Thursday, December 28, 2006

First Research Forays...

Well, I've actually had some time to start poking around the existing work on the B&O. So for the first time in over two months, this is where I am.

My first stops are:

Sand Patch by Roberts-Nice picture book, fair captions but the author doesn't follow proper citation practice for a scholarly work. No footnotes or endnotes and a short bibliography. This book gives a good visual overview of the area from Cumberland, MD to Connellsville, PA but doesn't do much outside of that.

The History of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad by Stover-A rather dry economic history of the entire road. It is properly referenced so I can get some good footnotes mined. However it's coverage of Pittsburgh is limited as it is an overview of the entire company.

Centennial History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad-Hungerford (2 vols.)-Produced as part of the PR blitz for the 1927 Centennial of the B&O railroad this is an interesting read. However I have to be aware that there is as much folklore as fact in these books. No documentation and it was written by the company so a lot of the seemy details got left out.

The Sentinel-The Quarterly Publication of the B&O Railroad Historical Society. They did a two volume spread on Pittsburgh so I've purchased those from the Society Company store. As I'm the society archivist I have access to most of these primary source documents.

Next I'm going to use my Drexel Library access to mine some databases for articles and hit the various and sundry special collections around Iron City.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Outline as of 09/25/2006:

Cracking the Keystone:
The B&O Railroad from Connellsville to Pittsburgh

By: Nicholas Fry


1873: The B&O and the Steel City
An overview of Pittsburgh transportation and economy. Focus on the monopoly of the PRR on the town, the friction between the municipal government, the local community, the workers and the RR. Show how the PRR’s lack of understanding and good relations with the Pittsburgh community contributed to the riot and see if the riots helped break the PRR’s control on Pittsburgh’s rail commerce. Focus on Tom Scott vs. Mayor of Pittsburgh.
Cite complaints of steel companies. State the objective of the book: Show the history of the B&O’s line to Pittsburgh and it’s impact on RR commerce in the area and the B&O itself. How it enabled the B&O to reach Chicago and compete with the NYC and PRR for commerce between the upper Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard.

Pt. 1:
The Prize
A history of Pittsburgh to 1873
Pittsburgh’s existing Railroads before the B&O entered
Pittsburgh vs. the PRR
Overview of the B&O’s attempts to reach Pittsburgh to date and how they were thwarted
Pittsburgh vs. Wheeling as the B&O’s Ohio River terminus

Pt. 2:
On the Brink
Plans for entry into Pittsburgh
The machinations used to get there.
Latrobe goes to run the P&C for the B&O

Pt. 3:
The quest for the P&C
The P&C RR
B&O’s acquisition of the P&C Charter
PRR’s reactions
1864 revocation of P&C Charter
1868 reversal of act
Pittsburgh’s Reactions

Pt 4:*
The Line
Detailed summary of the route from Connellsville, PA to Pittsburgh, PA
Photos of construction and operations
Narrative history of operations from acquisition of branch to end of the B&O in 1987
Impact of changes in economy of area on the line.
How the line has fared today under CSX.
*This section will probably have the majority of the photographs of RR Ops and trains in the book.

Research Strategy:
B&O RR Museum
PA State RR Museum
NMAH-John Garrett Papers
MD Historical Society
PA State Archives
U Pitt Library
CMU Library
JHU Library
-Daniel Willard Papers-
-Keyser Papers-
B&ORRHS Archives
-B&O Annual Reports-
-VP Ops Files-
-Eng. Dept. Files-
PRRTHS Archives
National Archives
Library of Congress
James Mischke Collection
Hageley Library
PSU Library
UMD Library
Stover’s B&O Railroad
Dilts’ The Great Road

Finish Introduction Draft: end of Q4 2006
Begin construction of the companion web site to blog my research and link to the on-line resources I’ve found: Q4 2006
Welcome to my blog. I will be posting my outline and research progress on "Cracking the Keystone: The B&O from Connellsville to Pittsburgh and Beyond."