood (or MLS as it was then called). Rather at this time I think the burden of proof is on anyone who would claim it was built by someone else.

And check out the loco pulling the Millwood in the photo - unless I'm mistaken it is our friend, NPC #9 MLS, with German silver (nickel silver) domes and other fittings shining in the sun - beautiful. Now, if we could just clear out the foliage and get a really clear shot . . . . .

On dating the photo, I note the tender is still lettered "North Pacific Coast", not the later logo "NPC" intertwined - although the Millwood appears to have the "NPC" logo on its name panel (so probably well after the time Latham lost control of the road).

Interesting now that I look at it, the painted panels are included in the view you (Bruce) sent me some time ago - attached. And the whole decorative treatment of the two panes has changed by the time of the 1911 NWP view from Stindt, also attached".<<
Millwood_-_MacGregor_a.jpg
Source: MacGreggor "Birth of California Narrow Gauge" Stanford Press, DeGoyer (?)
Millwood 1911 - Stindt a.jpg
Source: Stindt
From Craig to Bruce, Kyle, Randy:
>>Image detail:
Record Number:001388070
Title:Pacific North Coast Railway
Publisher: [between 1874 and 1894?]
Desc: photographic print on boudoir card 5 1/4" x 8 1/2 inches.
Imm. Source of Acq Gift; Jerry Cole, 2008.
...the library has no idea who took the image.

Everything cropped out is scenery that suggests Austin Creek. The train is stopped by a small creek with a gravel bar in the foreground. Heavy trees in the background, full sun in the foreground.
The spot suggests (strong gut feeling) the mouth of Austin, up to 300 yards from the Russian River. It's historically been a great fishing area. Most of the rest of Austin is deepish canyon, unless they've stopped in an area that had been logged, that kind of sun is unlikely.
Regarding Austin, I've kayaked that one from Cazadero to Duncan's. It can only be done during winter storms due to depth. I've explored as much as possible on foot.
It could potentially be a spot on Papermill Creek, again logged. I'm not nearly as familiar with the creek bed.<<
From Bruce to Kyle, Randy, Craig:

thanks Kyle... you're right. the evidence for the paintings was there all along, in Ted Wurm's image of Millwood at Mill Valley, but hiding in plain sight, as they say.

I just wanted to add a few questions/comments:

-Kyle, I've definately seen headlamp and tender art as you describe (and even passenger car medallion art in the oval number panel) but I hadn't seen paintings executed in particular on exterior panels in the window areas of passenger cars.... so wondered if you had seen any contemporary decoration specifically in that location? This question goes to the "provincial" or perhaps "colloquial" nature of the decoration applied to Millwood, so I'm asking primarily about larger eastern builders, the practice of Pullman and J&S size companies in the mid 1870's.

-I went back and re-read files on Millwood, and they included a newspaper article on the April, 1878 roll-over wreck that stated the car had "not been badly damaged", which could be evidence that the paintings survived intact from the as-built configuration of the car. The Saucelito shop record book entries dated June 30, 1878, show a $399.95 charge for repairs to the "Director's Car", followed by a July 31 charge of $147.98, followed by an August 31 charge of $1.25. No detail, unfortunately, other than the charges. These charges almost certainly apply to damage from the April wreck. One scenario they suggest is a stay in the shop lasting all of May and June, and part of July, 1878, with the car's return to service in August.

-The other interesting reference I found was to Kneiss' original description of the car in Redwood Railways, mentioning "a few of the sybaritic president's smaller canvases" as interior decor, was apparently was drawn (at least in part) from the Sept 16, 1875 Marin County Journal article, describing the car on its arrival from the builder. But Kneiss' reference to Latham's art is not part of the Marin County Journal article, and (in the context of Kneiss' gift for description) may have been writer's license. Perhaps a Latham biography would help understand if his interests focused on art, the suggestion being that he took a personal interest in the decoration of the car.

-the second Millwood wreck, in Dec. 1901, has perhaps left a paper trail in the last NPC or earliest NS cash books at CSRM. It would be interesting to find references to the repair.
From Randy:
I believe the photo was taken after July 1882, but before 1885

I too believe that the locomotive is No. 9. It has been rebuilt with a new cab after the April 1882 accident with the bull. The tender pilot would be a response to that accident. Note that it looks new, with none of the dings and wear we see on most locomotive pilots. Note that the tender looks a bit tired, (especially compared to the loco) and has lost at least some of it’s Baldwin striping while retaining its “North Pacific Coast” lettering. (by the way, note that the cross head pump is missing, but it looks like the driver striping is intact) The San Quentin service and the need to back up was pretty much gone by the end of 1884 in favor of Sausalito.

Similarly Millwood has recently been rebuilt after its accident. I assume that the intertwined “NPC” monogram was applied during that rebuilding in place of the reported “MLS” now that Latham has lost control of the railroad. The Baldwin specification sheet for No 13 originally specified “North Pacific Coast” on the tender, but was then crossed out and replaced by “monogram of NPC”. The engine was ordered in (from memory) July 1882, and delivered in Feb 1883, so we have a narrow window to date the adoption of the monogram on locomotives, as well as a reason to create such a monogram for Millwood, all converging on summer of 1882.

The Wurm image published in Birth is likely a full 12 years later based on the women’s blouse sleeves (heading towards the “leg of mutton” style that peaked about 1895/6)

I believe that the painted panels, and monograms are completely consistent with the time… although more commonly applied to carriages and wagons. Remember the Abbott and Dowling Wells Fargo stage coach order of about 1869 as the Pacific railroad opens… each with a unique oil painting on each door. Kimball is credited with building the first stage coach built on the west coast, and would have been expected to be able to have such paintings done.

At this point I would say that there is no question that the car we know as Millwood was built by Kimball. I suspect that the other officers car might be the smoker built in the NPC shops in 1884, alternately is a rebuilt Kimball coach.
That I believe updates conversations that have occured over the past couple days on the image to this Forum.

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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by CraigH » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:59 am

All,

Just a thought and note:

By the above entry it appears I "found" the image. It was part of a collection donated to the California State Library and included in thier on-line image archive. I randomly found it there. The Railroad name was miss-entered and the library had no historical data regarding the image. Also nobody had made any connection to what the car actually was.

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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by Andrew Brandon » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:43 pm

Ahem...

I found the image while searching through the state library under "North Pacific Coast" and sent the link to you. :P
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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by CraigH » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:54 pm

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 48, Number 7398, 19 December 1874
According to the Marin Journal, Latham is having a car built and fitted expressly for the use of the Directors of the North Pacific Coast Railroad. It will have culinary facilities and a sleeping apartment, and will cost about $5,000, which Latham pays himself. The ordinary passenger cars on this road cost $3,600... "

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cdnc/cgi-bin/cdnc?a ... all---1874

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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by Andrew Brandon » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:04 am

Now you just need to find out who has copies of the Marin Journal. ;)
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Re: New Unpublished Image of NPC's Millwood

Post by Brian Norden » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:18 am

Andrew Brandon wrote:Now you just need to find out who has copies of the Marin Journal. ;)
A place to start looking is the California Newspaper Project. Click on the side menu item "Search the CNP" and go to town.

One confusing item about the search routine is that after you do a search you get the same view -- but with a red notation as to how many records were retrieved. You then need to click on the button "Display Search Results." Kind of clunky.

Short answer: Looks like microfilms are at California State Library and at Brancroft.
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