Stephen Vail
(1780 - 1864)

The Vails of Speedwell - by Michael Ameigh
Stephen Vail was the archetypical 1990s-style entrepreneur; intelligent, resourceful, creative, a risk taker with access to capital. He was well-connected politically and market-oriented in his manufacturing operations. Many of his projects were "cutting edge" at the time. No project was too small or too large. Speedwell introduced many innovations in the manufacture of the steam engine, and Stephen Vail became a founding partner of the famous Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia that once also bore the Vail name. His Speedwell Works had manufactured many parts for the first American-made locomotive, the diminutive 'Tom Thumb,' built by Peter Cooper in 1829 (Dempsey, 1930). The firm had government contracts dating to the Revolutionary War and built sophisticated manufacturing tools and appliances including nail stamping machines and lathes. ... more
Stephen Vail, by S. F. B. Morse

Stephen Vail - click for a larger view !
born: 1780 married: (1) Bethiah Youngs 1801
married: (2) Mary Carter Hedges 1848
married: (3) Phoebe Ann Miller 1862
died: 1864


  • Harriet Vail(1802 - 1828)
  • Alfred Vail(1807 - 1859)
  • George Vail (1809 - 1875)
  • Sarah Louise Davis Vail (1811 - 1887)

Stephen Vail
return to top