Once an icon of American industry, railroads fell into a long decline beginning around the turn of the twentieth century. Overburdened with regulation and often displaced by barge traffic on government-maintained waterways, trucking on interstate highways, and jet aviation, railroads measured their misfortune in lost market share, abandoned track, bankruptcies, and unemployment. Today, however, as Robert Gallamore and John Meyer demonstrate, rail transportation is reviving, rescued by new sources of traffic and advanced technology, as well as less onerous bureaucracy.In 1970, Congress responded to the industry's plight by consolidating most passenger rail service nationwide into Amtrak. But private-sector freight service was left to succeed or fail on its own. The renaissance in freight traffic began in 1980 with the Staggers Rail Act, which allowed railroad companies to contract with customers for services and granted freedom to set most rates based on market supply and demand. Railroads found new business hauling low-sulfur coal and grain long distances in redesigned freight cars, while double-stacked container cars moved a growing volume of both international and domestic goods. Today, trains have smaller crews, operate over better track, and are longer and heavier than ever before.Near the end of the twentieth century, after several difficult but important mergers, privately owned railroads increased their investments in safe, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly freight transportation. American Railroads tells a riveting story about how this crucial U.S. industry managed to turn itself around.
During the nineteenth century, British-owned railways grew under the protection of an Argentine ruling elite that considered railways both instruments and symbols of progress. Under this program of support for foreign enterprise, Argentina had by 1914 built the largest railway network in Latin America.
During the first decades of the twentieth century, the railways were successful in following a policy of calculated disregard for Argentine interests in general. However, following the end of World War I, the British economic empire began to decline and Argentine economic nationalism grew. A number of popularistic political movements incorporated economic nationalism into their platforms, and even among the ruling elite there were signs of increasing nationalistic sentiment.
Although most studies of economic nationalism have emphasized the importance of the middle-class Radical party in the rise of xenophobia, Winthrop R. Wright's study shows that antiforeign economic nationalism was not entirely a reaction to the conservative elite. Between 1932 and 1938 the nationalistic programs of General Agustin Justo's government—basically a conservative regime—led the British interests to decide to sell their holdings. The British govemment had arrived at a position of supporting the economic withdrawal of the large British-owned firms long before Juan D. Perón appeared on the political scene.
Perón combined traditional Argentine economic nationalism with his own scheme to gain power over all elements in Argentina. His solution to the railway problem, although more dramatically executed, did not differ greatly from that of the conservative Justo. Perón purchased the railways outright in 1947–1948, but his use of nationalism was in reality covering his own inability to outbargain Britain and the United States following the conclusion of World War II.
From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution—the story of African Americans on the railroad.African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership.Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century.
Fedor Chizhov built the first railroad owned entirely by Russian stockholders, created Moscow’s first bank and mutual credit society, and launched the first profitable steamship line based in Archangel. In this valuable book, Thomas Owen vividly illuminates the life and world of this seminal figure in early Russian capitalism.Chizhov condemned European capitalism as detrimental to the ideal of community and the well-being of workers and peasants. In his strategy of economic nationalism, Chizhov sought to motivate merchants to undertake new forms of corporate enterprise without undermining ethnic Russian culture. He faced numerous obstacles, from the lack of domestic investment capital to the shortage of enlightened entrepreneurial talent. But he reserved his harshest criticism for the tsarist ministers, whose incompetence and prejudice against private entrepreneurship proved his greatest hindrance.Richly documented from Chizhov’s detailed diary, this work offers an insightful exploration of the institutional impediments to capitalism and the rule of law that plagued the tsarist empire and continue to bedevil post-Soviet Russia.
The Formative Period in Alabama, 1815-1828 is a beautifully crafted history of the evolution of the state written by Thomas Perkins Abernethy in 1922. The work shows how Alabama grew out of the Mississippi Territory and discusses the economic and political development during the years just before and just after Alabama became a state.
Goin' Railroading is the story of two generations of such men, four members of the Speas family who, from the open cabs of narrow-gauge steam engines, watched Colorado grow.
Sam Speas tells the story of his father, Sam Speas Sr., who left Missouri in 1883 to become an engineer in Colorado, and recounts his own experiences and those of his brothers and fellow railroaders on the Colorado and Southern Railway, from the golden era of the narrow-gauge lines in South Park to the final days of steam power on the Front Range and the coming of the diesel engine.
His stories are a profound document of a vanished way of life, a testament to the courage and tenacity of the early citizens of Colorado, and a tribute to the rough-hewn, often gallant men who took the trains through incredible, almost unbelievable, hazards. Funny, tragic, bittersweet, and poignant, Goin' Railroading is a remarkable book that brings a portion of the history and people of an earlier Colorado to vibrant life.
The Detroit, Michigan-based Grand Trunk Corporation was established more than two decades ago by Canadian National to oversee and maximize the potential of its railroad holdings in the United States. By making use of corporate records, oral histories, and archival material, Hofsommer uncovers the interesting and complex history of Grand Trunk from its inception in 1971 through 1992.
Here, for the first time, is a feast for anyone who has ever been beguiled by the trains that formerly thrummed through the landscapes of our lives. This entertaining and evocative anthology presents the amazing variety of poems and songs written about the American railroad in the last century and a half. Comprised of selections from both oral and written traditions, the volume celebrates the historical and cultural significance of this marvel of engineering skills. Hedin's anthology allows all readers, from the most avid railroad buff to anyone who has fond memories of train travel, to enjoy the romance of trains.
Gulf to Rockies is a chapter in the business and economic history of the American West and the story of two of the most colorful railroad builders of the nineteenth century.
Throughout the 1860s the mineral treasures of Colorado were virtually inaccessible for lack of railroads. Even after a hectic decade of building in the 1870s, the state faced a new sort of isolation: every railroad crossing her borders was controlled by the Union Pacific or the Santa Fe. As a result, the Rocky Mountain region could not hope to compete with the Midwest for the business of the Atlantic seaboard.
To remedy this situation, John Evans, former governor of Colorado, organized in 1881 a railroad to run southward from Denver as the first link in a cheap rail-water route via the Gulf of Mexico to the East. Meanwhile ambitious Fort Worth citizens had incorporated the Fort Worth and Denver City in 1873. Not a rail was laid on either road, however, until General Grenville M. Dodge, famed builder of the Union Pacific and the Texas Pacific, took up the Texas project and joined forces with Evans to create the Gulf-to-Rockies route.
It took seven years for these men and their associates to mobilize funds and complete the Fort Worth–Denver line, and another decade to establish the system’s independence and solve its financial problems in the face of drought, depression, and intense competition.
Gulf to Rockies was written under special agreements with Northwestern University and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, whereby the university relieved Mr. Overton of a part of his duties in order that he might have time for research and writing and the railroad undertook to bear the cost of the research. The Burlington also permitted him free access to all company records and granted him unrestricted freedom to publish his findings.
What began as a study of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway stretched into more than a dozen contributions on Hawkeye state railroad topics. By 1969 Donovan had examined Iowa's “Little Three”: Chicago Great Western, Illinois Central, and Minneapolis & St. Paul as well as the state's “Big Four”: Chicago & North Western; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific; and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. In addition to these seven core carriers, Donovan covered the state's less prominent railroads: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; Great Northern; and Union Pacific and Wabash. Moreover, he contributed an issue on Iowa's principal interurbans, most of which survived into the 1950s as electric-powered freight-only short lines. In uniting Donovan's articles into a single volume, Iowa Railroads provides the most complete history of Iowa's rail heritage.
In the immediate decades after World War II, the French National Railways (SNCF) was celebrated for its acts of wartime heroism. However, recent debates and litigation have revealed the ways the SNCF worked as an accomplice to the Third Reich and was actively complicit in the deportation of 75,000 Jews and other civilians to death camps. Sarah Federman delves into the interconnected roles—perpetrator, victim, and hero—the company took on during the harrowing years of the Holocaust.
