|John Stevens - Father of American Railroads (1749 - 1838)|
John Stevens and Railroads
Colonel John Stevens is considered
to be the father of American railroads. In 1826, John Stevens demonstrated the
feasibility of steam locomotion on a circular experimental track constructed
on his estate in Hoboken, New Jersey, three years before George Stephenson
perfected a practical steam locomotive in England. The first railroad charter
in North America was granted to John Stevens in 1815. Grants to others followed,
and work soon began on the first operational railroads. John Stevens, with able
sons to help him, erected a circular railway at Hoboken as early as 1826, on
which he ran a locomotive at the rate of twelve miles an hour.
Moreover, in June, 1808, the Phoenix stood to
sea, and made the first ocean voyage in the history of steam navigation.
Because of a monopoly of the Hudson, which the New York Legislature had
granted to Livingston and Robert
Fulton, John Stevens was compelled to send his ship to the Delaware.
Locomotives, and John Stevens
Machine of John Stevens and Sons