CAR BUILDING INDUSTRY. The memory of men still living is sufficiently elastic to stretch back to the beginnings of steam rail roads in this country, and to comprehend the various changes by which the modern railway has become a highly organized and elaborately equipped mechanism. We borrowed the rail way from England, but developed it on our own lines. The invention of the locomotive at first simply furnished a mechanical power to transport freight in cars that had formerly been hauled by horses. Tramways were in use in the Hungarian mines during 16th cen tury; and Ralph Allen's English stone-car of 1734, with its flanged wheels and its hand brake, is clearly the forerunner of the freight cars of to-day.
The term °railway° was invented in 1775, when it was first used in Smeaton's reports on English transportation, a quarter of a cen tury before steam was applied to locomotion. Thanks to the recent researches of Mr. Clem ent E. Stretton, we now know that the first persons ever conveyed by a locomotive on rails traveled, on 24 Feb. 1804, behind Trevethick's locomotive on the Pennydarran cast-iron plate way or tram-road to Merthyr-Tydvil, in Wales, a distance of nine miles. In order to transport long bars of iron and timber, the cars were made in pairs, coupled together by an iron draw-bar having a joint at either end. The cars had no sides, but in the middle of each was fixed a centre-pin upon which worked a cross-beam or bolster, and upon this cross beam the timber or bars of iron were placed. On the occasion referred to the trucks were loaded with 10 tons of iron bars, and 70 per sons stood on the iron. Here we have the origin of the bogie or truck, the invention of which has been claimed for this country, as we shall see hereafter. Also the capacity of the freight-car, fixed at the beginning at 10 tons, remained at that figure for half a century or more.
In 1812 John Blenkinsop of Leeds had a pri vate car built to carry himself and his managers to his Middleton colliery, while the workmen rode on the coal-cars. On 27 July 1814, George Stephenson's first locomotive, Blucher, drew over the Kenilworth colliery line a passenger car made by placing the body of Lord Ravens worth's four-in-hand coach on a wooden frame fitted with flanged wheels. This car was used
for 20 years. On 27 Sept. 1825, the Stockton & Darlington Railway was opened, and trains of coal-cars were run, with one passenger-coach named the Experiment. This was the first pas senger-car to be run regularly for the use of the public. It was placed on four wheels, and had a door at each end, with a row of seats along either side and a long deal table in the centre. This car was operated 10 days, until the novelty was worn off ; and then the faster stage-coaches carried the passengers. It was not until 15 Sept. 1830 that the Liverpool & Manchester Railway opened its line with a train carrying 600 passengers, and immediately there after began to run the first regular passenger trains.
It is a striking fact in the history of car construction that the English invented both the truck and the long passenger-car with the door at each end; and that these forms, once in vented, were almost immediately discarded in England, so that it was left for this country to reinvent them and to make them the distin guishing features of American car building as contrasted with English construction. Indeed, it has been with great reluctance that we have ceased to claim them as original discoveries.
The fact that passenger trains, by displacing stages, threw out of use many of those vehicles, coupled with the other fact that the stage owners, submitting to the inevitable, often be came railroad promoters, furnishes a reason why the early masters of transportation both used the stage-coach body as a matter of econ omy, and also built their new cars on the model in which the conveniences of travel had been most highly developed. The first passenger coach used in Pennsylvania in 1832 was a stage coach slightly enlarged. To be sure, the early prints show that in 1830 Peter Cooper's first locomotive hauled an open boat-shaped car from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills, on the Balti more & Ohio Railroad; but this model must have been adopted for economy's sake, because in 1833 that railroad placed in service the Ohio, a car, stage-coach in shape, with seats on top as well as inside.