Summer, 1991: I snapped this photo of Mr. Charles A. "Carl" Purinton running a 7-1/4" gauge Pennsylvania E-6 "Atlantic" at a private track in Danvers, Massachusetts. I was about 19 years of age, and Mr. Purinton was about 93 years of age, at the time of the photo.
Mr. Charles Purinton runs an 1-1/2" scale 4-4-2 at Danvers, Mass. in 1991. Photo by John Kurdzionak.
Back in 1932, on a suggestion from "LBSC" in Britain, Mr. Purinton founded the "Brotherhood of Live Steamers". He died in 1999 at age 101.
The scene captured in the above photo is rare. Mr. Purinton did not run locomotives in 1-1/2" scale often, he most often ran 3/4" scale on a "highline". Nor did he wear his "wide brimmed" hat often. And, the date of 1991 is significant: by the 1990s, seeing Mr. Purinton run ANYTHING was a special treat not witnessed too often.
Mr. Purinton flew a primitive type of "seaplane" in the World War I era, and was based out of Pensacola, Florida. Later on, he was a fireman on the Boston and Maine Railroad, most often firing the "Atlantics" that traveled to and from his hometown of Marblehead, Mass. When promoted to "engineer", he did it for a day and quit his position at the end of that very same day. He just wanted to say that he had "done it", and once he had, he felt it was time to "quit" and to move on.
The private railroad in the above photo was abandoned some 20 years ago due to the health of the owner, and then removed entirely. The property was sold, the owner passed away, and today, nature is quickly reclaiming this very location. There are no more steamers running through here.
Enjoy this photo, folks, as there are not many like it. Thank you for looking.
It's June of 1987, and all is well. I have just finished the 10th grade, and am tending to my 3/4" scale "Friends Models" 4-6-6 Tanker at the Bass River Railroad in Litchfield, NH. It was my love for this locomotive that began everything you see on this website today. Thanks for visiting www.friendsmodels.com.
Individual Visitors ("unique users") since January 17th, 2008