Budd Company photographs1931-1987
The Budd Company was a manufacturer of steel automobiles, passenger rail cars, and other transportation products. This collection of photographs include railcar interiors, exteriors, and construction progress images of vehicles for the Budd Company customers between 1931 and 1987. Fifty-four railroads are represented in the collection, but half consist of only a small number of images.
- Budd Company (Organization)
12 Linear Feet
Approxmiately 6,100 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. Approximately 350 photographic prints : color ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 11 Polaroids ; color. 291 negatives : b&w ; 10 x 12 in. or smaller. 136 negatives : color ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 38 transparencies : color ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 3 slides : color ; 35mm. Approximately 90 items.
The Budd Company was a manufacturer of steel automobiles, passenger rail cars, and other transportation related manufacturing. The company began in 1912, in Philadelphia as the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company specializing in the manufacturing of all-steel body automobiles.
In 1934, the Budd Company started manufacturing streamlined stainless steel passenger railroad cars. Budd's railroad cars for the Burlington Railroad's Zephyr trains were influential in future train design. Budd also began the manufacture of disc brakes for railroad cars.
During World War II, Budd Company built a number of large stainless-steel cargo planes at a government-funded plant on Red Lion Road in Northeast Philadelphia. Red Lion was converted to a railroad car manufacture plant after the war.
The Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company and its subsidiary Budd Wheel Company merged to form the Budd Company on June 11, 1946. The railroad car business continued, and in the 1960s Budd manufactured the first Metroliner passenger cars.
In April 1978, Budd became a subsidiary of the German steelmaker Thyssen AG. Thyssen restructured the auto-parts side of the business and sold the poorly-performing railcar business to Bombardier, Inc. of Canada in 1987.
Incorporated in 1942, Bombardier Inc. began as a manufacturer of commercial snowmobiles, later the company went on to manufacture aviation and railway equipment. The rail division began in 1974. Bombardier acquired the railroad manufacturer Pullman Company the same year as the Budd Company. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s Bombardier predominantly worked on high speed rail projects.
Scope and Contents
This collection of photographs include railcar interiors, exteriors, and construction progress images of vehicles for the Budd Company customers between 1931 and 1987. Fifty-four railroads are represented in the collection, but half consist of only a small number of images. Rail companies with the largest volume of images are: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway; Canadian Pacific Railway; Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad; and Pennsylvania Railroad.
The materials are arranged alphabetically by purchaser/railroad and car type. If known, the order number is included. Many railcars include images of overhead/under floor models, mock ups, under floor piping, trucks, exterior end views, and interiors with and without passengers. Almost all images of passengers are models. A few railcars have diagrams and renderings. A majority of the completed exterior views are end views or views of the step wells. Most of the construction views do not include workers.
In addition to the railroad companies, there are some general images related to the Budd Company and Bombardier, Inc. There are three Budd Company albums dating from 1931 to 1938, which contain shop interiors, machinery, and train construction. There are numerous other images related to parts, assembly, plant interiors, and trains such as the Rail Diesel Cars (RDC), SPV-2000, and rapid transit.
There are two small sets of images that are not related to trains. One set is related to Budd Company’s work building cargo containers used on semi-tractor-trailer trucks between 1960 and 1962. The second set are of the Budd Company’s Skylounge, a passenger helicopter in which the passenger area converts from a bus to a helicopter. The images date from 1966 to 1967.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Budd Company photographs
- Laurie Sather
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description: