A working animal is an animal domesticated, kept by humans and trained to perform tasks. They may be close members of the family, such as guide dogs or other assistance dogs, or they may be animals trained to provide tractive force, such as draft horses or logging elephants; the latter types of animals are called draft beasts of burden. Most working animals are either service animals or draft animals, they may be used for milking or herding, jobs that require human training to encourage the animal to cooperate. Some, at the end of their working lives, may be used for meat or other products such as leather; the history of working animals may predate agriculture, with dogs used by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Around the world, millions of animals work in relationship with their owners. Domesticated species are bred for different uses and conditions horses and working dogs. Working animals are raised on farms, though some are still captured from the wild, such as dolphins and some Asian elephants.
People have found uses for a wide variety of abilities in animals, industrialized societies use many animals for work. People use the strength of horses and oxen to pull carts and move logs. Law enforcement uses the keen sense of smell of dogs to search for drugs and explosives, others use dogs to find game or search for missing or trapped people. People use various animals—camels, horses, etc.—for transport, either for riding or to pull wagons and sleds. Other animals, including dogs and monkeys, help disabled people. On rare occasions, wild animals are not only tamed, but trained to perform work—though solely for novelty or entertainment, as such animals tend to lack the trustworthiness and mild temper of true domesticated working animals. Conversely, not all domesticated animals are working animals. For example, while cats may catch mice, it is an instinctive behavior, not one that can be trained by human intervention. Other domesticated animals, such as sheep or rabbits, may have agricultural uses for meat and wool, but are not suitable for work.
Small domestic pets, such as most small birds are incapable of performing work other than providing companionship. Some animals are used due to sheer physical strength in tasks such as logging; such animals are grouped as a draft animal. Others may be used for animal-powered transport, the movement of people and goods; some animals are ridden by people on their backs and are known as “mounts”. They include equines such as horses and mules. Dromedary camels are in arid areas of North Africa and the Middle East. On occasion, though driven, may be ridden. Certain wild animals have been tamed and used for riding for novelty purposes, including the zebra and the ostrich; some mythical creatures are believed to act as divine mounts, such as garuda in Hinduism and the winged horse Pegasus in Greek mythology. Pack animals may be of the same species as mounts or harness animals, though animals such as horses, donkeys and both types of camel may have individual bloodlines or breeds that have been selectively bred for packing.
Additional species are only used to carry loads, including llamas in the Andes. Domesticated cattle and yaks are used as pack animals. Other species used to carry cargo include dogs and pack goats. An intermediate use is to harness animals, singly or in teams, to pull sleds, wheeled vehicles or plough. Oxen are slow but strong, have been used in a yoke since ancient times: the earliest surviving vehicle, Puabi's Sumerian sledge, was ox-drawn; the water buffalo and carabao, domesticated water buffalo, pull wagons and ploughs in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Draught or draft horses are used in harness for heavy work. Several breeds of medium-weight horses are used to pull lighter wheeled carts and buggies when a certain amount of speed or style is desirable. Mules are considered tough and strong, with harness capacity dependent on the type of horse mare used to produce the mule foal; because they are a hybrid animal and are infertile, separate breeding programs must be maintained. Ponies and donkeys are used to pull carts and small wagons.
Ponies were used in mining to pull ore carts. Dogs are used for pulling light carts or sleds for both recreation and working purposes. Goats can perform light harness work in front of carts Reindeer are used in the Arctic and sub-Arctic Nordic countries and Siberia. During World War II, the Red Army deployed deer transportation battalions on the Eastern Front. In the twenty-first century, Russian soldiers continue to train with reindeer sleds in winter. In traditional festive legend, Santa Claus's reindeer pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. Elephants are still used for logging in Southeast Asia. Less camels and llamas have been trained to harness. According to Juan Ignacio Molina the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen observed the use of chiliquenes by native Mapuches of Mocha Island as plough animals in 1614. Assorted wild animals have, on occasion, been tamed and trained to harness, including zebras and moose; as some domesticated animals d
Altoona is a city in Blair County, United States. It is the principal city of the Altoona Metropolitan Statistical Area; the population was 46,320 at the time of the 2010 Census, making it the eleventh most populous city in Pennsylvania. The Altoona MSA includes all of Blair County and was recorded as having a population of 127,089 at the 2010 Census, around 100,000 of whom live within a 5-mile radius of the Altoona city center according to U. S. Census ZIP Code population data; this includes the adjacent boroughs of Hollidaysburg and Duncansville, adjacent townships of Logan, Blair, Frankstown and Tyrone, as well as nearby boroughs of Bellwood and Newry. Having grown around the railroad industry, the city is working to recover from industrial decline and urban decentralization experienced in recent decades; the city is home to the Altoona Curve baseball team of the Double A Eastern League, the affiliate of the Major League Baseball team Pittsburgh Pirates. The 90-year-old Altoona Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestra Teresa Cheung has been calling Altoona home since 1928.
Prominent landmarks include the Horseshoe Curve, the Railroaders Memorial Museum, the Juniata Shops of the Altoona Works, the Mishler Theatre, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the Jaffa Shrine Center. As a major railroad town, Altoona was founded by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1849 as the site for a shop and maintenance complex. Altoona was incorporated as a borough on February 6, 1854, as a city under legislation approved on April 3, 1867, February 8, 1868. One explanation of the city's name is that the word "Altoona" is a derivative of the Latin word altus, meaning "high"; this explanation is contradicted by Pennsylvania Place Names. Although Altoona, in Blair Country, is popularly known as "the Mountain City", its name has no direct or indirect etymological relation to the Latin adjective altus, signifying "elevated, lofty." Two different explanations of the origin of this name are current. The one which seems to be most natural and reasonable runs as follows: "The locomotive engineer who ran the first train into Altoona in 1851 was Robert Steele, who died several years ago, aged nearly ninety years.
He was the oldest continuous resident of the city. He was much respected, had long been one of the private pensioners of Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Steele is authority for the statement that Colonel Beverly Mayer, of Columbia, who, as a civil engineer of what was the Pennsylvania Central Railway, had laid out the tracks in the yards of the newly projected city, named the place Altoona after the city of Altona in Danish Holstein, which became part of Germany in 1864." The German Altona, today a district of Hamburg, lies on the right bank of the Elbe west of Hamburg city center, is an important railway and manufacturing centre with a population of nearly 200,000. The etymological derivation of the name Altona is not known with certainty, but believed to be Low German all to na, meaning "all too near". In 1849 David Robinson sold his farm to Archibald Wright of Philadelphia, who transferred the property to his son, John A. Wright, who laid it out in building lots, became one of the founders of Altoona, was responsible for the naming of the town.
According to his own statement, he had spent considerable time in the Cherokee country of Georgia, where he had been attracted by the beautiful name of Allatoona, which he had bestowed upon the new town in the belief that it was a Cherokee word meaning "the high lands of great worth." In the Cherokee language there is a word eladuni, which means "high lands", or "where it is high". An older history dated 1883 favored the Cherokee derivation, stating that "Its name is not derived from the Latin word altus nor from the French word alto, as has been asserted and published, but from the beautiful and expressive Cherokee word allatoona; this is on the authority of the person who bestowed the name, Mr. Wright, of Philadelphia, long a resident of the Cherokee country in Georgia, an admirer of the musical names of that Indian language."For 60 days in 2011, the city changed its name to "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" in exchange for $25,000 as part of a marketing gimmick for the movie of the same name.
