Owensboro is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Daviess County, United States. It is the fourth-largest city in the state by population. Owensboro is located on U. S. Route 60 about 107 miles southwest of Louisville, is the principal city of the Owensboro metropolitan area; the 2015 population was 59,042. The metropolitan population was estimated at 116,506. Evidence of American Indian settlement in the area dates back 12,000 years. Following a series of failed uprisings with British support, the last Shawnee were forced to vacate the area before the end of the 18th century; the first European descendant to settle in Owensboro was frontiersman William Smeathers or Smothers in 1797, for whom the riverfront park is named. The settlement was known as "Yellow Banks" from the color of the land beside the Ohio River; the Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered at what is today's Owensboro prior to departing on their famous travels. In 1817, Yellow Banks was formally established under the name Owensborough, named after Col. Abraham Owen.
In 1893, the spelling of the name was shortened to its current Owensboro. In August 1864, Owensboro was subject to a raid by a band of Confederate guerrillas from Tennessee led by Captain Jack Bennett, an officer in Stovepipe Johnson's Partisan Rangers. Bennett's men rode into Owensboro and failed to rob a local bank, took 13 Union soldiers of the 108th Colored Infantry prisoner, executed them, burned the bodies on a supply boat, escaped back to Tennessee, having covered a total of 300 miles on horseback in six days. Another major battle occurred 8 miles south of Owensboro and is today signified by a monument marking the battle located beside US Highway 431. Several distillers of bourbon whiskey, have been in and around the city of Owensboro; the major distillery still in operation is the Glenmore Distillery Company, now owned by the Sazerac Company. On August 14, 1936, downtown Owensboro was the site of the last public hanging in the United States. A 26 year old African American man, Rainey Bethea, was convicted and sentenced for the rape and murder of 70-year-old Lischa Edwards in a short time.
A carnival atmosphere was in place with vendors selling hotdogs, attended by a large crowd including children and many reporters. The execution was presided over by a female sheriff, Florence Shoemaker Thompson, who gained national media attention for her role in the process, although she declined to spring the trap. Before Bethea was dead, the crowd had begun to tear at his clothes and his body for souvenirs; the Kentucky General Assembly abolished public executions after the embarrassment this caused. The end of the Second World War brought civil engineering projects which helped turn Owensboro from a sleepy industrial town into a modern, expanding community by the turn of the 1960s. Many of the projects were set in motion by Johnson, Depp & Quisenberry, a firm of consulting engineers engaged in a runway redesign at the County Airport; as of 1903, Owensboro was home to several stemmeries. Pinkerton Tobacco produced Red Man chewing tobacco in Owensboro. Swedish Match continues to make Red Man in a plant outside city limits.
The Owensboro Wagon Company, established in 1884, was one of the largest and most influential wagon companies in the nation. With eight styles or sizes of wagons, the company set the standard of quality at the turn of the 20th century. Frederick A. Ames came to Owensboro from Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1887, he started the Carriage Woodstock Company to repair horse-drawn carriages. In 1910, he began to manufacture a line of automobiles under the Ames brand name. Ames hired industrialist Vincent Bendix in 1912, the company became the Ames Motor Car Company. Despite its product being called the "best $1500" car by a Texas car dealer, the company ceased production of its own model in 1915; the company began manufacturing replacement bodies for the more sold Ford Model T. In 1922, the company remade itself and started to manufacture furniture under the name Ames Corporation; the company sold out to Whitehall Furniture in 1970. The start of the Kentucky Electrical Lamp Company, a light bulb manufacturing company was in 1899.
The Owensboro plant was a major part of General Electric's vacuum tube manufacturing operations, producing both receiving types and military/industrial ceramic types. In 1961, engineers at the General Electric plant in Owensboro introduced a family of vacuum tubes called the Compactron. In June 1932, John G. Barnard founded the Modern Welding Company in a small building located near the Ohio River at First and Frederica Streets where the Commonwealth of Kentucky office building sits today. Today, Modern Welding Company has nine steel tank and vessel fabrication subsidiaries located throughout the United States, five welding supply stores located in Kentucky and Indiana; the company is the country's largest supplier of underground and aboveground steel storage tanks for flammable and combustible liquids. The company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2007. Texas Gas Transmission Corporation was created in 1948 with the merger of Memphis Natural Gas Company and Kentucky Natural Gas Corporation and made its headquarters in Owensboro.
