Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Railroads Eclipse a National Road
“Thus will scientiﬁc power conquer space.”
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 (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 & Streetcars • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & 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 1,317 times since then and 39 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.