Frederick M. Hubbell, railroad financier and builder, real estate investor, public utilities magnate, leading lawyer, and founder of Iowa’s first life insurance company, the Equitable, was at one time the wealthiest Iowan in the state’s history. Based on his diaries from 1855 to 1927, The Little Man with the Long Shadow tells the story of this industrious and imaginative entrepreneur.
At the heart of this excellent book are the striking and rare postcards that provide a comprehensive visual review of this popular building type from coast to coast. Over 150 illustrations feature the gingerbread structures of the Northeast, the simple buildings of the Gold Rush West, and the mission-style stations of the Southwest in this first book to concentrate on this overlooked aspect of railroad history.
Michigan Railroads and Railroad Companies is an invaluable reference manual for everyone interested in regional transportation history, the history of railroading, and Michigan history in general. It contains complete, cross-referenced listings for every company formed to operate a railroad in the state of Michigan. In addition to the comprehensive entries for major lines, Graydon Meints has included details about the many small, common-carrier steam and electric companies, logging roads, and numerous other primitive and contemporary rail systems. This encyclopedic reference guide also contains information on the so-called "paper railroads," companies that were projected but which never laid a foot of track.
Michigan Railroads is divided into three parts. One includes alphabetical entries for the actual and intended railroad companies themselves, the date and purpose for their organization, and a brief history from their origins to their dispositions. Included in this portion of the work are a number of railroad "family trees" showing the corporate antecedents of the largest of the rail lines operating in the state today. Another contains a chronology of significant corporate events; it works as a useful finding aid for accessing source data contained in the first section. A third contains a statewide county-by-county listing of railroads, both paper and real.
From its incorporation in 1847 in Wisconsin Territory to its first run in 1851—twenty miles between Milwaukee and Waukesha—to its later position of far-flung power, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul &Pacific Railroad Company had a vivid history. By 1948, the Milwaukee Road had more than 40,000 employees and maintained more than 10,000 miles of line in twelve states from Indiana to Washington.
Also in 1948, August Derleth's popular and well-crafted corporate history celebrated the strength and status of this mighty carrier. On February 19, 1985, the railroad became a subsidiary of Soo Line Corporation and its identity vanished overnight. Nonetheless, it remains a romantic memory, and Derleth's book remains the only complete history of this innovative and dynamic railroad.
Lawyer and journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Louis Houck is often called the “Father of Southeast Missouri” because he brought the railroad to the region and opened this backwater area to industrialization and modernization. Although Houck’s name is little known today outside Missouri, Joel Rhodes shows how his story has relevance for both the state and the nation.
Rhodes presents a more complete picture of Houck than has ever been available: reviewing his life from his German immigrant roots, considering his career from both social and political perspectives, and grounding the story in both state and national history. He especially tells how, from 1880 to the 1920s, this self-taught railroader constructed a network of five hundred miles of track through the wilderness of wetlands known as “Swampeast Missouri”—and how these “Houck Roads” provided a boost for population, agriculture, lumbering, and commerce that transformed Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area.
Rhodes discusses how Houck fits into the era of economic individualism—a time when men with little formal training shaped modern industry—and also gives voice to Houck’s critics and shows that he was not always an easy man to work with. In telling the story of his railroading enterprise, Rhodes chronicles Houck’s battle with the Jay Gould railroad empire and offers key insight into the development of America’s railway system, from the cutthroat practices of ruthless entrepreneurs to the often-comic ineptness of start-up rail lines.
More than simply a biography of a business entrepreneur, the book tells how Houck not only developed the region economically but also followed the lead of Andrew Carnegie by making art, culture, and formal education available to all social classes. Houck also served for thirty-six years as president of the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri State Teacher’s College, and as a self-taught historian he wrote the first comprehensive accounts of Missouri’s territorial period.
