Sunday, August 30, 2009

Making Old Trains Run on Time

From the Unwritten History of Braddock's Field (1917):
Things were done in a much more simple manner in those days than at present. An incident which happened on one occasion shows the absence of red tape in the management at that time.

While Andrew Carnegie was Superintendent, Mr. J. B. Corey, a coal operator, who still lives in Braddock, went to Mr. Carnegie and asked for some coal cars. Carnegie said "All right, they will be out there before you will". Mr. Corey said that would be impossible, as he intended going out on the next trip of the one passenger train which ran between Pittsburgh and Braddock at that time, and which was lying in the station ready to start.

Then Mr. Carnegie ordered that the coal train be coupled on ahead of the passenger train, which was done, much to the displeasure of the conductor, John Routh, a famous character in the early days of railroading on the Pennsylvania, and the coal cars really reached Braddock before Mr. Corey did.
Also, J.B. Corey was not from Braddock originally. He was from Port Perry, which is just over the hill from Wilmerding.

More about J.B. Corey on the streets of Braddock as an old man:

Towns usually improve with age, but Port Perry as a town has been practically obliterated by the growth of great industries as the years have gone by. In J. B. Corey's Memoir we find that his father brought his family to Port Perry on the occasion of having secured, in company with his brother, the contract to erect the lock and dam known as No. 2, for the Monongahela Navigation Company, J. K. Moorehead being president of the Company. The work on the dam was started in the year 1840. J. B. Corey was then about eight years old. At the present time he is nearly eleven times that age and in comparatively good health. I saw him on the streets of Braddock as this was being written, greeting old and new acquaintances with a vim that was surprising in one of his great age.
It's amazing to think that old J.B. Corey may well have spoken to my grandfather, who at the time (circa 1917) was a little kid playing in the streets of Wilmerding.

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites