American Heritage History of Railroads in America by Oliver Jensen

American Heritage History of Railroads in America by Oliver Jensen

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American Heritage History of Railroads in America by Oliver Jensen
 
American Heritage History of Railroads in America by Oliver Jensen Dust Jacket.  Copyright 1975-1981.  320 pages.  Indexed.  Table of Contents: A new breed of horse, on the western waters, the first railroad war, the race to promontory, building a new nation, the age of bare knuckles, the romantic image, down brakes, boomers hoggers & brass pounders, turrets towers & Rain sheds, great days for the passenger element, they went everywhere, days of the dinosaur, the long haul, days of reckoning, more.  This book explores the heart of that exciting revolution by rolling down the entire main line of the US.   Profusely illustrated.  
ITS BUSY COGWHEELS made Richard Trevithick's 1804 steam locomotive resemble a   stripped alarm clock. And indeed, after his marvelous machine first pulled a payload in Wales, the world slowly awoke to a great revolution in land transport. Earth's enterprises would never move at a walk again.
THE AMERICAN HERITAGE HISTORY OF RAILROADS IN AMERICA explores the heart of that exciting revolution by rolling down the entire main line of the U.S.A.'s wonderful journey with trains-from The Best Friend of Charleston in 1830 (which blew up) to Amtrak today.
Railroads were arguably the most important phenomenon of the industrial revolution -and certainly its most ubiquitous. Yet their economic and social importance was only part of their profound impact on an age. They were also a form of art.
"Once there was a splendor in the railroad's passage," said that famous dilettante of railroads, Lucius Beebe. And many of the hundreds of fine historical photographs, paintings, and drawings in this book prove his point. The pages are rich with splendid machines, clever enterprisers, brave engineers, palatial depots, opulent cars, original architecture.
But there have always been wrong as well as right ways to run a railroad; so you'll also meet here an uproarious lot of scalawag stock waterers and corrupters of whole legislatures, the shoot-'em-up likes of Jesse James, strikebreaking bullies, and tragically careless operators. And there are great inventions to admire: air brakes, knuckle couplers, cow catchers, standard time zones....
By the end of the 19th century, you'll see railroads roar to the front as America's biggest business-feared and overregulated for their political and fiscal power, admired for their huge contributions to our national wealth and mobility ... until the age of gasoline took over. Diesels, mergers, and half-measures have failed to stem the deterioration that followed World War II. But hope for revival stirs anew, spurred by our energy needs and cheered by an army of railroad buffs.
One of the foremost of these enthusiasts of the rails is Oliver Jensen, Board Chairman of The Valley Railroad Company of Essex, Connecticut (strictly steam, 21 miles long)-and also Editor of AMERICAN HERITAGE magazine, skilled historian, and author and editor of this informed, delightful history.

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