Sunday Victorian Industrial Monument Blogging

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My father defends the Ames Monument:>UGLY!??! I’ll have you know that the Ames Monument contains within itself most of 19th Century American history — the railroad! crony capitalists! Manifest Destiny! New England duty! government extortion! congressional cynicism and betrayal! the industrial revolution! Victorian taste (it was designed by noted architect H.H. Richardson)! [Not to mention bas-reliefs by St. Gaudens]; irony (the UP moved the tracks and it now sits by itself in the middle of the lone prairie). >Next will be a pix of the Ames Shovel Museum:>>By the 1870s Ames was the largest shovel manufacturer in the world, making three-fifths of the world’s shovels, although even as early as the 1830s and 1840s they struggled to meet the demand for their highly prized products. Ames shovels were the tool of choice in both the California and Australian gold rushes as well as in most major American building projects including the Erie and Panama Canals and most American railroad construction. Ames shovels literally built America.>» Stonehill Industrial History Center (aka the shovel museum) MaisonBisson.comAllegheny Portage Railroad–Reading 3: >[The United States] now numbers among its many wonderful artificial lines of communication, a mountain railway, which, in boldness of design, and difficulty of execution, I can compare to no modern work I have ever seen, excepting perhaps the passes of Simplon, and Mount Cenis, in Sardinia; but even these remarkable passes, viewed as engineering works, did not strike me as being more wonderful than the Allegheny Railway in the United States.>>–David Stevenson, 1838>Occasionally the rails are laid upon the extreme verge of the giddy precipice and looking down from the carriage window, the traveller gazes sheer down without a stone or scrap of fence between into the mountain depths below. The journey is very carefully made however, only two carriages travelling together and while proper precautions are taken, it is not to be dreaded for its dangers.>>–Charles Dickens, 1843>The trip of a boat over the mountain is now no novel sight…. Since this road was constructed such improvements have been made in the construction of locomotives, that a project has been suggested for relocating the whole road.>>–Sherman Day, 1843>At this place the western division of the Pennsylvania Canal commences, and the miserable Portage Railroad, with its short splintery rails and curvatures, its stationary steam engines and abominable inclined planes, terminates. The traveller, who has crossed the mountain over it, will not regret to leave it, but will thank the stars that a better road will soon supersede it.>>–Eli Bowen, 1853

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