Railroads have been around for almost two hundred years. Between 1820 and 1850 the first railroads began to appear and the need for the further development became apparent. America had just gone through an era of canal making; and now with the canals not in total operation, railroads began to thrive and take jobs that would once have gone to the canals. However, it was not easy for the railroad industry to promote their innovative new mode of transportation. With vision and ingenuity, the pioneers of the early American railroads were able to surmount all obstacles that stood in their way and led the Nation into a “transportation revolution.” Early American Railroads The history of railroad development in America was heavily influenced by the industry in England. Attempts to develop the steam engine began as early as 1813. In 1814 George Stephenson developed the first commercially feasible locomotive. From 1820 to 1825 Mr. Stephenson worked on further developing the engines and their ability to haul cargo and, eventually, passengers. Many railroad companies were established in England during this time period. The Liverpool and Manchester Railroad became the first common carrier railroad in the world. America’s First Railroads Before all of the new engines from Europe came to America, the railroad industry was very primitive. In fact the first railroad in America was only three miles long. It was basically a mining track from Quincy, Massachusetts to the Neponset River. The rails were made of pine covered by oak which was in turn covered by a flat iron bar. Construction of this railroad commenced in 1826 and was completed in 1827. The second railroad was started in January of 1827 and completed in May of the same year. The tracks were used for a coal operation. The tracks only went a short distance and worked by gravity and the force of mules. Even before these early railroads, Colonel Stevens had suggested that he could build a railroad at less cost in place of what was to be the Erie Canal. Along with early railroads, the early ancestors of the locomotives were also very primitive. As said earlier, the carts were either horse drawn or worked on a system utilizing gravity. Pioneers of the Early Railroads In the early 1820’s America’s major mode of transportation of people and goods were canals and stageco... ... middle of paper ... ...html. I found a lot of useful information at this site. Found good quotes and almost all information found in other sources. Calkins, Carol C., The Story Of America The Reader’s Digest Assn., Inc.: Pleasantville, New York, 1975. A few quotes and a good piece of writing on this time period. Conlin, Joseph R., The American Past Fifth Edition. Harcourt Brace and Co.: Ft. Worth, Texas, 1997. Not too much information, but it helped to piece together different parts. Conners, Frank, Depots and Steel Rail (online) http://horton.col.k12.me.us/mmb/history/bhamrail.html. date unknown Gave information on depots and some of the problems faced by the early railroads. Ford, Bacon, and Davis, Maintenance of Way Training Manuel Book 1. Introduction to Railroading (on line) Http://www.tiac.net/users/ssnow/mwbook/mwfront.html. date unknown Facts and dates on first railroads and information on first charters for railroads. “America’s First Railroads,” Our Wonderful World. Spencer Press Inc.: Chicago, 1962 I found several quotes and good overall information on early railroads. “Railroads,” Encarta. Microsoft Corp., 1995 Figures and dates on the growing size of railroads.
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After 1830, the construction of railroads and macadam turnpikes began to bring improved transportation facilities to come American communities, but the transportation revolution did not affect most rural roads until the twentieth century. Antebellum investors, public and private,...
One of America’s oldest railroads, known as the first common-carrier railroad, was chartered on February 28th 1827, by a group of Baltimore businessmen. The main objective of the railway was to ensure traffic would not be lost to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which was proposed and ground broken the same time as the railroad. The new railroad was a big invention, which allowed people and freight to travel by train. This was a huge improvement for the United States, since everything was becoming more advanced in other countries. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company is the great railroad that owns up to the big title of “The First Common Carrier.” The B&O railroad has a rich history dealing with its background, building, competition, growth tactics, numerous raids, and involvement in the Civil War.
Taylor, George Rogers, and Irene D. Neu. The American Railroad Network, 1861-1890. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1956. Print.
Railroads were America’s first big business and contributed a great deal towards advancing industrialization. Beginning in the early 1870's, railroad construction in the United States expanded substantially. Before the year 1871, approximately fourty-five thousand miles of track had been laid. Up until the 1900's another one-hundred and seventy thousand miles were added to the nation's growing railroad system. This growth came about due to the erection of transcontinental railroads. Railroads supplied cities and towns with food, fuel, materials, and access to markets. The railroad system made way for an economic prosperity. The railroad system helped to build the physical growth of cities and towns. It even became another means of communication. Most importantly, it helped to produce a second
As the need of human transportation and various forms of cargo began to rise in the United States of America, a group of railroads with terminal connections along the way began to form across the land mass of this country, ending with the result of one of the most influential innovations in American history, allowing trade to flow easily from location to location, and a fast form of transportation, named the Transcontinental Railroad.
Steamboats were invented in the early 1800's, but it took until the 1820's to make them a common site on U.S. rivers. In the 1840's their popularity kept rising as they continued to increase the amount of trade possible. The reaper, for farming, was also developed in 1831. This allowed more farming in the west on the prairies. Many other farming machines were also developed during this time period, they all made farming in the west much more popular, easier, and profitable. The Trans-continental railroad was started in 1862, even though other trains were already running in different parts of the U.S. The telegraph also went up along with the railroads, although the first time it was used was in 1844. All four of these major technological advancements made the United States really get going on their Manifest Destiny.
The railroad played a major role in forging the history of many countries including the United States of America. The railroad began to bring people to places that before then where only accessed by weeks of dangerous travel over harsh and deadly terrain. The industrial revolution had ushered in a completely new era. The new era was one of mass production, supply and demand, and new requirements of industry. The growth of industry had created new demands for transit, trade, and more robust supply lines. The railroad boom across the U.S. had spread and proceeded to grow the economy quickly therefore, many people began using the rail roads just as quickly. The rail market continued to grow and by the 1860’s all major cities within the United States were connected by rail.
One positive of the new transportation networks was how it made travel faster around the country. “They made travel, if not enjoyable, at least faster, less expensive, and less perilous than it had ever been. The 1830s had reduced the travel time between Boston and New York to a day and a half” (Historical Background on Traveling in the
...f “How can this be improved?” While American’s did not invent the first railroad, America certainly did put the railroad to good use. They improved it, and has had many wonderful accomplishments credited to them because of that determination to never stop trying. Railroads have impacted the America runs and its effects are still reverberating through the country today.
A little friendly competition has fueled America long before this generation. On July 1, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln brought the Transcontinental Railroad to life. Two unions: the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific were to battle to find out who could reach the middle of the United States of America the fastest while building a railroad that would connect the East Coast and the West Coast. The Union Pacific and the Central Pacific were both granted financial aid from the government to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Both the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific would have to overcome obstacles to make this vision a reality. Everyone knew that this railroad would aid America in travel and commerce. The construction of this railroad was one of the United States’ greatest accomplishments technologically and also proved that with determination and money, anything could be accomplished.
Spanning 1,775 miles of American land and needing approximately six years to build, the Transcontinental Railroad was far from a small feat. Its paramount nature is heightened considering the fact that it was built within 60 years after the debut of the first steam locomotive in this country in 1830. After said debut,
Though there was over 350 miles of railway laid throughout England in 1801, there was no commercially viable railway implemented before the 1830's. Some rails were still made of wood, others iron and the first trains traveled at the pace of 3.5 miles per hour, significantly slower than the horse drawn coach which traveled at a speed of 9-10 miles per hour. According to Jack Simmons in his book, The Railway in England and Wales, 1840-1914, the Manchester-Liverpool line is notable to mention because it did three things no other railway to date had: 1) all traction was mechanical for the first time; 2) the Company carried both passengers and freight; and 3) the linkage of two commercial towns was exceptional. The concept that a man could leave his town to conduct business in another town and be back in his own home the same day was unheard of. People found this aspect of the railway very enticing. Simmons writes, "There was no doubt at the time about the...
Farmers began to cultivate vast areas of needed crops such as wheat, cotton, and even corn. Document D shows a picture of The Wheat Harvest in 1880, with men on earlier tractors and over 20-30 horses pulling the tractor along the long and wide fields of wheat. As farmers started to accumilate their goods, they needed to be able to transfer the goods across states, maybe from Illinios to Kansas, or Cheyenne to Ohmaha. Some farmers chose to use cattle trails to transport their goods. Document B demonstrates a good mapping of the major railroads in 1870 and 1890. Although cattle trails weren't used in 1890, this document shows the existent of several cattle trails leading into Chyenne, San Antonio, Kansas City and other towns nearby the named ones in 1870. So, farmers began to transport their goods by railroads, which were publically used in Germany by 1550 and migrated to the United States with the help of Colonel John Stevens in 1826. In 1890, railroads expanded not only from California, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada, but up along to Washington, Montana, Michigan, down to New Mexico and Arizona as well. Eastern States such as New Jersey, Tennesse, Virginia and many others were filled with existing railroads prior to 1870, as Colonel John Stevens started out his railroad revolutionzing movement in New Jersey in 1815.
The development of canal, steam boats and railroads provided a transportation network that linked different regions of the nation together. When farmers began migrating westward and acquiring land for crops, cheaper forms of transportation provided the means to transfer their goods to other regions for s...