In late September 1862, Altoona was home to the War Governors' Conference which brought together 13 governors of Union states. This body gave early approval to the Emancipation Proclamation; the town grew in the late 19th century, its population 2,000 in 1854, 10,000 in 1870, 20,000 in 1880. The demand for locomotives during the Civil War stimulated much of this growth, by the years of the war Altoona was known as a valuable city for the North. Altoona was the site of the first Interstate Commission meeting to create and design the Gettysburg National Cemetery following the devastating Battle of Gettysburg; the centrality and convenience of the town's rail transportation brought these two important gatherings to the city during the war. Horseshoe Curve, a curved section of track built by the PRR, has become a tourist attraction and National Historic Landmark; the curve was used to raise trains to a sufficient elevation to cross the Allegheny Ridge to the west. The Allegheny Ridge had been a major barrier and construction of the Erie Canal in New York twenty years earlier had diverted much port traffic which had used Philadelphia to New York City instead, causing the rise of that city's commercial dominance.
Because the curve was an industrial link to the western U. S
The Susquehanna River is a major river located in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. At 464 miles long, it is the longest river on the East Coast of the United States that drains into the Atlantic Ocean. With its watershed, it is the 16th-largest river in the United States, the longest river in the early 21st-century continental United States without commercial boat traffic; the Susquehanna River forms from two main branches: the "North Branch", which rises in Cooperstown, New York, is regarded by federal mapmakers as the main branch or headwaters, the West Branch, which rises in western Pennsylvania and joins the main branch near Northumberland in central Pennsylvania. The river drains 27,500 square miles, including nearly half of the land area of Pennsylvania; the drainage basin includes portions of the Allegheny Plateau region of the Appalachian Mountains, cutting through a succession of water gaps in a broad zigzag course to flow across the rural heartland of southeastern Pennsylvania and northeastern Maryland in the lateral near-parallel array of mountain ridges.
The river empties into the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay at Perryville and Havre de Grace, providing half of the Bay's freshwater inflow. The Chesapeake Bay is the ria of the Susquehanna; the Susquehanna River is one of the oldest existing rivers in the world, being dated as 320-340 Mya, older than the mountain ridges through which it flows. These ridges resulted from the Alleghenian orogeny uplift events, when Africa slammed into the Northern part of EurAmerica); the Susquehanna basin reaches its ultimate outflow in the Chesapeake Bay. It was well established in the flat tidelands of eastern North America during the Mesozoic era about 252 to 66 million years ago; this is the same period when the Hudson and Potomac rivers were established. Both branches and the lower Susquehanna were part of important regional transportation corridors; the river was extensively used for muscle-powered ferries and canal boat shipping of bulk goods in the brief decades before the Pennsylvania Canal System was eclipsed by the coming of age of steam-powered railways.
While the railroad industry has been less prevalent since the closures and mergers of the 1950s–1960s, a wide-ranging rail transportation infrastructure still operates along the river's shores. Called the Main Branch Susquehanna, the longer branch of the river rises at the outlet of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York. From there, the north branch of the river runs west-southwest through rural farmland and dairy country, receiving the Unadilla River at Sidney, it dips south into Pennsylvania to turn north at Great Bend hooking back into New York. It receives the Chenango in downtown Binghamton. After meandering westwards, it turns south crossing the line again through the twin-towns of Waverly, NY–Sayre and their large right bank railyard, once holding the largest building in the world. A couple miles south, just across the New York state line, in Athens Township in northern Pennsylvania it receives the Chemung from the northwest, it makes a right-angle curve between Sayre and Towanda to cut through the Endless Mountains in the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania.
It receives the Lackawanna River southwest of Scranton and turns to the southwest, flowing through the former anthracite industrial heartland in the mountain ridges of northeastern Pennsylvania, past Pittston City, Wilkes-Barre, Shickshinny, Berwick and Danville. The origin of the official West Branch is near northern Cambria County, Pennsylvania near the contemporary junction of Mitchel Road and US Route 219, it travels northeasterly through Curwensville and through Clearfield, where it's joined by the Clearfield Creek right bank tributary. The Clearfield Creek tributary rises in a Loretto woodlands source spring outflow running northerly while draining the north-face and eastern slopes of the drainage divide crossing athwart the greater pass — the irregular rolling terrain of the several local gaps of the Allegheny—several of which end in the hilly pass around Gallitzin Borough, Gallitzin Township, Cresson area — all above and within the greater Altoona, Pennsylvania area. Clearfield Creek passes through Cresson Lake and bends to flow northeast or north-northeast, passing through other tarns and receiving tributary waters along its descending meanders.