Since that time, Texas Gas changed ownershi
The Kentucky Derby is a horse race, held annually in Louisville, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings fillies 121 pounds; the race is called "The Run for the Roses" on account of the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" in reference to its approximate duration, it is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes the Belmont Stakes. Unlike the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, which took hiatuses in 1891–1893 and 1911–1912 the Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875; the Derby and Belmont all were run every year throughout the Great Depression and both World Wars. A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.
In the 2015 listing of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, the Kentucky Derby tied with the Whitney Handicap as the top Grade 1 race in the United States outside the Breeders' Cup races. The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, the Breeders' Cup. In 1872, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, traveled to England, visiting Epsom in Surrey where The Derby had been running annually since 1780. From there, Clark went on to Paris, where in 1863, a group of racing enthusiasts had formed the French Jockey Club and had organized the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, which at the time was the greatest race in France. Returning home to Kentucky, Clark organized the Louisville Jockey Club for the purpose of raising money to build quality racing facilities just outside the city; the track would soon become known as Churchill Downs, named for John and Henry Churchill, who provided the land for the racetrack.
The racetrack was incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937. The Kentucky Derby was first run at 1 1/2 miles the same distance as the Epsom Derby; the distance was changed in 1896 to its current 1 1/4 miles. On May 17, 1875, in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people, a field of 15 three-year-old horses contested the first Derby. Under jockey Oliver Lewis, a colt named Aristides, trained by future Hall of Famer Ansel Williamson, won the inaugural Derby; that year, Lewis rode Aristides to a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. Although the first race meeting proved a success, the track ran into financial difficulties and in 1894 the New Louisville Jockey Club was incorporated with new capitalization and improved facilities. Despite this, the business floundered until 1902 when Col. Matt Winn of Louisville put together a syndicate of businessmen to acquire the facility. Under Winn, Churchill Downs prospered and the Kentucky Derby became the preeminent stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses in North America.
Thoroughbred owners began sending their successful Derby horses to compete in the Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, followed by the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. The three races offered large purses and in 1919 Sir Barton became the first horse to win all three races. However, the term Triple Crown didn't come into use for another eleven years. In 1930, when Gallant Fox became the second horse to win all three races, sportswriter Charles Hatton brought the phrase into American usage. Fueled by the media, public interest in the possibility of a "superhorse" that could win the Triple Crown began in the weeks leading up to the Derby. Two years after the term was coined, the race, run in mid-May since inception, was changed to the first Saturday in May to allow for a specific schedule for the Triple Crown races. Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby.
On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day. On eleven occasions the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes. On May 16, 1925, the first live radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was originated by WHAS and was carried by WGN in Chicago. On May 7, 1949, the first television coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place, produced by WAVE-TV, the NBC affiliate in Louisville; this coverage was aired live in the Louisville market and sent to NBC as a kinescope newsreel recording for national broadcast. On May 3, 1952, the first national television coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place, aired from then-CBS affiliate WHAS-TV. In 1954, the purse exceeded $100,000 for the first time. In 1968, Dancer's Image became the first horse to win the race and be disqualified after traces of phenylbutazone, an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug, were found in the horse's urinalysis. Forward Pass thus became the eighth winner for Calumet Farm. Unexpectedly, the regulations at Kentucky thoroughbred race tracks were changed some years allowing horses to run on phenylbutazone.
In 1970, Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Derby, finishing 15th aboard Fathom. The fastest time run in the Derby was set in 1973 at 1
Pullman (car or coach)
In the United States, Pullman was used to refer to railroad sleeping cars that were built and operated on most U. S. railroads by the Pullman Company from 1867 to December 31, 1968. Pullman refers to railway dining cars in Europe that were operated by the Pullman Company, or lounge cars operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. In Great Britain, Pullman refers to the lounge cars operated by the British Pullman Car Company; the nickname Pullman coach was used in some European cities for the first long electric tramcars whose appearance resembled the Pullman railway cars and that were more comfortable than their predecessors. Such coaches ran in Kiev from 1907 and in Odessa from 1912. In the 1920s, tramcars nicknamed Pullmanwagen in German ran in Leipzig, Frankfurt and Zürich. In some Western European countries in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, some luxurious motor coaches were sometimes referred to as Auto-Pullmans. In 1963, the luxurious Mercedes-Benz 600 was introduced, with a range including a long wheelbase version called Pullman.
