Chest ca. 1810, decoration ca. 1870
Overall: 25 3/8 x 40 x 21 1/2 in. ( 64.5 x 101.6 x 54.6 cm )
Rectangular pine chest; top painted with a portrait of Robert Fulton in an oval surround above a steamship (Clermont); front painted with polychrome scene of locomotive pulling several carriages with street scene behind and inscription; four short turned legs with ball feet.
Gift of Mrs. Randall LeBoef, Jr.
painted: on lid: "ROBERT FULTON'S CLERMONT 1807" painted: on side: "FIRST STEAM RAILROAD PASSENGER TRAIN IN AMERICA/ MOHAWK & HUDSON R.R. CO. 1836 ALBANY TO SCHENECTADY" painted: beneath image on front: "A.C. Koehn"
This blanket chest bears a painted vignette of the engine Dewitt Clinton making its initial trip between Albany and Schenectady, New York, in 1831 - one of the first passenger train journeys in the United States. The fascination with the advent and romance of American train travel found artistic expression in myriad ways, extending throughout the colonial revival period leading up to and beyond the celebration of the nation's centennial in 1876. The painted vignette on the blanket chest, executed around 1870, includes the inscription: "FIRST STEAM RAILROAD PASSENGER TRAIN IN AMERICA / MOHAWK & HUDSON R.R. CO. 1836 ALBANY TO SCHENECTADY" - noting an incorrect date for the train's first course.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.