- 1875 to 1933
Photographs, a collection of approximately 2,465 silver gelatin glass negatives, 6½ x 4¾ to 20 x 16 ins, from the Crewe Works A,B,C,D,E,F,MA,MC, MD series, featuring locomotives, workshops personalities and events of the London & North Western Railway and the London Midland & Scottish Railway. Includes two negative registers for A to E Series, one numerical, one alphabetical.
The Crewe Collection contains silver gelatin glass negatives from Crewe Works. The London & North Western Railway was very publicity conscious, and employed photographers at Crewe Works from the 1870s onwards.
This wide-ranging collection includes views of completed engines and rolling stock, workers, workshop scenes with detailed views of manufacturing processes, special visits, publicity events, stations, signalling, civil engineering and maritime scenes.
Crewe Locomotive Works was built in 1843 for the Grand Junction Railway and was taken over by the London & North Western Railway three years later. The largest railway-owned works in the world at the time, Crewe was based on a company town, with the L&NWR providing its own housing, gasworks, water supply, park, sports grounds, and even an Anglican church. The works was at the forefront of new technology, one of the first to introduce machine tools and a pioneer of the Bessemer steel process. By 1900, 4000 engines had already been built at Crewe. In 1888 a world record had been established there, when the 0-6-0 freight locomotive No. 2153 was assembled in only 25 1/2 hours.
On Grouping in 1923 Crewe Works was taken over by the London Midland & Scottish Railway. During the Second World War armaments were also manufactured at Crewe, including Covenanter tanks and artillery components. The works was modernised in the 1960s and High Speed Train power cars were produced at Crewe in the 1970s, together with the Class 87 electric. In 1989 the works was privatised as part of BREL Ltd.