Stretched versions of regular Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars were called Pullman. In Greek and Italian, the word "pullman" is used to refer to a coach bus. In Greek, it would be spelled as "πούλμαν". In Latin America, pullman may refer to a luxury bus as well as to a railroad sleeping car. In the video game Sid Meier's Railroads!, Players can bid on the "Pullman's Palace Car" patent. This patent makes "Passengers pay an extra 25% to bask in its comfort." Buses portal Pullman loaf, a type of long, square bread developed to be baked in the small kitchens of rail cars Starlight Express, a train musical in which two characters are modeled on a Pullman. Clerestory#Transportation, Railway Coach roof design following the Pullman American influence. Welsh, Joe. Travel by Pullman: a century of service. Saint Paul, MN: MBI. ISBN 0760318573. OCLC 56634363. Barger, Ralph L.. A Century of Pullman Cars, Volume I, Alphabetical List. Greenberg Publishing Company, Inc. Barger, Ralph L.. A Century of Pullman Cars, Volume II, The Palace Cars.
Greenberg Publishing Company, Inc. The Pullman Project Canadian National Railways Sleeping Car No. 1683 St. Hyacinthe—photographs and short history of a Sleeping Car built in 1929. Chicago Historical Society's Pullman website Pullman Prototypes—Pantagraph
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, established in 1846 and was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was so named; the PRR was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the U. S. for the first half of the 20th century. Over the years, it acquired, merged with or owned part of at least 800 other rail lines and companies. At the end of 1925, it operated 10,515 miles of rail line, its only formidable rival was the New York Central, which carried around three-quarters of PRR's ton-miles. By 1882 it had become the largest railroad, the largest transportation enterprise, the largest corporation in the world. With 30,000 miles of track, it had longer mileage than any other country in the world, except Britain and France, its budget was second only to the U. S. government. The corporation still holds the record for the longest continuous dividend history: it paid out annual dividends to shareholders for more than 100 consecutive years. In 1968, PRR merged with rival NYC to form the Penn Central Transportation Company, which filed for bankruptcy within two years.
The viable parts were transferred in 1976 to Conrail, itself broken up in 1999, with 58 percent of the system going to the Norfolk Southern Railway, including nearly all of the former PRR. Amtrak received the electrified segment of the Main Line east of Harrisburg. With the opening of the Erie Canal and the beginnings of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Philadelphia business interests became concerned that the port of Philadelphia would lose traffic; the state legislature was pressed to build a canal across Pennsylvania and thus the Main Line of Public Works was commissioned in 1826. It soon became evident that a single canal would not be practical and a series of railroads, inclined planes, canals was proposed; the route consisted of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, canals up the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, an inclined plane railroad and tunnel across the Allegheny Mountains, canals down the Conemaugh and Allegheny rivers to Pittsburgh on the Ohio River. Because freight and passengers had to change cars several times along the route and canals froze in winter, it soon became apparent that the system was cumbersome and a better way was needed.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted a charter to the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1846 to build a private rail line that would connect Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. The Directors chose John Edgar Thomson, an engineer from the Georgia Railroad, to survey and construct the line, he chose a route that followed the west bank of the Susquehanna River northward to the confluence with the Juniata River, following its banks until the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains were reached at a point that would become Altoona, Pennsylvania. To traverse the mountains, the line climbed a moderate grade for 10 miles until it reached a split of two mountain ravines which were cleverly crossed by building a fill and having the tracks ascend a 220-degree curve known as Horseshoe Curve that limited the grade to less than 2 percent; the crest of the mountain was penetrated by the 3,612-foot Gallitzin Tunnels and descended by a more moderate grade to Johnstown. At the end of its first year of operation, it paid a dividend, continued the dividend without interruption until 1946.
The western end of the line was built from Pittsburgh east along the banks of the Allegheny and Conemaugh rivers to Johnstown. PRR was granted trackage rights over the Philadelphia and Columbia and gained control of the three short lines connecting Lancaster and Harrisburg, instituting an all-rail link between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh by 1854. In 1857, the PRR purchased the Main Line of Public Works from the state of Pennsylvania, abandoned most of its canals and inclined planes; the line was double track from its inception, by the end of the century a third and fourth track were added. Over the next 50 years, PRR expanded by gaining control of other railroads by stock purchases and 999-year leases. Thomson was the entrepreneur who led the PRR from 1852 until his death in 1874, making it the largest business enterprise in the world and a world-class model for technological and managerial innovation, he served as PRR's first Chief Engineer and third President. Thomson's sober, technical and non-ideological personality had an important influence on the Pennsylvania Railroad, which in the mid-19th century was on the technical cutting edge of rail development, while nonetheless reflecting Thomson's personality in its conservatism and its steady growth while avoiding financial risks.
