Matthias William Baldwin was born in Elizabeth Town, New Jersey on November 10, 1795.
Matthias Baldwin worked as an apprentice for a jewelery manufacture. He later started a partnership with David Mason. Where he produced engravers and book markers tools. There they also operated a printing press. He created an engine to operate the press. The business began to sale these engine.
On April 25, 1851 Baldwin exhibited a model locomotive and two cars, by improving on an imported English model, for a museum. He progressed to full scale locomotives and created one of the first American locomotives for the Philadelphia & Germantown Railroad. This new invention was named "OLD IRONSIDES", which was bult with 50% iron and 50% wood. Old Ironsides weighed about six tons. It traveled around 28 miles per hour and could pull 30 tons. The locomotive operated between Philadelphia and Germantown. It operated fine in good weather, but in rain horses would have to help pull the locomotive.
Baldwin continued to work and improve his locomotives until his death in 1866. His company had sold over 1,500 locomotives by the time of his death.