America was made by the railroads. The opening of the Baltimore & Ohio line--the first American railroad--in the 1830s sparked a national revolution in the way that people lived thanks to the speed and convenience of train travel. Promoted by visionaries and built through heroic effort, the American railroad network was bigger in every sense than Europe's, and facilitated everything from long-distance travel to commuting and transporting goods to waging war. It united far-flung parts of the country, boosted economic development, and was the catalyst for America's rise to world-power status.
Every American town, great or small, aspired to be connected to a railroad and by the turn of the century, almost every American lived within easy access of a station. By the early 1900s, the United States was covered in a latticework of more than 200,000 miles of railroad track and a series of magisterial termini, all built and controlled by the biggest corporations in the land. The railroads dominated the American landscape for more than a hundred years but by the middle of the twentieth century, the automobile, the truck, and the airplane had eclipsed the railroads and the nation started to forget them.
In "The Great Railroad Revolution," renowned railroad expert Christian Wolmar tells the extraordinary story of the rise and the fall of the greatest of all American endeavors, and argues that the time has come for America to reclaim and celebrate its often-overlooked rail heritage.
"The Potomac Canal: George Washington and the Waterway West" is a history of a new nation s first effort to link the rich western agricultural lands with the coastal port cities of the east. The Potomac Canal Company was founded in 1785, and was active until it was overtaken by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company in 1828. During its operation, the canal system was used to ship flour from mills in the foothills of Appalachia to the tidewater of the Chesapeake, where the flour was shipped to the Caribbean as trade for sugar and other goods. This trade soon became the basis of agricultural wealth in West Virginia s eastern panhandle and throughout the Appalachian Piedmont. Coal was also shipped via the canal system from the upper reaches of the Potomac River to workshops at Harpers Ferry and beyond. This industrial trade route laid the foundation for what would eventually become the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad."
The classic, must-have guidebook to the C&O Canal is back! With new photos and research, updated maps, and a 21st century makeover, Thomas Hahn’s labor of love remains the most comprehensive mile-by-mile guide to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Journey 184.5 miles past former wharfs and foundries on the Georgetown waterfront, through quant Potomac River towns, to the mountainous region of western Maryland, while exploring all of the canal locks, lockhouses, aqueducts, and culverts along the way. Read how raging floodwaters and Civil War armies wreaked havoc on canal structures. Discover nature, geology, and 19th century engineering feats, as well as stories of the laborers, locktenders, and canallers who made the C&O a monument to human ingenuity and endurance. Deftly balancing engineering details with colorful anecdote and lore, Hahn’s guidebook is the go-to resource for all things C&O. Paperback, 276 pages.
This richly illustrated and engagingly written book tells the story of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from its origins in George Washington's decision to link the nation's new capital with the western frontier; through the beginning of construction in 1828 (fatefully, on the same day that the cornerstone of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was set); to the "completion" of the project. Planned to go as far as Ohio and to take twelve years in construction, the Canal company's ambitions were scaled back after 22 years of toil, $14 million in expense, and the bankruptcy of several contractors took them only as far as Cumberland, at the eastern shed of the Alleghenies.
Describing in detail how the C&O operated in its heyday, Elizabeth Kytle takes the story through the shut-down of operations in 1924, after the Canal was purchased by its competitor, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and the efforts that resulted in its preservation as a National Historical Park in 1971. Enriching this narrative, the book also provides oral history accounts of eleven men and women who worked on or grew up along the banks of the Canal.
This book is about a master builder named Caspar Wever who was a controversial person that has been described as unscrupulous and greedy. Covered in this book is the building of the B&O Railroad, and Wever's attempt to build an industrial community on the banks of the Potomac river. Paperback, 135 pages.