His Pennsylvania Railroad was in his day the largest railroad in the world, with 6,000 miles of track, was famous for steady financial dividends, high quality construction improving equipment, technological advances, innovation in management techniques for a large complex organization. In 1861 the PRR gained control of the Northern Central Railway, giving it access to Baltimore, Maryland, as well as points along the Susquehanna River via connections at Columbia, Pennsylvania or Harrisburg. On December 1, 1871, the PRR leased the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company, which included the original Camden and Amboy Railroad from Camden, New Jersey to South Amboy, New Jersey, as well as a newer line from Philadelphia to Jersey City, New Je
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities. Founded in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation to operate many U. S. passenger rail services, it receives a combination of state and federal subsidies but is managed as a for-profit organization. Amtrak's headquarters is located one block west of Union Station in Washington, D. C. Amtrak serves more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces, operating more than 300 trains daily over 21,400 miles of track. Amtrak owns 623 miles of this track and operates an additional 132 miles of track; some track sections allow trains to run as fast as 150 mph. In fiscal year 2018, Amtrak served 31.7 million passengers and had $3.4 billion in revenue, while employing more than 20,000 people. Nearly 87,000 passengers ride more than 300 Amtrak trains on a daily basis. Nearly two-thirds of passengers come from the 10 largest metropolitan areas.
The name Amtrak is a portmanteau of the words America and trak, the latter itself a sensational spelling of track. In 1916, 98% of all commercial intercity travelers in the United States moved by rail, the remaining 2% moved by inland waterways. Nearly 42 million passengers used railways as primary transportation. Passenger trains were owned and operated by the same owned companies that operated freight trains; as the 20th century progressed, patronage declined in the face of competition from buses, air travel, the automobile. New streamlined diesel-powered trains such as the Pioneer Zephyr were popular with the traveling public but could not reverse the trend. By 1940, railroads held just 67 percent of commercial passenger-miles in the United States. In real terms, passenger-miles had fallen by 40 % from 42 billion to 25 billion. Traffic surged during World War II, aided by troop movement and gasoline rationing; the railroad's market share surged with a massive 94 billion passenger-miles. After the war, railroads rejuvenated their overworked and neglected passenger fleets with fast and luxurious streamliners.
These new trains brought only temporary relief to the overall decline. As postwar travel exploded, passenger travel percentages of the overall market share fell to 46% by 1950, 32% by 1957; the railroads had lost money on passenger service since the Great Depression, but deficits reached $723 million in 1957. For many railroads, these losses threatened financial viability; the causes of this decline were debated. The National Highway System and airports, both funded by the government, competed directly with the railroads, who paid for their own infrastructure. Progressive Era rate regulation limited the railroad's ability to turn a profit. Railroads faced antiquated work rules and inflexible relationships with trade unions. To take one example, workers continued to receive a day's pay for 100-to-150-mile work days. Streamliners covered that in two hours. Matters approached a crisis in the 1960s. Passenger service route-miles fell from 107,000 miles in 1958 to 49,000 miles in 1970, the last full year of private operation.
The diversion of most U. S. Postal Service mail from passenger trains to trucks and freight trains in late 1967 deprived those trains of badly needed revenue. In direct response, the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway filed to discontinue 33 of its remaining 39 trains, ending all passenger service on one of the largest railroads in the country; the equipment the railroads had ordered after World War II was now 20 years old, worn out, in need of replacement. As passenger service declined various proposals were brought forward to rescue it; the 1961 Doyle Report proposed. Similar proposals failed to attract support; the federal government passed the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 to fund pilot programs in the Northeast Corridor, but this did nothing to address passenger deficits. In late 1969 multiple proposals emerged in the United States Congress, including equipment subsidies, route subsidies, lastly, a "quasi-public corporation" to take over the operation of intercity passenger trains.
Matters were brought to a head on March 5, 1970, when the Penn Central, the largest railroad in the Northeast United States and teetering on bankruptcy, filed to discontinue 34 of its passenger trains. In October 1970, Congress passed, President Richard Nixon signed into law, the Rail Passenger Service Act. Proponents of the bill, led by the National Association of Railroad Passengers, sought government funding to ensure the continuation of passenger trains, they conceived the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a private entity that would receive taxpayer funding and assume operation of intercity passenger trains. The original working brand name for NRPC was Railpax, but shortly before the company started operating it was changed to Amtrak. There were several key provisions: Any railroad operating intercity passenger service could contract with the NRPC, thereby joining the national system. Participating railroads bought into the NRPC using a formula based on their recent intercity passenger losses.
