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Railroad Passenger Car
August Mencken
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Date Listed:
2005-03-09 13:41:32
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The Railroad Passenger Car : An Illustrated History of the First Hundred Years, with Accounts by Contemporary Passengers Humankind has a fascination with trains that borders on the obsessive. As the title indicates, Mencken (brother of you know who) surveys the first 100 years of trains, including accounts by contemporary passengers. The text is buttressed with numerous monochrome photos and illustrations of passenger, sleeping, and dining cars that run the gamut from the poshest to the poorest of accommodations. Drawing on a wide assortment of materials--including a wealth of drawings from the U.S. Patent Office, first-hand accounts of contemporary passengers, and his own experience as a young civil engineer active in railroad construction--Mencken presents the roster of cars in which nineteenth-century travelers rode and suffered. Here are the weird and ingenious inventions designed to increase both the passengers' comfort and the owners' revenue; and here are the passengers' own comments, both angry and humorous--thirty-five accounts written by passengers from 1831 to 1891 and bearing such titles as An Inhuman Conductor, The Baggage Smashers of Omaha, and Cows on the West Chester Line. This edition of the 1957 original contains a new introduction by Courtney B. Wilson.