"WHAT'S NEW" Notes on the Climax...By Thomas Shreve
" The Last Climax" There has been a great deal of confusion about where our Climax locomotive (S/N 1692) fits into the order of delivery. When Norman Clark arranged to buy the engine, the owner claimed it was the last locomotive the Climax manufacturing Company built. Thus, it turns out, was not quite true.
It is true that there are two engines with shop numbers higher than 1692. One of these engines is S/N 1693, which now is part of the collection of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. The other engine is S/N 1694, currently at the puffing Billy in Australia. Both engines were built before S/N 1692.
Part of the confusion stems from the way Climax assigned numbers to their engines. They had all the shop number plates cast at the same time and stored in a bin. When it was time to assign a number to an engine, the foreman went to the bin, dug around until he found two plates with the same numbers and that was the number of that engine. As a result, engines were built out of sequence and some numbers weren't used at all.
Confusing the issue even more, in September of 1928, Climax Manufacturing was sold to General Parts Company. At the time of the sale, there were ten engines being built in the shop. Six of these were far enough completed to be finished and the rest were scrapped for parts. Over the next two years these six were finished and sold. S/N 1692 was sold in December of 1928, four engines were sold in 1929 and the last was finished in 1930. Of these engines, the only survivor is S/N 1692.
In conclusion, while we cannot say that S/N 1692 was the last Climax or even the highest numbered, we can say that it is the youngest surviving Climax.