firsthand accounts — from the traveler to engineer, private citizen
to political activist — this book explores the locomotive’s evolutionary
development. It traces its early struggles for acceptance, problems
and advances, great debates (train vs. canal), competitions, earliest
railroads, experimental locomotives, and first trains such as the
“Tom Thumb,” “DeWitt Clinton,” and “Best Friend” all beautifully written
in period vernacular.
One of the most
delightful features of this book is its charming artwork and illustrations.
The author’s artistic skills were greatly respected, as evidenced
in the compilation of extensive reviews at the end of the book. Best
known for his style of profile cutting called “portraiture” (accomplished
by cutting out black paper with scissors) and widely praised, he received
accolades from such renowned luminaries as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay,
John C. Calhoun as well as other members of Congress and the Cabinet.
The book is a
“must have” in any historian’s library, whether novice or seasoned
professor, and a wonderful book for the railroad historian, researcher,
history lover and student of American culture.