Outside the pass flats, it is paralleled by PA Route 53, built in the river valley, passing through small towns such as Ashville, Glen Hope and others that developed along its banks. It makes its way north and east to the confluence in Clearfield—this valley is exploited as a railroad corridor from Clearfield, climbing to end in a wye within Cresson in the same broad saddle pass as did the upper works of the Allegheny Portage Railroad; the railroad joins the railroad mainline, climbing a nearby incline through the famous Horseshoe Curve. The West Branch turns to the southeast and passes through Lock Haven and Williamsport before turning south; the West Branch joins the North Branch flowing from the northwest at Northumberland, just above Sunbury. Downstream from the confluence of its branches in Northumberland, the river flows south past Selinsgrove, where it is joined by its Penns Creek tributary, cuts through a water gap at the western end of Mahantongo Mountain, it receives the Juniata River from the northwest at Duncannon passes through it
A tavern is a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverages and be served food, in most cases, where travelers receive lodging. An inn is a tavern; the word derives from the Latin taberna whose original meaning was a shed, stall, or pub. Over time, the words "tavern" and "inn" became synonymous. In England, inns started to be referred to as public houses or pubs and the term became standard for all drinking houses. "Wowser" was a negative term for Christian moralists in Australia activists in temperance groups such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Historian Stuart Macintyre argues, "the achievements of the wowsers were impressive." They passed laws that restricted obscenity and juvenile smoking, raised the age of consent, limited gambling, closed down many pubs, in 1915–16 established a 6pm closing hour for pubs, which lasted for decades. From at least the fourteenth century, along with inns and cabarets, were the main places to dine out. A tavern offered various roast meats, as well as simple foods like bread, cheese and bacon.
Some offered a richer variety of foods, though it would be cabarets and traiteurs who offered the finest meals before the restaurant appeared in the eighteenth century. Their stated purpose however was to serve wine and they were disreputable enough that women of any standing avoided them. After 1500, taxes on wine and other alcoholic beverages grew more burdensome, not only because of the continual increase in the level of taxation, but because of the bewildering variety and multiplicity of the taxes; this chaotic system was enforced by an army of tax collectors. The resultant opposition took many forms. Wine growers and tavern keepers concealed wine and falsified their methods of selling it to take advantage of lower tax rates; the retailers engaged in clandestine refilling of casks from hidden stocks. Wine merchants stealthily circumvented inspection stations to avoid local import duties; when apprehended, some defrauders reacted with passive resignation, while others resorted to violence. Situated at the heart of the country town or village, the tavern was one of the traditional centers of social and political life before 1789, a meeting place for both the local population and travelers passing through and a refuge for rogues and scoundrels.
Taverns symbolized opposition to religion. Taverns sometimes served as restaurants. In 1765, in Paris was founded the first restaurant in the modern sense of the term. However, the first Parisian restaurant worthy of the name was the one founded by Beauvilliers in 1782 in the Rue de Richelieu, called the Grande Taverne de Londres. Émile Zola's novel L'Assommoir depicted the social conditions typical of alcoholism in Paris among the working classes. The drunk destroyed not only his own body, but his employment, his family, other interpersonal relationships; the characters Gervaise Macquart and her husband Coupeau exemplified with great realism the physical and moral degradation of alcoholics. Zola's correspondence with physicians reveal he used authentic medical sources for his realistic depictions in the novel. A common German name for German taverns or pubs is Kneipe. Drinking practices in 16th-century Augsburg, suggest that the use of alcohol in early modern Germany followed structured cultural norms.
