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Caspar Wistar Haines, Lehigh 1874 Manuscript of “Curvas de Ferro Carril”

Identifier: SC MS 0016

Scope and Contents

The box is organized into chapters, and then followed by reference information. The manuscript is neatly handwritten on lined loose leaf tablet paper. The corrections made in Spanish by Mr. Filley are written on onion skin paper and ink has blurred.


  • Creation: 1883-1899


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Caspar Wistar Haines II was born February 11, 1853 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania into prominent Colonial and Revolutionary War Quaker families located in the Germantown district of Philadelphia to Robert Bowne Haines and Margaret Vaux Wistar Haines. On the death of his aunt Jane Reuben Haines, Caspar, his sister Jane and his brother inherited the family homestead and farm “Wyck” which was also called the Haines House. Currently (2016) Wyck is listed a National Historic Landmark in the Colonial Germantown Historic District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Haines matriculated in 1872 at Haverford College and graduated from Lehigh University in 1874 in civil engineering. In 1883 Haverford College awarded him an A.M. degree as a widely known engineer. He worked as a professional railroad engineer principally in Mexico from about 1883 to 1899 and helped to design the Mexican National Railway System and provided his services to the Inter-Continental Railroad of Guatemala. He also made astronomical observations in Buenos Aires for the United States government. In the United States he was associated with the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad with which he was associated during the reconstruction period following the Johnstown flood. In writing “Curvas de ferro-carril” in Spanish, his intended use was for Spanish-American engineers who were not familiar with the American method of “deflection angles” but used the cumbersome method of “offsets from tangents or chords.” During his many years in Mexico he became associated with Hiel Hamilton Filley (1849- 1907) who was chief engineer of the Guanajuato Power & Electric Company (the old Mexican National Construction Company) in Mexico. Mr. Filley was his Chief and advisor on the Mexican terminology. His sister, Jane, founded the first school of horticulture for women now at Temple University Ambler campus as the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women. His brother invented a gauge for measuring steel in rolling mills. Mr. Haines was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Franklin Institute. In 1880 he was president of the Lehigh Alumni Association and in 1890 was vice-president. He was also first president of the Philadelphia Lehigh Club. Caspar Wistar Haines died suddenly October 12, 1935.


0.5 Linear Feet (One manuscript box)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


The manuscript, in Spanish, of a small book entitled “Curvas de Ferro Carril” (“Railroad Curves”) written by Mr. Haines between 1883 and 1899 while he was working in Mexico. The book was never published. Included is some correspondence from Mr. H. H. Filley about the tables to be used in the book.


The collection is arranged by chapters, followed by related correspondence.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Caspar Wistar Haines donated the manuscript in August 1935.

Caspar Wistar Haines, Lehigh 1874 Manuscript of “Curvas de Ferro Carril”
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)