Thomas DeKay Winans
1820 - 1878
Thomas Winans, an engineer and inventor, was the son of Ross Winans, an important railroad pioneer. In 1843, Thomas and his brother William traveled to Russia to help supervise the construction of a railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The project made both brothers millionaires. In 1851, Thomas and his Russian-French bride returned to America, purchased a large Baltimore estate, and built an imposing mansion. Winans devoted the rest of his life to creating a series of ingenious inventions, including improvements in organs, pianos, ventilation, and plumbing. He emerged from retirement in 1859 to serve as the first director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he set up a soup kitchen outside his home, which fed four thousand soldiers daily. Brady photographed this successful, affluent private citizen in the late 1850s.

Mathew Brady Studio Imperial salted-paper print, circa 1857
45.5 x 37 cm (17 7/8 x 14 1/2 inches); 29 x 23 inches framed
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on deposit from Harvard College Library; bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell