Wootten's design proved to be very successful from a functionality standpoint and interestingly, the culm burned so clean that it resulted in the locomotive expelling only a small amount of smoke. According to SteamLocomotive.com the design was technically referred to as the "Mother Hubbard" although its mainstream name came to be known as the Camelback (the original design known as the Camel or Camelback was built by Ross Winans in the late 1840s, and was similar to Wootten's but featured a standard, narrow firebox that sat between the frame). Nearly all of the classic anthracite roads (the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh & New England, Jersey Central, Lackawanna, Lehigh & Hudson River, and Delaware & Hudson) utilized the Wootten Firebox design thanks to its vast fuel savings, as there was now finally a use for all of that stockpiled, cheap culm.
Including the Reading lines that rostered large numbers (more than 100 examples) of Hubbards were the LV, CNJ, DL&W, and D&H. Most of these locomotives were built with smaller wheel arrangements that included the 0-4-0, 0-6-0, 0-8-0, 2-6-0, 4-4-0, 4-4-2, 4-6-0, 2-8-0, and 4-8-0. However, as SteamLocomotive.com points out other arrangements built in this fashion included the 2-4-2, 4-4-2, 2-6-2, 4-6-2, 2-8-2, and 2-10-0. There was even a unique 0-8-8-0 Mallet operated by the Erie. Interestingly, many Hubbards especially on the Reading, LV, and CNJ proved to be quite suited for passenger service where they could operate at high speeds topping 60 mph. Overall, however, safety concerns plagued the Hubbards throughout the time they were in service.
While the fireman was exposed to the elements, alone, at the back of the
locomotive the engineer had another set of issues to deal with.
Because the cab was situated over the drivers he was left exposed to
deadly issue of main rods breaking, which earned the locomotive the
nickname as "Snappers" on the Baltimore & Ohio. These issues
eventually led to the ICC barring most manufactures from building the
design after 1918 and ended construction altogether after 1927. Other
notable lines that went on to operate Mother Hubbards/Camelbacks
included the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, B&O, Pennsylvania,
Santa Fe, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Susquehanna, and Wheeling
& Lake Erie.
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