Online Catalogue last updated 25th of June 2012
Originally published in 1874, First Locomotives in America was written from the perspective of those who lived during the development of the "great mechanical blessing" and evokes the spirit of the 19th century as seldom experienced in other historical works.
The book traces the locomotive's early struggles for acceptance, problems and advances, great debates (train vs. canal), competitors, earliest railroads, and first trains such as the "Tom Thumb," "DeWitt Clinton," and "Best Friend," all beautifully written in period vernacular.
The steam locomotive, then considered to be "experimental science," required a financial and constitutional leap of faith, and it took the effort of determined visionaries to promote its acceptance. Formation of the first railroad companies began as commercial ventures whose purpose was to transport passengers and freight; they would also, however provide a sizeable stream of revenue to the United States government and vitally affect the growth of the country.
The author tells the story of all these various factors; with the help of charming artwork and illustrations, he provides a wonderful history of one of the most important components of our growing nation.
Code No. 010141, 304 pages, ISBN 193162612X, $65.00