American Railroads Four Phases Of Their History Daniels

American Railroads Four Phases Of Their History Daniels

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American Railroads Four Phases Of Their History Daniels
American Railroads Four Phases Of Their History By Winthop Daniels Hard Cover 1932  120 Pages
IT MAY, I think, be assumed that we are all familiar with the general fact that the financial center of New York is the magnet which attracts and assembles the surplus free capital of the nation. The great insurance companies, the savings banks, the investment houses and the thousands of individual investors seek primarily to embark their funds in the securities for sale in New York. As the capital to provide for railway construction is logically one of the first requisites to a railway undertaking, and as this capital is mainly to be found in our financial center, the primacy of the subject-The Railroads and Wall Street--will be fairly apparent.
In approaching the theme, a prefatory word may he said as to the historical role of the railroad in the development of our modern civilization. Until about a century ago, land carriage was probably the most backwards of the arts. Washington and Napoleon were compelled to use roads and vehicles which were essentially the same as those used by Hannibal and Julius Caesar. Other arts such as architecture, printing, the fictile art, the invention of firearms, the textile industries, mining and metallurgy, even the mariner's compass and the science of sea navigation, had made prodigious advances, hut the seemingly simple task of moving persons and goods over the earth's land surface was an outstanding and exceptional instance of arrested achievement. The ordinary highways until Macadam and Telford began their road building work in the early nineteenth century were indescribably inadequate and, for much of the year, wholly impassable.
It would not be far amiss to say that the general surmise that the steam locomotive was the most important device for effecting carriage by land is partly mistaken. What was antecedently necessary to the art of land conveyance was the lessening of the friction of movement. This was essentially accomplished by the use of the railed track laid on a durable foundation. Had the steam locomotive never been invented, the railed track over which the flanged wheel rides would allow five to six pounds of energy exerted in the direction of motion to move a load of two thousand pounds, and at rates of speed otherwise wholly unattainable. The addition of giant motor mechanisms such as the steam or electric locomotive capable of delivering enormous tractive power at the drawbar enormously multiplies our capacity for effecting land carriage. But of the two the railway track is the more essential.
Once the problem of effecting the land conveyance of heavy masses with speed and relative

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