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Peter Cooper's Tom Thumb
彼得库柏的蒸汽引擎「汤姆的拇指」

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第一条合法运送货物与乘客的铁路:1827228

1827228日,「巴尔地摩与俄亥俄铁道公司」 (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) 成为第一家美国取得合法商业经营运送乘客与货物的公司。当时很多人质疑一个蒸汽引擎能够克服美国陡坡、强风的斜坡地形,但是彼得库柏 (Peter Cooper) 所设计的「汤姆的拇指」 (Tom Thumb) 却让这些人闭嘴。投资人希望通过铁路的运行,能够让当时全美第二大城巴尔地摩能够在西部贸易上与纽约竞争。

美国的第一条铁道只有13英里长,但是在1830年正式开放时,却让众人感到相当大的惊喜。在1828年的74日,独立宣言通过之后唯一还活着的歌手查尔斯卡洛 (Charles Carroll) ,替这条以巴尔地摩港为起点的铁道,放下了第一块基石。


On February 28, 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first U.S. railway chartered for commercial transport of passengers and freight. There were skeptics who doubted that a steam engine could work along steep, winding grades, but the Tom Thumb, designed by Peter Cooper, put an end to their doubts. Investors hoped a railroad would allow Baltimore, the second largest U.S. city at the time, to successfully compete with New York for western trade.

The first railroad track in the United States was only 13 miles long, but it caused a lot of excitement when it opened in 1830. Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the first stone when construction on the track began at Baltimore harbor on July 4, 1828.

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