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Richard Implay papers

Creation: 1836-1858
Accession: 1760


Richard Imlay (1784-1867) was a railroad car manufacturer and inventor. The papers document his marketing of his patent for an improvement in the mode of supporting the bodies of railroad cars and carriages.


  • Creation: 1836-1858



23 item(s)

Biographical Note

Richard Imlay (1784-1867) was a railroad car manufacturer and inventor. Imlay was born in 1784 in Hartford, Connecticut. He entered the carriage building trade at some point, and in 1828, he opened a shop in Baltimore.

In 1830, Imlay began building passenger cars, which were modified coaches, for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. He moved his shop to Philadelphia in 1831 and continued to manufacture railroad cars, making several important innovations in construction methods. In 1835, he built an eight-wheel car, the Victory, which contained a buffet and a water closet, and in 1836, he built what was probably the first sleeping car ever constructed for the Cumberland Valley Railroad.

Imlay received a patent in 1837 for his system of supporting a car body on a pair of swiveling, four-wheel trucks. However, his car-building firm failed in the subsequent depression and closed in 1840.

Scope and Contents

The Richard Imlay papers consist of twenty-three items relating to Imlay's subsequent marketing of his patent rights, particularly on southern railroad lines. They include testimonials, instructions for computing royalty charges, and lists of railroads that had settled with Imlay. One item concerns J.T. England's improvement in car-couplings.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Richard Imlay papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA