MEN WHO BUILT THE RAILROADS by Aaron Klein w dust jacket
THE MEN WHO BUILT THE RAILROADS by Aaron Klein 1986. 112 pages
A transcontinental railroad was the dream of settlers, politicians and businessmen alike. When the back-breaking toil of laying hundreds of miles of track was completed. the vast western frontier was linked to the East and the continent truly united. The railroad ushered in an era of growth that was to change the face of North America forever.
This is not Just the story of the railroads. but of the people who made the dream a reality. The colorful cast of characters includes the well known and anonymous. famous and infamous, corrupt and genteel. who were all involved in the business of railroading. The wheeling and dealing of powerful magnates and financiers increased the expansion and profitability of the railroads. However, some of the schemes and tactics of men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt. Jay Gould and Edward H Harriman also caused scandals that shook the nation. Lesser known but equally important innovators are also present-individuals such as John Stevens and Horatio Allen. who designed and engineered the first locomotives. Not forgotten are the nameless thousands of Chinese and Irish workers without whose muscle and stamina the railroads would not exist. Aaron IC Mein, the author of 27 books. specializes in the history of science and technology. In his best-selling The Better Mousetrap, he chronicled early American inventions. including those instrumental in the development of railroad technology. Supertrains described the world's great luxury trains, from the original Orient Express to the streamliners of today. Klein is a frequent contributor of transportation articles to newspapers and magazines. He has been a Professor of Science at Western Connecticut State University, an editor of technology textbooks, editor-in-chief of a weekly science newspaper. and research editor-writer for a medical publication firm.
Richly illustrated. this book brings together the diverse personalities that made the building of the railroads possible and explores the vital, human aspect of this exciting era.
Front coven Engine No. 482, a 1925 Baldwin 2-8-2 freight train, pauses at Cresco Tank in New Mexico. It was renumbered to represent an engine now scrapped and carried paying guests in open and closed cars at the rear. Photo by Nils Huxtable. Back coven Union Pacific 0-6-0 1920 vintage switcher engine No. 4466 at the Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.
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