A Missouri Railroad Pioneer chronicles a multifaceted career that transformed a region. Solidly researched, this lively narrative also offers an entertaining read for anyone interested in Missouri history.
"A must buy for anyone interested in the Great Lakes."
---Frederick Stonehouse, maritime historian
In 1892, the Ann Arbor Car Ferries shook the transportation world by doing what was then deemed impossible---carrying loaded railroad cars by ship across the sixty-two miles of open water between Frankfort, Michigan and Kewaunee, Wisconsin. With passion, acuity, and remarkable detail, Grant Brown describes the nearly 100-year crossings---from their beginnings with James Ashley's bold new idea of car ferrying down to the last fight for survival until the Michigan Interstate Rail Company finally closed in 1982.
Crossing the lake with loaded freight cars was a treacherous task that presented daily obstacles. Knowledgeable people believed it was impossible to secure rail cars from tipping over and sinking the ship. Weather and ice presented two near-insurmountable hurdles, making car ferrying doubly difficult in the winter when nearly all shipping on the Great Lakes shut down. This vivid history gives voice to the ships and their crews as they battled the storms without modern navigational aids or adequate power.
This spirited account of the Ann Arbor car ferries draws on ships' logs from various museums, over 2,000 newspaper articles, annual reports from 1889 through 1976, and interviews with former employees. The result is a living history of the ships, the crews, and their adventures; of the men who built and ran the business; and of the enormous influence the vessels had on the communities they served.
Grant Brown, Jr., worked for S.D. Warren Company, a paper manufacturer, for 37 years. He raced sailboats on Crystal Lake in northern Michigan for ten years while growing up, continued in Boston and St. Louis, and has since returned to living and racing in Frankfort, Michigan. He spent eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, where he learned navigation and shipboard procedure.
Ohio Canal Era, a rich analysis of state policies and their impact in directing economic change, is a classic on the subject of the pre–Civil War transportation revolution. This edition contains a new foreword by scholar Lawrence M. Friedman, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School, and a bibliographic note by the author.
Professor Scheiber explores how Ohio—as a “public enterprise state,” creating state agencies and mobilizing public resources for transport innovation and control—led in the process of economic change before the Civil War. No other historical account of the period provides so full and insightful a portrayal of “law in action.” Scheiber reveals the important roles of American nineteenth-century government in economic policy-making, finance, administration, and entrepreneurial activities in support of economic development.
His study is equally important as an economic history. Scheiber provides a full account of waves of technological innovation and of the transformation of Ohio’s commerce, agriculture, and industrialization in an era of hectic economic change. And he tells the intriguing story of how the earliest railroads of the Old Northwest were built and financed, finally confronting the state-owned canal system with a devastating competitive challenge.
Amid the current debate surrounding “privatization,” “deregulation,” and the appropriate use of “industrial policy” by government to shape and channel the economy. Scheiber’s landmark study gives vital historical context to issues of privatization and deregulation that we confront in new forms today.
Francaviglia looks anew at the geographical-historical context of the driving of the golden spike in May 1869. He gazes outward from the site of the transcontinental railroad's completion—the summit of a remote mountain range that extends south into the Great Salt Lake. The transportation corridor that for the first time linked America's coasts gave this distinctive region significance, but it anchored two centuries of human activity linked to the area's landscape.
Francaviglia brings to that larger story a geographer's perspective on place and society, a railroad enthusiast's knowledge of trains, a cartographic historian's understanding of the knowledge and experience embedded in maps, and a desert lover's appreciation of the striking basin-and-range landscape that borders the Great Salt Lake.
In this first overview of the Brazilian republican state based on extensive primary source material, Steven Topik demonstrates that well before the disruption of the export economy in 1929, the Brazilian state was one of the most interventionist in Latin America. This study counters the previous general belief that before 1930 Brazil was dominated by an export oligarchy comprised of European and North American capitalists and that only later did the state become prominent in the country’s economic development.