Drinking was not a sign of disorder. It helped define and enhance men's social status and was therefore tolerated among men as long as they lived up to both the rules and norms of tavern society and the demands of their role as householder. Tavern doors were closed to respectable women unaccompanied by their husbands, society condemned drunkenness among women, but when alcohol abuse interfered with the household, women could deploy public power to impose limits on men's drinking behavior. Taverns were popular places used for business as well as for eating and drinking – the London Tavern was a notable meeting place in the 18th and 19th centuries, for example. However, the word tavern is no longer in popular use in the UK as there is no distinction between a tavern and an inn. Both establishments serve beer/ale; the term'pub' is now used to describe these houses. The legacy of taverns and inns is now only found in the pub names, e.g. Fitzroy Tavern, Silver Cross Tavern, Spaniards Inn, etc; the word survives in songs such as "There is a Tavern in the Town".
The range and quality of pubs varies wildly throughout the UK as does the range of beers, wines and foods available. Most quality pubs will still serve food. In recent years there has been a move towards "gastro" pubs. Taverns served as rest stops about every fifteen miles and their main focus was to provide shelter to anyone, traveling; such taverns would be divided into two major parts -- the bar. There is a sign with some type of symbol related to the name of the premises, to draw in customers; the purpose of this is to indicate that the establishment sells alcohol and to set it apart from the competition. Reformers who denounced the terrible effects of heavy consumption of alcohol on public disorder and quality of work, made periodic attempts to control it in Mexico City in the late 18th century and early 19th century; the poor frequented the pulquerías. After the legalization of the more potent aguardiente in 1796, the poor could afford the viñaterías where hard liquor was serv
A visitor center or centre, visitor information center, tourist information center, is a physical location that provides tourist information to visitors. A visitor center may be: A visitor center at a specific attraction or place of interest, such as a landmark, national park, national forest, or state park, providing information and in-depth educational exhibits and artifact displays. A film or other media display is used. If the site has permit requirements or guided tours, the visitor center is the place where these are coordinated. A tourist information center, providing visitors to a location with information on the area's attractions, lodgings and other items relevant to tourism; these centers are operated at the airport or other port of entry, by the local government or chamber of commerce. A visitor center is called an information center. A corporate visitor center, provides visitors with an accessible window into the corporation. Visitor centers used to provide basic information about the place, corporation or event they are celebrating, acting more as the entry way to a place.
The role of the visitor center has been evolving over the past 10 years to become more of an experience and to tell the story of the place or brand it represents. Many have become experiences in their own right. In the United Kingdom, there is a nationwide network of Tourist Information Centres run by the British Tourist Authority, represented online by the VisitBritain website and public relations organisation. Other TICs are run by local authorities or through private organisations such as local shops in association with BTA. In England, VisitEngland promotes domestic tourism. In Wales, the Welsh Government supports TICs through Visit Wales. In Scotland, the Scottish Government supports VisitScotland, the official tourist organisation of Scotland, which operates Tourist Information Centres across Scotland. In Poland there are special tables giving free information about tourist attractions. Offices are situated in interesting places in popular tourists' destinations and tables stay near monuments and important culture In North America, a welcome center is a rest area with a visitor center, located after the entrance from one state or province to another state or province or in some cases another country along an Interstate Highway or other freeway.
These information centers are operated by the state. The first example opened on 4 May 1935, next to US 12 in New Buffalo, near the Indiana state line. Many United States cities, such as Houston and Boca Raton, Florida, as well as counties and other areas smaller than states operate welcome centers, though with less facilities than state centers have. In Ontario, there are 11 Ontario Travel Information Centres located along 400-series highways. Peru features Iperú, Tourist Information and Assistance, a free service that provides tourist information for domestic and foreign travelers, the information covers destinations, recommended routes and licensed tourism companies in Peru, it provides assistance on various procedures or where tourists have problems of various kinds. Iperú receives suggestions for destinations and tourism companies operating in Peru. Iperú, Tourist Information and Assistance has a nationwide network represented online by the Peru.travel website, the 24/7 line 5748000, 31 local offices in 13 regions in all over Peru: Lima-Callao, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco and Iquitos.
The official tourist organization or national tourist board of Peru is PromPerú, a national organization that promotes both tourism and international commerce of this country worldwide. In Australia, most visitor centres are local or state government-run, or in some cases as an association of tourism operators on behalf of the government managed by a board or executive; those that comply with a national accreditation programme use the italic "i" as pictured above. These visitor information centres provide information on the local area, perform services such as accommodation and tour bookings, flight/bus/train/hire car options, act as the first point of contact a visitor has with the town or region. Heritage center Heritage interpretation Interpretation center Nature center United States Capitol Visitor Center Communicating with visitors – 16 tips for visitor centers
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the United States, with its first section opening in 1830. It came into being because the city of Baltimore wanted to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal and another canal being proposed by Pennsylvania, which would have connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. At first this railroad was located in the state of Maryland, with an original line built from the port of Baltimore west to Sandy Hook. At this point to continue westward, it had to cross into Virginia over the Potomac River, adjacent to the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. From there it passed through Virginia from Harpers Ferry to a point just west of the junction of Patterson Creek and the North Branch Potomac River, where it crossed back into Maryland to reach Cumberland. From there it was extended to the Ohio River at Wheeling and a few years also to Parkersburg, West Virginia, it continued to construct lines into Ohio, including a junction at Portsmouth.
In years, B&O advertising carried the motto: "Linking 13 Great States with the Nation." As part of a series of mergers, the B&O is now part of the CSX Transportation network. The B&O included the Leiper Railroad, the first permanent horse-drawn railroad in the U. S. At the end of 1970, the B&O operated 5,552 miles of road and 10,449 miles of track, not including the Staten Island Rapid Transit or the Reading and its subsidiaries, it includes the oldest operational railroad bridge in the United States. When CSX established the B&O Railroad Museum as a separate entity from the corporation, it donated some of the former B&O Mount Clare Shops in Baltimore, including the Mt. Clare roundhouse, to the museum, while selling the rest of the property; the B&O Warehouse at the Camden Yards rail junction in Baltimore now dominates the view over the right-field wall at the Baltimore Orioles' current home, Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Part of the B&O Railroad's immortality has come from being one of the four featured railroads on the U.
S. version of the board game Monopoly. It is the only railroad on the board that did not directly serve New Jersey; the fast-growing port city of Baltimore, Maryland faced economic stagnation unless it opened routes to the western states, as New York had done with the Erie Canal in 1820. On February 27, 1827, twenty-five merchants and bankers studied the best means of restoring "that portion of the Western trade, diverted from it by the introduction of steam navigation." Their answer was to build a railroad—one of the first commercial lines in the world. Their plans worked well, despite many political problems from canal backers and those associated with other railroads; the railroad grew from a capital base of $3 million in 1827 to a large enterprise generating $2.7 million of annual profit on its 380 miles of track in 1854, with 19 million passenger miles. The railroad fed tens of millions of dollars of shipments to and from Baltimore and its growing hinterland to the west, thus making the city the commercial and financial capital of the region south of Philadelphia.
Two men — Philip E. Thomas and George Brown — were the pioneers of the railroad, they spent the year 1826 investigating railway enterprises in England, which were at that time being tested in a comprehensive fashion as commercial ventures. Their investigation completed, they held an organizational meeting on February 12, 1827, including about twenty-five citizens, most of whom were Baltimore merchants or bankers. Chapter 123 of the 1826 Session Laws of Maryland, passed February 28, 1827, the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 8, 1827, chartered the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company, with the task of building a railroad from the port of Baltimore west to a suitable point on the Ohio River; the railroad, formally incorporated April 24, was intended to provide a faster route for Midwestern goods to reach the East Coast than the hugely successful but slow Erie Canal across upstate New York. Thomas was elected as Brown the treasurer; the capital of the proposed company was fixed at five million dollars, but the B&O was capitalized in 1827 with a three million dollar issue of stock.
