Calvert Holt

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Visit from L.B.S.C.

John Baguley provided the following information.

As there seems to be quite an interest in 'Curly' Lawrence, the following photos may be of interest. They were taken by a Mr George Bender in 1930 (possibly March) during LBSC's stay with Calvert Holt at his home in Greenwich. The house in the background is the one Holt had built for LBSC and his wife Mabel.
The loco is a 2½" K4 that LBSC converted from coal firing to oil (kerosene) firing for the owner. There is no mention who the owner was but LBSC "believed" it to be the first passenger hauling 2½" gauge engine built in the USA. The photos below show it in an unfinished state.

Tidbits from Chaski

Keith Taylor wrote

There was a 3/4" Hudson of which several were built by Calvert Holt in the early 1930's. It is my understanding that they were not made with Langworthy castings. I had heard that they were from Mr. Holt's own design and patterns. I believe one was constructed by Mr. Holt for Vicent Astor.

Larry (elm53), 2 January 2009

Holt also supplied rail castings and completed locomotives for 1/4",1/2",3/4" and 1 1/2" scales. Years ago I made contact with one of Holt's sons, who had found one of his dads 3/4" Hudsons with the brass rail in an antique shop on the north shore. I believe the Yankee Hudson in 1 1/2" scale may be a Holt also.

Keith Taylor, 4 March 2007

Larry, I am pretty sure that the only 1 - 1/2" scale loco was "Miss Bay Shore" a Pennsylvania Railroad K-4. In fact, that K-4 was the cause of Calvert Holt's death. It started to slip off of the building stand and Mr. Holt tried to ease the loco to the floor of the shop and was struck in the legs. A blood clot dislodged and ended up in his brain.


I do know that Calvert Holt of Greenwich, Connecticut died as a result of an accident while working on an inch and a half scale model locomotive. He was working on the loco on a rolling work stand and the loco started to roll off one end. Mr.Holt tried to stop the locomotive from hitting the floor and he caught the falling chassis on his lap and legs. A blood clot formed as a result of the massive trauma, and when the blood clot dislodged, it ended up in his brain....killing him. I have often wondered what ever happened to the 7-1/4" gauge Pennsylvania RR K-4s model that Mr. Holt built for a customer. It was pictured in The Modelmaker magazine and looked to be a fine locomotive.


The chassis was built by Calvert Holt of Greenwich, Connecticut as part of a batch he was constructing for the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. During the construction one of the engines started to slide off of the building stand and Mr. Holt caught the locomotive as it fell, against his legs. Unbeknownst to him there was an internal injury that resulted in the formation of a blood clot. The clot dislodged and ended up in his brain killing him.


The Calvert Holt locomotive was 7-1/4 inch gauge contrary to what was claimed in print.


From U.S. Census, 1930, Greenwich, CT:

  • Calvert Holt - born 1893, New York
  • Julia P Holt - wife, born 1903, New York
  • Calvert R Holt - son, born 1928, New York
  • Emmitt Holt - son, born 1929, New York


Thanks to Pat Fahey and the Greenwich, Connecticut library for the following, from "Greenwich Time", June 29th, 1938:

Calvert Holt Dies of Heart Trouble
Model Engine Builder Who Made Home Here for 11 Years
Calvert Holt, a Greenwich resident for the past 11 years, died of a heart ailment early this morning at his home on Zaccheus Mead's Lane.
Born in New York 45 years ago, Mr. Holt had been connected with the Air Reduction Corp. for the last three years. Previously he had been a builder of model steam locomotives. He attended the Horace Mann School, Hill School and Brown University.
Surviving Mr. Holt are his widow, Mrs. Julia Grainger Porter Holt; his mother, Mrs. L. Emmett Holt; three children, Calvert P., L. Emmett, 3rd. and Julian Grainger Holt; a sister, Mrs. Holt Lowry of Vineyard Rd., and two brothers, Horace Holt of New York City, and Dr. L. Emmett Holt, Jr, of Baltimore.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 3 p.m. at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Chapel, Tarrytown, N.Y., where burial will follow. The Rev. Mr. Eugene Carder of the Riverside Church, New York, will conduct the services. Friends have been requested to omit flowers.