Topik examines the state’s performance during the First Republic (1889–1930) in four sectors—finance, the coffee trade, railroads, and industry. By looking at the controversies in these areas, he explains how domestic interclass and international struggles shaped policy and notes the degree to which the state acted relatively independently of civil society.
Topik’s primary concern is the actions of state officials and whether their decisions reflected the demands of the ruling class. He shows that conflicting interests of fractions of the ruling class and foreign investors gradually led to far greater state participation than any of the participants originally desired, and that the structure of the economy and of society—not the intentions of the actors—best explains the state’s economic presence.
Out of the tradition of those long-gone days of great, heaving steam locomotives and endless rail lines comes this remarkable selection of vintage cards, a treasure trove selected from John Vander Maas' consummate collection at the University of Iowa Libraries.
This lavish volume is the first general book-length work devoted to the once-ubiquitous railroad picture postcard. It comprises an introductory essay and an album of cards. The former fully examines the nature of the postcard craze, which reached its zenith about 1910, and discusses why images of American railroads played such an important part in the card phenomenon. The album divides an engaging assortment of more than 150 representative views into five sections: “Trains and Rolling Stock,” “Depots and Railway Structures,” “The Railroad Corridor,” “People and Railroads,” and “The Lighter Side of Railroading.”
Railroad historians, train enthusiasts, postcard collectors, and all other readers will find much to interest them in this selection of images. Not only are the cards themselves visually striking, but they convey a sense of how important railroads once were to the nation's citizenry. The sight of steaming locomotives and the hustle and bustle associated with “train time” caused hearts to quicken. These feelings made views of railroad scenes popular with buyers of postcards and now with latter-day railroad fans and card collectors.
William Butler Ogden was a pioneer railroad magnate, one of the earliest founders and developers of the city of Chicago, and an important influence on U.S. westward expansion. His career as a businessman stretched from the streets of Chicago to the wilds of the Wisconsin lumber forests, from the iron mines of Pennsylvania to the financial capitals in New York and beyond. Jack Harpster’s The Railroad Tycoon Who Built Chicago: A Biography of William B. Ogden is the first chronicle of one of the most notable figures in nineteenth-century America.
Harpster traces the life of Ogden from his early experiences as a boy and young businessman in upstate New York to his migration to Chicago, where he invested in land, canal construction, and steamboat companies. He became Chicago’s first mayor, built the city’s first railway system, and suffered through the Great Chicago Fire. His diverse business interests included real estate, land development, city planning, urban transportation, manufacturing, beer brewing, mining, and banking, to name a few. Harpster, however, does not simply focus on Ogden’s role as business mogul; he delves into the heart and soul of the man himself.
The Railroad Tycoon Who Built Chicago is a meticulously researched and nuanced biography set against the backdrop of the historical and societal themes of the nineteenth century. It is a sweeping story about one man’s impact on the birth of commerce in America. Ogden’s private life proves to be as varied and interesting as his public persona, and Harpster weaves the two into a colorful tapestry of a life well and usefully lived.
As a vehicle to convey both the history of modern China and the complex forces still driving the nation’s economic success, rail has no equal. Railroads and the Transformation of China is the first comprehensive history, in any language, of railroad operation from the last decades of the Qing Empire to the present.China’s first fractured lines were built under semicolonial conditions by competing foreign investors. The national system that began taking shape in the 1910s suffered all the ills of the country at large: warlordism and Japanese invasion, Chinese partisan sabotage, the Great Leap Forward when lines suffered in the “battle for steel,” and the Cultural Revolution, during which Red Guards were granted free passage to “make revolution” across the country, nearly collapsing the system. Elisabeth Köll’s expansive study shows how railroads survived the rupture of the 1949 Communist revolution and became an enduring model of Chinese infrastructure expansion.The railroads persisted because they were exemplary bureaucratic institutions. Through detailed archival research and interviews, Köll builds case studies illuminating the strength of rail administration. Pragmatic management, combining central authority and local autonomy, sustained rail organizations amid shifting political and economic priorities. As Köll shows, rail provided a blueprint for the past forty years of ambitious, semipublic business development and remains an essential component of the PRC’s politically charged, technocratic economic model for China’s future.
