Smoke 'N Rails John Papp 1969 Soft Cover 24 pages Lots of photos

Smoke 'N Rails John Papp 1969 Soft Cover 24 pages Lots of photos

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Smoke 'N Rails John Papp 1969 Soft Cover 24 pages Lots of photos
 
Smoke N Rails John Papp 1969 Soft Cover 24 pages Lots of photos
THE "IRON HORSE" - Builder of an Empire
The story of steam locomotive development in America is a saga rich in romantic interest. It is a story of empire building on a magnificent scale-a story of bold enterprise and dauntless courage, of amazing progress and stupendous achievement. The railroads, binding together the vast continental spaces and spurring them into production, hauled an underdeveloped nation out of debt and carried it toward industrial supremacy in the world. Without the railroad and its "Iron Horse," there could not have been any significant American industry.
The history of the steam locomotive does not begin in America, but across the sea, in England. The first "Steam Wagon" to actually work was built in 1801 by an Englishman, Richard Trevithick, and was used exclusively to haul iron ore. In 1825, another Englishman, George Stephenson, constructed a railway to carry both passengers and freight, the inventor himself acting as engineer. The little engine, though pulling thirty-four small cars, reached the incredible speed of thirty miles per hour.
During these early years of development, many Americans, after visiting England, urged the construction of railroads in the United States. In 1829 a locomotive called the "Lion," purchased from the Stourbridge Engine Works in England, ran successfully on a coal railroad between Carbondale and Honesdale, Pa. This was the first full-size steam locomotive to be operated on a commercial railroad in the United States.
On a fine day in August, 1830, the directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were treated to a ride in an open car pulled by one of the tiniest locomotives ever built, the "Tom Thumb." This trip from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills was the first time that a locomotive had been used to transport passengers in America. This little engine, about half as big as a modern automobile, weighed but one ton and developed about one horsepower. On its return trip to Baltimore, Peter Cooper, its builder and engineer, was challenged to a race by a driver of a fast stagecoach. In this exciting, historic race, the locomotive proved to be better until a belt on the engine slipped and the horse pulled away to win.
The first steam locomotive to be placed in regular passenger and freight service in this country was built in New York City at the West Point Foundry. This historic engine, called the "Best Friend of Charleston," was shipped to Charleston, South Carolina in October, 1830 and was placed in regular service on Christmas Day of that year. Another famous product of The West Point Foundry was the "DeWitt Clinton," the first locomotive to haul a train in New York State. On its historic maiden run from Albany to Schenectady in August, 1831, this little wood-burner drew a train of carriages with a distinguished passenger list at a respectable speed of thirty miles per hour. From this tiny sixteen mile-long track, grew the mighty New York Central R. R.
Some of these early smoke-belchers proved to be remarkably durable. With a little renewing here and there, a steam engine practically never wears out. "Smoky Mary," brought over from England to a Louisiana line in 1832, operated satisfactorily for one hundred years. The "John Bull," the first locomotive to pull a train of cars in New Jersey, was built in 1831 in England and is still in working condition, but now spends most of its time just resting in the Smithsonian.
By the middle 1830's, improvements to the steam locomotive came rapidly. In 1835 the first "Iron Horse" with a cab ran on what is now the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The equalizer lever, which corrected the jars caused when passing over bumps and rough road-beds, was invented in 1837. In the late 1830's, the first headlight was developed, a bonfire of pine-knots on a small flatcar attached to the front of an engine. The first attempt to improve traction came in 1836, when a locomotive was equipped with a four-wheel truck in front and four drive wheels coupled together behind. Fire-boxes were enlarged, engines were made heavier, and steel was used more and more.
In 1863, a new type of engine called Mogul appeared. It had a single swinging axle in front, followed by six coupled drivers. By 1890, ten-wheelers were common for freight engines and eight wheels for passenger locomotives. A new era in locomotive building began in 1904 with the introduction of two new types: the Mikado and the Mallett. Some Mallett models had as many as twenty driving wheels. Following World War I, even larger and more powerful engines were built, some weighing up to one hundred and forty-four tons.
Steam was still king of the rails a+ the end of World War II and had reigned for over one hundred years, yet its hour struck so suddenly that it seems possible that many a child born today will never see a steam locomotive. Since the diesel engine is much cheaper to operate, most of the steam locomotives have disappeared from the tracks and the mournful sound of the steam whistle has been replaced by the blast of the diesel air-horn. This is the end of something heroic, of a century and a quarter in which one great invention transformed a scattering of towns and settlements into a united nation, the greatest nation in the world.

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