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14 - Passenger Trains: First Class

John H.Jr. White Indiana University Press ePub

First Class

HISTORICALLY, TRAVEL HAS BEEN TEDIOUS, UNCOMFORTABLE, and slow. At times it is also dangerous. How to temper or reverse these negatives has been a dilemma for transport professionals since ancient times. The top level of society could generally find a comfortable way to get around; for them, cost was not a problem. However, the problem of making quality travel affordable for the masses remains largely unsolved. Yet for those able and willing to pay, a smooth and pleasant trip was possible in Victorian times, as it is today.

14.1. Woodruff sleeping cars were introduced on the New York Central Railroad in the late 1850s with considerable success. The berths were folded up, and the lower berth was converted into seats for daytime travel.

(Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, April 30, 1859) passenger Trains

Our ancestors were tough realists, but they were also given to idealist notions about “democratic” travel. We needed no first- or second-class cars in America, because, rich or poor, every native son was a gentleman. Nabobism belongs to the Old World. The British and European railways might have three or even four classes. Democratic travel was largely a canard in America. A few years after the first passenger trains began rolling across American soil, first- and second-class cars had been adopted by a majority of American lines. Von Gerstner reported many instances of dual class operations in his voluminous report of 1842. The Niles Register was talking about palace cars a decade earlier. The talk of democratic travel persisted. Anthony Trollope was more than a little annoyed by this false belief, saying it confused social and political equality. We should be equals before the law, but as individuals we are very different in terms of intelligence, physical strength, health, and much more. He also noted in an 1862 book on North American travel that we accept first-class houses, meals and horses, so why not a first-class railway car?

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Chapter 6: Adapting a Traditional Textbook Lesson

r4Educated Solutions Solution Tree Press ePub


Adapting a Traditional Textbook Lesson

A small part of even the most reluctant student wants to learn.


Traditional textbook lessons present several concerns. The lesson format generally lends itself to teacher-centered instruction instead of student-centered instruction. The content of standard textbook lessons rarely includes examples and problems with the cognitive rigor necessary to prepare students for success—whether success is measured by standardized tests or readiness for post–high school education. Such lessons seldom include strategies for building common background, developing vocabulary, providing comprehensibility, and solving authentic problems in an atmosphere ripe for interaction. Therefore, teachers are often faced with the challenge of adapting traditional lessons to meet the needs of English language learners.


Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.

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4 Al Perlman Buys a Hill

RushJr. Loving Indiana University Press ePub


Al Perlman Buys a Hill


SOON AFTER MY ARRIVAL AT THE MUSEUM, JOHN F. KENNEDY was shot, causing me to realize quite abruptly that there was a void in my life. I no longer was where the news was being made. To me this could be the biggest story of my lifetime, and I wasn’t involved, neither as a reporter nor as a desk editor. So wrenching was it that I returned to the Times-Dispatch a year later, at the start of 1965. Frank McDermott had been replaced by a new city editor, my old colleague Ed Swain, and my odyssey through corporate America and the railroads of the land was about to begin.

Another event while I was at the museum was of far less importance, but still a major happening in Virginia and a significant moment in railroad history. The Pennsylvania Railroad announced that Stuart Saunders had resigned as head of the Norfolk and Western Railway in Roanoke to become the Pennsy’s chairman. It was the beginning of a tempestuous saga that I soon would cover. In only a few years I would come to know Saunders and his most notable adversary, Alfred E. Perlman. These two men were to head Penn Central, the railroad they would create when they merged the Pennsylvania and the New York Central.

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Frederick W. Coen, 1872–1942: “Mister Lake Shore Electric”

Jr.Herbert H. Harwood Indiana University Press ePub

The life of the Lake Shore Electric and the life of Frederick William Coen were one and the same. Fred Coen was an incorporator and an official of the railway from the day it began, effectively its chief executive from 1907 to the day rail service ended, and continued as head of the successor bus company until he retired in 1940. More than any single individual, he was responsible for the company’s prosperity during its good days and its survival in the bad ones.

Coen came early to the electric railway business. In fact, he was there as a young man at the industry’s dawn. Born in Rensselaer, Indiana, on June 15, 1872, he moved to Vermilion, Ohio, in 1891 with his brother Edward to go into the banking business. Their little Erie County Banking Company happened to be a major investor in one of the country’s earliest interurban railways, originally called the Sandusky, Milan & Huron. The line opened in July of 1893 but that October was reorganized as the Sandusky, Milan & Norwalk. To protect its now-uncertain investment, the bank dispatched the 21-year-old Coen to Sandusky as the company’s secretary. In effect, he never left.

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1 Prelude: The Omnipotent Pennsylvania Railroad

Jr., Herbert H. Harwood Indiana University Press ePub

After the Civil War, U.S. railroads rapidly reshaped the country’s economy, making possible mass production, large-scale mining and farming, and mass markets for it all. Railroading, too, had become a spectacular growth industry; capital was poured into building new lines seemingly everywhere—some of them soundly based, some purely speculative, and some that represented the honest but often naïve hopes of communities that hoped to have a bigger piece of the expanding economy. And with no federal regulation, rail rates gyrated between “whatever the traffic will bear,” where there was little or no competition, and uninhibited and often vicious rate wars where there was too much.

The end of the war also ushered in the gradual creation of ever-larger and more powerful trunk-line railroad systems, the most powerful of which were the ones that dominated the industrial centers and large cities of the East and near-Midwest. As things shook down, there were three: the Pennsylvania Railroad, “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central system, and the Baltimore & Ohio, the pioneering American railroad, whose birth certificate dated to 1827. By the mid-1870s, all three linked the Atlantic coast with the gateways of Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. (The perennially weak and victimized Erie Railroad was a fourth contender, but its market penetration could never match its larger rivals.) Each of the “big three” was based in a different Atlantic port city: the Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Vanderbilt (along with the Erie) in New York, and the B&O in Baltimore. Each, too, competed with one another in different ways: Vanderbilt had no direct presence in Philadelphia or Baltimore, and at the time the B&O had none in Philadelphia or New York, while the PRR tapped all three ports. In common, though, all three fought for business through Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis as well as in many other markets west of the Alleghenies.

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