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The Railroad Grows into an Industry (1840-1850)
     

The Railroad Grows into an Industry (1840-1850)

by Kathleen Tracy
 
Prior to the 1820s, the main form of commercial transportation in America was steamboats, which were able to move large quantities of freight and passengers. When the first railroads were built, they were initially seen as a novelty. But a handful of visionaries believed that railroads could transform the way business was conducted and create new opportunities for

Overview

Prior to the 1820s, the main form of commercial transportation in America was steamboats, which were able to move large quantities of freight and passengers. When the first railroads were built, they were initially seen as a novelty. But a handful of visionaries believed that railroads could transform the way business was conducted and create new opportunities for both established companies and independent entrepreneurs.

In the 1840s and the 1850s, the railroad industry would experience tremendous growth and become the primary means of moving goods throughout the United States. Expansion of the rail system stimulated the economy, promoted manufacturing, and turned railroads into one of the most valuable industries in the world, making their owners millionaires and industrial—age power brokers in the process. Railroads also helped make America one of the most dominant economic powers in the world.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—These books present a technology-focused history of the railroad. Each one is devoted to a specific period, and all are written by different authors, which results in an uneven quality. The three volumes that cover the earliest periods are the weakest, largely because their overly technical discussions about the evolution of steam power and railroad technology, usually without adequate illustration, will be difficult for students to understand, and they fail to fully explain how the Industrial Revolution was driving innovation and invention. The three that discuss the later periods fare better, because they include analysis of the societal and economic changes that the railroad created. There is some repetition among the titles. The authors treat their subjects objectively, and the books are illustrated with a mixture of period and contemporary photos and art and documented with chapter notes and bibliographies. These books do not improve on either Milton Meltzer's well-written Hear That Train Whistle Blow! (Random, 2004), a comprehensive single-title overview with an attractive layout, or Martin Sandler's livelier and people-centered titles in Oxford's "Transportation in America" series (2003). They add little to the field, and should be considered as supplemental report choices.—Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612282886
Publisher:
Mitchell Lane Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/15/2012
Series:
Railroad in American History Series
Pages:
47
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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