The largest advancement in the history of the United States...the Steam Locomotive.
The steam-driven "Iron Horse” played a major role in the development of our country. From a dinky little railroad of 23 miles in 1830, an industry was born that grew to become the largest employer of men and women in the U.S. for nearly a century. By 1890, the length of track had grown to over 129,000 miles long.
The Golden Age of American Railroading began around the turn of the century and lasted with the interruption of World War I when the rails were nationalized until the Great Depression. It was the era when grandeur rode the rails. Whether they were new stars of the silent screen, a family on the way to visit grandma, or a carload of coal…America was on the move, and the steam engine was pulling it.
During WWII, the industry handled 90 percent of all government freight and 97 percent of military troop movements. Contributing almost $3 million a day in income taxes to help finance the war effort, railroads were moving twice the freight and four times the passenger load of their pre-
Maybe you can remember seeing these gigantic machines billowing out large plumes of smoke, pulling long strings of loaded railcars and hearing their competing whistles far off in the distance signaling their presence on a cold winters-
night. Today, only steam engines in museums and those used for special tours are left for the future generations to see.
…Their day is past, memories fade but steam locomotives and early railroads remain forever fascinating. Now you can pick up and hold a piece of real American history, unique and beautiful artwork of the steam locomotive.