David W. Flickwir - Photograph of Machinery

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Feb 25 07:04:12 EST 2016

David Williamson Flickwir, a native Philadelphian, was Construction
Engineer during the building of the Shenandoah Valley RR, and once that
road consolidated with the N&W, Flickwir became General Superintendent of
the Eastern Division.  In 1896, he left the N&W and went into the business
of heavy railroad construction, although maintaining his residence in
Roanoke (903 South Jefferson St.)  He died in 1935 and it is reported that
he is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Roanoke.  Into the 1960s and 1970s, the
N&W's listing of sidings still showed a "Flickwir Siding" somewhere in the
area of Furnace Crossing, Roanoke, but I cannot now recall exactly where it
was located.

Some of Flickwir's biggest jobs were for the Lackawanna, where he
contracted for building major portions of the New Jersey Cut Off (across
the western part of New Jersey) and the Pennsylvania Cut Off (west of
Scranton,) and for the entire construction of the truly massive Tunkhannock
Viaduct, one of the largest railroad bridges in the world at that time, 24
miles west of Scranton.  Tunkhannock Viaduct is 2375 feet long and rises
240 feet above creek level, and is still in use.  That portion of the
Lackawanna Main Line extending from Scranton to Binghamton was sold to the
D&H, and was just last year bought from the D&H by the NS.  I think they
may now call it the "D&H South Line," or some such.

I have never seen a photograph of any equipment lettered for Flickwir's
company until Steamtown yesterday released a scan of their glass plate
negative number X0257, which Steamtown dates as 1910-1912.  The images
shows a "Marion Shovel - Model 60" lettered "David W. Flickwir, Contractor,
Roanoke, Va."  Based on the geography, I believe this photograph was taken
on the Pennsylvania Cut Off, west of Scranton.  Steamtown holds the entire
Lackawanna RR negative collection, and releases six to eight scans per day.

The image file of David's Flickwir's fine "Marion Shovel" is attached.  If
anyone can figure out exactly what this machine is set up to do, I would
like to hear the explanation !

--  abram burnett

Sent to You from my Telegraph Key
    ... better than AT&T 4G LTE


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