Historians of midwestern railroading during the early part of the twentieth century have generally focused on the production of railroad company histories while ignoring the regional view. Fortunately for railway historians and buffs, coincidentally with the zenith of the Railway Age, the national fad for producing and mailing postcards was at its height. Millions of cards, including "real-photo" images, were produced between 1905 and 1915. Roger Grant has selected more than a hundred representative picture postcards to visualize the principal themes and characteristics that gave this dynamic industry its distinctive regional features.
By the turn of the century, the railroad map of the Midwest was unequaled. Anyone who examined it carefully sensed that this was the vital center of America's massive network of steel rails. Depots erected in the western prairie environment were spartan, with only minor decoration, but those in the Midwest usually mirrored more ornate New England styles. These features are often reflected in the images in this heavily illustrated book, which depicts the spare but strong pioneering spirit of the enterprise.
The final volume in the complete history of Nevada and Eastern California railroads David Myrick's monumental railroad histories have become essential reference works for railroaders, historians, and hobbyists. Volume III contains additional information about the northern roads, including some not covered in previous volumes, and about developments since the publication of the first two volumes in the railroads of the region. It provides new facts gleaned from the correspondence of Collis P. Huntington, one of the builders of the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It also covers roads connected with the lumber industry and the construction of electric power plants, and Southern Pacific branch lines, including some that never advanced beyond surveys.
The Photographic Record of the First Wide-Scale Mechanization of War
Over the course of the first half of the nineteenth century, America would find itself following two increasingly divergent tracks: an industrialized North and an agricultural South. By 1860 railroads were firmly entrenched in our culture, reshaping our cities and steering us through the industrial age towards worldwide prominence. From sleepy post towns to the largest east coast cities, the distant hooting of the locomotive whistle drew ever closer and louder, filling listeners with fascination while brightening the eyes of profit-driven industrialists. But this admirable invention, lavishly adorned in brass and iron trimmings, was about to take on a new and deadly role. America’s regional differences would result in a spectacular collision over slavery, and between 1861–1865, the nation fought a savage war. The “iron horse” became a major weapon in the first war fully dependent on railroads. Moreover railroads would escalate and prolong the war, leading to its terrible carnage. Trains were used to move troops rapidly and over great distances, completely changing military strategy. Trains were also used as mobile artillery, armed with large-caliber cannons that could pound cities and fortifications. Trains were a crucial means for supplying the armies on both sides, and it was the severing of the railway lines providing food and munitions to the Army of Northern Virginia that led to Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House.
In Railroads of the Civil War: An Illustrated History, Michael Leavy uses compelling period photographs and drawings and a rich narrative to reevaluate and illuminate the role of railroads in the Civil War. In addition to identifying details about the various trains and ancillary equipment and buildings in the illustrations, the author explains how trains influenced the outcome of battles and the war in general.
