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Rise of the Locomotive Industry

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Rise of the Locomotive Industry

A Booming New Business

Library of Congress

By the 1850s, the American locomotive industry was booming. Locomotive works became major employers in several American cities. Paterson, New Jersey, ten miles from New York City, became a center of the locomotive business.

This print from the 1850s portrays the Danforth, Cooke, & Co. Locomotive and Machine Works in Paterson. A new locomotive is displayed in front of the large assembly building. The artist obviously took some license as the new locomotive is not riding atop train tracks.

Paterson was also home to a competing company, the Rogers Locomotive Works. The Rogers factory produced one of the most famous locomotives of the Civil War, the "General," which played a role in the legendary "Great Locomotive Chase" in Georgia in April 1862.

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