Some Aspects of Early Railroad Transportation in Pennsylvania By R W Brown Readi

Some Aspects of Early Railroad Transportation in Pennsylvania By R W Brown Readi

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Some Aspects of Early Railroad Transportation in Pennsylvania By R W Brown Readi
 
Some Aspects of Early Railroad Transportation in Pennsylvania By R W Brown President Reading Company  Address delivered before the Pennsylvania Historical Association, Dickinson College, October 21 1949.  
Knowing that laymen seldom are requested to speak before the Pennsylvania Historical Association, I accepted the invitation of your distinguished President in humility, and I deeply appreciate the honor.
While I cannot appear in the role of an historian, I perhaps may be accepted under a classification the railroad industry gives to several thousand men and women who are ardent admirers of the carriers-they are called "railfans". Our technical designation of these persons places them above a dilettante and somewhere this side of a professional, although fairly high in the ranks of the amateurs. Utilizing this yardstick, I hope to qualify as a "history fan".
My remarks tonight deal largely with comparisons-above all men, you historians know the value of comparative analysis. For my part, comparisons are the yardsticks with which I measure my actions. But, more of that later.
In the great migration to the West which ultimately transformed a Seaboard group of States into a mighty nation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania played a vital part. From the vantage point of today, an understanding study of history reveals the fact that this State played perhaps the most important part.
And that part was not alone in providing roads, canals, and later the railways as means of providing speedier, safer, less-costly and more comfortable means of transportation of goods and persons. Imperative as these agencies were to the economy of nation and state, great as were the contributions of Pennsylvanians in invention, engineering, construction and finance, possibly the most valuable contribution made by our Commonwealth lay in the attitude of our people towards competitive public improvements from the standpoint of necessity, but above all in formulating the first fundamental principles and laws on this hemisphere regarding free enterprise in rail transportation. And what went for transportation was equally good for any industry.

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