Los Angeles Harbor Department
Steam-Powered Locomotives & Dump Cars
No. 31 – Davenport Locomotive Co. – 1921
No. 32 – ALCO, Rogers Works – 1914
0-4-0T “Tank Engines”
No. 31 – 17 Tons
No. 31 – 19 Tons
City of Los Angeles – 1952
These two little engines are great examples of the hundreds of small industrial steam locomotives that were at work all around the world during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The engines could be found at mining operations, rock quarries, lumber mills, sugar cane plantations, and large factory complexes. Several locomotive manufacturers offered a selection of these small locomotives through catalogs for order and purchase by industrial firms or government agencies. Our two engines in particular spent their working careers with the Los Angeles Harbor Department, helping to construct the extensive port and breakwater facilities. Displayed with the engines are two ‘Dump Cars’ that were used to haul large rocks during the Breakwater construction.
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Los Angeles did not have a natural harbor, such as those found in San Francisco, San Diego, and Monterey. Foresighted 19th Century entrepreneurs, like Phineas Banning, championed the creation of a man-made port at Los Angeles – and encouraged construction of railroad lines to connect that port with the rest of the country. The success of port and the connecting railroad lines is has what transformed Los Angeles from a small village into the giant metropolis that it is today. Banning’s dreams were more than realized; the combined port of Long Beach – Los Angeles is now the busiest shipping center in the United States.