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Bordentown in Burlington County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First movement by steam on a railroad in New Jersey

 
 
First movement by steam on a railroad in New Jersey Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
1. First movement by steam on a railroad in New Jersey Marker
Inscription.  
First movement by steam on a railroad in the state of New Jersey, November 12, 1831, by the original locomotive "John Bull" now deposited in the United States National Museum at Washington. The first piece of railroad track in New Jersey was laid by the Camden and Amboy Railroad Company between this point and the stone, thirty five hundred feet eastward in 1831.
 
Erected 1891 by Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 12, 1914.
 
Location. 40° 8.868′ N, 74° 42.774′ W. Marker is in Bordentown, New Jersey, in Burlington County. Marker is at the intersection of Farnsworth Avenue and Railroad Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Farnsworth Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bordentown NJ 08505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. All Gave Some - Some Gave All (within shouting distance of this marker); 50 Star Flag (within shouting distance of this
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marker); Thomas Paine (within shouting distance of this marker); This Was The Home Of Joseph Hopkinson (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Francis Hopkinson (about 300 feet away); Home of Patience Lovell Wright (about 400 feet away); First Baptist Church (about 400 feet away); Wright House (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bordentown.
 
More about this marker. This marker was moved some time ago from its original location a few miles away so the exact text on it isn't a hundred percent accurate.
 
Regarding First movement by steam on a railroad in New Jersey. The artwork for this marker is from an original 1887 drawing by Isaac Dripps. The John Bull is on static display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. There is also a replica of the John Bull at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
 
Also see . . .
1. Landmark Object: John Bull Locomotive. National Museum of American History website entry
View from intersection of Farnsworth Ave. & Railroad Ave. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
2. View from intersection of Farnsworth Ave. & Railroad Ave.
(Submitted on February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. "John Bull". Wikipedia entry (Submitted on February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Additional commentary.
1. Getting the John Bull in operation.
In October 1830 Robert Stevens, President and Chief Engineer of the Camden & Amboy Railroad traveled to England to purchase rails and a locomotive for his company. The John Bull was shipped to Philadelphia from England in 1831. Stevens hired Isaac Dripps, a young mechanic, to take charge and assemble the engine. Despite having never seen a locomotive and having no drawings or measurements to guide him, Dripps was able to assemble the engine. He also constructed a four-wheeled car and fastened a whiskey cask to the platform to serve as tender. The cask delivered water to the engine via a leather pipe.

On 12 November 1831, the members of the New Jersey legislature were the first passengers to be hauled by the John Bull. The engine did not go into regular service until 1833 when enough track had been laid to begin operations. When the John Bull went into service, Dripps modified the leading axle to enable it to better navigate curves in the track. Later he invented and added the two-wheeled
"Camden & Amboy R.R. - 1831" carved into right side of monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By R. C.
3. "Camden & Amboy R.R. - 1831" carved into right side of monument
"cow catcher" to the front of the locomotive which improved its handling and also helped avoid damage to the locomotive from stray cows on the tracks.
    — Submitted February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
 
The historic “John Bull” of the Camden & Amboy Railroad—and its train image. Click for full size.
4. The historic “John Bull” of the Camden & Amboy Railroad—and its train
From "The Modern Railroad" by Edward Hungerford, 1911.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 6, 2008, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,927 times since then and 137 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 6, 2008, by Ronald Claiborne of College Station, Texas.   4. submitted on February 26, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 25, 2024