The purchase price could be satisfied either by cash or rolling stock. Any participating railroad was freed of the obligation to operate intercity passenger service after May 1, 1971, except for those services chosen by the Department of Transportation as part of a "basic system" of servic
Paducah is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, United States. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast; the population was 24,941 in 2017, down from 25,024 during the 2010 U. S. Census. Twenty blocks of the city's downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Paducah is the hub of its micropolitan area, which includes McCracken and Livingston counties in Kentucky and Massac County in Illinois. Paducah was first settled as "Pekin" around 1821 by William Pore; the town was renamed Paducah. Although local lore long connected this to an eponymous Chickasaw chief "Paduke" and his tribe of "Paducahs", authorities on the Chickasaw have since said that there was never any chief or tribe of that name, or anything like it, nor any words like them in the Chickasaw language.
Instead, it is probable that Clark named the town for the Comanche people, Paducah was formally established as a town in 1830 and incorporated as a city by the state legislature in 1838. By this time, steam boats traversed the river system, its port facilities were important to trade and transportation. In addition, developing railroads began to enter the region. A factory for making red bricks, a foundry for making rail and locomotive components became the nucleus of a thriving "River and Rail" economy. Paducah became the site of dry dock facilities for steamboats and towboats, thus headquarters for many barge companies; because of its proximity to coalfields further to the east in Kentucky and north in Illinois, Paducah became an important railway hub for the Illinois Central Railroad. This was the primary north-south railway connecting the industrial cities of Chicago and East St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico at Gulfport and New Orleans, Louisiana; the Illinois Central system provided east-west links to the Burlington Northern and the Atchison and Santa Fe Railways.
In 1924 the Illinois Central Railroad began construction at Paducah of their largest locomotive workshop in the nation. Over a period of 190 days, a large ravine between Washington and Jones streets was filled with 44,560 carloads of dirt to enlarge the site, sufficient for the construction of 23 buildings; the eleven million dollar project was completed in 1927 as the fourth-largest industrial plant in Kentucky. The railroad became the largest employer in Paducah, having 1,075 employees in 1938; as steam locomotives were replaced through the 1940s and 1950s, the Paducah shops were converted to maintain diesel locomotives. A nationally known rebuilding program for aging diesel locomotives from Illinois Central and other railroads began in 1967; the shops became part of the Paducah and Louisville Railway in 1986. In the early 21st century they are operated by VMV Paducahbilt. At the outset of the Civil War, Kentucky attempted to take a neutral position. However, when a Confederate force occupied Columbus, a Union force under General Ulysses S. Grant responded by occupying Paducah.
Throughout most of the war, Col. Stephen G. Hicks was in charge of Paducah, the town served as a massive supply depot for Federal forces along the Ohio and Tennessee river systems. On December 17, 1862, under the terms of General Order No. 11, US forces required 30 Jewish families to leave their long-established homes. Grant was trying to break up a black market in cotton, in which he suspected Jewish traders were involved. Cesar Kaskel, a prominent local Jewish businessman, dispatched a telegram of complaint to President Lincoln and met with him; as there were similar actions taken by other Jewish businessmen and loud complaints by Congress about the treatment of their constituents, Lincoln ordered the policy to be revoked within a few weeks. On March 25, 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest raided Paducah as part of his campaign northward from Mississippi into Western Tennessee and Kentucky, he intended to re-supply the Confederate forces in the region with recruits, medical supplies and mules, to disrupt the Union domination of the regions south of the Ohio River.
Known as the Battle of Paducah, the raid was successful in terms of the re-supply effort and in intimidating the Union, but Forrest returned south. According to his report, "I drove the enemy to their gunboats and fort. Much of the fighting took place around Fort Anderson on the city's west side, in the present-day Lower Town neighborhood. Among the few houses that were not destroyed is the David Yeiser House, a single-story Greek Revival structure. Having read in the newspapers that 140 fine horses had escaped the raid, Forrest sent Brigadier General Abraham Buford back to Paducah, to get the horses and to keep Union forces busy there while he attacked Fort Pillow in Tennessee, his forces were charged with a massacre of United States Colored Troops among the Union forces whom they defeated at the fort. On April 14, 1864, Buford's men found the horses hidden in a Paducah foundry, as reported by the news
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.