A close study of one region of Appalachia that experienced economic vitality and strong sectionalism before the Civil War
This book examines the construction of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad through southwest Virginia in the 1850s, before the Civil War began. The building and operation of the railroad reoriented the economy of the region toward staple crops and slave labor. Thus, during the secession crisis, southwest Virginia broke with northwestern Virginia and embraced the Confederacy. Ironically, however, it was the railroad that brought waves of Union raiders to the area during the war
Selected by Civil War Interactive as One of the Top Civil War Books of All Time
On April 12, 1862—one year to the day after Confederate guns opened on Fort Sumter and started the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union spy named James J. Andrews and nineteen infantry volunteers infiltrated north Georgia and stole a steam engine called the General. Racing northward at speeds approaching sixty miles an hour, cutting telegraph lines and destroying track along the way, Andrews planned to open East Tennessee to the Union army, cutting off men and matériel from the Confederate forces in Virginia. If they succeeded, Andrews and his raiders could change the course of the war. But the General's young conductor, William A. Fuller, chased the stolen train first on foot, then by handcar, and finally aboard another engine, the Texas. He pursued the General until, running out of wood and water, Andrews and his men abandoned the doomed locomotive, ending the adventure that would soon be famous as The Great Locomotive Chase. But the ordeal of the soldiers involved was just beginning. In the days that followed, the "engine thieves" were hunted down and captured. Eight were tried and executed as spies, including Andrews. Eight others made a daring escape to freedom, including two assisted by a network of slaves and Union sympathizers. For their actions, before a personal audience with President Abraham Lincoln, six of the raiders became the first men in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor—the nation's highest decoration for gallantry.
Americans north and south, both at the time and ever since, have been astounded and fascinated by this daring raid. But until now, there has not been a complete history of the entire episode and the fates of all those involved. Based on eyewitness accounts, as well as correspondence, diaries, military records, newspaper reports, deposition testimony and other primary sources, Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor by Russell S. Bonds is a blend of meticulous research and compelling narrative that is now considered to be the definitive history of "the boldest adventure of the war."
For nearly seventy years, John J. Young Jr. photographed railroads. With unparalleled scope and span, he documented the impact and beauty of railways in American life from 1936 to 2004.
As a child during the Great Depression, J. J. Young Jr. began to photograph railroads in Wheeling, West Virginia. This book collects over one hundred fifty of those images—some unpublished until now—documenting the railroads of Wheeling and the surrounding area from the 1930s until the 1960s.
The photographs within this book highlight the major railroads of Wheeling: the Baltimore & Ohio, the Pennsylvania, the Wheeling & Lake Erie, the Pittsburgh & West Virginia, the New York Central, and the industrial and interurban rail lines that crisscrossed the region. These images capture the routine activities of trains that carried passengers and freight to and from the city and its industries, as well as more unusual traffic, such as a circus-advertising car, the General Motors Train of Tomorrow, and the 1947 American Freedom Train.
With the overwhelming amount of new information that bombards us each day, it is perhaps difficult to imagine a time when the widespread availability of the printed word was a novelty. In early nineteenth-century Britain, print was not novel—Gutenberg’s printing press had been around for nearly four centuries—but printed matter was still a rare and relatively expensive luxury. All this changed, however, as publishers began employing new technologies to astounding effect, mass-producing instructive and educational books and magazines and revolutionizing how knowledge was disseminated to the general public.
A standard track gauge—the distance between the two rails—enables connecting railway lines to exchange traffic. But despite the benefits of standardization, early North American railways used six different gauges extensively, and even today breaks of gauge at national borders and within such countries as India and Australia are expensive burdens on commerce. In Tracks across Continents, Paths through History, Douglas J. Puffert offers a global history of railway track gauge, examining early choices and the dynamic process of diversity and standardization that resulted.
Drawing on the economic theory of path dependence, and grounded in economic, technical, and institutional realities, this innovative volume traces how early historical events, and even idiosyncratic personalities, have affected choices of gauge ever since, despite changing technology and understandings of what gauge is optimal. Puffert also uses this history to develop new insights in the theory of path dependence. Tracks across Continents, Paths through History will be essential reading for anyone interested in how history and economics inform each other.
For over one hundred years, Navajos have gone to work in significant numbers on Southwestern railroads. As they took on the arduous work of laying and anchoring tracks, they turned to traditional religion to anchor their lives.
Jay Youngdahl, an attorney who has represented Navajo workers in claims with their railroad employers since 1992 and who more recently earned a master's in divinity from Harvard, has used oral history and archival research to write a cultural history of Navajos' work on the railroad and the roles their religious traditions play in their lives of hard labor away from home.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
UChicago Accessibility Resources
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press