Every citizen of Baltimore owned a share, as the offering was oversubscribed. Construction began on July 4, 1828, when Charles Carroll of Carrollton performed the groundbreaking by laying the cornerstone; the initial tracks were built with granite stringers topped by strap iron rails. The first section, from Baltimore west to Ellicott's Mills, opened on May 24, 1830. A horse pulled the first cars 26 miles and back, since the B&O did not decide to use steam power for several years. Railroad men in South Carolina had earlier commissioned a steam locomotive from a New York foundry, while the B&O was still experimenting with horse power and sails; the B&O's first locomotive, the "Tom Thumb", was made in America and would pull passenger and freight cars at 18 miles per hour. Developers decided to follow the Patapsco River to a point near Parr's Ridge, where the railroad would cross a height of land and descend into the valley of the Monocacy and Potomac rivers. Further extensions opened to Frederick on December 1, 1831.
The connection to the Winchester and Potomac Railroad at Harpers Ferry opened in 1837 the line to Martinsburg in May 1842.
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, his works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still read today. Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, campaigned vigorously for children's rights and other social reforms. Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour and keen observation of character and society.
His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense; the instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, he modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features, his plots were constructed, he wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers. Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age, his 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are frequently adapted, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London.
His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell, G. K. Chesterton and Tom Wolfe—for his realism, prose style, unique characterisations, social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, a vein of sentimentalism; the term Dickensian is used to describe something, reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters. Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on 7 February 1812, at 1 Mile End Terrace, Landport in Portsea Island, the second of eight children of Elizabeth Dickens and John Dickens, his father was temporarily stationed in the district. He asked Christopher Huffam, rigger to His Majesty's Navy and head of an established firm, to act as godfather to Charles. Huffam is thought to be the inspiration for Paul Dombey, the owner of a shipping company in Dickens's novel Dombey and Son.
In January 1815, John Dickens was called back to London, the family moved to Norfolk Street, Fitzrovia. When Charles was four, they relocated to Sheerness, thence to Chatham, where he spent his formative years until the age of 11, his early life seems to have been idyllic, though he thought himself a "very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy". Charles spent time outdoors, but read voraciously, including the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding, as well as Robinson Crusoe and Gil Blas, he reread The Arabian Nights and the Collected Farces of Elizabeth Inchbald. He retained poignant memories of childhood, helped by an excellent memory of people and events, which he used in his writing, his father's brief work as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office afforded him a few years of private education, first at a dame school, at a school run by William Giles, a dissenter, in Chatham. This period came to an end in June 1822, when John Dickens was recalled to Navy Pay Office headquarters at Somerset House, the family moved to Camden Town in London.
The family had left Kent amidst mounting debts, living beyond his means, John Dickens was forced by his creditors into the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southwark, London in 1824. His wife and youngest children joined him there. Charles 12 years old, boarded with Elizabeth Roylance, a family friend, at 112 College Place, Camden Town. Roylance was "a reduced old lady, long known to our family", whom Dickens immortalised, "with a few alterations and embellishments", as "Mrs Pipchin" in Dombey and Son, he lived in a back-attic in the house of an agent for the Insolvent Court, Archibald Russell, "a fat, good-natured, kind old gentleman... with a quiet old wife" and lame son, in Lant Street in Southwark. They provided the inspiration for the Garlands in The Old Curiosity Shop. On Sundays—with his sister Frances, free from her studies at the Royal Academy of Music—he spent the day at the Marshalsea. Dickens used the prison as a setting in Little Dorrit. To pay for his board and to help his family, Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Charing Cross railway station, where he earned six shillings