Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Rail Rolling Mill, Elm Street & Locust Alley, Cumberland, Allegany County, MD
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Elm Street & Locust Alley, Cumberland, MD
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MD-2-A
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-3).
Building/structure dates: 1871 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1981 demolished
Significance: With the inexhaustible supply of coal and the eventual juncture of the route to Pittsburgh with the mainline at Cumberland, the B & O though significant economics were available by producing rails and other rolled products at this location, rather than purchasing them from commercial mills. The Rail Rolling Mill is one of several large manufacturing buildings erected by the railroad in Cumberland, beginning in 1869. The mill, completed in 1871, was standard heavy-timber construction. However, there were no columns that impeded floor space, thus allowing completed flexibility in the placement of machinery and the arrangement of manufacturing processes at ground level. Rather than rows of columns supporting the roof, it was carried by a 99'-6" clear-spanning Howe truss with central ventilating monitor running nearly the entire 316 foot length of the building. Originally, the mill had twelve puddling furnaces, a rail-train with three sets of rolls, and one squeezer. There were also three pairs of hot shears for cutting iron, two saws, two blowers and two forging hammers -- all driven by steam engines. At the time of the survey, all rolling mills, machinery and equipment had been removed and the mill was used for storage. The entire Cumberland shops were demolished in 1981.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
1. VIEW OF HEAVY TIMBER ROOF TRUSSES
2. DETAIL OF IRON TENSION CLASP CONNECTING WOODEN MEMBERS OF THE BOTTOM CHORD OF ROOF TRUSS
3. VIEW LOOKING THROUGH ROOF TRUSSES
4. SUPPORT FRAME FOR FURNACE
5. DETAIL VIEW OF BASE OF FURNACE
6. 3/4 VIEW OF SOUTH AND EAST ELEVATIONS OF FABRICATING SHOP
7. DETAIL OF ROOF TRUSSES
8. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING BOTTOM CHORDS OF ROOF TRUSSES
9. VIEW FROM ROOF OF RAIL ROLLING MILL LOOKING SOUTHWEST AT FABRICATING SHOP
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