Great Road, The by James Dilts Building of the B&O 1828-1853 Soft Cover 1993
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Great Road, The by James Dilts Building of the B&O 1828-1853 Soft Cover 1993
The Great Road by James Dilts Building of the B&O 1828-1853
Hard cover with dust jacket )
472 pages indexed
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Baltimore to Harpers Ferry, 1827-1836
2. Reaching Enchanted Ground13
3. The Last Resort25
4. Sons of Commerce36
5. The Train and the River49
6. Inventing a Railroad62
7. The Triumph of Steam81
8. A Race for Popularity100
9. Men of Iron122
10. City Extension,Frederick Branch140
11. Road to Washington151
12. The Thomas Viaduct159
13. The Bank War170
14. The Bridge at Harpers Ferry185
15. The Eight Million Bill202
Harpers Ferry to Cumberland, 1836-1848
16. McLane, the Politician223
17. Three Statesmen 242
18. Engines in the Hills252
19. Building on Promises265
20. Cumberland Coal and Iron279
21. This Noble Enterprise 298
22. The Trouble with Wheeling314
Cumberland to Wheeling, 1848-1853
2.3. The Financier339
24. Tracking the Wilderness358
25. The Work Is Done at Last382
Works Cited 449
Photo sections follow pp. 80, 158, 264, and 388.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I WALKED INTO THE OFFICE of Robert M. Vogel, then curator of mechanical and civil engineering at the Smithsonian Institution, and told him that I was going to write a new history of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He took me next door to meet John H. White, Jr., then the Smithsonian's curator of transportation. "He's going to write a book about the Baltimore and Ohio," said Vogel. White's response: "Now we're going to have to go through all that business about the Tom Thumb again." Over the longer than usual gestation period that followed, Vogel and White became supporters of the project, read sections of the manuscript, and offered many ideas for improvement. Both have since retired from the Smithsonian Institution to pursue their own varied interests, but without their informed assistance, the book would not have appeared in its present form.
Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., author of several fine works on the Baltimore and Ohio and other railroad subjects, gave me early encouragement and critical advice. John P. Hankey, curator at the B&O Railroad Museum, has proved a steadfast friend of this endeavor since its inception, from locating original documents to printing out the final manuscript. In between, I benefited from his encyclopedic knowledge of the B&O, his exposition of the museum's excellent collection of railroad equipment, and his expert guidance through the complex corporate hierarchy.
Spence Sullivan, corporate secretary for the Baltimore and Ohio, first unlocked for me the door to the "pipe space" under the roof of the B&O's Central Building in downtown Baltimore where the written history of the company dating back 150 years was stored on shelves that rose to the ceiling and in wooden filing cases stacked almost as high in the center of the room. Hays T. Watkins, chairman emeritus, CSX Corporation, and his assistants Howard Skidmore and Franklyn J. Carr, gave me complete access to these materials and an office in the Central Building in which to work. More recently, CSX Corporation, through the agency of Thomas E. Hoppin, vice president, corporate communications, granted subvention funds that helped me to complete the book and to purchase illustrations.
The late Howard Simpson, former president of the Baltimore and Ohio, shared his intimate knowledge of the twentieth-century railroad in several fascinating conversations. The late Vera Leclercq of the B&O's public relations staff and Anne Calhoun, archivist, Hays T. Watkins Research Library at the B&O Railroad Museum, provided additional information. These few individuals will have to represent the many administrators, supervisors, and trainmen who showed me the B&O's coal and other facilities in Baltimore, took me down into a deep mine near Fairmont, West Virginia, and pointed out landmarks from the locomotive and the caboose of a coal train on the way back to Baltimore, and who, almost without exception, cheerfully answered innumerable questions about their jobs on the railroad.
Others made the long stretches of track less lonely. Mark Renner was an unfailingly energetic, intrepid, and knowledgeable companion on our trips through the Maryland and West Virginia countryside and devised workable solutions to several vexing problems. Justin Simpson walked the line with me near Baltimore and analyzed "versed sines" and other mathematical arcana. Martha J. Vill, my researcher, explored the various repositories of B&O Railroad documents and sifted through the most promising ones when I was starting out. Michael J. Trostel related little-known facts about James Carroll and Mount Clare. John Ferguson, Robert Alholm, and my other colleagues at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and Ray Wise, Gary Turner, and Lucretia B. Fisher contributed sustenance of various kinds along the way. I was enlightened by the insights afforded by special consultants Kevin Donnelly and Mike Tammany. Phoebe B. Stanton, architectural historian and resident scholar at the George Peabody Library of the Johns Hopkins University, has been a mainstay from initial conception to completion. And my late father, M. S. Dilts, old artificer, stood me in good stead.
Librarians are both the inspirers and guardian angels of hooks. Jane Katz guided my search through the large collection of maps, manuscripts, and pamphlets relating to the B&O Railroad at the Evergreen House of the Johns Hopkins University. Cynthia Requardt, head of special collections, at the university's Milton S. Eisenhower Library, and Elizabeth Schaaf, archivist at its George Peabody Library, were also very helpful. Marcia Eisenstein and Ralph Clayton at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and Karen Stuart, former librarian, Francis O'Neill, and Jeff Goldman, photographer, at the Maryland Historical Society, were indispensable aides during my many visits to those institutions over the years. 1 am particularly indebted to the Maryland Historical Society, from whose rich and extensive collections came much of the background material on individuals in the book, and whose administrators, J. Jefferson Miller, II, former director, Barbara W. Sarudy, former acting director, and George H. Callcott, former chairman of the publications committee, assisted me in obtaining grants that enabled me to finish the writing. The Engineering Society of Baltimore, Inc., opened their library and its excellent collection of Victorian engineering books and periodicals to me, and Joyce Koeneman, librarian at the Association of American Railroads in Washington, D.C., did the same. I would like to thank
the staffs of the Peale Museum in Baltimore, the McKeldin Library of the University of Maryland, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Portrait Gallery, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the New York Public Library, the New York Historical Society, the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa, and the Guildhall Library in the City of London. I am also grateful to John Orbell, archivist, Baring Brothers & Co., Limited, for taking me on a tour of the company headquarters and doing additional research in the Baring files.
Financial support for the production of this book came from the Allegheny Foundation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the CSX Corporation, Richmond, Virginia; and the B&O Railroad Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland.
I am very grateful to the Stanford University Press: Norris Pope, acting director, who went far beyond the normal duties of an editor-in-chief to ensure that this manuscript made its way effectively into print; Shirley Taylor, whose careful, sympathetic editing slimmed down and speeded up the text; and associate editors Lynn Stewart and Nancy Lerer. Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Penelope Williamson, the alpha and omega of this project, who never lost faith.
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