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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Railroads Eclipse a National Road

“Thus will scientific power conquer space.”

 
 
Railroads Eclipse a National Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, February 24, 2008
1. Railroads Eclipse a National Road Marker
Inscription. For several decades in the early 1800s, thousands of Conestoga Wagons, “ships of inland commerce,” ruled the National Road. With their sloping bodies, wheels taller than a man and six-horse teams skillfully maneuvered with a single “jerk line,” they could carry up to eight tons of freight. The railroad, a Baltimore-borne transportation revolution, soon put them out of business, along with the taverns, livery stables, wheelwrights, and blacksmiths that served them.

In 1830, the National Road was still under construction when here, from the Roundhouse, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad introduced the first regular freight and passenger service in the United States. By 1852, the B & O spent $15 million to lay track as far as the Ohio River. Freight and travel time was cut in half. The “national road” was now on rails.
 
Erected by America's Byways.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
 
Location. 39° 17.116′ N, 76° 37.91′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from West Pratt Street (U.S. 40). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
The National Road and Railroads Eclipse a National Road markers image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, February 24, 2008
2. The National Road and Railroads Eclipse a National Road markers
In the background sits the Baltimore and Ohio railroad roundhouse.
markers are within walking distance of this marker. The National Road (here, next to this marker); The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Car That Carried Ike on His Last Trip (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Irish Railroad Workers Shrine (about 500 feet away); Walters Public Bath House No. 2 (approx. 0.2 miles away); James L. (Jim) Caskey, Jr. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brig. General Lewis A. Armistead (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
More about this marker. Three illustrations span the lower half of the marker. On the left, The giant Conestoga freight wagons, with their jingling teams of heavy horses, were an impressive sight. However they were too slow and cumbersome to compete with railroad cars

In the lower center, In spite of soot and noise, railroad cars were smoother, more comfortable and faster than the old stagecoaches on the National Road

On the lower right, 19th century Americans declared "go-ahead is our maxim and password" as they opened up the continent. The noisy and dirty steam railroad, called "hell in harness," made that task possible

The background of the marker is "National Road at Fairview Inn" which is the standard for markers in this series. An elevation diagram of the national road is displayed on the bottom of the marker's face.
 
Also see . . .  PDF version of the marker. (Submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,324 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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