Bordentown in Burlington County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
First movement by steam on a railroad in New Jersey
Erected 1891 by Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad marker series.
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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Thomas Paine (within shouting distance of this marker); Francis Hopkinson House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Patience Lowell Wright (about 400 feet away); Wright House (about 400 feet away); Home of Col. Joseph Borden 2nd Bordentown Female College (about 700 feet away); Tower Clock (about 800 feet away); 19th Century Railroading in Bordentown (approx. 0.2 miles 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. Sixty Years of Progress, What has been Accomplished by Steam and Rail. An article originally published by The New York Times on November 13, 1891. (Submitted on February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
2. John Bull Locomotive. Story and related pictures of the John Bull. (Submitted on February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
3. Wikipedia entry for the "John Bull" (Submitted on February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
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 "cow catcher" to the front of the locomotive which improved its handling and also helped avoid damage to
— Submitted February 7, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 6, 2008, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,471 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 6, 2008, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. 4. submitted on February 26, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.