Celebrate Spring with Ms. Maryanne as she reads The Surprise Garden
in this interactive storytime on the Library's Channel.
From our archives....
Steam locomotive JOHN BULL (replica)
Camden and Amboy Railroad
"John Bull" is a railroad steam locomotive. It was operated for the first time on September 15, 1831, and it became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it in 1981. Built by Robert Stephenson and Company, the John Bull was initially purchased by and operated for the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad in New Jersey. Robert L. Stevens was president of the Camden and Amboy Railroad at the time. The C&A used the locomotive heavily from 1833 until 1866, when it was removed from active service and placed in storage.
After the C&A's assets were acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1871, the PRR refurbished and operated the locomotive a few times for public displays: it was fired up for the Centennial Exposition in 1876 and again for the National Railway Appliance Exhibition in 1883. In 1884 the locomotive was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution as the museum's first major industrial exhibit.
In 1939 the employees at the PRR's Altoona, Pennsylvania, workshops built an operable replica of the locomotive for further exhibition duties, as the Smithsonian desired to keep the original locomotive in a more controlled environment. After being on static display for 42 years, the Smithsonian commemorated the locomotive's 150th birthday in 1981 by firing it up; it was then the world's oldest surviving operable steam locomotive.
The original John Bull is currently on display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and the replica was preserved at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. (Wikipedia 2021.04.21)
The steam locomotive "John Bull" ran for 35 years, pulling trains of passengers and cargo between the two largest cities of the time, Philadelphia and New York. A short ferry ride connected Camden with Philadelphia and a longer ferry run connected South Amboy with New York. The locomotive propelled trains at 25 to 30 miles per hour. (Smithsonian, Pennsylvania Railroad Company)
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